Jim Green's smear of Michael Geller has angered another local commentator
I call it the Vision Vancouver Bully Machine™. Unable to justify their policies on their merits, the Vancouver Mayor's office and their various proxies continue to do "drive-by smears" of those who criticize or disagree with them. Such was the case at the start of the Thanksgiving weekend when the Vancouver Sun published Jim Green's attack on developer/architect Michael Geller.
So much for enjoying turkey dinner with his wife and family, Geller spent the entire weekend defending himself against false accusations by Vision's Green. We tried our best here on Saturday to put Green's garbage through our Hot Tub De-Spin Time Machine, largely because Green decided smearing Geller wasn't enough – he accused us of so-called "Tea Party" tactics.
Councillor Geoff Meggs celebrated Green's attack on his blog, saying he thought his buddy Jim's piece was well-done. By Meggs view of the world it's okay to defend yourself with a lie. "All I can say is, these guys can dish it out, but they sure can’t take it," says Meggs. We guess it would be too much work to actually back up his points with some facts like the rest of us.
Now two prominent voices are coming out to admonish Green and Vision for their "drive-by" smears. Webster award-winning journalist Gary Mason in today's Globe and Mail speaks directly to Green's smear, also asking him to publicly apologize to Geller.
In an opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun, Mr. Green effectively characterized Mr. Geller as a narrow-minded bigot who was prejudiced against poor people. It was a scurrilous and completely unjustified attack that ignored a vast body of work that Mr. Geller has amassed over the years on behalf of the very group he is accused of discriminating against – the poor and disadvantaged. (And Mr. Green should do the right thing and apologize).
This past week the Vancouver Sun published an Op/Ed written by former city counsellor Jim Green, in which he accuses public policy analyst and developer Michael Geller of being prejudiced against homeless people and the poor. This is yet another example of the drive by smear that is becoming too common in local politics; pundits and politicians who, rather than address the issues, choose to attack and besmirch the intelligence and reputations of those they disagree with. I don't doubt that Mr. Green and Mr. Geller have differing views on civic affairs, but Mr. Green, in a bullying and nasty piece, chose to attack Mr. Geller personally.
Stuart says that these smears are going to hurt our political process:
It is little wonder that so few good people are drawn into public life, and that most people have such low opinions of politicians. When civil debate is not possible, public policy loses. When the exchange of ideas turns into an exchange of insults, people turn away. It is time that public figures were held to account. It is time to say enough is enough. Stop the personal attacks and debate the issues.
Mackinnon is absolutely correct on this. While I think most of us you need a thicker skin to be in the public eye, not many of us want to stoop to Vision Vancouver's methods. Jim Green made a reputation for his pugnacious style of politicking, which he clearly hasn't shed now that he's out of public life. How about we actually see Gregor Robertson try to defend his party's policies instead? Wouldn't that be nice to see Hizzonner crawl out from under his desk sometimes and get his hands dirty.
It's time we sent the Vision Vancouver Bully Machine to the scrap heap.
Both Jim Green and Michael Geller will be on the Bill Good Show this morning at 9am.
- post by Mike