13 March 2010

Telly-torial goes home

A classic Telegram editorial consists of a summary of an issue concluding with a blinding insight into the completely frigging obvious.

This pattern reflects - as much as anything else -  the historic inability of the editorial board to form a collective opinion on any issue unless there is already such a staggeringly obvious answer staring everyone on the planet in the face that to deny it would be to look like a total idiot.

It also reflects another local media truism, namely that if “we didn’t break, they don’t have to add to it.”  In this instance, as with any other issue of considerable substance tied to an equally considerable controversy – like say anything to do with a certain someone’s unmentionable but potentially medically related travel – there is virtually zero chance the paper would explore any side angles or issues let alone weigh in along the same line.  No sleeping dog dare be disturbed. 

If nothing else that would open the chance that a political storm hovering over another media outlet might also come hover over the Village Mall, and that would apparently be a bad thing no matter what issue or principle might be savaged in the process. 

That sort of attitude is what makes a politician’s blacklist so effective.

Well that and the fact that if the Telly was ever blackballed – don’t hold your breath for that trigger event to occur in the first place -  they’d cave so fast you’d only know there had been any problem in the first place by the hole in time and space left by the Telly retreat. Speed of light?  They’d be faster.

Notice, to illustrate the point, the Telly history between 1997 and 2000.  Once someone started getting fed, they stopped asking tough questions about things like the Premier’s travel.  But once their source left office and his spoon stopped coming over regularly from the 8th, the intrepid Telly newsroom rediscovered the wonders of access to information.

It was left to mainland media to tell us about The Source’s free-wheeling travel budget.

Plus ca change.


Study-in-contrasts Update:  Meanwhile, the editorial board at the province’s other daily newspaper never seem to have trouble speaking what they see as truth to power.  That’s even more amazing when you consider the editorial board lives in the city that has been the home seat to more premier’s than any other:  Joe, Frank, Clyde, Brian One, and now Danny all represented seats in Corner Brook.

Here’s their take on the same issue that Telly publisher Charlie Stacy  - on behalf of them all - wussed out on.