feigning outrage

Back in 2011 Councilor Chris Ballard attempted to make a big deal about Councilor Buck’s use of the wordniggardly. I commented on it here:

The word niggardly has caused controversy in the U.S. as explained here:

As Clr. Buck was using the term appropriately in context of the budget it was clear that Clr. Ballard was attempting to make a controversy out of nothing.

Unfortunately the rather childish tactic of feigning outrage was not a one off event for Clr. Ballard and has become more of a trend through this council term.

Fast forward to 2012 and Clr. Ballard got all flustered when the mayor responded to his obviously constructed set-up question by pointing it out using the cliched gotcha question.

It wasn’t enough for Clr. Ballard to feign outrage, no, Nigel Kean and Evilina MacHeckron both had to join in the chorus too. I commented on it here:

To emphasize how empty the outrage was to Mayor Dawe’s use of that well know journalistic cliche we should draw some comparisons to Calagary’s Mayor who used it last week in a twitter exchange. You can read it in this National Post piece here:

Nenshi is a well respected, and very intelligent mayor. He called out Levant’s responses for what they were:

“You well know that that’s a cliche used to expose gotcha questions. More fake outrage? And of course there is nothing funny about domestic abuse. But pretending a reference to a loaded question is taking about abuse is actually immoral, unethical and rabble-rousing.”

Feigning outrage only serves to erode ones trust.

Not exactly a desired outcome for journalists or elected officials.

Unlike Mayor Dawe who was rather quiet in his response Nenshi’s not afraid to get into the fray and call things for what they are. This was only one of several social media wins he has chalked up, you can check out some others here:

Unlike Clr. Ballard, Nenshi’s exchanges with citizens show a willingness to engage with others that don’t share his views and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
He jokingly declares he is the mayor Calgary needs, not the mayor Calgary deserves.

In Aurora the joke is on us, because with Clrs. that play the outrage card like Chris Ballard we are represented by someone who is neither.


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