Sunday, April 24, 2011


The latest episode in Harper versus the media is being digested, with the usual, completely justified outrage. What does it say when Harper's Borg can drown out a reporter in this manner? What does it say that Harper purposely holds these press conferences in front of supporters, a form of purposeful intimidation no doubt? I share all the disgust, but it is also important to remember, it really doesn't matter, sad but true.

Remember the 2008 campaign? Do people remember how Harper refused to go on the CBC if he had to answer a voter video question? Would it surprise you to learn that in that campaign, the Borg told reporters "go back to Russia"? Do you remember that in the last days of the 2008 campaign Harper stopped taking any questions? In other words, this nonsense has been going on for years, all the while Conservatives shrug it off because they've "gamed" the system, they've figured out the attention span, there is little real consequence, THIS is why they act in such a manner.

At the beginning of this campaign, Harper refused to take more than 5 questions. There were some protestations, but STRANGELY, many in the media cut their colleagues off at the knees, openly questioning wasting time and susbequent questions on questions, apparently it was counter productive. Never mind the fundamental issue of accountability, not to mention this was an attack on THEIR profession and all the tenets within, NO certain people quickly tired of the "fight" and guess what- HARPER WON AGAIN. My, how they must belly laugh in the PMO, they've been carefully orchestrating and manipulating for years, any rebellions short lived and only REINFORCING the conclusion that in the end, it will go their way, with little CONSEQUENCE. Review the record, remember the instances and then understand it never mattered one lick, it was "inside" kerfuffle, and the Conservatives forever knew it.

Do you really believe the Conservative war room spent more than a minute on yesterday's big controversy? Review the almost non existent coverage this morning, nary a column of outrage, and it's proof positive that the Conservatives are wise to just ignore. Oh sure, Terry will push the matter again today, who knows maybe it will resonate. But, the high probability is this story will just fizzle into oblivion, left for people like me that actually possess a long term memory and enjoy patterns as indicative of overall belief. Not meant to be depressing, but I believe one must recognize the reality, rather than hope for something different, that never seems to come.

These Conservatives and their supporters have been kicking the media for years, they know even have a network solely devoted to taunting them. To think that yesterday's outrage actually matters, is to forget the entire Harper reign, the persistent abuse, flaunted indifference, the uneven response, the notion that they've GAMED the system, the press corp irrelevant. That is shocking to say, and every last one in the profession with resist, but the facts speak for themselves. I mean, Harper has continually thumbed his nose, usurped accountability, with no evidence of recourse, never a hint that the OUTRAGE tethers to real world consequence. Again, rather than be depressed about it, more an epiphany, which is progress in understanding what really does and doesn't matter. A bunch of the Borg shouting down a CBC reporter, doesn't even register, at least in no way that has substantial bearing on future prospects. That's just the bottom line- how many times do we have to see it fizzle before we accept the inherent truisms?


rgl said...

So? Just roll over and get F%@#? What next? I think there is work to do between now and then, deep work, subterranean work, perhaps.

Steve V said...

Absolutely not! All I'm saying, don't expect incidents like yesterday to turn any tide, it won't, and it never has in the past. I have tons of fight left, don't confuse.

Steve V said...

Taken a step further, look at all the MP's snubbing debates, media, same in 08 and it didn't matter a lick.

sharonapple88 said...

Taken a step further, look at all the MP's snubbing debates, media, same in 08 and it didn't matter a lick.

The message may need to be directed in a way that gets people's attention -- possibly a chicken website, or a Coward of the Week award.

bubba said...

Long time no chat. I think Lib supporters needc to spend less time worrying about what PMSH does and more time discovering why their message is not resonating. For the first 2 weeks you ran the best campaign,had the best leader had a credible message yet got 0 results. Then when the results didn't come the Liberals fall back position is to blame the other parties and call their supporters stupid. You cant run a camaign with democracy as the #1 issue with an apointed leader and expect people to trust you. You cant run a campaign with accountability as the #2 issue and use Chretien to help get the message out. Iggy can ask people to rise up a million times but until the re-birth of the party happens their is just too much baggage to lift off the ground. Their will be no rising May 2nd and if the libs still think its anyone's fault but their own it may never happen.

Kirk said...

"their message not resonating"

The Liberal message is systematically being repressed by the very media that Steve worries about.

Look at the Mansbridge interviews. He discussed Harper's main talking point with all three leaders - coalition.

Then he actually questioned Ignatieff 3 times about his answer to the question of what bothered him most in the Con attack ads. Ignatieff said it was the implication that he wasn't a Canadian. Mansbridge keep asking "Is that really what bothered you the most?" or words to that effect. It was a joke of an interview. Mansbridge spent more time questioning Ignatieff's perfectly reasonable answer than he allowed Ignatieff for discussion of the Liberal platform.

People who hear Ignatieff without the media screening the message find that he does resonate.

And then there's the big unasked question: Is Harper's message resonating with Canadians?

(see next post)

Kirk said...

And then there's the big unasked question: Is Harper's message resonating with Canadians?

Well, if the "message" is the need for a Conservative majority then the answer is no. Lots of polls and some show a big lead for the Cons putting them into a majority but overall they show little change in Con support from 2008 with another Con minority.

Is their another Conservative message? Maybe that the economy needs Harper but EKOS shows more Canadians now than before think the govt is on the wrong track while they think Canada is on the right track. So that would say Harper hasn't resonated with Canadians. They separate Harper from Canada's performance and hence the economy.

What has resonated with Canadians? The Conservative attack ads on Ignatieff (reinforced by NDP attack ads). This is a triumph of negative ads not of anyone's message "resonating".

Gayle said...

You forgot now he questioned Ignatieff on LPC attack ads, and not a singe question to Harper on the same topic.

It was an odd interview indeed.

Kirk said...

I think Steve has the situation wrong. It's not Harper vs. the media. It's Harper and most of the media for Harper and against all who are not.

Steve you give examples of how the media aids and abets the Harper approach. The logical conclusion is not that Harper is defeating the media that doesn't oppose him or question his tactics but that the media is siding with him in aiding and abetting his tactics.

bubba said...

have you read the headlines on NNW or bourque? You are delusional if you think the media are on PMSH's team. But anything to avoid looking at your party iguess.

Kirk said...

Here are the Headlines from NNW at this Moment:

Tory majority could hinge on where votes bleed to NDP in final week

Harper hunts for votes in B.C. as time runs out

Tories still in lead; Grits, NDP tied in latest Nanos poll

Mao smear news to Liberal leader

Ignatieff gets cold welcome on ice rink

Ignatieff a master of delivery, but who’s listening?

What to do about the vote splits

Sleeping Liberals need wake-up call to avoid 2008 repeat

NDP arrival in political big leagues means larger crowds, but also more scrutiny

Jack Layton flying high —for now

Jack Layton coming back to Edmonton

Ignatieff works to quell orange tide

Another Liberal asked to repay improperly claimed expenses: Documents

Ignatieff aims for Super Sunday with big ad buy

Tory crowd drowns out question about support from man acquitted in Air India

etc. etc.

Where's the Liberal bias?

Kirk said...

Oh Bubba, btw where's the discussion of any Liberal policy or platform in those headlines?

bubba said...

I am not claiming lib bias. Just saying there is no love affair between press and PMSH. The libs are tanking big time and the headlines show it. When they were on a roll early they had positive headlines. At some point someone in the party has to look at the party. Not blame others. the BT's have the exact same complaints.

Gene Rayburn said...

I remember when Bubba proclaimed he voted Tory because they bought him lunch

Kirk said...

Actually, Bubba, going right back to your original post you wrote "more time discovering why their message is not resonating".

Now if you look at surveys & studies of people attitudes on various issues you'll find that the Liberals position "resonates" well with a large segment, often the majority, of Canadians.

And I'm talking non-political surveys of attitudes taken with no relation to the position of any party.

So I content it's not an issue of "resonance" but of getting the message out, out through the media and to Canadians. The Liberal Party and the Micheal Ignatieff portrayed in the media are quite different than what anyone sees without the media screen.

The view by the media of Micheal Ignatieff is shaped around Con talking points as I gave an example up with the Mansbridge interviews.

The view of Canadians of Micheal Ignatieff is shaped by Con attack ads which were running 4 times an hour on some shows before the election (supplemented by cheery govt ads).

The Liberals need to take a good look at their fund raising instead of thinking a change in policies or a change in leader will be the solution to their problems.

And, btw, what's the best way to raise funds? Fear mongering to your base and attack ads demonizing your opponents. Fun eh?

Kirk said...

here's an example from today of what I'm saying about the media being determined to put their screen between Ignatieff and Canadians:

The writer is in a petulant rage over Ignatieff going directly to Canadians and like a child McKenna tries to put the attention back on his own juvenile, biased and unfounded views.

Marpman said...

I am disturbed that (we) Canadians do not hold ourselves to a higher degree of respect. We allow a government to lead us by the nose and continue to allow them to treat us with such contempt.
On May 2nd I hope that we speak, but I worry that we continue to tell Harper that this is what we want.
The scrutiny that Ignatieff has received during his campaign is significant. We have allowed Harper and even Layton a free ride. Shutting down questions, removing debate should not be acceptable. Layton's campaign is just weird...he says little and promises much.

Steve V said...

" When they were on a roll early they had positive headlines."

Actually that's not true. I blogged on this, using the McGill study, despite perceptions of a great start, Harper still received a great deal more coverage, as well as MORE positive coverage. It's funny, because your perception is probably common, but it's really due to the usual negativism, that when it narrows, STILL in Harper's favour, it feels like the Liberals are getting good ink. Bubba, in 2004, 2006 and 2008, Harper has received better coverage than his Liberal counterpart, now again 2010. If the right wing were armed with these objective facts they would apocalyptic. As it stands now they still actually believe the media is their enemy, despite how absurd that really is.

Steve V said...


I had a discussion with someone who was convinced that NNW was Liberal biased. So, I said go look at the columns and about 80% were Lib negative, Levant, Goldstein, Gunter, etc. I used the facts, I said do it everyday, election or not and note the overall bias if there is one. All I get back is "well, I don't follow that closely, but it's biased I assure you". Oh okay, nice rebuttal. It's like that everytime, I'm prepared to simply revert to math, and I never get any takers, because the claim isn't based in fact.

bubba said...

OK its the media i'm convinced so what do we do now? Who can we appoint leader so the grass roots does not need to be involved. The last thing we want is them voting for someone that wont meet the party's high standards. Who can we appoint that the press will love there must be an award winning journalist somewhere we never asked.As an outsider that is a pretty bad place to start rebuilding.