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Press hypocrisy

“We know no spectacle so ridiculous,” wrote Macaulay some 175 years ago, “as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality” …

Let’s change that to substitute “captive columnists” for “British public” and now take a look at the recent writings of Mike Smyth of The Province and Vaughn Palmer of the Sun. It’s now OK, I gather, to let Gordon “Pinocchio” Campbell have it with both barrels. Like religious converts, they have seen the light and are prepared to atone for their errors by piling on Campbell when he’s down for the count.

If their recent columns had followed 10 years of them holding Campbell’s feet to the fire the salvoes would pass unnoted. In fact they follow 10 years of indifference manifested by silence or near adoration.

I would have thought, for example, that Palmer, given the whipping he administered to Glen Clark over the “fast ferries” issue, would have flayed Campbell alive for the Convention which came in at double the estimates and at a time when conventions are staying close to home – not to mention the retractable dome that doesn’t.

There’s great building of ports, and highways to suit, in Delta – why weren’t this pair asking whether or not overcapacity was being built since the Panama Canal has increased it’s capacity hugely making it a better deal for those trading with eastern American ports to go via Panama rather than through Vancouver. And what of the impact on our ports business because the Northwest Passage is now open?

Why they didn’t examine these questions with the same vigour as they did NDP projects?

Perhaps I’m alone in this concern, though the crowds the Common sense Canadian draws look otherwise, but where is the outrage at Campbell’s “Energy Policy”?

Has either of them taken the time to interview any academics who are exposing this scandal? Have they even taken just a short hop to Squamish to see the horror story that is the Ashlu project, a smallish project compared to Toba Inlet and others? Have they devoted even a short line to the permanent damage these projects inflict with their “weir” (the word the private power people prefer we call their dams), dirt roads and transmission lines?

It’s common knowledge that BC Hydro has been forced by Campbell to pay (and the contracts are “take or pay”) twice or more what they can get on the export market for it, 12 times what they can make their own power for – why hasn’t there been a whisper about this from our Canwest columnists?

Has this somewhat less than dynamic duo not learned that most of this private power cannot be used by Hydro because it comes at run-off time when Hydro doesn’t need any electricity thus must either sell it at a huge loss or use it in place of their own power at 12 times the cost?

Do Smyth and Campbell not know that BC Hydro is going bust? Did they ever interview Erik Andersen, a respected economist who has publicly explained just how this is happening? I can tell you they haven’t which raises the obvious question, why not?

I can tell you this – they’ve heard from me on these subjects until I’m blue in the face and I’ve never even received a response.

The sum total of Campbell’s energy policy is a tissue of lies – the facts are that these river projects not built by “Mom & Pop” small companies as promised but by huge foreign corporations, destroy the rivers used and the ecologies they sustain, force BC to pay at least twice what the power is worth or 12 times what they can make it for themselves, thus send all the profits out of the province; the government charges peppercorn rate to these environmental abusers, bankrupting BC Hydro in the bargain – why have Smyth and Palmer remained mute?

Let’s look at fish farming and Alexandra Morton who under threat of arrest set out to prove the nexus between lost BC Salmon runs and the sea lice from Atlantic salmon fish farms and did just that so gathering the world’s scientists in this field dramatically to her side. Even the largest shareholder of the largest fish farm company on our coast, Marine Harvest has admitted the connection.

Where the hell were you two?

I knew you guys when you held the NDP governments and the Vander Zalm government before them to the strictest account. What happened?

Let’s broaden this a bit – at one time there was a media, print and electronic that explored every issue and raised concerns, sometimes for weeks on end. AND SO THEY SHOULD HAVE!

Do the memories of Jack Webster, Pat Burns, Gary Bannerman, Barrie Clark, Marjorie Nichols, Allan Fotheringham, Jim Hume, Jack Wasserman, Barbara McClintock, Allen Garr, Dave Todd and on the list goes on, mean nothing to you?

Now that Campbell is down, you kick the shit out of him which would be fine if you’d demanded accountability at the time his outrages were committed but you let it all pass and now try to look like tough journalists when no answer is possible.

I haven’t the slightest sympathy for Campbell. He deserves not a moment’s compassion and had you been doing your jobs he would have no comeback to your recent columns.

Now he can look at those columns and the general reaction of the media and say, with no fear of contradiction, what a bunch of bloody hypocrites!

Now he can look at those columns and the general reaction of the media and say, with no fear of contradiction, what a bunch of bloody hypocrites!

7 Responses to “Press hypocrisy”

  1. Olivia says:

    Thank you for saying what many, many people have been saying for years, Vaughn, Palmer, Good, Clarke, are all puppets, pimps for the Campbell government and I personally put most of the blame on them for having Campbell win the last 2 elections. THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!!! If it wasn’t for the internet I wouldn’t know about Laura and Gordo, the shadow tolls on the Sea to Sky highway,(thank yo Laila) the BC Rail giveaway (thank you BC Mary) just to name a few examples. There is so much more that hasn’t been reported in the MSM it makes me sick.

  2. Curt says:

    Rafe, I dismissed these fools years ago as well as cancelled all subscriptions. The way they came down on the NDP (whom piss me off also), but the deck is nothing compared to gordo’s lies; fast ferries, Big Deal when you see what the lieberals have done and are doing to OUR province, sells offs, privatization, tolls, P3’s, child poverty and let’s face it, senior’s poverty and the middle class getting wiped out, lying about contracts “shadow tolls” and the list goes on. And absolutely nothing spoken out of gordo and gang. These people are despicable in my opinion. They are not newspeople, they are butt kissers for their pay cheques. It’s time we take back our province and expose all the “deals” the liberals have made and get rid of them. A complete forensic audit is in order, and if charges are constituted, then charge every last one of them involved and sue them personally for the pain and suffering and losses they have brought to the citizens of British Columbia.

  3. Terrence says:

    From time-to-time I listen to Bill Boring and Vaughn Palmer on CKNW, and occasionally read Mike Smyth of The Province.

    I have also noticed what you so eloquently spell out, Rafe. And I find it contemptible and disgusting. These, and other media flacks, have said NOTHING about Gordo’s endless lies and corruption. Until, as you say, he is already down for the count, and on his way out (sometime, maybe several MONTHS in the future; maybe after he completes a lot more of his plans).

    I think this just shows that these flacks are afraid of Gordo, just like most of the Cabinet is; and, as Christy Clark has shown herself to be.

  4. G Ruiz says:

    I fully agree with you. The media has finally turned against Gordon Campbell because public sentiment is so strongly against him. If the media had hammered him for breaking his promise not to sell BC Rail, breaking a contract with the HEU, cancelling three fall sittings of the legislature, piling up a record debt, and awarding ferry contracts to Germany instead of BC, the dictator might not have gotten reelected. We also know that Gordon Campbell treated former MLAs Elayne Brenzinger and Paul Nettleton horribly, but barely heard a word. At times it seemed like the media and the Public Affairs Bureau were one and the same. Gordon Campbell has so little credibility I doubt many believe a word he has to say. His decision to remain premier until a successor is chosen is a disgrace. Bill Bennett is right: He should go now!

  5. Werner Kopp says:

    Thanks for the voice of reason. Well done!

    Werner Kopp
    Edgewater, BC

  6. […] Here is Rafe’s cut on the recent turmoil in BC Politics. […]

  7. […] now start doing their jibs properly, as Campbell is going to step down. Rafe Mair calls this “hypocrisy“. He’s right, of course, just wrong to be surprised. But then we have “been down […]

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