Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Collingwood Kerfuffle


There's an interesting piece in the National Post today about Sun News, which got me thinking about the current upset gripping Collingwood with regard to the recreation facilities and privately owned soccer dome.

You can read it for yourself here

I'm not going to weigh in on whether Sun News belongs on basic cable, but Johnathan Kay sums up what's on the channel pretty well. He's also right when he suggests personal animosity can be a great motivator in a search for 'truth'. Matt Drudge + Bill Clinton = Monica Lewinsky, for example. Which brings me to Collingwood, and the current kerfuffle.

A lot of people I have spoken with firmly believe there is something strange about the way decisions have been made when it comes to the new recreation facilities in town. They don't know what, they don't know why, if anyone benefitted or how, but many of my friends believe something, somehow, is amiss. Many people I've talked to also don't know what to make of the weirdness in the case of Pretty River Academy's soccer dome. You might remember the last mass mailing about a town of Collingwood issue was a strange rant about dealings with the ethanol plant.

Having already been threatened with a lawsuit for a series of stories I wrote a couple of years ago, I am ashamed to say I have not pursued these issues very hard. The suit didn't make it to court, but the legal bill was still large, and I would rather not test my company's patience or pocketbook again. Yes, libel chill is alive and well. Which is why when a local blogger decided to look a little more closely at town hall doings, including an FOI request (not cheap) and publication of excerpts from town hall emails, I watched with interest.

I don't know Steve Berman. I have not met him. But based on the name of his blog, (Enough is Enough) I suspect the motivation for his journalism might have something to do with animosity, and I'm OK with that. As in the Sun's case against David Suzuki, if hostility is what it takes to shine some light on actions that might be inappropriate or inept, bring it on. I'm not saying there is anything wrong going on, only that I'm glad someone is watching.

They say it's tough to watch democracy or sausage being made. I'd add journalism to the list.

4 comments:

  1. My personal rule is pre-pub is better than post-pub; when in doubt, lawyer it out!
    Thanks for providing some balance to an issue I've probably lost some perspective on - for reasons I'm pretty sure you understand...

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  2. Great blog Mariane. I can promise you though, that I have no animosity towards anyone.

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  3. Just stumbled on your blog Marianne. I am one of those Sun News watching middle aged white guys, Jonathon Kay talks about. I really liked the above blog and will read and follow you with great interest. You make a very good point which my limited intellect did not actually recognize. The world does need alternate people like Steve Berman and Ezra Lavent to shine a light where no one else will dare.

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  4. You were threatened? Dear God! There is something wrong with this P/R picture.

    But it's ok for town councillors to tweet twitty comments during the middle of a twangy council meeting? We're just supposed to go along with that?

    {{sigh}}

    No wonder we have blog wars.

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