Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who wants to be a traitor?

When I did my little rant about The Express closing, a friend in St. John's e-mailed me and said not to worry about burning bridges with it, that Craig Westcott had burned more bridges than he had ever walked across and was still getting work.

My response was that Westcott is twice the journalist that I am and has more lives than a shelter full of cats. That was before I read his speech at NOIA today, reprinted on Geoff Meeker's blog.

I'll repeat here what I said there – Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That man really wouldn't take shit from the devil himself.

I sat about 10 feet behind him during a Senate committee meeting on media concentration where he lambasted Transcontinental for their treatment of The Express and his concerns about what owning so many papers in Newfoundland would mean. Craig was the only journalist in the province to appear before the committee and one of the few, if not perhaps the only one, in the country to criticize their employer.

That takes balls.

What he did today, which was basically to call the premier of the province a power mad dictator one generation removed from Joey Smallwood and who should be put down like a rabid political dog was...something else. Balls doesn't really quite cover what it took to stand up and make that speech. It's something else entirely and something rarely seen in the province. The guts to criticize those in power, even though it might hurt your livelihood, the intelligence to make a coherent argument and the creativity to put it into words that everyone can understand, appreciate and be captivated by.

Hell, I tried to do put something together yesterday attacking Williams and it seems incoherent and hackneyed in comparison. And with due respect to Ed and Liam, also critics of the premier, who have tons of information at their fingertips but sometimes get bogged down, it can take a writer of Westcott's skill to get the point across as gracefully as he did today.

Anyway, I tip my hat to my former colleague and good friend. That was a hell of a piece of writing.

Two other interesting asides, watching the comments come in. First, that government suppporters are clearly going to attack Craig for the section on the government not advertising in his paper. First of all, the paper isn't failing nor is Westcott saying it is. He is saying that it's curious that of all the media in the province, the one the government is not advertising with is the one with the editor most critical of the premier. Peckford did it back in the days of the Sunday was a shitty tactic then that was heavily criticized and it's still shitty now. It's a typical tactic, ignore the meat of the speech of what he's saying and twist and attack a small point.

Secondly, I think there could be real money to be made on a series of t-shirts that says Danny Williams hates you. "Danny Williams thinks I suck." "Danny Williams stalks my blog", "A traitor to Dannyland", "The Newfoundland government thinks I'm a traitor"...stuff along those lines. I imagine we can come up with a few more catchy slogans. We just need some nice graphic images to go along with them. Anyone want to take it from here?


Simon said...

Since I'm the one who let that cat out of the bag. . .

Get ready for an announcement on T-shirts (just give me a few days to get home).

Edward G. Hollett said...

Craig, my stuff does get bogged down. you speak the truth.

And yes Craig has an ability we all envy. I've known him for almost 25 years and he is relentlessly plain spoken.

towniebastard said...

I take an extra-large (but working on a smaller size, obviously). Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Anonymous said...

Yessir, Danny Millions is a hot headed chest thumping type "A" personality who is going to drag us all down a dark deep hole. Okay, having said that, who is going to give him a run for ir in the next election. The liberals have shot themselves in the feet as far as leaders are concerned. They gave Bennett the heave ho in less than a year, and to top that off they inserted Reid (god almighty that man is annoying).

Okay, here is the thing....Liberal party of Newfoundland & Labrador....get your dam act together and find yourselves a leader for god's sakes. Attract some new blood and come up with a few concrete ideas to counter the William's trainwreck Give the people of the province a reason to turn a thumbs down on mister egomaniac and turf his conceited arse out of office. And for god's sake stay as far away from Roger Grimes as you can!

One more term of the Williams dictatorship will probably be enough to destroy what is left of this province, we must act NOW!

With regards
I'm Frustrated

Liam O'Brien said...

Well put Craig.

And to echo Ed, my stuff does get bogged down. After writing
this rambling post, I wasn't sure if i had pointed out the inconsistencies with the premier's position, trisected the angle using euclidean geometry, or just provided another exhibit in the affirmative side of the debate on me not having a life . . .

These guys named Craig seem to know how to cut to the chase. . . ;-)

towniebastard said...

I should mention that I'm not disparaging either of your writing abilities. The fact is that your backgrounds in law and policy means you write more densely and for an audience that normally wants and appreciates that density.

I'm frankly a touch in awe that both of you can write as much as you do given the time constraits of everyday life.

My writing style as a (former) journalist has to be different if you want the average reader to stick around.

In the blog context, I find that the simpler, less dense style works best for me as a reader. But that's just me. Whatever works best for you as a writer and brings you the most satisfaction, go for it.

After all, we're doing this basically for our own pleasure. I don't think many Newfoundland bloggers are making money off this hobby.

oldlostwater said...

Im in your districtz, stealin your votes. LOLZ!

Mike said...

I make this post for no other purpose than being able to say I have been on a page having so many recognized, established, well regarded bloggers commenting at the same time. Simon, Sir Bond, TB, Liam. It doesn't get much better than this in NL blogging.

Geez, I'm glad it's t-shirts and not hats you're all looking for. They would never find large enough head sizes :):):). To accomodate the brains of course :):)