Sunday, August 26, 2007

Guess Who is in Charge Here?

Of course that question is easy to answer. How about if we ask, who sets policy for Canada and it's citizens? It would seem that Canada defers to the US for that.

The foreign affairs minister was advised to dismiss questions about whether Canada would even accept the repatriation of Omar Khadr, a Canadian held in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, much less ask Washington for it.

So, this government has never even asked the question of the US. That said, MacKay is advised to reply in a way that would lead Canadians to believe that they were in touch on the issue.

Armed with this background information, MacKay and his staff were told that they might be asked what Canada was doing about Khadr's continued detention at Guantanamo Bay.
MacKay was to answer: "The government of Canada has sought and received assurances that Mr. Khadr is being treated humanely. ... Mr. Khadr faces serious charges."

I wrote about this issue earlier this month and at the time I suggested that either Harper was too worried about the political fallout to raise this issue, or he simply didn't care. It would appear that both statements are true. To consider that this government doesn't make a move on anything, without first considering the US reaction, is ridiculous.

Of course no reporter had the courage to ask about the situation at the SPP press conference. Jelly beans and deriding the opposition were much more interesting subjects to our increasingly obtuse media.


Anonymous said...

I've given up mostly on reporters asking any pertinent question. They seem more interested in transcribing the latest press releases and thinking that they are fact.

My underlying fear is that no one cares about the erosion of civil liberties coupled with the gullibility of most. Some give such egregious lies and no one questions it.

The fact that they had canned answers does not make them look smart, yet most Canadians think it does.

knb said...

c_wthf: My underlying fear is that no one cares about the erosion of civil liberties coupled with the gullibility of most. Some give such egregious lies and no one questions it.

I am with you, though it's no longer a fear for me. Sadly to me it's a reality. How that happened, I'm not quite sure, but I'll keep writing about it.

I cannot figure out how to get the attention of media. I've written them. If I get a response, it's curt and defensive, and unintelligent to boot.

Canned answers, I'm sure are not new. The degree to which we are buying them is, imo.

wilson said...

And you think Liberals weren't and aren't briefed on how to answer questions on a sensitive matter?

You think that Dion isn't briefed how to answer questions ?

The case is before the courts (again), and McKay should what? Give an opinion?

Niles said...

No reporter at a larger media outlet keeps a job or sees 'print' without editors upstream setting the tone of what is to be covered and how. If fingers are to be pointed, they have to aim directly at the people behind the hiring/firing and cheques.

There have /always/ been propaganda mouthpieces in the reportage business. Hearst's yellow journalism is an iconic corruption of 'speaking truth to power'. So, maybe the answer is giving support to the new turks of the Fourth/Fifth Estates willing to challenge the governors.

Online journalists like TPM have taken up investigative duties dropped by more established media organizations. The one flaw is that they are online, not on tv. According to the CRTC, Canada is over 70 percent net connected for our population. But how many Americans are?

TPM also benefits from the online connected volunteer host of sifters and 'nosies' essentially data mining all the public, but disjointed, information out there to move TPM's fact finding forward at a phenomenal pace.

The kind of data mining the federal government of the US keeps yearning on about for their own uses.

Who in Canada, online or not, is actually doing that? Is there a rating of what media orgs walk the challenging talk?