“That’s what Newfoundlanders are like” – Margaret Wente, one-time visitor to Newfoundland and self-proclaimed authority on the entire population.
A decade after calling a province’s entire population a bunch of mooching welfare losers, a columnist at the Globe and Mail decided to finally visit the place she dismissed without having ever been there. Now she’s decided to publish an apology, 11 years too late, as if her sudden approval of our culture was all we needed to carry on with life.
Imagine if a food or music critic wrote a scathing review of a meal or album without tasting or hearing it. Yet somehow this woman was comfortable summarizing Newfoundlanders without knowing the place or much of anything about it.
When asked why she didn’t bother visiting the place, or reading up on its economic and cultural history before publishing her thoughts on an entire population, she dodged the question with the grace of a petrified cat thrown into an icebath. Luckily for her, her self-awareness is in equal proportion to her worth as a journalist, so she felt she came out on top.
The Globe clearly only employs her to fill the country with the kind of kneejerk rage that gets their paper read. She’s akin to a troll The Globe hoisted up from the depths of the comment sections, just to shock people and get reaction.
Also, her newfound stance on Newfoundlanders as actually being okay confirms she’s quite out of touch with both reality and trend. “Suddenly Newfoundland is hot,” she says, after hearing some journalists rave about the restaurant scene here now, or some celebrities rave about Fogo. But have a look at our tourism stats, Wente my dear, and you’re embarrassingly late to the bandwagon of visiting Newfoundland.
The true height of ignorance is to be more ignorant than those you denounce. So here’s the deal, Wente: “Newfoundlanders” are both hicks and heavenly souls, we’re equally bright-minded and dull-witted. Why? Because there are hundreds of thousands of us, each as different from each other as are Canadians. It’s nothing short of racist to try and paint us all with the same brush.
Some of us have “hands like horns” from hauling our livelihood from the sea, others have never laid eyes on a cod. Some of us do milk the government teat like a leach and laugh about it, while others are too busy cracking the genetic code at MUN’s Medical School and saving the lives of people with rare genetic disorders. You cannot box us in and speak broadly of us in pre- or post-vacation columns.
So let me be among the “Newfs” shattering your illusion of us. I do not risk my life daily at sea, nor do I own a boat. I was indeed born friendly as hell, but only to those who deserve it, so I’ll prove it by breaking conventional stereotype and saying I think you’re ignorant to speak about an entire province as being one way or another, be it dumb and entitled, or charming and resourceful.
“Newfoundlanders, I have learned, never forget.” – Margaret Wente, surprised people got mad about her profiling an entire province.
Guys, why are we done talking about “B” it was just getting fun, and maybe we could get productive? I’d love to see someone write an article on the correlation between trolls and intelligence. “B” speaks with such authority here, but clearly knows nothing about how a paper is run, or what an editorial or opinion piece is or what an editor does. It’s frightening is it? How people can have such strong convictions based on nothing, like, watching these Trump rallies? So here’s this person who feels so strongly about somethign based on nothing: what are these kinds of people capable of?
RE: your last question, for starters, poor Nan thinks I must be the town drunk now on account of B’s comment ;). I’ve heard worse and weirder rumours about me. Part of the job, I suppose, to be the person/place everyone lays their frustrations. But I do wish, to help form some people’s opinions, I could explain the complex, behind-the-scenes realities of running a paper, and what can and can’t be done by an ad-revenue-run paper, as opposed to something tax-funded and therefore well-staffed like the CBC. Clearly, “B” thinks I want to be writing rants for fun, or to have a podium or something. It’s just a job to pay my bills …
“B” b’y, do you badger every editorialists? Wangersky is an editor at The Telegram, and ALL of Wangersky’s articles are opinionated rants! Have you badgered him yet, for treating the paper like a personal blog? Editors contribute editorials to their paper it’s part of their job and paycheque, you troll.
Dear “B” — Did you write the same comment under a similar “rant” (ie opinion piece) by The Independent? All Hans does is rage at people! if not, why not? Did you write a similar accusation under Wente’s opinion pieces? If not, why not? uh, I know, because you just have some misguided notion Chad did something strange here by pipping in on a topical issue in a newspaper! A damn good one. the worst kind of troll is the one throwing stones at a true community paper out to promote its own.
Maybe B is just being super meta, right? They are, in using the article’s own words, “a troll … from the depths of the comment sections [whose only role is to] shock people and get reaction.”
Loved this!!! Penned perfectly. This was the second rant I read about Wente and the only one I read in its entirety. Short and sweet. Good work Chad!
You spelled the word “leech” wrong.
“Leech” is a blood-sucking animal; “Leach” is a verb to suck or drain — Serious Grammar Snob Fail, Laura.
This article has been shared by dozens of people who really liked it, B. What’s your issue, you make no sense, and next time be brave enough to use your real name, and kind enough to take the olive branch the author extended in his comment. Personally, I think Pelley writes some of the best conversation-starters through the Overcast. Like this month’s cover story on George Street. This is the best read in town. Be kind
Where is the trolling from B coming from? It was a well written piece of opinion. Describing Wente as being employed by the G&M as the prototype of trolling encourage people to get mad and read was clever. And a friend of mine pointed out that the G&M is not even available in Newfoundland anymore, so this apology cannot regain readers. And making her cliche list of souvenirs, (eating or kissing cod, buying a sealskin hat, sitting and talking with the hosts of a b&b) are fine but not deep journalism. If she was in a hurry she could even find other people who had done and written about those things and just “borrow” from their writing…
I just visited for the first time kissed a cod, drank Skreech and took a dip in Kelly’s Cove. Not bad for an American with lots of Newfie friends. It would give me great pleasure to spank Ms. Winters bumper. Where may I find her?
She came and wente. Game over.
Omg I am soooo over all these think piece reactions. Why do we care so much about what wente thinks of us?!
Oh look chad gets drunk & goes on another rant. Seriously dude, I think you’re missing a line between the first two sentences. Can you stop treating this paper like your own personal blog? It’s diminishing.
For what it’s worth, I’m sober as a judge cooking supper with my girlfriend, so I’m not sure where that comment came from. If an opinions piece every couple of months by the paper’s editor (common place for a paper by the way) is coming off as “treating it like a personal blog,” I’ll avoid writing opinions pieces. But for what it’s worth it’s just a topical post, and I’m among the small staff trying to post daily content. That was the only motivation here.
Lol guess you’re just not a very good writer then. You even misspelled her name in the first paragraph. Maybe you should stick to organizing the paper & leave the writing to people who know how.
Is “B” for bastard, or what? What weird commentary, what a twerp. Why even write that, you’re worse than Wente.
“Organizing the paper,” lol, you don’t even know what an editor does, do you, you aggravating soul? Where do you think every story that has ever appeared in the overcast came from, if not the request or approval of the “organizer.” The editor IS the paper, you dick. And haven’t you ever heard of opinion pieces? They read like this/rants. Your accusations here stink of personal beef. And the correlation between typos and good writing is non-existent, you snot.
Keep em’ coming Chad buddy, drunk or not, that shit was entertaining.
This “B” person knows nothing of newspapers. this is a called an editorial or opinions piece. Not “A Rant.” If you don’t like journalism with teeth, go read another, more passive media outlet. And I wouldn’t take the “drunk” comment lightly. It’s slander. I’d give the IP address to the police and threaten to press charges. “B” like most idiot trolls is unaware there is no such thing as “anonymous comments” for the moderators in the back end of a website.
Lol and the cops would laugh you out of the head quarters, and no lawyer would do anything with an “annon” calling someone a drunk. I’ve had to deal with being harassed by a previous employer who felt the need to air our dirty laundry(and personal information) on Facebook while on her business page. Rnc or RCMP wouldn’t do anything