Thursday, May 25, 2006

The War on Media

This is an open letter to whomever is the Prime Minister of the day. Could be a current one, could be a former one, could be a future one - who's kidding who.

The media is a purveyor of criticism and bad news. Always has been, always will be. There's shoddy journalism, but there's no [insert direction here] wing bias.

Shocking, I know.

Newspapers wouldn't sell a lot of papers or sell a lot of ads for the 6 o'clock news if all of the stories were "on message". I mean, would you buy a newspaper that had as it's lead headline, "Minivan Successfully Executes Left Turn at Busy Intersection", or "Liechtenstein: Not Under Scrutiny for Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction." Even less, would you watch CBC Newsworld, if the lead story was "Breaking News : PM Stephen Harper just approved a stationery resupply notice for the House of Commons ; Jack Layton relieved to get rid of that worn out pencil with all of the bite marks."

Public criticism, be it of governments or any other institution, is healthy and necessary. Even if it's off-base and from way out in left-field; it makes you consider the alternatives. It makes you consider that there is another position to take outside of the message from the originator and, in the case of governments, the position of the opposition.

Stories that are fabrication, ultimately get dissected and proven untrue.

The media, rightly or wrongly, has turned criticism and "bad news" stories into a profit-making venture and that is the reality of dealing with the media.

Refusing to subject "the message" to that scrutiny smells rotten, and realizing that the media isn't there to sell a message will lead to a first positive step in PM / Media relations.

Tags: , ,

9 comments:

PGP said...

I disagree...MSM has devolved into a self serving group who by and large reflect a libleft POV that is NOT respresentative of Mainstream Citizens.

Journalists DO NOT have God Given Rights and need to be earning their keep.
Honesty and integrity would be a couple of values to adopt and try to live by.

HearHere said...

Here is a test I gave myself when reading "reporters" who don't report "news" or "facts" but use the media as a forum for their personal opinions, which is not news. 33 million of us have opinions too.

Example: Jim Travers - about the successful Cancun Summit - belittled it and called our country's leader "a doughboy in a fishing vest". Thats "news". In my mind that is slander and defamation that any other Canadian would be insulted and most likely sue.

All of those so-called reporters who add Bush-like, American-style, Bush-Lite, Shrub, blah blah...
not news - straight biased opinion anti-Conservative spin and hate mongering against our largest trading partner.

Your examples?.....

Anonymous said...

I'm more concerned with MSM laziness than MSM bias despite the extreme left wing bias shown by them. I would really like to know what happened to all the money the Liberals funneled off to their friends and pet projects but the media is too hung up on who gets to decide who asks the attempted gotcha question of the PM.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

hearhere:

The problem with the example you give is that you have taken the work of a columnist for a paper (who is paid to give his opinion) and criticized it for being opinion and not objective news. This happens an awful lot when people on the right are trying to slam "bias" in "the media". I could find some prettty far out conservative opinions in a column by Michael Coren, or point out that his television slow is "biased" and "not objective" but so what? A columnist or T.V. pundit's job isn't to be objective, it is to give opinion.

If you don't want opinion, and just want the facts, don't read columns or watch debate programs.

As for the extreme left wing bias of the media, I'd be more convinced of it if BOTH our national newspapers hadn't endorsed the Tories in the last election.

Finally, even at their current popularity in the polls of 43%, let's remember that (excluding all the fringe parties lower than the Green's 4-5%) EVERY other political party in Canada is to the left of the Tories. So, even if you believe that 43% of the population supports the Tories, that means 57% of the population supprts parties to the LEFT of the Tories. In the current Parliament, there are 125 Tory seats, and 183 seats held by other parties, ALL of whom are to the LEFT of the Tories ideologically.

What conservatives tend to forget, is that the biggest commonality among the "mainstream media" is that it is "mainstream". One can complain all one likes that the public discourse in Canada is consistently to the left of the CPC, but I don't see how that's going to change as long as every other major political party in Canada is to the left of the CPC.

I undertsand the frustration over all that pressure on your left flank, but let's not forget that that pressure is so disproportionately on your left, because there's no one (serious) to your right.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good example. When CTV was reporting on the abduction of the Christian Peacekeeper clowns in Iraq early in the election campaign, the picture they used was the complete front page of the Globe and Mail. What were the other stories on the front page that day you ask?
Harper promises SSM vote.
I guess the only picture available was the front page and they couldn't show it without showing the SSM story as well. Until a little later that is when they finally zoomed in on the actual pictures.
In another instance, why didn't the Canadian media report on the UN when they were running a child porn and pedophile ring in the Congo? Was it because the Libs had already hitched their wagon to UN and had seconded our foreign policy to the UN and such a story would make them look bad? Or was it because anything that made the UN look bad would make the US and Bush look good?
Google 'pedophile, 'Congo', and 'UN',and after you finish puking, ask yourself if the little girls being raped on camera by the UN pigs are just collateral damage in the liberals war on conservatism so it was okay to bury their story.

Change one letter in the story, change UN to US, and does any rational human being believe that it wouldn't have been front page news for years, not just months?

Jeff said...

LKO - As anon hinted, it's not the columns that people complain about (though it would be nice to see some balance there). It IS the stories the MSM passes off as news. And just as bad, it's the stories that the MSM purposely ignores because the 'good guys' are at fault. If you can't see the bias, you must not be reading.

Scott Tribe said...

I find it amusing that all these conservative folks decry the "liberal" media, yet look at the major newsdailies in Canada; the Sun Media chain is way to the wacky right with Lorrie Goldstein as its chief nutbar, the National Post represents the neo-con rightwing with CanWest Global being used as its TV mouthpiece.. and the Globe and Mail is at best a centrist paper (which did endorse Harper last election, as Kitchener pointed out).

Only the Toronto Star can be called a "liberal paper", and it makes no secret it is (and its also the largest national daily out there, coincidentaly enough there appear to be a lot of liberal-minded people in Canada who want to read it).

Keep also in mind it was the neo-con National Post that just made an international embarrassment of itself with the Iran story, not the liberal Toronto Star.

To my conservative friends looking for MSM conspiracy theories about the "liberal" media trying to beat on poor Stephen, methinks thou doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

Actually many of Stephen Harper's views would land him to the left of the Democrat party if he was in the US.
The Globe and Mail is centrist and unbiased? Don't be ridiculous.
Lawrence Martin's column today contained several of the left's more traditional lies and even went so far as to describe Al Gore as 'electrifying'. Al is many things, but he aint electrifying.
Jane Taber is simply insane.

As was mentioned above, it's not just that the MSM in Canada tilt there stories, it's also all the ones that get overplayed if they are anti-conservative, and downplayed if they are bad for the Libs.

Google 'Power Corp', 'Saddam', 'Chretien', and 'Desmarais' and see what comes up.
Here's a good one: http://www.acepilots.com/unscam/archives/001890.html
Quote "M. Desmarais’s spectacular rise from an obscure Quebec bus company operator to an obscure global colossus is an amazing story. Instead of struggling to find a local angle on the international scene, why doesn’t the CBC just start from the basic premise that whatever the subject--Iraq, oil-for-food, the European Union--somewhere at the heart of it will be the world’s least famous Canadian.

Instead, not a whisper. The good news is it’s not because Robert Rabinovitch, president of the CBC, is another discreet Power Corp. alumnus. He’s not. Rabinovitch’s close buddy, John Rae, who ran Chr├ętien’s campaigns, is. And so’s Rabinovitch’s old colleague Joel Bell, who was Trudeau’s chief economic adviser. And so’s Rabinovitch’s old boss, Senator Michael Pitfield. And so’s . . .

P.S. If, by the time of publication, Power Corp. has bought the Western Standard, please disregard all of the above." Unquote


It turns out that the Iraq war WAS all about oil and how Chretien's son-in-law stood to make billions with his illegal deal with Saddam to develop 25% of Iraq's oil. And how his bank was in the middle of the Oil For food scandal. You have heard about that, haven't you?

Now why didn't the Canadian newspapers and television stations pick up on this? Could it be a bias towards the Libs?

Scott Tribe said...

Hey Anonymous:

The chief standard-bearer for the "liberal" media's resistance to Harper attempting to control them is Stephanie Rubec - political correspondent for that notoriously liberal aforementioned Sun Media chain

Yup.. liberal media - its their fault!