At a South Surrey "beans and jeans" BC Liberal fundraiser over the weekend, B.C. Premier Christy Clark took swipes at the Vancouver Sun's Vaughn Palmer and her former employer CKNW, implying neither will give her government a fair shake. Today CKNW's Gord MacDonald issued a blistering editorial that signals a level of hostility rarely vented by a major B.C. media outlet towards a politician -- particularly one leading the pro-business party in power.
Having once hosted the afternoon talk show at CKNW after leaving the Gordon Campbell-led BC Liberal government, Clark Saturday addressed "the BC Liberal family" who is united, she said, by their belief in free enterprise, and joked "you probably don't listen to CKNW anymore."
MacDonald was so unusually vehement in his rebuke broadcast earlier this afternoon, we reprint it here:
"So much for loyalty to you, the CKNW listener. I guess you, like me, were an idiot for thinking Christy Clark might be a breath of fresh air in Victoria. I guess you, like me, were an idiot for thinking Christy Clark was bright as a politician. I guess you, like me, were an idiot for thinking that Christy Clark could get more out of her Cabinet, get more out of her Liberal MLA's, than Gordon Campbell. I guess you, like me, were an idiot for thinking she could make our provincial government work better than it did under Gordo and his arrogance in springing the HST on us, and trying to talk his way out of it.
"I include you in this listener because right now you are listening to CKNW. By the way, I would like to thank you for listening, because it allows me to feed my family. Just like your listening allowed Christy Clark to feed her son when she was a host here.
"On Saturday at a political barbecue in the Surrey riding of Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, Clark spoke to BC Liberals, and she mocked Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer, and she then mocked you, the listener for tuning in to CKNW.
"I presume Christy Clark doesn't like the criticism she's been getting from the likes of Vaughn Palmer and Michael Smyth and Philip Till and Bill Good and Simi Sara and Jon McComb and Jill Bennett and Sean Leslie and yours truly. I presume Christy has decided that things are going so poorly for the BC Liberals under her leadership that it's time to blame the messenger. 'It's not our fault, dear Liberals, it's that unsympathetic, pro-NDP media... that's the problem.' Rather than try and answer the criticism, it's easier to crap on the messenger.
"My, how things have changed. Remember when Christy left CKNW, how she spoke so glowingly about you, the CKNW listener? Remember how she had so much respect for you, the CKNW listener, who tuned in to her show every day? She of course knew darn well that CKNW and you, the listener, gave her a platform that raised her profile so she could jump back into politics. We thought she was bright... she sounded articulate... and we all understood when she went left radio to seek the premier's job after Gordon Campbell resigned. Boy, were we wrong. Now, she insults the CKNW listener. Nobody listens to CKNW any more, right?
"Loyalty. Funny word, that. Damned hard to earn, but easy to say, and it appears easy to piss away. Loyalty. Now it seems to me that if I she really respected you, the CKNW listener, she would come on air and take on the likes of Smitty or McComb when they criticize. She would make her argument and let you, the listener, decide. But no, not Christy. Yet again, Christy Clark showed on Saturday she's willing to say anything to anybody to get their vote. But speaking as one who clearly misjudged her talents as a politician, a word of warning. When times get tough, some people stay true to their word. Others, like Christy, don't.
"One final thought Christy. Can you say Kim Campbell?"
David Beers is editor of The Tyee.