- April 16, 2013 - 11:02
A curious column indeed Mr. Wangersky. I agree that journalists sometimes get it wrong. It might be accidental or it might reflect a conscious bias. A case in point is Williams' battle with Exxon in an attempt to extract fair compensation from the Hebron project. You and other columnists at the Telegram, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, along with the Board of Trade and even NOIA, were all unanimous in your view that he was being too strident and too greedy. It was the old 'please sir may we have more' refrain that has dominated Newfoundland's bleak economic history. Exxon went away mad but eventually returned to the table and negotiated a deal that, while not perfect, was a far cry from what people like you would have had us accept. So I am under no illusion that journalists are always right and politicians always wrong. And not to defend Wakeham's track record which I think has been off-base as much as your own, but I do think you are being unfair in this instance. Wakeham did not claim infallibility for his kind. He merely complimented Cowan for refusing to fold his tent in the face of what I think any right-minded person would agree was an unreasonable, unprovoked, unsubstantiated assault by a federal cabinet minister. Penashue, who hasn't had a word in his face since assuming office, wasn't content with ignoring reporters' questions as usual - he accused Cowan of bias and the CBC of allowing one of its own to manage a competitor's campaign. In Penashue's mind, the mere asking of a tough question is sufficient proof of bias. Your column not only reflects badly on your Telegram colleague, it questions the appropriateness of Cowan's conduct, and offers a level of comfort to Penashue that he does not deserve. The reality is that the quality of journalism in this country and elsewhere has seen a steady decline in recent years. Reporters are pulling back for fear that, like Cowan, they will be singled out for harsh treatment. Beyond that is the fact that so much of our once locally owned media has been subsumed by corporate conglomerates like Bell, Rogers, Shaw and even TransContinental whose first priority is profitability.
- April 16, 2013 - 09:39
Good article. Both sides can be and are guilty of this. Pride (and "badges of honour") are the reasons that sensationalistic headlines are on the front page in big letters, and retractions tend to be written in small letters in some inconspicuous location near the back.
- April 16, 2013 - 07:31
The situation with Peter Penashue, although circumstantially different, reminds me of Marion Barry (former Mayor of Washington) . He has no shame and nothing seems to sink in as being wrong. He just keeps on as if all is normal.