Thursday, August 25, 2016

Postmedia's Thomson, not Alberta Premier Notley, uses overheated rhetoric

Quick and dirty blog to get something off my chest. Respect Edmonton Journal's Graham Thomson and have done so for years. I'm going to disagree with his latest column and criticize him. Because he's not above criticism, though Edmonton Journal colleagues will likely dump all over me for daring to do so. 

Lately Graham has morphed into a typical Postmedia journo whose biases show via use of ridiculing language, similar to that typically used by journalists in National Post during Alberta and Canadian 2015 elections. Was it because they believed what they wrote or to please CEO Paul Godfrey? You decide.

Examples of language in this Graham Thomson's column: 
Notley's overheated rhetoric roasts her own credibility (24 Aug. 2016)
Note over-the-top, overheated pejorative language he uses: 
  • crowed Notley
  • ram through
  • wildly out of touch
  • railroaded the vote
  • ridiculous logic 
  • ridiculous rhetorical flourishes 
  • verbal flame thrower
  • demonize conservatives
  • rhetorical cheap shot
What struck me most in this column, even more than his Postmedia ridiculing language, and makes me wonder if he's gone over to the 'dark side' (sub-consciously fearing for his job or listening to too many right-wing politicos?), was Graham trashing Notley for saying of PCs:
“Their idea was that if you fire thousands of teachers and teacher’s aides and school support workers and nurses and nurse’s aides and people who work in the hospitals that somehow the price of oil would go back up.”
Graham's sarcastic comment: 'Really?' Then he further ridicules the Premier to support this false accusation.
To me, Notley's rhetoric (price of oil would go back upclearly meant nothing more than the PCs habitually believing that saving money by cutting education and healthcare staff will make everything alright. Because that's the longstanding PC/WRP fix for all of Alberta's ills. That and giving the oil industry tax breaks. 
I for one will never forget the 1990s when PC 'King Ralph' cut 40% from the province's lab medicine budget plus devastated healthcare funding in general, with laboratory technologists, nurses, physicians out of jobs, fleeing overseas if they could. The ramifications for Alberta were devastating for decades. 
That's the legacy of the PC's go-to fix for saving money, balancing budgets, rather than increasing taxes in line with rest of the world on energy companies. Or other strategies like diversifying the economy by moving to sustainable energy so that oil prices do not control and determine Albertans' lives so significantly, the main legacy of PC's 44+yr reign.
Toe end this short blog, Thomson's language is overheated, folks, undermining his credibility. Rachel's speaks to Alberta's history of decades of PC rule and its sad legacy.


  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    I strongly agree. I appreciate that Canuck on the Run tries to imagine what might have caused Graham Thomson to lose his perspective (fear of job loss??) but the kind of language he used to discredit our premier is unworthy of him and reflects very badly on a journalist formerly deserving of respect.

  2. Thanks. Yes, I cannot recall another time Graham Thomson has used such hyperbolic language.

    Perhaps he read the blog (or maybe not) because I drew it to his attention on Twitter and in a subsequent Edmonton Journal column he alluded to how some have not forgotten the Klein era.

    Haven't seen him do similar since. But still wonder why he descended into ridicule of Premier Notley and her NDP government.

    Maybe it was a Freudian slip revealing his true political leanings after 4 decades of PCs?


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