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This Franklin-search "scandal" looks like sour grapes and grandstanding




Several people have nudged me to comment on this latest Franklin-search “scandal.” Journalist Paul Watson resigning in a huff? Complaining that the Toronto Star has been suppressing a story of great public interest. I get the Star delivered to my doorstep every day, and I have to admit that the response of publisher John Cruickshank resonates with me: “Let me publicly deny this extremely odd idea. . . . Suppressing stories of public interest is something the Star has never done and will never do.”
You have to admit that Watson is positioning himself brilliantly. Champion of the little guy. Voice of the voiceless. But I’ve perused and parsed the long interview published in Canadaland and have to admit that I am still scratching my head. Apparently Jim Balsillie is quite upset. A Russian-flagged vessel was highlighted in the documentary when the CCGS Laurier led the search and carried the crew? A robotic sub was “presented as a key technical help” instead of “the Gannet and the Kinglet launched from the CCGS Laurier.”
Somebody is getting a medal when some other deserving soul is not? Wow, that’s the first time that has ever happened. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m having trouble finding the great public interest in all this . . . much less evidence of witchhunt-worthy wrong-doing. Apparently, that’s what the Star editors told Paul Watson. And he didn’t want to hear it. What I see here is sour grapes and grand-standing . . . and maybe a touch of hubris.
Ken McGoogan
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2 comments:

Glenn M. Stein said...

Yes, you're probably right on the mark about hurt feelings. This so often happens when it comes to the awarding of medals and honors generally. For the last many years, the American military has tightened up its awarding of gallantry decorations, but that came only after shamefully doling out medals by the fistful for operations in the 1980s.

Poster One said...

I think you hit the nail on the head here, Ken.

Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.