Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pot Edward Island II

I'm back from vacation, with lots of stories to tell about how I covered more of this country by air in the last two weeks than anyone should.

Sadly (or happily, depending on your point of view) I have a ton of work to catch up on, but I did want to show you this from the National Post, where the guy who wrote the Pot Edward Island article tries to defend himself.... funny stuff:

The author of an article in a Boston newspaper that claimed Prince Edward Island was a marijuana paradise has fired back at Canadians who derided his story as wildly inaccurate.

Alan Earls, a reporter for the Boston Phoenix weekly, had described P. E. I. as "Pot Edward Island," and claimed among other things that it has become a haven for dope growers fuelled by cheap Quebec electricity.

In reality, P. E. I. gets most of its power from New Brunswick, and Denis Morin, and RCMP spokesman quoted in the article about the seizure of increasing amounts of marijuana in the province later said that the figures were "quite minor in the scale of things for P. E. I. and Canada."

In a response to his critics in Monday's edition of the newspaper, Mr. Earls said they were motivated by "anger that a dumb American would have the audacity to find fault with anything Canadian (it is tough, I'll admit), let alone anything having to do with Canada's garden spot, P. E. I."

Fuck you too.


I found his full response on the website of the self-agrandizing rag he writes for. I feel compelled, in the interest of fairness, to share it all.... which is more accurate or fair than this hack was:

Prince Edward Island is probably the nicest place I’ve ever visited. There, I’ve said it. Unfortunately, when I’ve traveled there (twice, in 2006 and 2008), I have also discovered that, despite the fact that it looks like paradise, it has problems just like other places. In particular, the provincial newspapers have had quite a few stories about local pot growers. So, I got interested and wrote an article for the Phoenix about this aspect of PEI that is not well known to outsiders and which, in fact, probably should worry islanders.

Folks up north nailed me on a couple of reporting errors — like my statement that PEI imports “cheap” electricity from Quebec (it actually comes from New Brunswick). I was also told repeatedly by Canadian critics that I had named the wrong person as director of the PEI Federation of Agriculture. After re-checking my facts, however, I found that I was indeed right and my friends in Canada were wrong: the holder of the title is in fact Mike Nabuurs (though I did miss the last two consonants on his name in my piece — sorry Mike!).

The article was not meant to suggest that PEI has become a giant exporter of pot or a major narcotics haven north of the border. Rather, the point was to contrast an ongoing and seemingly worsening situation with PEI’s image as a clean, peaceful, and serene destination. That this situation could worsen or could impact the larger picture of drug trafficking in New England and in the Maritimes seems implicit. The minor factual errors in the story do not undercut the accuracy of this message.

The errors weren't "minor", they were throughout the entire story, and most of the premise. He tries to sound like the "cheap" electricity comes from New Brunswick, when in fact, it just isn't cheap.

See that Colbertesque truthiness at work. Say you got the name wrong, not the entire idea of the cheap electricity.

From the tortured prose in the original, and the slick ass covering in the response, this clown is the sort of guy I warn people about... the reporter with the story already written in their head before they even talk to anyone.

Now, on to my vacation stories.