When the credibility of a publication is hinged on its publisher being a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and yet never was a Pulitzer Prize nominee, the Editor in Chief unequivocally does not have big shoes to fill. Such is the case for Vancouver Observer Editor in Chief Sandy Garossino, or at least so it would seem.
So seemed to be the case when Garossino took aim at the ongoing boycott of Tim Hortons by supporters of the energy industry, penning a column complaining that Tim Hortons was being “bullied” by Cabinet Ministers Jason Kenney, Pierre Poilievre, and Michelle Rempel.
That’s enough to make a person wonder when she started paying attention.
Garossino’s “bullying” complaint at least seems to suggest that it wasn’t until after Tim Hortons pulled the ads Enbridge had paid them to air. Any attention whatsoever paid to the sequence of events prior to the pulling of the ads casts an entirely different group of people as the bullies: the people who targeted Tim Hortons’ annual charity day in order to get their own way.
SumOfUs didn’t launch their campaign until June 1, the same day that Enbridge publicized their campaign on their own website. By that time the ads had actually already been running for three weeks of a planned four week campaign.
There seem to be two possible explanations for this: the first is that the people behind the SumOfUs campaign didn’t know this. That none of them, and none of their supporters, had visited a Tim Hortons coffee shop and hadn’t themselves seen the ads. Which would essentially mean that none of them are Tim Hortons customers, and that the boycott they were threatening was largely meaningless.
Of course, all of these people told Tim Hortons that they were customers who were going to boycott the chain over the ads. Of course those activists wouldn’t lie to Tim Hortons, so of course that couldn’t possibly be the explanation.
The other plausible explanation is that SumOfUs was targeting the Tim Hortons Camp Day — Tim Hortons’ annual charity day — in order to maximize their chances of getting the chain to fold. It was on June 3. SumOfUs launched their campaign on June 1.
That is the act of a bully. This is what the SumOfUs campaign truly was: an astroturf bullying campaign, funded by the Tides Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, hurling accusations of the chain “shilling” for and “selling out” to Enbridge.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s nothing to be said about a government official endorsing a boycott — for the record, it appears that Poilievre did, Rempel could be seen as having done so, and Kenney in fact stated only that he supports Canadian energy. But whatever that is, Garossino herself has no business saying it.
After all, Garossino herself previously wrote a column suggesting that US President Barack Obama was using Presidential powers to punish political opponents, and made it clear in the column that she condones it.
It doesn’t seem as if anyone should expect any more from Sandy Garossino than this: after all, she has some very small shoes to fill.