Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shame On The Globe And Mail

First off, newspaper endorsements rarely move votes, if anyone doubts you can look to the American primaries for reference. In the old days a newspaper endorsement did carry substantial weight, but with the fractured and diminished influence today, it really is of minor importance in the grand scheme. So, with that practical assertion in my mind, my disappointment in the The Globe And Mail is more about journalistic integrity and supposed "high standard", rather than any real world consequence.

In 2008, this paper gave Harper an endorsement, fulled with a bunch of caveats, almost a way of covering themselves, while simultaneously giving approval. A mere month or two later, Harper's actions proved their "growing into the job" thesis was laughable, but I suppose when on is bent one endorsing, you find rays of light regardless. I took pleasure in the fact, that once again, the supposed left wing media, was an illusion created by ideologues, with no basis in fact.

Here we are in 2011, and as EXPECTED, The Globe and Mail, formerly Canada's great paper has endorsed Harper again. It's a strong word "endorse" because it gives sanction to action, it gives the stamp of approval to a campaign, what has transpired. Let's forget about the Liberals, NDP for a moment, and just assume their presentations don't deserve endorsement. This fact then, doesn't automatically mean endorsement is guaranteed based on a relativism. No, you are ENDORSING someone, you don't weasel out using the opponent plan to find admirable qualities, you are saying we ENDORSE this man, his party, their behaviour. If you have problems with said party, you can simply endorse no one, and that in and itself is really a testament to a certain integrity, a standard. However, this paper, in another example of falling stature, has ENDORSED Stephen Harper. Let's review then what they have ENDORSED:

- a party that changes its budget 17 days later, completely undercutting any fiscal credibility, refusing to explain the changes, rationale, costing.

- a party that purposely misleads Canadians on the BIGGEST military expenditure in history.

- a party which has promised Canadians a package of goodies, based on unforeseen events, using dicey math, all in a brazen attempt to change the rules on what constitutes a "promise"

- a party which has purposely distorted the nature of Parliamentary democracy, the very core principles upon which this nation exists

- a party which limits accountability, a Prime Minister who manipulates the press with unilateral rules and constraints. In a democracy, the attempt to avoid scrutiny is alarming, particularly when it involves flipping the bird to YOUR OWN MEDIUM.

- a party which does background checks on audience participants and attempts to sanitize their presentation in such a way that is snake oil salesman-like visually.

I could go on and on, but how any paper which prides itself on its high journalistic standards, an entity which supposedly stands for integrity, could ENDORSE this behaviour escapes me. Again, fine, don't endorse the Liberals or NDP, but that decision doesn't DEMAND you ENDORSE this most shameful of campaigns, the likes of which simply has no PEER. The Globe and Mail has endorsed the politics of fear, the notion of unaccountable democracy, the idea that a budget is fiction, the precedent that one can lie about military expenditures with no recourse, THIS IS WHAT an ENDORSEMENT means. The paper doesn't get to separate the totality and cling to certain arguments, an ENDORSEMENT is just that, you've sanctioned this behaviour, you've told Canadians it's fine to run this type of campaign, these tactics, you've given it your blessing. I will never look at The Globe and Mail the same, it has only reaffirmed that it's part of the problem, not any solution for those of us who aspire to a true HIGHER standard. Shame on The Globe and Mail, shame indeed, you have failed, again.


Scott @ Prog Blog said...

I'd like to know which of the editorial board members made that decision, and who wrote it. I sense Ibbittson was part of it.

Steve V said...

I knew they would endorse Harper, and what does that say? The cheerleaders are so obvious.

Tof KW said...

Check Nanos' numbers today? Cons are now bleeding votes to the NDP and get this... Layton is now ahead of Harper on the leadership index.

pogge said...


The Globe's editorial board is described here. Officially, at least, Ibbitson isn't part of it.

Jerry Prager said...

Wealth transfers to the overwhelmingly corporatist media from the PMO via Action Plan SpinCycle Scam, means that the concentration of media warned about by Keith Davies and Peter Kent, is bearing the anti-democratic fruit everyone knew it would. MSM is anti-democratic, and that's why it was all nearly bankrupt last years before the wealth transfers from the PMO. Harper got what he paid for: corruption.

janfromthebruce said...

great post Steve! They endorse corruption because it works for the powerful few - same old same old - but just more blatant!

Jerry Prager said...

George Brown rolling around in his grave.

Frunger said...

They endorsed Harper because Iggy is 'Dead man walking' and most of corporate Canada is scared sh!tless of a Layton government, as they and the rest of us should be.

I'm a Con supporter and although I don't agree with lots of what the Liberals do on the periphery, there is no risk of the country taking a nosedive if they were to get back in. They at least know what they are doing.

I'm reminded of Samuel L Jackson in Jurassic Park.

"Hold on to your butts"

Note: He gets disemboweled shortly after that.

A Eliz. said...

Ignatieff told the Star (after all the bashing on TV)..the conservatives can 'go to
Hell'..I do not blame him.

Tof KW said...

Frunger, I know you are not responsible for the CPC war room's stupidity - but looking back at the CPC constantly smearing the centrist party that appeals to the left but governs from the right for 5 years running - the Cons have this coming to them. Enjoy PM Layton!

62% of the country hates your leader's guts. I don't mean they just disagree, I mean they actually hate Harper. There was no room for growth there because your team kept flogging Harper on that 62%. This would not have occurred had the CPC chosen a new direction back in 2003 instead of going with Reform V2.0. You would have won that majority in 2006, if not 2004.

Now the personal attacks against Ignatieff and Dion before him seems to be causing a polarization of the 62% that want Harper gone.

I fully blame Harper for causing this potentially brutal polarization of the Canadian political scene. The absolute last thing Canada needs is to follow what's happened to the USA thanks to the GOP's idiocy.

Mark Francis said...

The G&M knows better than this: "...with the support of other parties they adopted stimulus spending after the financial crash of 2008."

A coalition held a gun to Harper's head to make this happen! For God's sake, Harper even claimed we weren't heading for a recession!

And Harper's the one to negotiate with the US? What? Harper lost our seat on the UN Security Council due to outright incompetence.

When it comes to trade negotiations we all know he's all about securing Alberta's access at the expense of the rest of Canada.

In 1999, The Star refused to endorse anyone for Ontario's provincial election.

Gayle said...

There was a discussion on the Macleans boards the other day about media endorsements. We all predicted the Globe would do this.

We were amusing ourselves about how they would contort themselves in order to endorse him after what they said in 2008. In the end I think we were pretty accurate.

I recall reading somewhere that the current head honcho at the Globe is a longstanding conservative, and that the CPC were cheering when he got the position. I guess we know why.

Omar said...

They also endorsed Harper in 2006. Three strikes you're Globe and Mail. I will never purchase your Saturday edition or read you online again. Done.

Steve V said...

I've had two emails from readers this morning telling me they are cancelling their subscription.

Tof KW said...

You want some fun reading, go through the comments section on that G&M endorsement. There are some Tories who are pissed at this, and for that matter the CPC and their list of misdeeds that the G&M glossed over to give their endorsement anyhow. I think I see how the CPC can bleed support directly to the NDP (like latest EKOS, Nanos and Forum polls suggest) though that's still bizarre to me.

Omar said...

I'll give them the 2006 endorsement, but 2008 was shaky and this one is simply beyond the pale. How they can even remotely justify this in the face of Harper's gross mismanagement and is sickening. Even Ottlib is not going to help me understand this one.

Steve V said...

Readers are going wild on G and M website. Rag!!

utterlyuseless said...

Starting in 2007 I read the G&M online regularly and found the journalism, for the most part, critical of the Harper regime as much as any other pulication. When it wasn't, when the G&M threw something in that was right wing bait, the comments from the left drowned out the article's obvious bias. As we neared the election and during, the comments doubled and trebled and were overwhelmingly centrist. The sheer volume was a statement of voter engagement and I took heart in that.

Then this endorsement, this idiocy, this callous nod of the head to the student in the corner with the dunce cap on and I reminded that with the G&M, the game is rigged.

For a while it didn't feel like 'their' paper. I will never forget whose paper it is now. You can have it back. Keep the Saturday, the occasional Go line purchase and any comment I would make in the future.

I don't expect the right to go quietly when they lose on May 2 and I won't be party to any further manipulations.

G&M; you endorsed contempt and that's all you'll get from me.

Tof KW said...

The commentary there is 100% negative, did not read one pro-G&M or pro-Harper comment there scrolling through hundreds out of the over 3000 comments there now. Almost gives me faith that Canadians see what's been going on over the past 5 years.

My favs, the disgruntled Tory comments (or at least people who once voted for Harper) now disgusted with the Globe:

The anger with this irresponsible endorsement will drive the New Democrat Party vote higher still, probably seriously into the Conservative vote now, as even they start to sense something is seriously wrong in Denmark.

what is truth
... and to think I once was a progressive conservative...where is teh Freedom of the Press? when it is owned by fewer and fewer corporations , whose needs for profits trumps democracy any and every time... look out CBC , the only truly journalisltic outlet we have , and by hcarter have to remain unbiased... whilst all other media can be as biased as it wants ( or needs thier profits to be) It is now high time for the people of Canada to rise up against media control....against the corporate control of media... With this endorsement , perhaps the editorail Board is looking for Senate appointments ? or CRTC appointments? what a shame...well I guess the real war is just about to begin.

Log time reader, first time poster that is saddened to see that the G&M has endorsed and embraced the ethical and intellectual bankruptcy of the Harper Conservatives. I wonder who is hiding behind the Editorial Board curtain.

sirjohneh -
As someone who once voted for Harper in the past, I‘ve come to realize that the press in this country just rolled over and died. This endorsement seals it. We no longer have a functioning democracy and this newspaper is recommending we put back in power the person most responsible for that breakdown. Why not say we endorse none of the leaders? Vote for the candidate in your riding that you think is the most capable and will best represent your interests in Ottawa.

Helene McKenzie -
So essentially you're saying that the ends justifies the means. In this particular case I don't think so. Although the Conservatives may have some kind of a track record being *steady at the helm* they've done it in a backhanded way, demeaning the democracy this nation was and is built on.

If for no other reason than the above I wouldn't have the Conservatives head this nation any longer. I've said this before and I will say it again - real democracy is a muddy, dirty mess. One must treat everyone with respect and listen to all sides of the argument, which is far from what the Conservatives have done thus far. And this is setting aside the fact they've left us with a huge amount of debt - although to be fair some of it can be blamed on the economic straights we find ourselves in. But there's a fair amount that could have been avoided, eg: G8/G20 costs, the Economic Action Plan advertisements and signs, etc.

I find that I am really quite shocked that the G&M would go so far as to endorse a man who may well find his place in Canadian history as the worst Prime Minister ever.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, not bloody likely.

Steve V said...

It's a maelstorm, which is heartening.

sunsin said...

The bleed from the Conservatives to the NDP probably consists of people who are looking for strong leadership and a government that can last, and have suddenly realized that Harpy can deliver neither. Which leaves..... [insert name of major party leader who has done the least dirt on his party's principles and on his opponents in this campaign]

Tof KW said...

sunsin, I think the bleed from the CPC to the NDP were the soft votes - the people who once voted for Jean Chretien and Mike Harris.

They were parking their votes with the Conservatives only because they believed the fear-mongering about the Bloc in a coalition being scarier that another Harper government - one that at least managed OK during the recession. But with the Bloc coalition threat gone, then there is no reason to vote for a corrupt government any longer, and they want to press the reboot button.

It seems apparent that the CPC has dropped from their lofty majority mark of 40%, to around 35% - shown by 3 major pollsters. With the Liberals dropping 6-7% as well, the only conclusion is that Harper drop is also bleeding to the NDP.

There is a limit to the drop, as the minimum base for the CPC is 30% - it can't get lower than that. So I am hopeful that additional 5% of soft CPC votes will go to the opposition parties over the next 4 days. There seems to be a serious release of pent-up frustration fueling this orange wave - they don't care it's the NDP - they just want real change.

BTW - for what it's worth, Andrew Coyne has endorsed the Liberals over on Maclean's website.

sassy said...

Now the G&M has a piece defending their endorsement of CLSH.

How rich is that?

Steve V said...

Read the commment section, then read the "live chat" discussion, it bears NO RESEMBLANCE, nice editing job G and M, what an embarrassment. Just like the Cons, trying to create a FALSE overview of opinion.