Some quick follow-up on my David Cochrane item from a week ago. The story continues to make waves, even after my Tuesday update.
(And I extend my apologies to David Cochrane, who would probably prefer to just see this story fade from the news, so that he can get on with his job.)
Cochrane is not the first journalist in this province to get blacklisted by a politician. This week, photo-journalist Greg Locke followed through on his threat to launch a new web site, devoted exclusively to those journalists who have found themselves in the sights of ticked-off premiers. It's called The Black List, and here's how he describes it:
"An increasingly less exclusive club for journalists and media workers in Newfoundland & Labrador who have been blacklisted by a provincial premier or government official either publicly or unspoken. ?This includes repeatedly denied interviews, unreturned phone calls or access to the premier or government officials in the course of one's duties as a professional journalist."
The inaugural spurned journalist is who else David Cochrane. Craig Westcott is there too, as the winner of the Blackest of the Black Award. There is even a swag section, where you can support the cause by buying hats, mugs, mousepads and other paraphernalia.
Can you suggest others who should be on The Black List? Do you have a blackballing experience of your own to share? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telegram editorial cartoonist Kevin Tobin offered his take on the Cochrane story, in this cartoon. It isn't available online so I am reproducing it here without permission, for those who missed it (and I will happily remove it if the copyright owner objects). Click on the image at right for a larger view. I think Tobin's caricature of Cochrane is spot-on.
There was a carefully considered editorial in the Clarenville Packet by Barbara Dean Simmons on this subject, which is worth a read. Barbara has been around this business for quite a few years, and I know, from feedback I've heard, that she has the respect of her colleagues.
Satiric blogger Sir Richard Raleigh of Serious Business also waded in on this topic. He was actually serious for a change.
Finally, on an unrelated topic, Premier Williams hotly denied John Abbott's suggestion that his government attempts to manipulate public opinion through call-in shows like VOCM's Open Line. Then, yesterday, we had the spectacle of not one, but three, PC government members calling what else Open Line, to say nasty things about Tom Rideout.
If you look again at the Kevin Tobin cartoon, you will see toward the left a swarm of flies buzzing about. This may seem odd, until you stop to ponder what it is that attracts flies
There's no shortage of it on the Hill these days.