Saturday, September 17, 2005

A Word To The Unwise Is Insufficient

While Peter C. Newman's tell-all book based on his secret tapes of Brian Mulroney will likely be a bestseller,Michael Coren dismisses most of the content as old news or trivial.

Even so, he hits the nail on the head about the book's underlying message:

What the book does reveal and even symbolize, however, is the incestuous relationship that exists in Canada between the media and the establishment. Mulroney trusted Newman because that is how the game works.

Too many journalists clamour for Orders of Canada and political appointments from a ruling class with which they should barely be on speaking terms. We saw this only recently when a journalist was made governor general by a PM clouded in allegations of backroom deals and incompetence.

When politicians come to see journalists not as a threat but as another wing of government, who can we trust to tell us what really goes on behind closed doors and how this country has effectively lost its democratic governance?

We all suffer for the fact that the MSM in Canada has become the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party. Stories that should be getting the widest coverage, such as fraud in the Technology Partnerships Fund, or CSL's involvement with the oil-for-food scandal, will never receive more than perfunctory, dismissive treatment.

Meanwhile, a letter from a few disgruntled Conservative Party members in Quebec and Stephen Harper's barbecue tour become fodder for front-page headlines and special reports.

Whether the MSM realizes it or not, it suffers as well for having joined forces with the Liberal Party. If the Liberal Party goes down, the MSM is going to go down with it. The next Conservative government will be filled with people whose hostility towards the media has been simmering for more than a decade, and it will boil over when they have the power to do something to the media.

The CBC knows that it will be on the chopping block when the Conservatives come to power.

The rest of the media doesn't have to fear the loss of funding the way the CBC does, but loss of access and patronage appointments will get the message across.

1 comment:

v said...

As a young boy I read the book "Birds of a Feather" by The Foth. The idea that the Canadian media and our politicians have a relationship beyond incestuous - Foth likened it to the Stockholm Syndrome - was something not beyond my grasp, as a child, many years ago. Somehow, this seems beyond the grasp of many grownup bloggers.

Really, our media here in Canada is no hell; I occasionally read Colombia's El Tiempo and Thailand's The Nation and you can argue that both papers are less in the pocket of their respective ruling parties, offer higher quality reporting and analysis, and are better at holding their governments accountable when compared to the Globe And Mail, for example. So it goes.