To understand the first part of the blog, you will need to read the blog for Nov. 27 in which I talked about how I expected the TandT to handle the story of the anti-shale protest at the legislature yesterday.
They didn't go overboard as much as I thought they would - but they still used the presence of pro-shale gas demonstrators exactly as they one might have expected.
The number of pro-shale gas people was reported at 50. That wounds plausible. It certainly wasn't more. But that fifty did it's job. It made it possible for the TandT to headline "Shale gas protesters, proponents take views to legislature."
I was also enough to give the pro-shale gas people, despite their low numbers, a third of the column space in the story. You will also notice the reporters appear to have made a point of asking why there weren't more anti-shale gas demonstrators there. They seem not to have asked that question of the pro-shale gas group - though they were only one-sixth, at best, of the numbers of the the anti-shale gas group. Nor did the ask the pro-shale group where they came from, who had formed them, when this had happened....
Alas! They didn't quote from my speech. I cried a little, but I was braced for that. In fact, I told the audience the Irving papers would not quote me when I said, "They own all the newspapers and most of the radio stations - and they have made them the most incompetent, trivial and unethical news services in the civilized world."
The inclusion of the pro-shale gas group muddied they story a little - as it was planned they would. But it could have been worse; and to say it could have been worse is high praise for the TandT.
It was a good day but oh, my, it was cold.
Two years into its mandate, the Alward government announces that it's going to appoint a committee to deal with forming a plan to think of a blueprint to set up structures to deal with the province's economy.
Isn't that what a party is supposed to do, to have in place, and with policies formed before an election?
The first section has two, full pages of gush on Brian Gallant, written by the Times and Transcript's chief glitzer of gush, Brent Mazerolle. The style reminds me of the grocery store checkout counter mags with stories like "Kate sells wedding dress - the shocking truth about William's gambling". There are also two, large photos suitable for framing. (I suppose we should be grateful the photos are not a triple-page foldout.)
And what does this really tell us?
The big boss has decided. Alward will put shale gas drilling (with the strictest rules in the world which he still hasn't written but will fer sure fer sure but which don't matter a damn because no rules can make anything prefectly safe.) Anyway, Alward will put everything in place so it can't be changed; then he will lose the election. But don't worry. He will get a nice job - oh, sitting on boards of directors which don't do anything but which pay well. Hey. The man has no demonstrated talent. But there are always jobs in the corporation world for people of no talent.
The Brian Gallant will become p.m. And he will gracefully accept Alward's fait accompli but promise to pass even stricter controls. And the big boss won't care because both dogs are on his leash. After all, what are two dogs for a man who already has his own church and his own god?
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the editorial was not about the demonstration. I guess they decided not to make a big noise about it because they have the two dogs on the same leash. So why worry?
Good cartoon by de Adder. Good op ed page, including the piece by Eric Lewis.
It was a good day in Fredericton. I got there early for the line up. And it was a pleasure to see the steady flow of newcomers who had come out in all that cold, some travelling a long distance to get there, and the line still growing after we moved out for the long, cold walk to the legislature. They were an angry group. And they were also a happy group. It's possible to be both at the same time - angry at the betrayals New Brunswick has suffered, But smiling to each other because we were all there to share our anger at our political and economic leaders, and happy to see so many with us.
But, oh, it was cold.