Thursday, March 05, 2009

There's No Good Timing Anymore: But We Still Need Funny

Denis McGrath has an excellent and readworthy post today about Geri Hall's ambush of Dalton McGuinty at a press conference yesterday. Apparently Hall tried to ambush agoraphobic Premiere Dalton McGuinty at a press conference about his new rule that reporters have to stay at least five feet away from him. It turns out though that the press conference was about job layoffs and the press gallery and New Democrat Peter Kormos collectively wet em. From the Globe and Mail:
In character as Single Girl from the CBC show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Ms. Hall was attempting to poke fun at Mr. McGuinty's new rule requiring reporters to stand five feet back when they question him.

“I'm going to come a little bit closer and you tell me when you feel nervous,” she said.

“I get your point OK, because if a pack of guys I didn't know approached me every day, shoved their stuff in my face and expected me to just stand there while they recorded it, I'd be a little freaked out too.”

But there were few laughs as Ms. Hall vainly attempted to get Mr. McGuinty to hug one of the reporters after she walked into the middle of questions on U.S. Steel's decision to shut down the former Stelco mills in Ontario.

New Democrat Peter Kormos, who was visibly angry at Ms. Hall's routine, was on the outside of the media scrum yelling that thousands of layoffs were no joking matter.

“Get the hell out of here,” yelled Mr. Kormos as Mr. McGuinty, looking uncomfortable, stood beside Ms. Hall, who was arrested last year for trying to approach Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Single Girl.
Ok, sure, fine it was a serious topic, the timing wasn't great but really these days when is the timing good? Layoffs are daily and Mr. McGuinty didn't even lay them off. This was about steel layoffs in Hamilton.

This may be news to the press corps and to Mr. Kormos but the US economy collapsed. It's not a recessiosn, it's a free fall. It's also not coming back soon. I know that stock brokers and financial reporters are going on about how nothing can happen until the U.S. recovers but that is mostly wishful thinking. These are, after all, largely the same people who were trying to convince us it might miss Canada, it might not be that bad, the fundamentals of the economy are sound. I will, at some point, do a post about where I think the US economy is going but if you'd like a picture in your had think Russia after the fall of Communism. Things will get better eventually, but it will not be the same again. I guess what I'm trying to say is that things suck (that can be your headline tomorrow if you want). But we all have to keep our heads about us and if we lose our sense of humor things will be much, much worse.

There is a reason that by the time Bush left office, with the economy in tatters and two un-winnable wars that the most trusted name in American news was (and is) Jon Stewart. Yes the timing could have been better, but I don't think there will be alot of good news press conferences for awhile and while Mr. Kormos might want to 'hold Daulton McGuinty accountable' Mr. Kormos hasn't the foggiest idea how to fix it either. Regardless of which of our provincial parties was in power yesterday those steel workers would have been laid off.

So, here's to Ms. Hall and making the funny!

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