Monday, November 19, 2007

Media Narrative

The only substantive development in this entire Mulroney affair is the changed dynamic, as it relates to the media. The fact that the Liberals are trying to implicate the government in a cover-up is mostly meaningless. What does matter, the pundit and media class have forgotten the recurring theme of Liberals in "disarray", now obsessed with the fate of Mulroney and all the accompanying tenticles. What we have here is not an opportunity to dirty the Conservative brand, but a timely reprieve for the Liberals to re-invent theirs.

From a tactical point of view, if we must endure this Mulroney saga, it serves as a useful distraction. Within that frame, it is advantageous to keep the story alive, try different angles, consume the agenda with the largely irrelevant. As I've already said, there are real issues that need to be discussed, but since nobody in opposition seems interested in that, I say "uncle" and now turn my attention to naked strategy.

Basically, the Liberals have broken the vicious media cycle, as it relates to all things Dion, the party woes. Reporters are now focused on the Conservatives, looking for cracks between the old PC's and the Reformers, wondering about the connections, obsessed with the scandal. What is important for the Liberal braintrust, make sure the party looks relatively strong when the gaze turns back to Dion. Nobody expects utopia, but after the reprieve, the media may proceed with a somewhat fresh perspective. The key for Dion, and the party in general, appear confident, renewed, focused, moving forward, when the scrutiny returns.

Time is not irrelevant, a couple months of silence and you can begin to re-frame, because you are now out of the realm of the reactionary. Dion might actually be able to cobble together two sentences, without a question on leadership or fortunes. It just so happens, we are nearing the end of the first year of reign, which again provides a terrific benchmark to project a change. Dion "finding his way", Dion "rising from the ashes", Dion "grows into the job", all those themes are available, because of the calendar and the circumstance.

I still don't care about Mulroney, but what I do find interesting, how the Liberal braintrust can use the gift of trivality for full advantage. Media narrative's aren't absolute, and we are now in the midst of the first prolonged window to present a different thesis.


bigcitylib said...

Exactly, so every post you do should include a picture of Harper and Mulroney together.

There's dozens of them.

burlivespipe said...

That was part of the success for the 1980s Rat Pack, too. Make a lot of noise, keep the media scowering to see if there's any rational reason for the barking.
I'm more inclined to agree with you about the whole Mulroney issue.
While it certainly could look brazen if the gov't allows Schrieber to be packed off to Germany (knowing that he'll refuse to cooperate once he's off Canadian soil -- although that leaves his naked aim for all to see), my hunch is this will be more of the kind of Grewal 'white noise' that just echos a growing discomfort with this CON gang, at least for some voters on the fringe.
I'm more interested in this Ottawa mayor's investigation, now talking about evidence provided by a Mr X that may place Baird talking over a meal with O'Brien. Currently, Baird says he didn't 'meet' with the guy, only bumped into him on occasion.
This is the kind of sticky, meddling and illegal acts that I think have Harper's gang's fingerprints all over it, and is reminiscent of his handling of the Grewal affair and just the air in which he has handled numerous other issues.

Oh, and did you hear about nearly the whole executive of the Progressive Canadian Party closing shop and joining the Liberals? I wonder if they've brought their portable tent with them...

Sean Cummings said...

>>What we have here is not an opportunity to dirty the Conservative brand, but a timely reprieve for the Liberals to re-invent theirs.<<

While the business of the country is forgotten. While things like health care wait times, our role in Afghanistan and basically anything in the national interest takes a backseat to dirtying another political party. Is it any wonder that voters are disillusioned with all federal political parties? So much for the national interest. Far better to waste gajillions of dollars on an inquiry that will tell us what we already know: Schreiber and Mulroney are both shady characters.

Steve V said...


I agree with the frustration, I've just resigned myself to the reality.