Brodbeck wrote a very how-dare-ye-oppose-development column today. I might have been able to respectfully read and disagree with his column, except that I have a serious issue with it. He twisted and spun statements that I had made yesterday at the public hearing into a fabricated statement.
"Others thought the Ikea should go downtown. That's a laugh. Right, we're going to tell a multi-billion retail corporation they have to move into the old A&B Sound building on Portage Avenue. "
I will step forward and say both that I was the only person yesterday who said anything about downtown, and I was also the only person who made reference to the A&B Sound building.
Before you go to the "post comment" button and degrade any credibility I may or may not have, read on.
The following events happened yesterday:
1) I was the first to speak in opposition to the plan.
2) I spoke of downtown and the lack of focus on it. I was the only person to say anything about downtown.
3) I referenced the A&B Sound building as an example of vacant buildings as intense development happens on fringe areas of the city. I was the only person to reference A&B Sound.
4) Councilor Fielding was the only councilor to ask me a question. He asked me if I was suggesting IKEA be built downtown. I said NO. (In fact, I had never, ever, ever suggested that IKEA move downtown)
5) Nobody else following me who had to speak said ANYTHING about downtown. NOBODY else following me stated that IKEA should be built downtown.
So how does Brodbeck come up with a statement saying that people were there saying that IKEA should be built downtown, and specifically reference building it on the A&B Sound building?
Brodbeck's column is about people like me. How DARE we oppose IKEA! How DARE we! How DARE we question such a complex project that was rushed through the critiquing process!
Of course, the mood was much different, but Brodbeck failed to capture that. Most people such as myself were concerned not about IKEA, again, but the rest of the plan. The rest of the development. Not the IKEA store. I am confident none of us would have been there had the plan been JUST for an IKEA store.
3 strikes for Brodbeck:
- Made up information about people at the public hearing wanting IKEA to move downtown
- Did not listen to my answer to Fielding's question
- Did not approach me after to ask me any questions about my speech
Of course, he couldn't come and ask me directly afterwards. Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to make such a strong case against those of us pooh-poohing how rushed and quickly this plan has come to fruition without much consultation from anybody. He couldn't listen to my answer to Fielding, because I was the only one saying anything about downtown, and that fit his bill.
In my opinion, Brodbeck had already made up his mind about those of us in opposition before any of us opened our mouths. He wanted to write a piece about how ridiculous it was that people were opposing IKEA...conveniently stepping lightly on the fact that none of us in opposition were actually opposed to the IKEA store. Of course, such a piece would earn him roaring applause and no doubt generate comments and feedback about how ridiculous it is that "somebody" wants an IKEA on the A&B Sound building, and how DARE anybody speak against IKEA, don't people in this city want progress?
That "somebody" is ficticious. Nobody said that and, I reiterate, nobody said anything about IKEA going downtown.
In my correspondence with Brodbeck over this, he declined that he had actually quoted me and said that he didn't use my name, which is true. Based on this, he accused me of "making stuff up," and said that he never wrote anything about me wanting an IKEA downtown. When I asked him which speaker it was who said IKEA should go downtown, he did not answer.
Who's making stuff up, Tom?
We obviously don't see eye to eye on this subject, and I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is somebody taking my statements and twisting them into fiction to satisfy his own argument, and then not having the audacity to admit it.
That's low, dude. Low.