Media should show at least a minimum level of objectivity

I know that I pick on Al Hogan a lot but if you know me you know that I firmly believe that the media has a critical role to play if a place like New Brunswick is ever to turn itself around.

That’s why I am constantly amazed at the lack of objectivity and even rational thinking coming out of the Times & Transcript. This morning’s We Say is no exception. The Telegraph-Journal served up an editorial yesterday calling on Premier Lord to call an election. It rightly framed the current reality in the NB Legislature and suggested the best solution would be to call an election.

Now, if you have been following politics even marginally over the past few weeks, you will know that there have been some breathtakingly infantile moves. Tanker Malley’s blackmail and miraculous revival as Speaker and Santa Claus for his riding. Chisolm Pothier’s release of a private citizen’s personal information just to make a point. Bernard Lord taking Frank Branch up to Ottawa because he doesn’t trust the ‘pairing’ arrangement with Branch. Throw in a pile of shenanigans and you have the NB legislature these days.

Then you have Al:

We Say: It is time our elected representatives restored decorum to the legislature and started acting like adults again

Most NBers would agree with that.

The lack of decorum and sniping has reached the point it resembles spoiled children run amok more than adult discourse on public business. It is time for Liberal leader Shawn Graham to insist his MLAs begin acting their age.

Now, considering Tanker, Lord, Chisolm, (how about Captain Kirk’s ‘Tripod’?), et. al., even I wasn’t expecting this. I expected Al to sort of state generically that conditions need to improve or some such rot. But to boldy accuse the Liberals of being ‘spoiled children’ and not ‘acting their age’ is nothing short of stunning.

The only thing that even comes close to this was Al Hogan’s We Say after the Saint John Harbour By-Election:

We Say: Saint John byelection not a vote on Lord’s leadershipThis byelection outcome says more about the riding than it does about the governing party.

The fact that Premier Bernard Lord represents a Moncton riding makes him an easy target for those who feel disenchanted and disenfranchised.By rejecting Lord’s promises of funding for harbour cleanup and a new downtown justice centre – and the guarantee of a cabinet post for Hooton – Saint John voters have decided to continue to complain, to take comfort in their rapidly expanding underdog status.

So be it; people in Moncton and Fredericton have long since moved past such ‘woe is us’ thinking and have embraced Lord’s attempts to build the economic base of their cities. Is it any wonder those two cities have continued to grow and attract investment while Saint John’s population and economic base shrinks?

Those people in the Conservative Party who might think the time is right to draw their knives for a leadership coup against Lord should also think again. The Tories came to power largely on the strength of their leader. Who else within the Tory caucus has the qualifications or stature to lead if Lord goes?

Shuffle your cabinet, if you like, Mr. Premier. But do not shed too many tears over Saint John Harbour. It just isn’t worth it.

I reiterate that this not even rational on any level editorial bias is not good for Moncton or New Brunswick. Again, it’s not so much Al’s little paranoid attacks on the Liberal party or even his systematic propping up of the Premier – almost like an extended press secretary.

It’s about not informing the residents of Moncton and New Brunswick about the serious challenges facing the province – just to prop up your ‘guy’. Who freakin’ cares about Bernard Lord? (except Al and Bernard, of course). These things go way deeper than the alter egos of Bernie and Al.

A newpaper editor should have the guts to put his/her personal, political leanings and even personal friendships aside and report on the realities facing New Brunswick. He/she should challenge the government to spend every waking hour trying to solve these challenges – that eventually could threaten the sovereignty and existence of the province itself.