Daily Archives: December 14, 2021

The Mask Slips

And the Academy Award for Painfully Earnest Passive Aggression goes to…

The topline from this week’s gubernatorial Covid presser was probably the Scott Administration’s apparent determination to push harder for getting Vermonters vaccinated. The governor practically accused the unvaccinated of betraying their fellow Vermonters and promised a new messaging strategy. I doubt it was because I’d just written the exact same thing last Tuesday, but hey, if they’re taking my advice, that’s fine with me.

However, for the political observers in the crowd, the most telling development came near the end of the marathon presser. VTDigger political reporter Lola Duffort asked a pointed question about chief of staff Jason Gibbs slagging an administration critic last week. (This was after two hours of nobody else bringing it up.) In his response, Scott made it clear that Gibbs was absolutely speaking on his behalf — and that Scott shares Gibbs’ condescending attitude toward critics and skeptics.

Yeah, the mask slipped, revealing the mean-spirited flip side of Governor Nice Guy.

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The Digger Deal is Good for All involved

Yesterday’s announcement that VTDigger and the VTDigger Guild had reached agreement on a contract was, I have to admit, a surprise. The terms were an even bigger and pleasanter surprise.

That’s because Digger management had stonewalled the talks for at least a year since the Guild organized. There was no reason to think that management would ever change its tune, but now it has. And I’ve renewed my monthly donation to Digger, which I suspended in May when the Guild went public with its account of the stonewalling.

Another sign of a healthy union/management relationship came in the comments on the settlement from both sides. Digger founder Anne Galloway said the talks “resulted in mutual respect, better communication and excitement about the future,” and spoke of “the Guild’s commitment to the VTDigger mission.” Lola Duffort, ace reporter and co-chair of the Guild local said negotiations were “a long and at times difficult conversation, but we had it as equals, and the organization is much stronger for it.”

Which is almost word-for-word what I wrote when I suspended my monthly donation: that the Guild wanted to support Digger and its mission, not tear it down.

VTDigger is at a critical juncture in its development. It is trying to build a sustainable, professional enterprise capable of thriving in a time of dramatic change for its industry. …The Guild wants to be a partner, not an antagonist. It isn’t making outlandish demands. Guild members want Digger to prosper, and to fully become a model for sustainable journalism.

The Guild contract is a big step in that direction.

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