Christie Blatchford - a blog in 1000 Words or Less
February 12th, one year ago, Christie Blatchford passed away. For those of you who don’t know, Christie was a reporter who wrote for the National Post. At the time of her death, newspapers across Canada were filled with eulogies written by her colleagues. A year later, some of those same people wrote about her again; clearly, she’s well remembered.
With that in mind, I didn’t think there was much I could add that hadn’t already been said by people better qualified than myself. And yet, I still wanted to say something because...well...I miss her. I find that strange, Interesting, Confusing, Sad. What is the correct adjective to use when describing someone I didn't know but who I admired and respected for the proud Canadian and writer of incredible talent she was?
When it came to writing, Christie’s style was simple and effective: she used clear short sentences that emphasized humor when appropriate and drama when required. There was never any nonsense or clutter in her prose. She laid out the facts and she opined without mixing the two; her articles were the antithesis of social-media driven news feeds. There was logic and common-sense in everything she wrote. She had her critics, of course. As far as I can tell, they were usually people who don’t value straight-talk as much as they do the fancy expressions and fake emotions of a woke population who overuse the word “offend.” Christie died a year before Covid began impacting our lives. I find that incredibly unfortunate not only because the world, Canada, the people she knew and the people she didn’t know, lost a person who mattered, but also because, right now I think Canada needs her more than ever before…
We’re living in the midst of the worst health crisis most of us will experience in our lifetime. The resultant social and economical fallout we’re dealing with today won’t end for decades.
“Trumpism,” a term I despise because of the very real luggage it represents (racism, misogyny, isolationism), has somehow become synonymous with “Conservative” to ignorant people too disinterested to understand what the political philosophy really means.
Enabled by our prime minister’s personal agenda, our society is being unduly influenced by a hard left segment who think cancel-culture is appropriate whenever their feelings and opinions are challenged.
And, if that weren’t enough (and it is), it’s all happening under a leader who is inept, unapologetic and clueless. Justin’s multiple scandals seem to have no consequences. His minority government is unrestrained by parliament, putting our democracy into freefall. He makes decisions based on perception rather than fact and he refuses to commit to anything that requires hard choices or may result in consequences he’d find personally unpleasant. None of this is new information but it is becoming progressively more newsworthy. In the last several weeks there have been numerous articles and editorials in various newspapers (including international media outlets), detailing Canada's abysmal reaction to Covid and the incompetence that got us to this point. These articles are researched and written by journalists who get paid to bring awareness to issues that effect Canadians. They might have differing biases (political, personal or professional), but right now they share a consistent theme: our country faces mountainous problems, our population is more divided than ever and our leadership is not capable of handling any of it.
Journalists have platforms that reach thousands. When enough of them start pointing out problems and agreeing that things have to change, the voting population starts paying attention. They have no choice when they’re bombarded by the same information from multiple sources for days (sometimes weeks) at a time. And when the voting population pays attention, our so-called leaders start paying attention too, not because they want to do right by the people they represent but because they want to protect their jobs. After almost five decades in journalism, Christie Blatchford’s platform was huge and respected. Adding her characteristically frank voice to the mix might not have been enough to effect the change that's desperately required but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt and without a doubt, more Canadians would have been better educated and informed.
Maybe, hoping our elected politicians are held accountable when they don't perform to the same high standard that is expected from everyone else in the execution of their jobs, is naïve in the extreme on my part. Possibly, all I want is one more chance to flip through the National Post (yes, I sometimes read the physical paper), in search of Christie’s latest submission, in order to enjoy her straight-forward take on the issues of the day or her thoughts on the lunatic time within which we're living…rather than subjecting myself to incendiary sixty-second clips on television, as “reported” by highly partisan and frequently sensationalistic CNN, Fox News or the CBC.
Either way, I wish I’d known her. The world was a better place when she was in it.