Doug McArthur, from SFU’s Public Policy Program, wrote comments here about Jessica MacDonald’s disconnection from levers of power in Victoria. The Prof is qualified to speculate about whether or not MacDonald jumped or was pushed. He served his own stretch in that job, as senior deputy to two British Columbia Premiers during the nineties.
At the time of her unheralded departure, MacDonald circulated a letter of explanation to provincial staff. McArthur says the letter leaves him unconvinced that her leaving was voluntary.
However, another statement by McArthur interested me because it reinforces opinions I’ve written here, here and here about submissive reporting by our political news titans. Media coverage of the farewell letter is McArthur’s subject:
The media has been amazingly gullible on this. Columnists have accepted and amplified her letter as if it were all true and completely transparent. Not one that I have seen has asked why such a letter was needed and what really went on with her leaving. Not that it matters that much, but that much gullibility by the media makes you wonder about its judgment on all of the other information the government feeds it. Might this be part of the explanation of why this government is able to get away with so little media scrutiny?
From me, one thing can be added. I stopped wondering about their judgment and concluded they too often provide “. . . sight without understanding, fact without truth.”*
*Words from a story by Claire Armitstead about the extraordinary Carol Reed film “The Fallen Idol.”