Are the media being unkind to Betty?

If you’re a Daily News reader, you will have seen that during the past two days we’ve published stories examining outgoing MP Betty Hinton’s claim to have brought more than $74 million in funding to the Kamloops Thompson Cariboo riding since the Conservatives formed government.

Hinton raised the figure a couple of weeks ago. At first, she declined to release a breakdown of the funding but later provided us with a list. On Wednesday, reporter Michele Young wrote that Hinton’s list included $.6 million for the airport expansion that never materialized, at least in Kamloops.

You will recall, of course, that when Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn stood with Hinton at the airport a few months ago to announce funding, he stated the number as $6.6 million. That was later changed to $6 million, with the explanation that the other $600,000 was for administrative purposes. 

In a story today, Young looks further into the funding claims and writes that the total on Hinton’s list is actually several millions too high when some of the ongoing funding is considered.

Hinton has had her disagreements with local media, not to mention City council. Hinton is quoted today as saying if she walked on water, The Daily News would say she can’t swim. Sure, editorially, though The Daily News has been complimentary on occasion, it’s also offered its share of criticism of Hinton’s performance.

Have local media been too tough on Hinton? I don’t think so, but others may think differently. Has she done a good job as MP? Are we nitpicking? I’d be genuinely interested in what people think. Comments welcome and, please remember to provide your name.

About Mel Rothenburger (8126 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on Are the media being unkind to Betty?

  1. I don’t think asking a politician, any politician, to substantiate her/his record of achievement is “unkind”. In Hinton’s case, her claims clearly don’t match the final results. Further, she maintained a combative approach with local government and obfuscated the avenues of approach to the federal government for funding whenever it was brought up.

    To this day, I don’t know if that clouding was intentional or because she simply did not know and was not capable of clearing a path. Certainly, her claim to have been a “Cabinet insider”, a costly fib, was a suggestion that her riding had a pipeline to any minister in any department and her results proved otherwise.

    And, no, Mel isn’t being too tough on the current mayor. You can’t be too tough on any politician.

  2. markus ermisch // September 26, 2008 at 3:43 PM // Reply

    Betty Hinton wasn’t exactly media-friendly and often treated reporters at KTW and the Daily with an attitude that at times bordered on arrogant. And that has without a doubt influenced the nimble typing fingers of reporters and editors alike.
    And as far as the author of this blog is concerned – well, I doubt that Hinton will receive a card from Rothenburger this Christmas.
    A reporter’s or editor’s personal connection with a public figure does colour coverage. There’s no such thing as objectivity in journalism.
    Another interesting question is whether Rothenburger’s too tough on the current mayor.

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