Monday, June 28, 2010

Total Disregard for Thee

Photo by Chris Wattie/Reuters

The title of this post, in my opinion, is at the core of the Conservative government's message and it's not a recent phenom just articulated this past weekend. It's been a theme that Canada, the majority of us, do not condone.

I'd like to say that I've calmed down after watching the G20 goings on, but I haven't. In fact, reading and watching statements being made by our government and their talking heads, have actually made me more angry. I realise that is their intent, but consider that ploy for a minute.

There is such a cavalier attitude being demonstrated by them and it does nothing but infuriate me. With every shoulder shrug and smirk, it really paints a clear picture as to what the Conservatives think about Toronto, it's residents, it's small businesses and those who opted to march in peaceful protest. Indeed, it speaks to how little they care about the citizens of this country and their rights. Never mind TO...we're all caught in this net.

With every shrug from Minister Cannon and every smirk from Minister Toews I shudder to think, no realise, what their view and aspiration for this country is. Those reactions relate to both cost and outcome to the city of Toronto.

This weekend was beyond description in Toronto. The most galling point is how Harper chose, yes he chose, to ignore the requests of the city. If you don't know, the city said NO! We do not want this held in the core of the city.

It's clear he has no seats here and after this, he guaranteed no Conservative seat for a very long time. To use that fact though and proceed as he did is downright maniacal. I use that word with caution but he was playing to his base on this one and Flanagan, who was actually starting to sound like a reasonable rightie, spewed the party line. '900 arrests? Of even innocent people? No problem. They were idiots to be there and should be locked up for a long time. No one in the rest of Canada cares, in fact they applauded.'

I was gobsmacked with Cannon and Toews and Flanagan's comments, but Flanagan has the luxury of turning up the heat. That's not to say they don't share intent and ideology, they do of course. To see our government though, not caring a whit about what went on should be disconcerting to all.

Look, the Liberals have not always been lily white, but the disdain that the current government is displaying is beyond belief. I think, contrary to what Tom Flanagan professes, people across this country do care about our Charter rights and my hope is that will show in the next election.

Not the most coherent post, I know, but it's not the most coherent of times.

Peaceful G20 protest at Queen & Spadina from Meghann Millard on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

SunTV - False Premise, False Dichotomy

While this blog has been dark for a while, I need to weigh in here. Be prepared, I intend to ramble a bit.

Let me start by saying I burst out laughing a few times today when Kory Teneycke (pictured here), sought to rebut any criticism of the station, SunTV, being compared to FOX NEWS. His comment? Their 'potential' competition was simply bashing the station before it had been established.

No, no, no Kory. A) Your friends at Fox would be insulted, B) Your stance and use of the term MSM is precisely what FOX is known for and C) it would be you who is doing the bashing.

Of course they are following the FOX NEW model! Is anyone surprised? Can't think of why he'd deny that...oh wait, there is a CRTC ruling yet to happen and that might, just maybe, explain that bit of nonsense.

In later interviews, without mentioning the name of the station, or answering simple questions, it was clear that a formula was being followed and it is that of FOX. Kory can try to include CNN and MSNBC in that group, but he cannot deny his political stance, ergo...FOX NEWS is what they are presenting.

What is astonishing, is the false premise that is being put forward. Now, the Conservative party is famous for both false premise and false dichotomy. That is their raison d'étre. It's all about duping you and sadly, many buy the pitch. Black and white is their deal. False dichotomy has no grey...yet that is where intelligent debate, throughout the ages, has occurred.

Their false premise being that in Canada, we do not have real debate and all news stations basically echo each other. They are too politically correct and to use his term, (which is a good one), they "file the edges" of debate. In my world, that would be translated to, keeping it civil...but whatever.

Underlying all of this of course is that the 'right' want to establish a greater voice. The irony is that the 'right' controls most media in this country, and their voice is predominant. Talk radio, Sun media, most editorials in major papers, (recall Harper endorsements) come from the 'right'.

The false premise, inferred, though not articulated, is that the evil MSM is bias...toward the 'left' of course. What utter BS! What is not 'right' leaning is balanced overall. Kory may not like the fact that people in this country actually fall to the middle and look for news that is factually accurate, but that is indeed what most want and what we get. Indeed, Kory is not keen on fact.

The serious side of all of this is one that worries me. We saw this assault in the States under Bush, Rove...etal, and then saw the US media over-compensate. I see that happening here since Kory made his outrageous claim over the pollster used by the CBC.

I don't know why, but when this government says jump!, the media in this country don't seem to ask how deep the abyss they might descend to is. That makes me a bit crazy, but that said, I think the last thing we need is FOXNEWS 'like' station here.

If the premise had been to invigorate a real news network more competition, I would have applauded. That is not what this is. It is a blatant attempt to skew news and tempt the competition to provide an out of reality balance...false dichotomy engagement, intended to dumb it down. This, we do NOT need in this country.

I have to make a couple of personal comments here. Two people have been announced. David Akin and Brian Lilley. I've met David and have had conversations with Brian. They both strike me as good people. David I think is a really professional newsman, and I went after him the other night on Twitter for his buy in (read: sell out) to this. I've since apologised and David, ever the gentleman, told me not to sweat it. I still don't see it as a good move for someone of integrity. In fact, I'd love to see him do CBC Politics and Power. I guess that was not an option.

Brian Lilley I know from his reports on CFRB, now Newstalk1010. He also reports for CJAD in Quebec if I'm not mistaken. Both stations are decidedly conservative and while Brian reports the news as it happens, he brings a slant to it. He's also on some of the shows and panels, and it's clear, he takes a Conservative view. That said, I do not discredit him, I just think it is disingenuous to portray him as having no position. He is a serious reporter though. He doesn't ignore fact.

So, here we are. The "Far Right" is making a play for the airwaves. You knew it was coming. I have to say I don't think this would have happened had the current government been defeated, but here we are.

What say you? I think you know where I stand.