04 March 2006

Our own bit of Disneyland - revised

Here's a transcript of the great farcical encounter between Danny Williams and the McCartneys on Larry King Live.

Why farcical?

Well, for one thing, Larry King pronounced the name of the province Williams is from as New Finland instead of a word that rhymes with "understand".

Well, for another thing the McCartneys claim they just came over looking for information and didn't have a plan to come and dictate to people what to do.

Then they proceeded to spout detailed Humane Society of the United States propaganda, mentioned websites and proceeded to tell people the seal hunt needed to be stopped.
Heather McCartney was especially aggressive despite her evident ignorance. She seemed confused for example about who Williams was and who he represented. Heather was so well briefed she managed to get in a shot about the cod moratorium and accused Williams of overfishing the banks.

It was farcical because for the first 30 minutes of the hour-long show, Paul and Heather got to say anything they wanted as a voice over for endless clips of seals being clubbed. Anything Danny Williams had to say afterward was irrelevant. Those who hadn't tuned out were already committed on the issue.

Most of all though, it was farcical because the ignorant and uninformed McCartneys were arguing with Williams who, while he had facts, was set up to be on the defensive. As much as he tried to get out of the box in which he was set, he just couldn't do it.

It was farcical because at one point Larry King's only series of interjections was to ask why we didn't just shoot seals instead of clubbing them. I was waiting for Larry to mention Dick Cheney but it didn't happen.

Farcical? Yeah. Farcical because Paul McCartney had no idea where on the planet he was. He was sitting in Charlottetown, believing he was in St. John's. That's like being in Edinburgh and saying you were in London.

And if that all wasn't bad enough, the whole confrontation is farcical because Williams' entire premise for tackling Heather and Paulie gives them way more credibility than they deserve - Canadian Press churns out a day-after story on the wire with a head "Seal hunt supporters worry about Beatle star power" as if an aging Beatle who looks slightly stoned and his OTL wife actually can have an impact beyond the one Danny has already granted them.

Two things come out of all this ultimately:

1. Rex Murphy had the smartest comments on this whole thing yesterday with John Furlong on the Fisheries Broadcast. He said something to the effect that the March Madness was just that - madness - populated by people like Paris Hilton: people with no work and too much money criticizing people with too much work and not enough money.

The McCartneys are no different.

Better to ignore them and let them go away.

As Rex said at one point, Paul and Heather were fighting poverty last year. Well, it should have been obvious to the pair that they could have best helped the cause by taking about $500 million of their considerable net worth and handed it to someone who didn't have cash, full-stop.

Instead we get treated to the kind of sanctimonious lectures we got last night.

Too bad Danny neither gets good advice nor takes it.

2. Given that Danny seems so hopped up on this his latest crusade in defence of the downtrodden, don't be surprised to see Danny launch into even more pro-seal hunt work in the near future. He might have to put some cash behind though, but since Danny isn't playing with his own cash, then he won't be squeemish about spending. Danny got just a bit too interested in the seal hunt this time around to make this look like a passing fancy and as Danny's publicist Liz Matthews said to news media, Danny spent time last year pumping out his own propaganda.

Like I said, too bad Danny-boy doesn't get or heed good advice. It would save us all some cash and collective embarrassment for having Williams on a show arguing with people who don't deserve the attention. For Larry King, though, they just fit the pattern. Again, as Rex so astutely pointed out, the previous night's guest was the intellectual giant Rosanne Barr.

All of which leads me to believe that Noel O'Dea's latest television tourism ad - while brilliant in execution and concept - may well be dead wrong.

I'd say this place - Newfoundland and Labrador - is rapidly becoming about as close to Disneyland as one could get without sitting in Mickey's lap.