Friday, September 23, 2022

Today's News: It's going to be a marathon, not a sprint

Philip Evergood 'The Dance Marathon'

This marathon will be exhausting.
Pierre Poilievre hasn't even been Conservative leader for two weeks yet. By the time the 2025 election finally arrives, we're all going to be as shell-shocked and tired as those marathon dancers in Evergood's 1935 painting.
So here's what happened this week.
On Monday we heard all about how Trudeau had been caught singing when he was in London for the funeral.  Of course, the Conservatives were shocked -- SHOCKED - to find that singing had been going on. 
They talked about it all day Tuesday, and then on Wednesday this happened:
Alberta Conservative MP Garnett Genius was trying to parody Bohemian Rapsody lyrics while he raked the Liberals over the coals, because that's the music Trudeau was singing in London. 
 And all we can conclude about Genius's skill as a lyricist is, don't quit your day job. 
 Even Michelle Rempel-Garner was not impressed: So anyway, then freelance press gallery journalist Dale Smith tweeted this: Now, you young whippersnappers won't remember, but there was an incredible Sydney Pollack movie from 1969 starring Jane Fonda about a dance marathon titled "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and  this phrase became part of our culture. 
So this may have been the reference alluded to in the tweet.
But when the Conservatives saw it -- bring out more fainting couches and begin the pearl clutching!
The tweet itself wasn't ratioed, but suddenly Smith found himself accused of issuing threats to an MP and the monkeys began to fly: 
The Press Gallery produced a mealy-mouthed statement that sort-of supported Smith, but with a tone of "oh darn now we have to defend a journalist AGAIN!" -- because remember the Akin affair was just last week:

Some journalists were not impressed with the press gallery statement: Others appeared to think the statement was "well-worded" - harumph! harumph! And speaking of mealy-mouthed, here's Genius' response to Coyne: Of course, there actually are some larger issues going on:
Today, Smith talked about the rage-farming problem in his Routine Proceedings newsletter: 
...The point here is that this is how the intimidation game is played, and why they think that journalists are uniquely vulnerable. 
If you are critical about anyone on their team, they declare that you are biased, even though you are critical about every team. 
They howl and moan, in the hopes that you either apologise and retract, and then they know that you’re weak, and that they can silence you through these kinds of tactics. 
It’s partially why so many journalists have resorted to scrupulously both-sidesing all of their lies—because they screamed and moaned about being treated unfairly, and insisting that they were “insulted” when they were called out for their blatant falsehoods, and yes, this has absolutely happened—until those reporters and their editors stop calling them out, and instead, just both-sides what is said. 
Both-sidesing in turn allows them to lie with impunity, because they know they won’t be called out for it, lest they begin this cycle again. 
And now, our political discourse is completely fucked as a result. 
So no, I’m not going to let Scheer or Ballingall intimidate me, and their winged monkeys don’t scare me. 
Now Genius has asked for the Speaker to revoke Smith's press gallery credentials and Smith told CBC he will be refraining from further comments himself until that ruling has been made.
And whatever results, regardless of whether Smith ultimately apologizes or not, the whole contretemps will have a chilling effect on the press gallery.
And Poilievre hasn't even been leader for two weeks!

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