Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No, I'm not the trenchcoat

For those of you who may have been directed here by the Telegraph-Journal this morning, please note that I am not the Grit-hating monster they were refering to, I am in fact the Grit-loving kool aid drinker ;)

The Telegraph-Journal's Joshua Errett wrote a great story that ran in today's TJ about another New Brunswick blog called "The Trenchcoat" which is an anonymous blog that allows no comments and announces its sole purpose is to attack the Shawn Graham Liberals. As far as I know, this is the first story ever written in the mainstream press primarily focussed on New Brunswick blogs. Kudos to these guys.

However, due to an editing error, my website is listed as the address for "The Trenchcoat". Before I even had a chance to read the article, I had an email from Mr. Errett apologizing for this error, which is very classy. As I explained to him, I don't mind getting all of the hits which will likely ensue as a result, especially whereas I was informed I'd get plugged again tomorrow when they run a correction.

Spinks and I are now celebs as we were both quoted along side Warren Kinsella in the article.

Here is an excerpt including my quotes:

NB Politico, another established-but-anonymous New Brunswick blogger, also dismisses the anonymous site as fiercely partisan.

"Being anonymous, from the outset, does decrease one's credibility, but I think that handicap is easy erased if the blogger posts credible and thoughtful items," he says.

"(The Trenchcoat blog) seems to be someone that has a combination of a lot of free time, political knowledge and a grudge against the Liberals."


Ledaro said...

I do feel very jealous of you and Spinks. :)

Good article.

P.S. if this note appears more than once it is because I was having difficulty posting.

nbpolitico said...

Thanks ledaro, I think this is the first time you've commented here, good to have you. Always get a kick out of your pics :)

Brian Cormier said...

The Trenchcoat should at least allow comments in order for people to correct obvious errors in any of his/her "news". It's great to see that bloggers are getting some media coverage!

nuna d. above said...

Your exposure is national thanks to Kinsella!

nbpolitico said...

Brian - I agree totally, as I told the Telegraph-Journal, sometimes you have to be anonymous to be frank, but without comments and the like to keep you honest, as Spinks often points out, then it is pretty shabby.

Spinks said...

Rightly or wrongly, the Trenchcoat has been the biggest thing for blogging in New Brunswick since Charles Leblanc got arrested. :)

Without a doubt it will increase interest and awareness in the blogs in this province not just Trenchcoat, or this one or mine. There are several good ones out there. Personally I'm impressed that the TJ has gone out and consulted with bloggers about the story. Nice work on Joshua's part.

Spinks said...

BTW, I think nice choice for commentators, Kinsella so someone has a face to go with it, centre/right of centre perspective - moi, and centre/left of centre NBPolitico. A really balanced story.

Justthinkin said...


To that end, Kinsella calls the Trenchcoat site a "one-sided echo chamber to advance a political agenda," and labels it the equivalent of "nasty press releases."

Ummmmmm...seems he nailed the CBC perfectly!
And what other countries have a state run broadcaster??

Darren said...

I'm neither agreeing or disagreeing with the content on the trenchcoat blog but it does seem a bit hypocritical for a paper to criticize it on the grounds of anonyminity. If anonymity compromises credibility then why do we see an increasing number of newspapers or broadcasts rely on unnamed or anonymous sources for their article? The paper seems to want it both ways - their anonymous sources are credible but anyone else's are not.

Charles LeBlanc said...

Charles who????

Charles said...

Darren said... "The paper seems to want it both ways - their anonymous sources are credible but anyone else's are not".

Exactly right Darren. Kinsella is really worried about one little blogger in a backwater jerk-wad province like n.b.(I can say that because i am from n.b.)Could it be that Trenchcoat is getting something right. P.S. new brunswick,"A good place to be FROM". I sound bitter because I am.

Cicero In Pants said...

I went back and forth on whether to be anonymous or not with my blog. I ultimately decided against anonymity and am very glad that I did. I also cleared it with my employer.

This way, I get to be frank AND not worry about it. And I kept the fun name anyway. ;-)

Autism Reality NB said...

Congratulations to you and Spinks. This is becoming a very interesting issue. I will check yours and Spinks sites for follow ups.

nbpolitico said...

For the record at 1:11 p.m. and 1:13 p.m. Spinks refered to the Telegraph-Journal as balanced. I reserve the right to use this against him later ;)

Darren, it is a bit different. The media knows who their anonymous sources are and we put trust in the media to make sure they are talking to credible people. An anonymous blogger could be anyone from Jeannot Volpé to Bernard Lord to some 14 year old kid.

DISCLAIMER: I am not Jeannot Volpé, Bernard Lord nor a 14 year old kid.

Devin said...


Nice work...

Anonymous said...

"we put trust.." is exactly the similarity. But there's no such thing as bad press.

nbpolitico said...

Devin - thanks.

Anon - certainly there is bad press, and I often get quite angry at some of the non sense I read in the press. But I cannot imagine that any journalist would ever have a conversation with a 14 year old kid with no political involvement, for example, and cite them as "an anonymous source close to the premier / working for the government in a senior role / etc".

However, a 14 year old could create a blog, claim to be an insider and post all kinds of things without any room for verification or debate on a blog.

Charles LeBlanc said...

There's one thing that I like doing. When I confront a bureaucrat, MLA or the media on a certain issue?

I say- Off the record!!!

99% of them trust me and this gives me a good feeling.

Spinks said...

Ah crap, I walked into that one didn't I NBPolitico. LOL.

BTW full disclosure, I am not Jeannot Volpé, Bernard Lord, a 14 year old kid or NBPolitico on grumpy days.

Rose Colored Glasses said...

Isn't it great we live in a democracy and the Web gives people choice? Choice to read, choice to believe, choice to question? I think there is lots of room for everyone on the Web.

I think in a way maybe the mainstream newspapers are nervous of bloggers and blogs because the Web is taking away from their readership everyday.

I am surprised to see such a high profile article on the front page promoting their competition.

I am sure many people were not aware of the Trench Coat blog site until the article. I went immediately to see what it says. Interesting read. At least having feedback, like Spinks and NBP suggests, would allow for the counter arguments to come forward though.

nbpolitico said...

I think in a way maybe the mainstream newspapers are nervous of bloggers and blogs because the Web is taking away from their readership everyday.

I think that is a certainty.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic how Trenchcoat refers to the Telegraph Journal as the Liberals' propaganda arm... I wonder what she/he would say about the Times Transcript and their wonderful polls with the campaign bus graphics and inflated Tory numbers ;)

nbpolitico said...


Anonymous said...

That's just it "I can't imagine a journalist". That's exactly the point, readers take these things for granted. A quick look shows that journalists, even at the NY Times have completely fabricated stories and witnesses and of course 'sources'.

That's the new byline "Sources say...". That could be ANYONE, and from the many examples we see, it is often 'no one'. That's how propaganda works.

The reality is that anything must be judged on its merits. That's why the best minds don't turn to journalism, they turn to scholastics and history. News is propaganda, it is creating a world that doesn't exist, that's especially true with Irving news.

What do you spend your time worrying and thinking about? Your job of course, or getting one. Do you see stories about that? Virtually never. Irving papers business section is a joke. Most people have no idea about the basic functions of their economy, or even their government. I know people who think canada's government is 'just like the states'.

In the end, it comes down to content and readers. When trenchcoat says "10% of the civil workforce will be cut" do I run around stating that as fact? Of course not, you wait until it does. IF it does, he gets more credibility.

But people are misleading themselves if they think blogs are a new source. Not yet. If ever. Readership is dropping at Irving papers for two reasons, a new generation is extremely skeptical of everything they say. Even Charles grants good qualities to the old dead Irving, and old people will still come out with the 'those Irvings are just like us and eat at McDonalds". Find a young person who believes that!

And new coffee houses have papers from all over, showing just how badly Irving does news. However, for LOCAL news they are the only ballgame in town. Most people pay little attention to politics, so they aren't reading papers at all, and I don't know a single person who has said "I stopped getting my Irving newspaper because I get all my news online". If they do, its probably from the Irving website.

The only real competition is the CBC, which seems to have voluntarily limited the scope of their website so that they aren't directly competing.