DeSmogBlog: Your bias is showing

Adam Rawlings, over at “To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth” has been following and slamming DeSmogBlog’s recent growing and near glowing endorsements of the BC Liberals and trash talk of the BC NDP. (See: here, here, here, and here).

Basically, the position DeSmogBlog has taken is that the Carbon Tax implemented by the corrupt Gordon Campbell Liberals is redeeming enough to forgive the fact his government has done little to nothing else on the environmental portfolio and is actually increasing drilling and emissions over the same period as putting a modest tax on gas at the pumps.

It smells of partisanship, but that can’t really be there, can it?

So who’s behind DeSmogBlog?

James Hoggan

The B.C. Liberal Party received six donations totaling $8,943 from James Hoggan and Associates from 2005 to 2008. Hoggan’s company was paid $353,855 by the B.C. government from 2005-2006 to 2007-2008, according to Public Accounts. Contracts included the Sea-to-Sky Highway expansion project and Canada Line.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a Liberal supporter,” Hoggan told 24 hours.

Well that’s not exactly a non-partisan thing to say Jim.

John Lefebvre

John Lefebvre, the so-called “teddy bear hippie” millionaire from Saltspring Island who recently ran into legal troubles in the U.S. on allegations of promoting illegal Internet gambling, is listed on the site as a benefactor.

Lefebvre, 55, remains in the U.S. on a $5-million bond pending a court hearing which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

So, not an avowed Liberal, allegedly a crook, but definitely wealthy.

Kevin Grandia

The site is managed by Kevin Grandia, a former political aide to Liberal MP Raymond Chan…

It is worth noting that the federal Liberals and BC Liberals are separate entities though.

Richard Littlemore

No obvious connections, but he does have some issues actually doing research of BC NDP positions:

Asked whether he was aware of the reason the New Democrats voted against the legislation, the article’s author Richard Littlemore – a senior counsellor with Mr. Hoggan’s corporate communications firm James Hoggan and Associates Inc. – said, “I didn’t read the whole of the Hansard record. Between (DeSmogBlog operations manager Kevin Grandia) and I we sort of hustled it up together. But I understand they have a host of specific complaints about the nature of that agreement or the timing or I’m not sure what. So let me give you a direct answer to that: no, I’m not sure.”

Further, he lets us know that the whole DeSmogBlog group hates the NDP at this point:

But, speaking specifically about the article in question, Mr. Littlemore told Public Eye, “We are bugged beyond imagining by the fact the NDP – which I had cherished personally in my life as a party of principle – has on the issue of the carbon tax abandoned principle. Everybody else who works on the DeSmogBlog, we’re pretty much of a mind that we’re mad as Hell at the NDP for standing up against the single most positive piece of climate change legislation in North America. And, in fact, I think that because of the nature of political opposition and antipathy to taxes generally, if the Liberals lose this election it could very well be seen in all quarters as a referendum on the carbon tax. And that could undermine the ability or willigness of politicians all over North America to face up to this and to want to try to tackle a carbon tax.”

One commenter on that news story best responds to Littlemore with this gem:

With all due respect to Mr. Littlemore, YOU are trying to turn this election into a referendum on carbon tax. And it is a big risk.

My view

Sometimes you like to think a site that trumpets progressive environmental ideas could actually step back and consider the bigger picture than just obsessing over one policy.

And as for the “axe the tax” campaign by Carole James?

Obviously it’s to win votes to beat Campbell. The tax is unpopular and very likely ineffective. My ideal platform would be that they reform and expand the carbon tax – increasing it and applying it to industrial emitters too (a larger problem).

But rubbish posting like what’s happening with DeSmogBlog (and the affiliated organizations, which includes the David Suzuki Foundation, chaired by Liberal Hoggan) threatens the very nature of climate progress in BC.

Hell, they could at least be endorsing the BC Greens over the regressive Liberals.

6 thoughts on “DeSmogBlog: Your bias is showing”

  1. “…provincial government event coordinator Kevin Grandia, a former ministerial assistant who has a reputation for being the public affairs bureau’s “event guru,” is abandoning his disciples. Mr. Grandia has been responsible for managing many of Premier Gordon Campbell’s centre-stage announcements.”

    Public Eye Online

  2. Looks like Suzuki himself shares your final point on the Greens. My concern is that people are still too short-sighted to vote on climate, particularly snce the recession focuses folk on the economy.

    The more I look into this, the more I see non-Liberal groups acting the same as DeSmog. This apparently is only partisan if you limit yourself to partisan sources. The crux behind it was put clearly by Suzuki:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/david-suzuki-speaks-personally-carbon-tax
    Essentially, voting against carbon taxes turns them venomous to future politicians. By choosing ‘axe the tax’, the NDP gamble ANY future non-reactionary carbon pricing on them losing the election – either way, they lose. They should have used ‘polluter pays’, which not only is a legitimate criticism of the Liberal tax, but also cashes in on populist opinion (i.e. ‘why should we be footing the bill for those giant corporations’ instead of ‘why dhould we be paying anything at all’).

    This is a stupid move on the NDP’s part.

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