My least-favorite part of the just-completed Alberta provincial election - other than the final results - was the annoying and inexplicable habit of people and the media to perpetuate misinformation. Time and again things were repeated that were out and out lies, repeated endlessly until the truth was buried.
New media, particularly Twitter, was a very effective tool for those looking to smear. By the time people finally heard the truth, they were on to the next false meme.
You would have thought the main stream media would at least do a little research into allegations, you know, like they did in the good old days. Now it seems many 'professional journalists' have determined the best way to get in on a story is to click the retweet button.
I had hoped that this garbage would end on the 23rd, but as we have seen with the Paul Hinman no-meet committee pay issue, is has obviously not.
The MSM and online media are full of stories regarding that evil, old white man Paul Hinman and his 'refusal' to pay back the money he received for sitting on the infamous committee. Hinman, the former Wildrose MLA who was one of the casualties in the latest vote, has become the latest flavour of the month for everyone who habitually jumps on any move someone from the new party makes.
Like the Ron Leech-Muhammad Rasheed affair during the campaign, where the Wildrose candidate was crucified in the media for ill-advised comments yet nearly identical comments made by a PC hopeful were virtually ignored, Hinman's decision has once exposed a double-standard.
Either that or outright bias.
Even Sun media reporters, long accused of being blatantly pro-Wildrose, ran with the story of Hinman's refusal.
Now, you're probably wondering why I would be defending someone who would refuse to return ill-gotten money. Given my intense criticism at committee members from other parties who have yet to cut a cheque, how can I give Paul Hinman a free pass? Bias on my own part, perhaps? Not at all.
I agree with Paul Hinman's decision not to return the pay he received for being a member of the no-meet committee for the same reason ND supporters stand behind Rachel Notley: he never got paid.
It has been confirmed that Hinman never received any pay for sitting on that committee. The paperwork proves it.
Why should he return money he never received in the first place?
Better yet, how could a blogger get this confirmation before 'real' journalists? Did they not bother to make some calls or send a direct message on Twitter? Actually, that's a question I've been asking since before the campaign started.
Hey - far be it from me to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but I seem to recall something about a whole wack of P.C. MLA's who have yet to return their cut from the caper, including the Premier herself.
How about a story on that?