Lawrence Martin had an interesting piece on how the media breathlessly follows Harper, in spite of how he treats them.
This is an observation that I've alluded to often here, only to be told by the right-wing kool-aid crowd, that I've got it all wrong and that all media is decidedly liberal.
What helped Mr. Trudeau get good press in his day was the liberal bias of the media. What helps Mr. Harper today is the conservative bias. Much has changed. The press in Canada is much the philosophical opposite (arrival of the Sun chain, CanWest etc.) of what it used to be.
Precisely. This isn't news to most of us, but it is nice to see someone in the industry actually put that in print.
In my mind, whenever there is absolute bias on any side, "we the people" lose. I understand that there will always be some fringe bias publications and that's fine, but when it becomes part of the fabric of all the media we consume, there is a problem.
What's most interesting to me, is how the current media is creating a singular narrative. That is, "Dion is not a leader". Are there problems in the party right now? Yes, I think so, but are they outside the realm of what may have been expected given what Dion inherited? No, I don't think so. We see few objective observers here. He must take some responsibility and work to repair and renew what is wrong and that which is lacking. I think he's doing that. How does that get reported? Words like, desperate, drowning, imploding, etc., always precede any action being taken.
On the other hand, Martin points out how Harper is covered:
To look at the recent coverage, you would think his government is on a roll. Breathless reports follow breathless reports on how he could destroy all opponents in an election this fall.
That's not bad for a governing party stuck at 33 per cent in the polls for months, one that has fallen six or seven points since it tabled its last budget in March, one that has lost more support in that time than the Liberals or NDP, both of whose numbers have remained stable.
No kidding! Have you seen those points inserted into any article, op-ed, news report? If it is somehow referred to, it's quickly countered by how horribly Dion is doing. It's a kind of, "follow the shiny object" exercise, which is not only insulting, but obvious.
Here is what is humorous to me though. As Martin points out through polls, it's not working. That tells me that it will take on a new rancour. The question is, can this group hope to "convert", what is a traditionally liberal nation? The "right" is quick to point out that support for the Lib's and Con's is tied, but the fact remains, that over 60% of voters are progressive and that includes Liberals.
On Cross Country Check-Up yesterday, the subject was Dion and leadership. Murphy, (no Liberal he), laid out the predictable narrative. He opened the show with Don Martin, a bit later he spoke with L. Ian MacDonald. Incredibly though, most callers, (who are often very Conservative, despite what is said about the CBC), rebuked the premise. The number of those who spoke to media bias, was stunning. Those who supported Dion and the Liberals, specifically contrasted with Harper, doubled those who thought Harper was a star. Those who thought Harper was a star had little else to offer than what they've read or heard. In other words, repeating the kool-aid lines. Murphy later on interviewed Janice McKinnon, NDP and finally Patrick Gossage, Lib. We know the NDP stance but she was pretty fair. Gossage, is perhaps, past his prime. He's so non-committal that I suspect Murphy's crowd, sought him out. That was not a contemporary Liberal voice.
NDP and Liberal callers, were honest about what they were seeing. They saw bias in the media, they saw how Dion was playing out in their community and offered insight as to what is going right or wrong. What was most telling to me, was the fact that some who didn't necessarily support Dion, still felt the accusation in the media, was unfair. Perhaps the NDP is seeing how the media will work against them too?
Bottom line, Martin is correct and more people in his industry should have his courage. Sadly, I'm not sure how many are still out there.
Good news though, we have shown that we are smarter than those who feed us the pap.