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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The 'Gotcha' generation 
(en francais)

Paul Wells with an insightful piece revived from 2003.

Read the article very closely.

For fun, re-read it and substitute 'politician' for every mention of media or pundits. Journalists may have been the subject of his speech, but they're certainly not alone in analytical mix.

Buried in a sea of special interest groups, political correctness and partisan sniping, the dialouge has left the building. The 'elevator brief' has replaced careful thought and study. The thirty second soundbite rules our strategies and 'vision' has replaced solid policy and planning.
Period piece

In the early days of this blog, back at the end of 2003, I posted this piece, the text of a speech I delivered to public servants about the shortcomings of the press gallery. This was at a time when the next prime minister of Canada was energetically blowing sunshine up my colleagues' butts, and I was far from sure we, as a group, deserved it. Now a new guy has picked a fight with us, and judging from my email, there's an immense market for the idea that we're everything he accuses us of being and worse. I think it's worthwhile investigating where that sentiment comes from. So I'm re-running this piece. Its points may still be worth considering.

I must admit I have come before you tonight under false pretenses.

I was invited to discuss the media's perception of the public service. I thought about the assignment for a good long time, then began polling some of my colleagues. As late as last night, at a book launch for Lawrence Martin'’s new Chretien biography, I buttonholed a valued colleague and asked her: "Hey, what's our perception of the public service?"

She considered the question for perhaps two seconds before replying, "Non-existent, for the most part."

As that was pretty much a consensus view, I figure I should explain what has been going on in my line of work, although I confess that even though I'’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, I remain a little mystified. I'm afraid most of my remarks will be about my kind of people and not about yours, but I do think it is important that public servants understand the guiding neuroses of the Parliamentary press gallery.

... more

WE Speak at 6:59 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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