Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boycotting Conservative TV

No matter which telecast, or program I watch, I tend to see bias, as a Liberal certain items bother me. Why aren't you telling the other side of the story? How can you not present the facts? Why are you letting that person articulate bald faced lies? Today, I wasn't terribly impressed with CBC's Politics, which came with a ten minute segment, wherein James Travers and Daniel Lesage lavished praise on the Prime Minister, Travers especially, gave the Conservatives a free pass on their recent troubles- pulling the puffin nonsense actually spun as a sign of Harper's maturity, a positive development. Huh? Give me a break.

The above is the normal ebb and flow of most newcasts or print coverage, tomorrow might bring a different angle, something which my bias will find more palatable. However, there is one exception to a sense of overall balance, and it is CTV, more directly The Mike Duffy Show. I'm tired of watching Liberals come on Duffy's show, and then watching him systematically sandbag them, as though Ryan Sparrow is the producer. Michael Ignatieff made an appearance on Duffy's show, and Mike proceeded to do something extraordinary- he read a letter from a viewer, who had serious reservations about the carbon tax. Ignatieff navigated the ambush well, but really that isn't the point. Everyone knows that Duffy is an unabashed Conservative, and on the issue of the Green Shift, he has made his hostility well known, any pretense of fairness long since passed. What happened to Ignatieff, a pre-meditated attempt to embarrass is beyond reasonable journalism.

Mike Duffy isn't "must see TV", outside of political junkies, it's hardly a mainstream hit. That reality means that Duffy needs the guests, the guests don't necessarily need him. In addition, if guests are merely presented to further an agenda, that ultimately will paint them in a bad light, or place them on the defensive, then one has to ask- what's the point?

Rather than take up the invitation, because the kneejerk reaction is that any face time is good time, the notion that it's important to get out our talking points, why not just say NO. When a program has lost any sense of fairness, why empower it, bump it's ratings, by appearing on the show. If I were in charge, Duffy would get an earful eleven seconds after Ignatieff's appearance, calling out his treatment, telling him it's unacceptable, threatening to ban any Liberal MP, operative or party figure from appearing on his show. That's how the Americans do it, particularly the GOP, they push back, they push back hard, they do it everytime.

Duffy wants you on the show, then the Liberals demand some fair treatment, otherwise forget it. Let the Duffy show reach its crescendo, and simply be an hour long procession of Conservatives, and Conservative talking points. Duffy can hit the Liberals- who cares, he does it anyways, largely the same result in the end. There is a dance between media and parties, especially in this forum, they need each other. No Liberal guests, then Duffy suffers too, his show loses any sense of revelance. Duffy needs you, as much, if not more, than you need him. Imagine if the Liberals stopped appearing, would it really make much difference in this election? The answer tells you who has control here, who doesn't have to appear before the firing squad, who can cry foul when Duffy ambushes.

Get on the phone, tell Duffy we're done, get back to us when you discover any sense of impartiality. Democrats shouldn't bother with Bill O'Reilly, why should Liberals bother with Mike Duffy. Let's get over this silly sense that we need to be seen on programs such as this, and instead remember that programs such as this need us to be seen.


ottlib said...

No one but people who have already made up their minds about who they are going to vote for watche these programs. I know of no one who comes up to me during the day and ask me about something they have seen on one of these shows.

They are a waste of time. Nothing more than filler for these 24 hour news channels to break the monotony of seeing the same damned stories over and over again on a 30minute cycle.

That is why I am not very bothered with their slant. They are not going to convince anybody one way or another.

And don't get me started about Mr. Travers. I have said it before, he is a backroom strategist wannabe and the reason why he is still a journalist instead of being in the inner circle is he is not a very good backroom strategist.

Steve V said...

"They are a waste of time."

Then why should our MP's waste their time, when they could be doing something productive?

WesternGrit said...

Perhaps the increase in funding to the CBC by the Cons has something to do with this? See the latest numbers? Oh, and in doing so the Harperites have also started a "facelift" of the CBC - from top to bottom. They've changed the head, and, if you haven't noticed, hasn't the CBC become a LOT more commercial AND Americanized (programming-wise)?

Maybe it's just CBC journalists wanting to watch out for their jobs when they think a Con victory may be coming... Maybe they've been sent internal "reminders" about what to report and how? I doubt it, but you can't put anything past people these days...

A Eliz. said...

I was watching the CBC the other night , with Don Newman, and I was thinking that being as the Government pays the CBC, would the Cons be threatening? Something seemed a little odd..maybe I am paranoid ?
CTV is like FOX North

John W said...

The amazing thing about both Duffy and Newman is that apparently both shows allow the political parties to chose who will be on the all party spin doctor and MP panels.

I Bet CNN keeps that journalistic decision for itself and doesn't allow the parties dictate their content.

CBC and CTV should insist on content control. Of course the networks rolled over and played dead on the debate issue, so don't hold your breath.

Deb Prothero said...

Seems to me that lately the CBC is being prettied up for a privatization. And the ones who get rich are the ones who are in on the day it happens so they are minding their p's and q's until the day of enrichment.

CBC Radio too is becoming much more conservative in its news broadcasts. I can't believe the 10 second bites I hear while travelling to work and back. It is as if an alien landed in the news department and is jumbling all their heads.

Jerry Prager said...

Somebody say amen.
Be done with the lying liars and their media hacks. Enough.

Anonymous said...

I love Dion's approach with the press so far. He seems to be showing real back bone.

But I have to say, I wasn't very happy with his announcement about doubling the child tax credit. Did everything we fought for last election (Dryden leading the charge) mean nothing?

Möbius said...

Perhaps the increase in funding to the CBC by the Cons has something to do with this? See the latest numbers? Oh, and in doing so the Harperites have also started a "facelift" of the CBC - from top to bottom. They've changed the head, and, if you haven't noticed, hasn't the CBC become a LOT more commercial AND Americanized (programming-wise)?

Wow, I'd forgotten what paranoia looked like, but now I've got the picture.

Usually this is the domain of whacky conservatives.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I agree with Ottlib here that the only people who watch these are those who follow politics closely and most have made up their mind one way or another. As for the Liberals going on, I would argue performing well with a host who is hostile to them actually looks better than one who is friendly to them.

As for CBC, the Conservatives have long wanted to privatize it in the past, although I wonder now if being in power, they would rather just make it a propaganda arm for them. CBC was intended to be a public broadcaster not a state broadcaster and unlike what some on the right say, there is a big difference.

Anonymous said...

If you see the Star's Travers as a Con supporter, whatever you use to judge biases isn't working.

Frankly Canadian said...

A must read that explains this phenomenon explicitly is "An Assault on Reason" Al Gore's most resent book. It goes into the proven psychology of how the brain interprets the constant borage of constant imagery and how it relates to our primal thought processes. The book also goes into details of how our media is definitely controlled by a small select few with the interest of the shareholders at the forefront. A definite must read!!!

Anonymous said...

Somewhat related but a bit off-topic . . .

I feel silly asking, but will someone remind me of what the scoop is on Angus Reid polling.

I just checked out their site, and they are just plastering the data trying to push the idea that the real opponent of Harper is Layton.

It looks like a full-fledged effort to split the left.

What's the story with Angus Reid?

And while were at it, what about this bogus "daily polling of people in ridings that were close" by Strategic Counsel? I am usually pretty good at getting the gist of a poll, but it just reads like mumbo-jumbo to me. And the data for three provinces are jumbled together so you never know which of the dozen or so "key" ridings in each province are really close and which aren't.

It either sounds like a bad idea executed poorly. Or, as I suspect, a way of having headlines that say "Conservatives show momentum" or "NDP overtakes Liberals" to confuse a very selective set of polling with actual national - or even provincial numbers.

Fun with polling that makes no sense - that's a topic for discussion in itself? ; )

Susan said...

I'm with Steve, leave Duffy alone with his catty little musings. Harper bought and CTV when he donated our tax payer $40 million and $20 million per year to the Asper's so-called human rights museum.

Gayle said...

Duffy is a waste of time.

As for the rest, it is a long campaign, media are not happy about the fact they have had to ride a bus for the past four days, they have preconceived notions about Dion and they are going to have to be convinced they are wrong because they are not going to want to admit that unless they have compelling evidence, and the fact is the campaign has been less that exciting thus far.

That said, yes I think there is a bias out there, (Fife's man love for Harper is just creeping me out), but it is still up to the liberal machine to give them something to write about. So far it has been disorganized. Plenty of time to change that.

I have a lot of respect for Dion, but I think if they are trying to sell the team approach, they might want to bring the team in at some point.

RuralSandi said...

CBC only funded?

Well, this is from Andrew Coyne's blog:

MORE: What’s particularly galling is that every one of the players who made this entirely self-interested decision are funded in whole or in part on the public dime: the political parties, the CBC and Radio-Canada, but also Global, CTV and TVA, who make off with massive implicit and explicit subsidies. They’re conspiring against the public interest, on the public’s dime!, I believe as taxpayers from ALL political stripes that we have a right to complain. Why should a Green, Liberal or NDP taxpayer have to put up with this.

It makes me sick....we held pay Mike Duffy's (Harper's newest strategist) salary.

Anonymous said...

Something not mentioned on these posts is that the connection between Duffy and the Conservatives is well known (to some of us) and apparently goes back a long time. I recall that Stevie Cameron in her book "On the Take" about the Mulroney years mentioned that both Duffy and Lloyd Robertson were well liked by him and were often invited to attend Mulroney's parties. Don't remember if Bob Fife was mentioned. I switch channels every time I see Duffy or Fife. I still do watch Lloyd off and on.

RuralSandi said...

I say, everyone that's offended by it email Duffy/Fife together - saying how insulted you are as a taxpayer having to put up with use of taxpayer money for partisanship.

Flood CTV....they deserve it.

Did you notice that Duffy pretty well begs people to write him at then makes smirky fun of those who complain.

Steve V said...


Consider it done :)