Double standard? CKNW senior editor fires back at ex-CKNW broadcaster Christy Clark

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      It's known as Greener's Law. Bill Greener, a former press aide to Gerald Ford and Donald Rumsfeld, liked to advise anyone who would listen never to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

      Maybe in the case of Premier Christy Clark, this could also include never picking on broadcasters with unlimited amounts of airtime.

      Over the weekend at a B.C. Liberal barbecue, she made a crack about how people in the crowd probably never listen to CKNW Radio. Clark used to host a talk-show on the station. She also took a swipe at the Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer.

      That brought a heated reaction from CKNW senior editor Gord MacDonald, who fired back with an editorial that included the following comments:

      • "I presume Christy Clark doesn’t like the criticism she’s been getting from the likes of Vaughn Palmer and Michael Smyth and Philip Till and Bill Good and Simi Sara and Jon McComb and Jill Bennett and Sean Leslie and yours truly. I presume Christy has decided that things are going so poorly for the B.C. Liberals under her leadership that it’s time to blame the messenger."

      • "Remember how she had so much respect for you, the CKNW listener, who tuned in to her show every day? She of course knew darn well that CKNW and you, the listener, gave her a platform that raised her profile so she could jump back into politics."

      And on it went, culminating in a suggestion that Clark was disloyal to listeners of the station.

      I was a bit baffled by MacDonald's outburst. As someone who has paid attention to media coverage of Clark, I have detected a double standard in how she is treated in the mainstream media in comparison to her predecessor, Gordon Campbell.

      Campbell was consistently given the benefit of the doubt by CKNW broadcasters and Palmer, whereas Clark rarely receives a break.

      Clark herself happened to be one of the broadcasters who consistently boosted Campbell's political career. Now, she is probably taken aback that her former friends aren't doing the same for her.

      No matter who she appoints as her press secretary, this situation isn't improving.

      And over the weekend, she let out a few frank words about what she thought about all of this.

      I like to think that I've been as tough on Campbell as I have been on Clark. At the end of the day, they're both poseurs who lack the requisite curiosity about the economy, the environment, and the human condition to be effective premiers.

      In fact, I think Campbell was a worse premier than Clark because at least she did something about the minimum wage and she allowed welfare recipients to earn a little money on the side. She also didn't introduce a whopper of a fudge-it budget like Campbell did before the 2009 election, nor did she blow nearly a billion dollars on an unnecessary convention centre.

      This is not something you'll likely see written in a column by Palmer or hear in a CKNW editorial by MacDonald. And that's probably why the premier got a little snippy over the weekend.


      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

      Comments

      10 Comments

      Martin Dunphy

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:15pm

      Hmmm....
      Palmer, Smyth, Till, Good, Sara, McComb, Bennett, Leslie, and MacDonald....
      Fitting, perhaps, especially when it came to Gordon Campbell, that those nine are the exact number required to field a "softball" team.

      Lob away...

      9 8Rating: +1

      AJ

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:55pm

      The media has done nothing wrong. They are reporting on the issues of the day. Unfortunately, Clark continues to do nothing but shoot herself in the foot in her complete and utter arrogance. Then she tries to blame someone else. Let's get serious here, she is supposedly running a government and they are basically screwing the people and the province all the while she is telling us how wonderful the Liberals are. Yes, Free Enterprise which equals Free goodies/jobs for all her friends.
      I think that is pretty clear to most BC'ers with even little intelligence. Here Patrick Kinsella, here is Liquor Distribution on a silver platter, so you can make millions.

      14 9Rating: +5

      Clive

      Jul 16, 2012 at 9:12pm

      I'm melting, I'm melting...

      Its a little rediculous for Christy to be lashing out at Vaughn Palmer and CKNW as they have given her a free ride for the past years. Its only the last little bit that they are starting to do their jobs.

      15 9Rating: +6

      of_no_consequence

      Jul 17, 2012 at 5:36am

      Oh come on, Charlie. There's no such thing as bad publicity. She'll be working back there as soon as she loses.

      Corporate types just promote each other with faux-conflict, pretending there's a fourth estate protecting us blah blah blah. It's all theater hence Berlusconi.

      Meanwhile Capital stays firmly in control

      Malcontent

      Jul 17, 2012 at 9:14am

      This is the first time in ages since the corporate media criticized their buddies. To bad the likes of CKNW have not been fair and balanced when Campbell was in charge.

      12 8Rating: +4

      bdubblut@live.ca

      Jul 17, 2012 at 10:21am

      Holy shades of Murdoch Batman!

      9 13Rating: -4

      Farid

      Jul 17, 2012 at 11:17am

      She is getting advice from Harper. She wants to follow Campbell and be an ambassador once she leaves and has to please Harper.

      9 4Rating: +5

      Mark Fornataro

      Jul 17, 2012 at 12:09pm

      AJ re:"The media has done nothing wrong" Well I tend to agree more with Martin Dunphy's characterization of the mentioned reporters as 'playing softball' (instead of hardball which a real democracy requires) re: Gordon Campbell. The Van. Sun, after all, ran a column by Campbell's brother Michael Campbell, who was also on BCTV I believe. I think there's something wrong in that cosiness. In fact the term 'softball' might fairly be considered a euphemism in the context here. And when somebody of Gordon Campbell's ilk tries to tax out of existence a hard-hitting publication such as the G.Straight I have little respect for the mainstream media who, by and large, supported him

      Evil Eye

      Jul 17, 2012 at 6:42pm

      With "Dead dog 98" sinking faster than the Titanic, I guess "Dead Dog 98" had to turn its sights on Premier photo-op. Mind you, the pablum fed to the masses from Bill Boring can be contrived as anti photo-op, stretches ones imagination.

      9 9Rating: 0

      HellSlayerAndy

      Jul 18, 2012 at 7:13pm

      If Christy wants media loyalty she should pay for it like anyone else?

      Just after being elected, Gordo sat down with media owners who payed for the privilege of private face time with new Premier up in a Whistler fundraiser, if I remember correctly. (Can't rem but a 25k private meet up rings a bell)

      But Mr. Smith has a point -- during the HST referendum campaign, CKNW consistently and doggedly maintained Gordo PAB talking points to the bitter end.

      It was a personal 'guilty pleasure' listening to Bill "in all my centuries as a broadcaster" Good Jr., take umbrage at callers who questioned his impartiality while he bellowed at the Traitors for playing into the Zalm/NDP hands! "Do you want the NDP and a return to the 90s caller?"

      They didn't calculate that their fanatic 'stay the course' scorched earth policy in a 'new media' world would cost them more dearly than Gordo where it counted...credibility.

      Sure Crusty could just pay them off, but are they worth it anymore?

      Not only can't they deliver the votes, but the taint of being associated with 'NW is probably doing as much to kill her as her association with Gordo's cabinet...or losing an easy nomination battle with a guy in a wheelchair! LOL

      Die in Hell you corrupt Scum!