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Politics and its Discontents: Fair And Balanced Reporting, Or Craven Corporate Pandering?

I just finished reading Rather Outspoken, a memoir by Dan Rather, former anchor of CBC News who was essentially fired for reporting the truth about George Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard in lieu of going to Vietnam. While there was plenty of evidence to support the fact that Bush was absent without leave for about a year, the CBS report on it, truncated by ‘the suits,’ made it seem that the veracity of the claims rested solely on one series of disputed documents, known as the Killian documents.

The book is worthwhile as a reminder of the noble ideals of old-school journalism, the crucial role a free press plays in a democratic society, and as a warning about what happens when news becomes a fungible commodity; in the case of CBS, it became merely one element in the corporate drive for profit and expansion. That it can no longer be relied upon to ‘speak truth to power’ is made despairingly evident in Rather’s book.

I don’t have time to go into much detail, but essentially the problem Rather outlines is that government wants something from the media (good press and a means to promulgate its version of ‘truth’) and the corporate behemoths want things from government. In the case of CBS, Viacom, its parent company, wanted an easing of restrictions on how many stations a network could own. In the past, they were limited to six, but, at least in part due to its willingness to pull stories, apologize for segments aired that offended the administration, etc., that number, at least in 2012 when the book was published, is now 39. The quid pro quo should offend all critical thinkers.

It is a book I highly recommend, and I make it the subject of this post for one reason. Last night I happened to catch the CBS Evening News coverage of the Republican Convention. While they did not shirk from the Melania Trump plagiarism, they did offer ample opportunity for the Trump side’s spin, culminating in something that I feel merits some scrutiny.

If you advance the video to about the 8-minute mark, look at the curious perspective offered in the name of ‘balance’:

Fair reporting or corporate pandering? You decide.

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Fair And Balanced Reporting, Or Craven Corporate Pandering?

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

During last weekend’s Conservative Party convention, interim leader Rona Ambrose suggested that Justin Trudeau was not our first “female” Prime Minister, but that that distinction went to Kim Campbell.It was met with a round of applause, resonating wit… . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

During last weekend’s Conservative Party convention, interim leader Rona Ambrose suggested that Justin Trudeau was not our first “female” Prime Minister, but that that distinction went to Kim Campbell.

It was met with a round of applause, resonating with the conservative crowd, but not so much with the Canadian public, who saw it as just another opposition cheap shot, born of envy.

She would later deny she said it, or claim that her comment was misinterpreted, but we’ve seen the video.  There’s no backing out now.

However, her closing remark is even more telling.  “So who’s the feminist now!?”  Certainly not Rona Ambrose, because you don’t have to be a female to be a feminist, any more than you have to be a feminist to be female.  Today, it’s about a state of mind.

In fact, for the new generation of millennials, it’s more about sexism in general, not just women’s rights, which they already enjoy.  Income inequality is still an issue, but they will find the solution, and they will do it because it just makes sense.

Looking at the U.S. Primaries, when the country seems poised to elect their first woman president, it should not be such a shock to anyone that the majority of young women plan to vote for Bernie Sanders, rather than Hillary Clinton. They don’t care about gender, but that Sanders has a better understanding of the problems that impact their lives, while Clinton represents “the establishment.”

In Ambrose’s speech, she lauded previous women Conservative trail blazers (none of whom belonged to her party which was formed in 2003).  However, to millennials, these names or their accomplishments would mean little.  They don’t have to look to female leaders of the past.  They see female leaders everyday, and that’s a good thing.  It means that women of my generation have done our jobs.

What they heard from Ambrose would sound like words from the parents in the Peanuts cartoon: “mwa-mwa-mwa”

This is what the opposition and indeed the Canadian media, don’t understand about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  He is the epitome of the modern feminist.  You don’t have to be macho to be masculine, but you can be.  You don’t have to be a female to be a feminist, but you can be.  It’s all about equality and doing what’s best for you.


In the United States millennials now outnumber baby boomers, and in Canada, they now represent the majority in the workplace.

The media and politicians, must adapt to this new reality or step aside.  Of course Trudeau won the “elbowgate” debate.  He was having “a dad moment”.  Young parents could relate.  But modern feminists could not relate to the aftermath.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau came along at the right time, as we baby boomers were coming of age.  We were also anti-establishment and viewed his antics through a different lens than the media and his political opponents.  The same is happening today with his son.

At the Conservative convention they have now embraced the baby boomer generation, even quoting PET’s famous remarks about staying out of the bedrooms, but it’s half a century too late.  We’ve moved on.  

Our children and grandchildren did not grow up with the aproned women chained to the kitchen.  They grew up with us.  

Now it’s time for the media and members of the opposition parties to just grow up. . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: What Our Media Doesn’t Understand About Feminism Makes Rona Ambrose Look Enlightened

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Paranoid election signs attack Liberals, NDP and Mainstream Media

Canadians are faced with two stark options in this federal election, according to new election signs spotted north of Edmonton in the federal riding of Parkland-Sturgeon River. Either we can a) help destroy Canada and Alberta by voting for the Liberals and New Democratic Party on October 19 or b) destroy the Mainstream Media.The presence . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Paranoid election signs attack Liberals, NDP and Mainstream Media

Michal Rozworski: The media love the TPP, but should you?

My piece on the mainstream media’s trade deal boosterism was published at Ricochet yesterday.

Canada’s media have heaped fawning praise on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest free trade and investment deal in years. Rather than raising questions and red flags over a secret deal with mixed impacts, our media has been cheering and patting elites . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: The media love the TPP, but should you?

A Different Point of View....: Today’s media language a little too much like 1984’s Newspeak

Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought and concepts that pose a threat to the regime.

Canada is not Orwell’s imaginary society where peoples’ every thoughts and ideas are controlled . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: Today’s media language a little too much like 1984’s Newspeak

Alberta Diary: Alberta Diary is closed, but, like Gen. MacArthur, we (I) shall return…

Yeah, we’re closed, but we don’t plan to be closed for long. Below: Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Below him: Alberta Diary’s crack research staff scouring the Internets, looking for blog ideas and royalty-free illustrations to go with them. This may come as a surprise to readers, but actual Alberta Diary researchers may not appear . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta Diary is closed, but, like Gen. MacArthur, we (I) shall return…

The Disaffected Lib: Busting the Cartel

“this country should no longer tolerate a situation  where the public interest in so vital a field as information[is] dependent on the greed or goodwill of an extremely privileged group of businessmen” 

That was the seminal conclusion of the 1969 Davey Commission report into Canada’s mass media.  It was a warning about the danger . . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Busting the Cartel

drive-by planet: Ghouta sarin attack whodunnit: Seymour Hersh ‘old media’ methods criticized by Brown Moses

In a recent article Whose Sarin? Pullitzer-prize winning investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, makes the case that the Obama administration misled Americans about the August 21 sarin attack outside Damascus. Hersh also raises questions about who might have been behind the attack.

We know the neurotoxin sarin was used to devastating effect in the Ghouta . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Ghouta sarin attack whodunnit: Seymour Hersh ‘old media’ methods criticized by Brown Moses

RedBedHead: On Pythons & Media Generated Paranoia

My partner and I have been talking much about the horribly tragic death of two boys in New Brunswick a couple of days ago. KP is snake-o-phobic and this just confirmed her worst fears, especially with a reptile shop around the corner that sells large s… . . . → Read More: RedBedHead: On Pythons & Media Generated Paranoia

RedBedHead: On Pythons & Media Generated Paranoia

My partner and I have been talking much about the horribly tragic death of two boys in New Brunswick a couple of days ago. KP is snake-o-phobic and this just confirmed her worst fears, especially with a reptile shop around the corner that sells large snakes.

For me, while it horrified me as a father . . . → Read More: RedBedHead: On Pythons & Media Generated Paranoia

The Ranting Canadian: Thank gawd, finally a new cult leader was appointed in Italy by…

Thank gawd, finally a new cult leader was appointed in Italy by an elite cabal during a secret backroom ritual. This one is from Argentina. I guess that country deserves it, considering they just lost the recent vote on the status of the Falkland Islands.

Yay, does this mean the end of the Olympic-style . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Thank gawd, finally a new cult leader was appointed in Italy by…

calgaryliberal.com: Calgary-Centre By-Election: Forum Poll has Tory at 48%, Harvey Locke (L) at 28%, Greens and NDP at 8%-11%

Forum Research released a poll of the Calgary-Centre byelection to gauge the support of each candidate in the riding. Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt sits at almost half of the support of the riding, with Harvey Locke some 20 points behind her at 28%. Since the previous poll (in August) the Harvey Locke team has increased . . . → Read More: calgaryliberal.com: Calgary-Centre By-Election: Forum Poll has Tory at 48%, Harvey Locke (L) at 28%, Greens and NDP at 8%-11%

Canadian Progressive World: Canada lost 30 400 jobs in July & apologists blame the global economy

This is the kind of news Stephen Harper and the Conservatives would wish you didn’t hear. That’s because it debunks the self-made myth that they’re competent economic managers. They want us to believe that Canada survived the recent global recession better than most countries because of them. And, they’re rapidly anti-evidence. Anti-statistics.

Well, out is . . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: Canada lost 30 400 jobs in July & apologists blame the global economy

Politics and its Discontents: Another Reason To Be Cynical About The MSM

The implications of this are truly and deeply frightening. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Another Failure of the Press

I had an experience yesterday that served only to deepen my cynicism about the mainstream press (The Toronto Star being the sole exception). I called The Hamilton Spectator’s Stephanie Crozier to suggest that her story about Saturday’s protest at the constituency office of my Conservative M.P., David Sweet, had overlooked an important element, . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Another Failure of the Press

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: China Must be Called to Task Over Human Rights Violations

Stephen Harper is visiting China for trade talks, and many believe that as the heads of the two countries meet, human rights issues must be addressed.

Warning:  These stories may be disturbing.

 – A vocal opponent of the government and an advocate for human rights, is routinely questioned.  They also target his associates and friends warning . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: China Must be Called to Task Over Human Rights Violations

A Different Point of View....: ‘Dinner for two’ for first journalist who dares to explain Conservative ideology

Journalists in the mainstream Canadian media are being intimidated from fully describing the soulless ideology practised by the Harper Conservative government – at least this has been my impression for some time now. 

Wanting to find out what journalists are really writing about the Tories and neoliberalism, I spent some time this week searching the . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: ‘Dinner for two’ for first journalist who dares to explain Conservative ideology

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Should the Canadian Media Make New Year’s Resolutions?

I watched Chris Matthew’s Hardball yesterday, where the media panel was asked about their New Year’s resolutions, speaking of them as a whole.

Most gave the obvious.  Invest in hard journalism, ask the tough questions, cover politics seriously and don’t get distracted by shiny objects.  All important goals, but aren’t they what journalism is . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: Should the Canadian Media Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Excited Delirium: Canadian Press Sucks Up to Harper as ’2011 Story of Year’

Quelle surprise: mainstream media excited about Harper’s majority win and declare it to be ‘story of the year’.

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The Problem With the Media May Not be Lack of Balance

In her book The Right is Wrong, Arianna Huffington devotes a chapter to the media’s search for truth, or abandonment of it, depending on how you look at it.

Huffington is a former Republican who left the party when she realized that they had gone completely crazy.  If you recognize her name, it’s because . . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The Problem With the Media May Not be Lack of Balance

Progressive Proselytizing: Social Media, Part I: Information Flows

It is truly an empowering experience to live at at time with our neary effortless access to unprecedented amounts of information. More than just this, however, we are able to be multilaterally engaged with the information we receive as we can also infl… . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Social Media, Part I: Information Flows

DeSmogBlog: Mainstream Media Fail to Cover Story on True Costs of Coal

coal-wall_0.jpeg Yesterday, ​Media Matters​ reported in a story titled, "Media Ignore Study On Real Price Of Coal-Fired Power," that since the release of a ground-breaking repo… . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Mainstream Media Fail to Cover Story on True Costs of Coal

350 or bust: “Occupy Wall Street” Gathers Steam

Three weeks in, the anti-corporate, pro-democracy “Occupy Wall Street” protests show no signs of losing momentum. Quite the opposite, in fact.The Occupy Wall Street website states: We will be in a thousand cities in this country by the en… . . . → Read More: 350 or bust: “Occupy Wall Street” Gathers Steam

Excited Delirium: #occupywallstreet grows while MSM misses the message

Why is mainstream media ignoring the #OccupyWallStreet protests? . . . → Read More: Excited Delirium: #occupywallstreet grows while MSM misses the message