Sunday, March 30, 2008

Media. Our Very Own 'One Note Johnny'

It's a new week, with a new Liberal caucus, but before we even have a chance to see if there are any new dynamics in the House, the media is piling on Dion with their same tired old narrative.

Is there going to be an election? When might there be an election? Are you going to abstain from confidence motions? And when Dion answers with, there will be an election when the timing is right, they resort to telling us that Dion is threatening an election again but he'll probably back down.

I can't recall a time when Dion actually threatened an election and then backed down. Oh, I know it was portrayed that way and perhaps he was hawkish during caucus meetings, but that is not what he has been telling the country.

We all know that the situation in Quebec for Liberals is far from the land of milk and honey, however, to hear some of the pundits call it just seems over the top to me, specifically when you consider where the information is coming from.

On At Issue last week, Chantal Hebert was busy polishing Dion's coffin with the most pathetic, doleful look on her face. Today on Question Period, Craig Oliver announced that the program's Quebec insiders would be giving us the real story. Who does he introduce? L. Ian MacDonald and Jean Lapierre. I literally laughed out loud. (Well, I did more than that, but I'll leave that to you to your imagine.)

As expected, they did the male version of Hebert's monologue and in MacDonald's case, he could barely disguise his glee. They spoke of the recent crop poll, which is of course was not good for the Lib's...devastating, is MacDonald's descriptor of choice as I recall and fair enough, we know there is work to do. Let's get out and do it.

Here is an example of the of intelligent information we are being treated to these days.

The election guessing game resumes Monday with Stephane Dion continuing to hold out the possibility that he'll finally pull the plug on Stephen Harper's minority government.

The Liberal leader's threat rings increasingly hollow

Can someone explain to me how holding out on the possibility of when he'll pull the plug is a threat that he will pull the plug, then reneges?

What has happened to reason in this country? Rationale thought seems to have escaped many of those who are responsible for informing us. By alternately providing and stealing Conservative talking points, the media is has completely abdicated it's role.

Is there any analysis of the man? None. From the day the Con's came out with their attack ad's, the media has followed that cartoon. Are there no thinkers out there?

Here's the good news. To use an expression uttered by someone I loathe, Dion has been misunderestimated. Yes, there are problems in the party, but they are not Dion's invention. He took leadership of a party that had huge problems not in the least related to him and spare me the, he was at the cabinet table, BS.

For those who care about such things, polls that ask participants if they would vote for the Lib's if Dion or Ignatieff or Rae was the leader, the reply as I recall was about a 2 point difference between them all, so all of you who think the world would be different if we had another leader...get over yourselves.

The party has to re-establish itself and if you consider Dion's history, he's the right person to do that. He understands what the party represents both from an academic standpoint and a practical/experienced one. Rae is relatively new to the party and Ignatieff has his own problems. Neither man has the experience that Dion has.

While I've swayed on occasion between the dove/hawk argument, I've stood fast on not revealing policy.

Well, as we live, we learn, in my view. I'm now at the point that I think some policy should be revealed and talked up. Were it me in charge, I'd limit it to policy that we are sure the Con's won't lift, knowing full well that they will attack it. Having thought it through, an attack gives us a position to highlight, not unlike the McGuinty/Ontario, Flaherty/Harper feud.

So, a reversal on my part. Does that make me what the Con's call a flip flopper? (so original, lol) No. It means you assess what is in front of you at the moment and make your best call based on that information.

That's all Dion is doing, imo, and for the media to paint that to fit their narrative is telling us the industry is being oblique.

The expression goes that we drive the media. They only write what we want to read. What a crock! They drive the conversation and I'd love ideas on how to curb that.

As an aside, this was a fun read. Speculative of course, but it's nice to read something that breaks away from the idiocy of MSM.

Bottom line? Tell me how to break this cycle of non-news.


Anonymous said...

It's really too bad that Hebert lets here bias get in the way when it comes to Dion as she's usually good on Quebec.
But what should one expect from a separatist such as Hebert.....

Karen said...


She's always denied it but she has attacked Dion and his clarity stance from day one.

I'm sick of the junk, so what do we do?

Anonymous said...

Everytime they ask him when the election will be, he should reply with "as soon as the (POS) PM give acceptable answers about the Cadman affair, adscam, NAFTAgate, etc, etc.

And adding in that Canadians don't want an election, and that he'll continue to try to make parliament work and hold the Tories accountable.

He should also be asking for Layton's cooperation in the Cadman investigation (in committee). Keep asking Layton why he's provinding cover for Harper.

COme on boys and girls get with it!

Anonymous said...

You should read Jack MacLeod in the Star today about Dion..... very nicely written

Karen said...

anon 10:11...yes it is time to get with it.

What is the hold up?

Karen said...

Anon @ 10:31, I did include that article..had you read to the end, you would have found a link.

We are agreed though, well done.

RuralSandi said...

We could flood these so-called journalists - lazy is what they are - with our anger at their lack of stories, investigations, etc. Flood them with the anger you feel.

The first that should get hit is CTV QP - pathetic or what. Jane Tabor doesn't even let her guests complete their answers - she's ready for the next question before the other one is finished.

Their only saving grace is they have no competition on Sunday.

L. Ian MaDonald is creepy - ever notice how he gets all dreamy eyed like he's looking at the stars when he talks about his beloved conservatives - it's creepy.

Flood CTV with your discontent - and ask for email/addresses of their sponsors - money talks.

ottlib said...

Ask yourself this.

How does a political party that the media considers to be lead by a dud remain tied with the governing party they all believe is lead by a political strategic genius?

Answer: Canadians are smarter than the media and they are certainly smarter than the media give them credit for.

Being a political junkie I used to watch all of these "Duffy" like shows and I used to worry how they trashed the Liberals.

Then I realized that only political junkies like me actually watch them and all of these folks have pre-determined points of view. In short these are just big circle-jerks.

So I stopped watching them and I stopped worrying about them.

The media has been trashing the Liberals since 2004. In that time Canadians have grown so unimpressed with them that they handed the Conservatives the weakest minority government in Canadian history. Further, poll after poll has shown that they have deserted the Liberals in such numbers that the Party has been virtually tied with the governing party (lead by a political genius, remember) for the better part of 18 months.

In short knb, ignore the media because the majority of Canadians are doing the same.

Omar said...

It will be interesting to see what the Globe and Mail will do about party endorsement during the upcoming federal election. I was willing to cut them some slack for their 2006 endorsement of Harper and Co., but will be severely unimpressed (really I don't see how they can endorse the Conservatives again) if they choose to repeat the editorial support.

Steve V said...


Oh, the nobody is paying attention comfort blanket. If nobody is paying attention why did the Cons drop like a stone in Ontario after Flaherty's attacks? Seems to me, the ONLY way people, apart from junkies, who scan and investigate, get their information is through the media lens. That's just reality, so when knb gets pissed at the narrative, she should, because it's the only message in town. What happens on Duffy might be largely irrelevant, but it seems to me about 1 million watch Lloyd every night, about the same for Peter, and about half that for Global. Then you factor in the local newscasts, which take their cues from the big outlets, and guess what, it does matter. I'm just tired of the "inside the beltway" defence, everytime anything negative happens. Sure, people miss the details, but they sure as shit catch the general themes. What we should concern ourselves with, taking steps to get out of the cycle, instead of deluding ourselves into thinking its so esoteric exercise, people are putting the kids to bed, NOTHING penetrates.

The media is never irrelevant, why do you think Harper is so consumed with controlling what gets out??

Anyways, that's my two cents.

Karen said...

Sandi, I have written them and they write back with anger. I haven't copied here some of their responses because they are either too meaningless or just downright rude.

That said, I have a great discourse with journalists who speak truth.

Ewww, I'm with you on MacDonald. He's one of the creepiest people I've ever witnessed. He's that guy in the room you steer clear of.

Karen said...

ottlib, while there is merit in what you say, I think that we, Canadians are past that now.

It's not just we junkies who consume this stuff. It's everyone, because that is all that is being aired and written. There is very little objective choice, in newspapers, radio, tv and the net. It's all leaning one way and that is bad for democracy. BTW, I'd say the same thing if all media was left leaning.

Our options our few and far between at the moment. I commend you on not being bothered by this and I'll restate that for the most part, my partner who is not a political junkie, doesn't know the ins and outs of all of this. Why? Because I hog the front of the paper and he's happy with Business and Sports.

I think there was a time when what you describe existed, but looking at the overall coverage now, I think it's passed.

Karen said...

sconed...they have been a split personality in terms of their editorials.

You are right, it will be interesting.

Karen said...

2 cents? Wow Steve, well said.

Sure, people miss the details, but they sure as shit catch the general themes.

I know I harp on this topic a lot but I do it for a reason.

Saturation is becoming an issue that I think must be attacked and it's disheatening to me that so few media rep's choose integrity over their vainglorious defense of anything that involves Stephen Harper.

That said, I want to reiterate that there are great journalists out there and I'm really grateful that we have a dialogue. They aren't all left leaning btw. They are just fair and honest.