Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ibbitson's "Good Guys"

In his column yesterday, John Ibbitson speaks about the importance of solidarity between the leaders of Cda, US, UK and Australia, vis a vis terrorism. At first blush, the comment seems both logical and benign.

He opens his column by stating that the PM, and the above mentioned leaders, read the same report every morning. The document is prepared by the security services of all 4 countries.

However, further along in the article he says,

So, it is hardly surprising that the leaders of English-speaking nations have virtually identical world views, speak largely with one voice and act mostly in concert.

Huh? Reading a security report provides them with the same world view? Wouldn't it be their interpretation of the data, based on their ideology, that has them speaking with one voice?

He then goes on to say,

"That is why those who accuse the Prime Minister of tying Canada too closely to the United States are dangerously deluded".

This rankled.

Though never mentioned in the column, there is an implication, through omission, that:

a) This is something new and Martin did not receive the same morning briefing. This practice began some time ago though, there was a brief period when we were somewhat left out of the loop, after not joining the Iraq fiasco. (This per an e-mail I received from Ibbitson.)

b) If there was a government in power, in Canada, that did not share the same ideology of the other 3 leaders, it would be left out of the loop. Isn't it logical and indeed in everyone's best interest, that the same information would be shared. Shouldn't the same level of trust exist, regardless of political stripe, between allies?

I enjoy Ibbitson's writing and I'm not wildly outraged here. However, having read cerberus's great post on media bias yesterday, it got me wondering about how the public debate can be shaped by what is not said in the media.

It helped me realise, at least in part, how misinformation can get out there and eventually become part of the discourse. I obviously read the column through the lens of my own bias, as will those with differing views, and so the public debate goes.


ottlib said...

That's OK Mr. Ibbotson wrote the column throught the lens of his own bias, namely his support for the Conservatives and his dislike of the Liberals.

Karen said...

No question he writes through his on lens, but it's interesting to me that, without overtly stating something, a conclusion is drawn.

The man knows his craft.

A_Resident said...

Great post knb! I hadn't heard anything about this. It's so hard to keep up with everything that is going on in Canada. Imagine what else we miss.