Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Non-Story Story

It looks like the Glib's original article may have got the story wrong and the Romaine question may end up generating no more local controversy than a caesar salad. But the tsunami of 428 comments on the Glib's site, which is now closed to further commentary (would have been interesting to see how far the discussion would have gone), shows that the Labrador boundary question stirred up a hornets nest of nationalism:

However, the Glib's follow-up story today ends with this assertion, which surely is worthy of local scrutiny: "But if Newfoundland can stall the Romaine project, maybe, just maybe, Mr. Williams' lower Churchill dream stands a fighting chance. A slim one, but one more than none."

The lack of commentary in the local media, including the bloggosphere, is curious. Either Seguin and Yakabuski both got the story wrong and sensationalized a rather quiet issue, or there is something here that will have political traction, sooner or later. If it's the former rather than the latter, one would expect that such misleading reporting would attract analysis.

Meanwhile, it's certainly not escaping attention in Quebec:

If it's such a dead issue, then why did Seguin get to lead the story with "Power play pits Quebec against Newfoundland?" Jason Churchill, who has done research on Churchill Falls (I guess surnames do influence what we do), wrote to correct "misinformation" but called the piece "otherwise excellent":

The non-story story may not have got the people to the barricades, but it got the wingnuts to their laptops. And I still believe that the road to Newfoundland nationalism will continue to run through Labrador.

While the media continues to focus, almost to the point of obsession, on the departure of Campbell, it doesn't seem to realize that Dangovt couldn't care less about the MUN file and, supported by its own Danpolling, knows that Prezgate is not as serious a threat as the St. John's media would like it to be.

In the meantime, it looks like the non-story story of Romaine will get passed over. This may turn out to be the boundary battle that never happened, but I bet you a caesar salad that we haven't heard the last of the border question.

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