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Don Newman for Prime Minister


 

Seriously.

Is it too late to draft the CBC Newsworld Politics host as leader of the coalition (or, as he would be obliged to call it, the coaaaaaaalition)? He is absolutely ruthless and relentless in his questioning of Conservative ministers, his challenging of their bogus claims, and his ability to maintain a jovial and polite demeanour while skewering them. John Baird has doubtless just fled to a darkened room in which to recover and wipe the flop sweat from his face. There, he would find Jim Prentice, still gathering his strength after last night’s confrontation with Don.

I know Don Newman. Don Newman isn’t quite a friend of mine, but he’s a fine fellow. Stephane Dion, you’re no Don Newman.


 
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Don Newman for Prime Minister

  1. I agree that Newman is great when questioning Cons, he holds their feet to the fire which is his job, it’s just unfortunate that he’s so acquiescent when he’s interviewing pols from any other party. No wonder you like him, Scott.

  2. Why put Don Newman in when we could have Prime Minister Feschuk? Seriously, your blogging saved them at least 15 seats.

    Then again I don’t know if I’d want you on top. I really liked imagining your relationship with Martin as something like that between a truculent university student played by Belushi, and the dean of the university, with Martin angrily crying out: “FESCHUUUUUK!” upon being informed of your latest antics.

  3. Don Newman’s bias (and the CBC’s?) has been so blatantly evident throughout this political crisis, he might as well drape himself in a garish Don Cherry red plaid suit and finally declare his candidacy outright!! I don’t mind his humour, but why doesn’t he come clean and peel off his veneer of neutrality.

    As a long-time CBC lover and a citizen who has voted both ways, I am frustrated how often he actually gets in the way of encouraging legitimate public discourse.

    He really has to go if the CBC is to retain credibility as legitimate national broadcaster. Bring back Henry Champ if they want a veteran journalist to handle their “Politics” portfolio.

  4. That interview with Prentice yesterday was classic.

  5. Was he wrong, Michael L?
    You can take the same advice he gave baird. Call the ombudsman.

  6. I think Don is actually quite good at being fair with his guests. The last couple of days has to have been hard on the guy–he’s no spring chicken. The odd slip isn’t a big deal. He typical broadcasts are very evenhanded (when contrasted with the Duffster and Fife Show).

  7. I haven’t been watching. I wonder if I can see that interview online somewhere. It’d be priceless.

  8. He’s always been quite friendly and cooperative with Conservative guests. Maybe even his tolerance for bs is wearing thin.

    On the other hand, NDP guests are rare and seldom get to finish a sentence.

  9. He cuts most of his guests off. I think, especially the Conservatives, in their desire to be seen but not answer questions, give the same response in very verbose language each time. If I had to deal with that every day I would start cutting them off, too.

  10. Don has asked tough questions of the coalition folk, as well, as he’s called them on a couple of dubious claims – but come on, it’s the Conservatives who are fighting for their lives, and it’s the Conservatives who are lying their asses off. You can call that partisan if you want – i have worked as a Liberal after all. But I think any reasonable non-partisan person would come to the same conclusion at the current moment.

    (That same non-partisan person would probably also reach the conclusion that Stephane Dion shouldn’t have used his Elmo Film-n-Fun video camera to tape the most important statement of his political life.)

  11. (That same non-partisan person would probably also reach the conclusion that Stephane Dion shouldn’t have used his Elmo Film-n-Fun video camera to tape the most important statement of his political life.)

    Scott, that is hilarious! Are you sure you shouldn’t be the guy to play saviour of the party/country?

  12. Are you kidding? What dimwitted fool would want to lead this country when we’re heading into the Greatest Recession Ever?

    Call me when we’re rich again.

  13. Michael L. ,

    What??? Calling Baird on his party’s lies and disinformation is bias in your book?

    It’s courageous journalism in my book. Unlike toadies like Bob Fife and Mike Duffy.

    BTW, allowing one’s personal bias to creep into journalistic endeavours is one thing, deliberately shilling like a slithering, reptilian, smarmy sycophant is quite another.

  14. I don’t think he’s biased, but he does throw softer pitches at the Liberals. He seems to be tougher on government (he was the same with Martin) and easier on the opposition.

    Its a bit dissappointing in this case as both side merit full frontal grilling.

  15. “I don’t think he’s biased, but he does throw softer pitches at the Liberals. He seems to be tougher on government (he was the same with Martin) and easier on the opposition.”

    I recall him being thought of as leaning right a few years ago. Anyhow it makes sense to be tougher on the government than the opposition – government screw-ups have a more direct effect on the people. We all know oppositions tend to stretch the truth a bit… or should.

  16. I haven’t trusted Don Newman ever since he addressed some conference this summer and claimed that Canadians should resign ourselves to selling the Americans water for them to continue their profligate, wasteful lifestyle.

    He can be tough when he needs to, but I think he’s in full dotage, frankly.

  17. I caught a political panel on Don Newman’s show for the first time earlier this week. It was the usual Tory, Lib, and NDP talking heads. Except all Don ever did was ask the Conservative guy a question, then let the Lib & NDP guy each rebut his response, then move on to the next question. He never asked a single question to either the Lib or NDP, or let the Con respond to the rebuttals. Is this how his panels always go?

  18. Micheal L. check your head, the CBC might seem more coalition friendly but that’s only by comparison to CTV. You must have missed Bob Fife on CTV last night when he suggested that Dion isn’t competent to be prime minister if he can’t deliver a video tape on time (he’s still using the not a leader speaking points). He even used the phrase “the separatists” to describe the Bloc. And who was the go to guy when the Conservatives “released” their illegal wiretap of the NDP Caucus?

    Even saying this, the problem isn’t the media, it’s the unelected manipulators in the PMO with their brown envelopes and secret briefings that are the problem. If the Conservatives want to cut back on something Canadians don’t want to pay for, they could start with their information prevention squad in the PMO.

  19. Except all Don ever did was ask the Conservative guy a question, then let the Lib & NDP guy each rebut his response, then move on to the next question. He never asked a single question to either the Lib or NDP, or let the Con respond to the rebuttals. Is this how his panels always go?

    Pretty much. Newman seems to think the government MP’s statements carry more weight and that it’s up to the opposition MP’s to rebut them. That’s not completely invalid, but with this crop of Conservatives, who are famous for shameless fabrications, this approach seems to me like a dereliction of duty for the public broadcaster. He really needs to permit challenging the Conservative lies robustly, or challenge them himself and not permit them to dominate the discussion. Of course, if he did that, he might find himself on Harper’s enemies list….

  20. Ti-Guy,

    Thanks fort he tip. But this wasn’t MP’s. It was “strategists”, or whatever Scott Reid is. And while only asking questions of the governing party could be seen as a valid journalistic choice most of the time, I think this coalition fiasco really deserves an exception.

  21. Watching Don Newman interview John Baird –proved once again that he is an arrogant individual who never understood the meaning of the word –RESPECT— when he was growing up he should have been delt with like other –HUMANS –were. His interview with John Baird went way beyond what should be allowed to occur when a responsable reporter conducts an interview I don’t care what party is being interviewed some civility should be shown . If he were working for and company in the –REAL WORLD– HE WOULD BE FIRED OR SEVERELY REPRIMANDED.

  22. so when a politician lies – as baird did a number of times in that interview – and when he shows either a contempt for or a misunderstand of the role of parliament – as baird did – don newman should… what? give him a high five for spinning a complete load of bullshit?

    sorry, that’s mike duffy’s job.

    that scene you witnessed, L.gibson, was a reporter trying to hold a public official to account and prompt him to give a straightforward answer. I’m not surprised it startled you. We don’t see it that often in this country.

  23. L Gibson. That’s rich.

    Saying the guy who called out the guy who disrespected our HEAD OF STATE disrespectful, is . . . okay, now I understand the kool-aid stuff.

    (“We will go over the Governor General’s head”–lots of people heard it and to make sure, Baird even said it twice)

  24. Does anyone have a link where I could find the Newman-Baird interview? I’d like to see it.

  25. No, but i’d be delighted to re-enact it using the magic of interpretive dance.

    This puppet of a unicorn on my right hand is baird… here, i just need to cue my iPod to REO Speedwagon…

  26. That “interview” Newman did with Baird this morning was (a) a journalistic disgrace, and (b) not an interview at all, but rather a ridiculously biased AMBUSH!

    I watched that debacle and could only shake my head in disgust at what’s supposed to be passing for journalism at the CBC. Certainly, that was anything but!

    Anybody know where I can find video of it?

  27. Monty – I think I’ll hold judgment until I see Scott’s reenactment through interpretive dance.

  28. Alex… while you’re waiting for the Scott show/dance, let me know if you happen to find a video of the interview itself, would ya? Most interested in getting it. ;-)

  29. Any reporter or journalist worth listening to –will a the very least show a degree of –CIVILITY — to those he is interviewing —-NEWMAN—– showed none . As a result he lowered the already bottomless standard being set at the CBC . i USED TO BELIEVE THAT THEY —WERE THE STANDARD.—-NO LONGER !!!!

  30. Amen!, L. Gibson… AMEN!

    (Doesn’t it make you proud to be giving this lot over a BILLION $$$ a year?)

  31. “that scene you witnessed, L.gibson, was a reporter trying to hold a public official to account and prompt him to give a straightforward answer. I’m not surprised it startled you. We don’t see it that often in this country.”

    HERE HERE!!!
    Well put and EXACTLY why I love Don Newman.

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