Meet the new boss, almost certainly indistinguishable from the old boss …


I’ve got to say that I pretty much agree with Susan Delacourt, as far as the end of the Buckler era of noncommunications at PMO: it’s hard to see how this will change much, really, other than put a fresh address atop the one-line non-response email that bounces back in reply to whatever question you might have asked.

I don’t think many of my colleagues believe that she, and she alone is responsible for the ongoing chill between the Prime Minister and the press gallery. She’s just following orders, and, as Susan says, there’s no shortage of people willing to do that in this town, especially for the highest political office in the country. The arrival of Guy Giorno — which is increasingly being heralded as a harbinger of a whole new chapter in the continuing saga of the Harper minority government, complete with a major shakeup of the seniorest of senior staffers who currently surround him. But from what I’ve heard, there’s nothing about Guy Giorno’s history at Queen’s Park that would suggest he’s eager to shake up the PM’s relationship with the press.


Meet the new boss, almost certainly indistinguishable from the old boss …

  1. New chief of staff, slightly new cabinet, new communications director — all steve needs now is some new make up and once again, we’ll have Canada’s New Government!

    Forget Canada — we won’t recognize harper by the end of summer.

    It’s the government’s latest “trick!”

  2. Everything but new policies, new attitude, and new ideas.

  3. There isn’t a DComm in the world that Harper could hire that would make most of the Canadian media report the news in the anti-Conservative, pro-Liberal way that they do.

    Agree completely with Kady on this one; whomever Harper hires will likely not have a much different relationship with the media than his/her predecessor.

  4. Sorry, the above should read:

    There isn’t a DComm in the world that Harper could hire that would change the way most of the Canadian media report the news (in the anti-Conservative, pro-Liberal way that they do).

  5. Yes that National Post, Canwest empire is certainly ringing the bells for Dion.

  6. See, that’s what always confuses me about the strategy of shutting down virtually all lines of communication between the government and the press in order to somehow combat this hypothetical bias in the media – how, exactly, does it help to go out of your way to *not* get your message – or countermessage – out there? The micromanagement extends even beyond the political players – it isn’t just ministerial officers that have to run media requests by the central office before responding, it’s also civil servants — even regarding non-contentious issues, and even when the information requested is factual and publicly available. And that’s not even getting into the even more dubious tactic of providing false or misleading information to reporters, getting caught, and then doing it *again*. Honestly, I don’t think the government is being terribly well served by the current practice, but somehow, I don’t think they’re terribly interested in what I think.

  7. “Yes that National Post, Canwest empire is certainly ringing the bells for Dion.”

    Nevermind the righwing papers, when was the last time that a reporter wrote anything remotely flattering of Dion or the Libs?

    You know…That whole the-media-persecutes-us Tory line is getting quite old.

  8. Chris B, I said “most”. Refer more specifically to CBC, CTV, Canadian Press, G&M, and Toronto Star. I consider the Post balanced; it appears to tilt right because of all of the above. The dailies of the other cities, no idea. I live in Ottawa and find the Citizen reasonably balanced when I bother to read it. I don’t read any paper that needs bikini-clad women to attract readership.

    Kady, I’ll give you an example of why I believe Buckler was justified in her approach, and why I agree with you that her replacement will be no different.

    Near the end of the 2004 election, some random Conservative candidate made an “innocent” (from a Pro-Choice perspective) quote suggesting that it might not be a bad idea for a woman considering an abortion to seek counselling before making that decision. It was a comment whose exact sentiment had been made by Paul Martin (who is also a devout Catholic I believe) only 2 days earlier. Doesn’t seem that controversial to me.

    The headlines the next day screamed about how the Conservatives were going to make counselling a REQUIREMENT to get an abortion. It was an unbelievable distortion with only one purpose in mind, which was to sabotage the Conservative campaign. Harper spent the rest of the campaign defending his “abortion stance” (which was that he would not broach the subject).

    If I were Harper’s DComm, and saw the media pull a stunt like that, you can be damn sure I’d be VERY controlling about what is said by ANYBODY with Conservative ties to the media.

  9. boudica, it’s not that the papers sing Dion’s praises. It’s the volume.

    Look at this Green Shift controversy with the company of the same name. If it had been the big, bad, evil, anti-environmental Harper walking all over a tiny, environmentally-friendly company’s brand that caused them to issue a cease and desist order…does anyone honestly believe it would have been the one day story that it’s been?

    Has even a single newspaper referenced the post that the owners of GreenShift.ca put on their website showing how the Liberals walked all over them???

  10. john g- Personally, i prefer to assume that the media is sane. Naive assumption, I know. The Green Shift ‘controversy’ wasn’t a story because it wasn’t a story. “green shift’ is in wide enough use to be considered fair game. Also, did anyone believe for a minute that enough people were really confusing a political site with a small business. I presume if the conservatives had done s, it would have elicited the same response, that response being : “so what?’

  11. Greenshift.ca was a one-day story because it was a one-day story.

    Indeed, the press exaggerates, gets facts wrong and blows things out of proportion. They do it all the time. But I sincerely don’t see an anti-Conservative bias in their reporting — there may be an anti-government bias, but not anti-Conservative.

    Recall that the media spent a *lot* of time covering the fact that Pelltier and Chretien were named in Gomery’s report. The fact that there was bias will be a two news cycle story at best. What about all of the “the Liberals are imploding/revolting” stories during the winter? Almost all of that was based on hearsay and “anonymous sources”.

    Yep, the media is unfair to the Conservatives. You bet. They’re also unfair to the Liberals, NDP and Bloc.

    They also blow current events out of proportion as well — remember the whole raft of “reasonable accomodation” stories in the Quebec press? Give me a break. It’s sensationalism.

    Bear in mind that this isn’t all media all the time… but all media outlets have sensationalized, or failed to check facts, or passed off editorial comment as news. That’s the nature of the business — when they make mistakes, everyone knows about them.

  12. “I consider the Post balanced; it appears to tilt right because of all of the above.”

    did he type this with a straight face?

  13. “Look at this Green Shift controversy with the company of the same name. If it had been the big, bad, evil, anti-environmental Harper walking all over a tiny, environmentally-friendly company’s brand that caused them to issue a cease and desist order…does anyone honestly believe it would have been the one day story that it’s been?”

    Yes because that is what happened with the Tories ran into the same problem with that money song they used w/o permission for their ad.

    Try again, john g.

  14. I’m not familiar with that story, boudica. Tried googling “conservative money song” and nothing related came up. Please refresh my memory?

  15. I agree with completely with John G. the media bias is so self evident it can not be avoided or explained away what really is starting to annoy me though is how journalists have been inserting punditry far more than they used to and no longer confined to editorial pages or come with disclaimers. Take the issue of the PM not wanting to hold press conferences regulary of late(I say good for him cosidering the nature of the questions that had been persistently presented to him earlier)… the last 10 years or so there has been a consistent decline in both the quality of reporting but a sort of cycnical accusatory approach. Rather than sticking to any facts it’s always so and so said such and such and what did you know when did you know it as if an alleged infraction of some sort has already been judged and guilt is proven by association. I think for the most part I am beginning to prefer blogs especially where there are a lot of Harper Haters as I find this phenomenae fascinating as apparently Stevie really brings out strong emotions in people and in this he reminds me a lot of Trudeau who was hated with a passion but kept getting vote in? Also like Mulroney too was also hated with a passion but kept getting voted in. I could go on but back to the point. I like journalists who when engaging in their own subjective opinions say so.

  16. Oh, thanks a lot, John G. Now I have the nonexistent – yet catchy! – “Conservative Money Song” going through my head.

    (For quicker Googling, try Conservative ad O’Jays)

    (Also, did you know that Stockwell Day had to change the theme song for his leadership campaign twice due to complaints from the rights-holders? It’s true!)

    Also, if you want to lay the blame at the story being pushed out of the headlines at someone’s feet, I would suggest PMO bears at least some responsibility, what with Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle. Oh, and Maxime Bernier’s mea non-culpa in Beauce, and now this Chretien ruling giving us all flashbacks to the geological age we spent obsessing over the sponsorship scandal. That’s the aggravating thing about news — it just keeps *happening*. (Remind me of that later this summer, when I start liveblogging the Parliamentary Cats.) (Trust me, you really don’t want to know if I’m serious or not.)

  17. Upon learning Ms. Buckler would cease
    To be in charge of the press release
    A reporter said, mystified
    “By her lack of replies,
    I thought her already deceased!”

  18. Sophie,

    “Also, did anyone believe for a minute that enough people were really confusing a political site with a small business.”


    Apparently the owners of greenshift.ca do, and they have the emails and call logs to prove it; they were getting enough to feel that they had to issue the above statement.

    They are a tiny company looking to improve the environment. They don’t need the hassle of having their brand tarnished and their political motivations called into question. I would have expected the media, as cheerleaders and champions of everything green, would have rushed to the defence of such a company.

  19. Just one minute, john g. What is your response to my money song example?

    I’m still waiting.

  20. Are conservatives (and Conservatives) not aware of how pathetic the whole ‘the mainstream liberal media are out to get us’ shtick is? Playing-the-victim is sad enough when you’re in opposition, but when you’re the government?…

  21. An even better example Boudica is last year when the Conservatives stole the name EcoTrust. They got some mud in their face, but probably not even as much as the Liberals have for Green Shift (and in the Conservative case it is a much clearer breach of trade-mark rights because EcoTrust is an invented, unique name and mark).

    And John G., are you seriously trying to say CTV and CP and, seriously, the Globe are anti-Conservative, pro-Liberal hacks????? The Globe endorsed Harper in the last election and easily 60% of its editorials are pro-Harper. The Globe hasn’t seen a Conservative press release that it decided wasn’t worthy of regurgitation as “news”. The single bit of slightly favourable coverage the Liberals have received is over the Green Shift, finally, but there is no praise in the reporting, just reporting (like the media have been desperately waiting for the Liberals to take a strong clear position on something, anything, for a long time or something… hmmmm, note to Dion: to make news you have to do something).

    The Vast Leftwing Media Conspiracy is one of the oldest canards in politics.

  22. Boudica, just found the story with Kady’s help.

    My take from reading that story is that there is no comparing the scope of these stories. The only reason the Conservative thing was a story was the irony of incorrectly using copyrighted material while announcing a bill on copyright protection. It was not used in an ad, just in the public presentation of the copyright bill. They apparently settled the issue privately and amicably. A minor transgression, again really only newsworthy because of the irony. It would be pretty tough to argue that the owner of the song’s Canadian rights suffered any signifcant damage from its illegal usage in that one instance.

    On the other hand, Green Shift (i’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to go back and manually add the “f” when typing that phrase)is arguably going to be THE ballot box question in the next election. It’s still regularly in the news today. As of this moment I count at least 8 “Green Shift” related stories and comments currently featured on National Newswatch.

    The company being infringed on is complaining of significant damage, and of being railroaded and steamrollered by the Liberals, who obviously knew what they were doing but tried to appear magnanimous about it. If they are successful in their legal challenge then the whole “Green Shift” brand may have to be junked; a embarrassment of enormous proportion for their central policy plank.

  23. Railroaded *and* steamrollered? That’s bad.

    It’s very unlikely they will be successful in their legal challenge. And it’s very likely that the majority of these people calling and asking if they support the Liberals are simply a bunch of bloggers who are trying to stir up trouble.

    The unfortunate thing is that she fell for it. It’s a lousy way to learn about the power of the internet, but, again, it’s not a story.

  24. @ MJ Patchouli

    . . .all steve needs now is some new make up and once again, we’ll have Canada’s New Government! . . .


    Do you mean like putting fresh lipstick on a pig?

    Just asking, y’know.

  25. “My take from reading that story is that there is no comparing the scope of these stories.”

    Sorry, john g. I stopped reading after that sentence.

  26. Yeah, if you put aside the Globe and Mail’s endorsement of Harper in 2006, and the presence of Mike Duffy, Bob Fife, Lorne Gunter, Neil Reynolds, Margaret Wente, Murray Campbell, Lysiane Gagnon, Terence Corcoran, Ken Whyte, Andrew Coyne, Mark Steyn, Bob Fulford, Jonathan Kay, Barbara Kay, L. Ian Macdonald, Michael Coren, Lorrie Goldstein, Ezra Levant, Jack Granatstein and Clifford Orwin, the Canadian media is one big Liberal party convention.

  27. But on to something more important — perhaps I just arrived from Mars (I’ve been accused of it), but this is the first I’d heard of this O’Jays business.

    Are there no depths to which this crowd will not sink?

    And of course, the O’Jays’ (O’Jay’s? whichever) first big hit was “Back Stabbers.”

    … coincidence? I think not!

  28. Kady:

    It is entirely possible that Harper has a form of PTSD (PRESS TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER) for having been portrayed as a baby eating dinosaur who will roll back the clock on abortion rights, etc in 2004 to scary Stephen Harper who will privatize health care, still roll back women’s rights to choose, outlaw gay marriage on planet earth or anywhere in our actual galaxy and who will, have soldiers on the streets with guns, here, in Canada, we are not making this up.

    I am not particularly fond of Stephen Harper, but the guy has been utterly savaged ever since he took over for Stockwell Day. It didn’t help that he had a bunch of guys that just fell off the turnip truck (Randy White, etc) adding to the perception that he’s going to be eliminating evolution from the school system either.

    It makes sense, therefore, that he’s so utterly focused on controlling the way he’s portrayed and frankly, I think he’s got a bit of a petty streak and score to settle with certain journalists in the press gallery. (Hello Keith Boag, where are you…?)

    So yeah, I think it’s PTSD – totally has to be.

  29. Db,

    Are you talking about the same Bob Fife who on the air called the Conservatives a bunch of “knuckle draggers”? Or is there another one?

    Boudica, you asked for my response so I put some effort into it and then tell me you don’t want to bother reading it…Ok, whatever…next time don’t ask.

  30. John G.
    That would be the smae Bob Fife who, for the last two years, somehow has been able to reveal in advance as an “exclusive” scoop, without criticism, just about every major policy announcement that the Conservatives have made.

    That one.

  31. Great thanks for clarifying.

    If Bob Fife, who calls the Conservatives “a bunch of knuckle draggers” on the CTV National newscast, is an accepted example of a Conservative-friendly journalist then I’d say the case for bias pretty much makes itself.

  32. well I suggest you take it up with Peter MacKay; his girlfriend is Bob’s boss.

  33. The perception of bias in the media is more often than not due to the projection of the reader’s bias onto the news story rather than the reporter’s…

  34. Db, please don’t forget Christie Blatchford.

  35. “I am not particularly fond of Stephen Harper, but the guy has been utterly savaged ever since he took over for Stockwell Day.”

    Grumpy, I would have to agree on this but the press gallery’s attitude changed towards Harper in the last election. I remember sitting at home bewildered by the way the gallery collectively gave him a pass.

    Fastforward to today and I would have to say that Dion has had it worse than Harper ever did. It’s almost as if it has become a job requirement for certain media commentator to routinely ridicule the man. I guess it doesn’t help when your own caucus members make a point to eagerly provide material to reporters but the coverage has been brutal nonetheless.

  36. I should clarify though, initially it was Harper’s opponents trying to define him as scary – the media simply reported that. Where Harper (and in many cases, Dion) have come under the media spotlight in a negative way would be when the media picks up on something their political enemy said about them. For example: “Stephen Harper would roll back a woman’s right to choose” – that’s what his opponents said. The media reported it, but then would expand on it by asking, “would Stephen Harper roll back a woman’s right to choose?” If you’re a reporter, who do you ask that question to? Well, usually an abortion rights activist, activists against abortion, a political scientist, maybe a lawyer or even a retired judge. So the initial allegation is made by the political enemy of a leader (Harper or Dion, you choose) and the press picks up on it, then reports on it for a few days. Assuming people are watching the news as opposed to reality television, if a negative aspect of a leader is reported on enough times, people are inclined to believe it.

    Yes, good news ain’t news and cripes, who wants to hear Kady O’Malley on Saskatchewan Morning talking about all the really cool things Stephen Harper or Stephane Dion are doing, right?

    In Harper’s case, he took a beating initially because of what his enemies said about him, but also because a lot of people who fell off the turnip truck and who liked to say controversial things in front of the cameras were a large part of his party at that time.

    Old reformers probably don’t like this incarnation of conservatism in Canada about as much as Dion fanatics don’t like to see him portrayed as a weak sister either.

  37. john g: I believe Bob Fife was referring specifically to Saskatchewan conservatives when he used the “knuckle-dragger” line. It was, in my memory, in reference to Tom Lukiwski’s A Team/B Team crap, and Fife was saying SK conservatives would not have a problem with that.

    He was right, too.

  38. I forgot Blatchford and Ivison, mainly because I wish to block their hacky existences from my consciousness. I also left out Kirk Lapointe, who is a regional figure yet still managed to be the go-to pundit for matters Green Shift, which is still a bit baffling.

    Anyways, I list off a dozen or so conservative-friendly voices who get frequent/regular exposure in the media, and the best response john g can come up with is one (potentially isolated) comment from one of the people I listed? Not exactly a robust rebuttal.

    I think people who make claims of liberal bias in the Canadian media are aware of how intellectually bankrupt that position is, but continue to do so because it’s a convenient and typically unchallenged notion. However, as I demonstrated, it doesn’t stand up to any analytical rigour. A great example popped up this week in a piece by Campbell Clark and Gloria Galloway, which reported that James Moore has “forged a reputation as a solid MP.” Maybe he has, but that statement alone without substantiation comes across more as a positive evaluation of James Moore than as pure reportage. Certainly it would be difficult to portray it as liberal bias.

    This is not to say that the Tories are not justified for taking a centralized approach to communications. If the electorate thinks a government is too closed, it has the ability to vote that government out, and there is little evidence to suggest that voters are so inclined. The Convervatives are rational actors, and they appear to believe that they benefits of tight messaging outweigh the costs of a perceived lack of openness. They are entited to make this calculation, as are politicians of all stripes. But it is a rational, self-interested decision, not a decision made based on fear that the true word of their message will be deliberately distorted by an unfriendly media. Any suggestion otherwise is blogger posturing.

  39. .
    Grumpy Voter, you say Stephen Harper has been utterly “savaged ever since he took over from Stockwell Day” …

    Well, he should have been. But he wasn’t.

    He should’ve been savaged — if, by that, you mean “called to account” for his piece of treachery with David Orchard, Peter MacKay, and the old Progressive Conservative Party.

    I don’t know how anybody could ever trust Harper to do anything he “promises” to do — even if he wrote down his promise and signed it before witnesses … as he did when agreeing never to amalgamate the Reformer-Alliance-BornAgains with the P.C.P.

    If you want proof of a compliant, adoring press (which I assume you don’t) — there it is — a press which let the guy advance to the top job in Canada without ever asking the obvious question: “Why did you do it, Steve?” The press didn’t even ask, let alone did journalists demand some sort of convincing answer.

    Oh. And Steve destroyed the Progressive part of the historic Progressive Conservative Party, too, remember? Might be nice to re-visit the PCP now and then. But no. Not that, either.

    Or (shudder) some folks might wish to hear more about Steve’s Reform, CCRAP, Alliance views, too. But no, they don’t ask that, either.

    Savaged, eh. I don’t think so.


  40. Db, the list you came up with were columnists. I will freely acknowledge that there is an even split of columnists along the Liberal/Conservative divide. I will also acknowledge that I find myself in agreement with many (I would even say most) editorials I read.

    My issue is with the reporting of news, or in many cases the burying of what SHOULD be news. It’s not just the news that is covered, it’s what is NOT covered which bothers me. The double standard.

    When Ruby Dhalla, the Liberal critic who has child care in her purview, said that she hoped children who were beaten up by police for stealing her purse “learned their lesson”, she later realized how her words would sound and issued a follow up release. The Canadian Press reported on the story, and completely sanitized it. There was no mention of Liberal critic for child care issues endorsing the beating of children, even though the video of her statements is there for all to see on YouTube. Just her cleaned up statement.

    Or when Dion stuck his foot in his mouth in an interview and suggested that Nato Forces should invade Pakistan. The Pakistan diplomats in Ottawa had to release a statement condemning his stupidity before the G&M put a tiny story about his gaffe on page 10. If Steve Taylor or Steve Janke didn’t blog about it no one would ever know it happened; yet Max Bernier gets crucified for handing out Joe Louis.

    It’s like watching a hockey game where the referee calls 20 penalties on your team and 2 or 3 on the other team.

    But anyways, I’m done ranting about this. My whole point was that I also don’t believe Buckler’s replacement will be any different than she was, and I fully understand why.

  41. The comical notion of citing Steven Taylor and Steve Janke as crusaders for media balance aside, I would suggest to you that in a modern open democracy the media focusses more on the government and less on the opposition, particularly marginal opposition figures. But hey, at least you’re in government, right?

  42. Think of it this way John G. You’re not saying you’ve done a statistical study on comparative news coverage are you? So this is not fact your reporting but something like editorial commentary.

    Put in a more political way, Is there really a difference between complaining on the one hand, that since Nixon journalists have been overly suspicious, and on the other hand that since FDR bankers have been tightfisted and controlling? Governments have to negotiate with all sorts of hostile interests so why not journalists among them? Would you think it OK for Jack Laytons new government to declare that bankers are too demanding so he won’t be cooperating with them?

  43. Db I’m not saying they are balanced; they are clearly partisan. My point is if Taylor hadn’t blogged about Dion putting his foot in his mouth I’d never have known about it.

    And Dion is no “marginal” opposition figure, he is one of only two people in this country who could be Prime Minister after the next election.

    How can he get a free pass on suggesting a NATO invasion of Pakistan (whether he meant it or not), yet Stockwell Day gets ridiculed for getting the direction of the Niagara River wrong?

  44. Mike Horn, I’ve done absolutely no statistical analysis, my comments are purely editorial and based only on my observations of how the media cover (or don’t cover) similar events that happen to individuals in the Liberal and Conservative parties.

    Not sure exactly where you are going with your banker analogy, and how it relates to media coverage.

  45. “yet Max Bernier gets crucified for handing out Joe Louis. ???

    The English news organization that was the toughest on this was the National Post, not exactly Liberal Party warm and fuzzy…

    And when I read the money, and especially the time of soldiers spent on this foolishness I thought the Post was right to focus on it.

  46. I’m comparing journalists to bankers because they are both forces any goverment must deal with. Banks like news organisations can be accused of unfair practices but on close examination it’s usually a case of them just doing thier jobs! Banks have to be cautious with thier money and so they set up a series of hoops for their clients to jump through. No client likes it but the smart ones go through with it. Journalists also have a set of hoops for thier subjects to jump through. ” can you back that up?” “Does your policy really make sense or is it just for appearances” A banker tests financial statements and a Journo tests political statements. If! If the conservatives had spurned the media during every election, they could legitimatly spurn them now. As it is, such practices raise suspicions and
    (naturally enough) offend individual reporters.

  47. “Db I’m not saying they are balanced; they are clearly partisan. My point is if Taylor hadn’t blogged about Dion putting his foot in his mouth I’d never have known about it.”

    john g, you can’t possibly be serious. I just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. Are you suggesting that Stephane Dion has benefited from positive news coverage?

  48. Db, I’m suggesting nothing more than he got a free pass on a major gaffe, and that Conservatives, both in government and in opposition, have been ridiculed for much less; particularly when the media smells blood in the water on a Conservative, coverage of every gaffe, no matter how minor, is exaggerated.

    Yet Dion, already on the ropes in the media for his poor performance as opposition leader, is given a freebie on a pretty major international gaffe. Stockwell Day, on the ropes in the media for his poor performace as opposition leader, is ridiculed for the very minor gaffe of getting the direction of the Niagara River wrong. Why???

  49. Sorry, last comment was to boudica

  50. I’d have said Stockwell Day was ridiculed for the very simple reason that he was a buffoon. Nowhere in any notions of “fair” or “objective” or [insert favourite adjective here] journalism does it say that one is obliged to take buffoons as seriously as regular people. You may not remember Dan Quayle, but the way he was treated in the media had nothing to do with the coverage accorded the (more or less) adult leadership in the White House at the time.

    Besides, Day had already pissed in his own soup by treating the media with contempt — though perhaps unintentionally. With that Ski-Doo stunt (except it wasn’t a Ski-Doo, wasn’t it), he more or less guaranteed himself mass snickers for some considerable time.

  51. The press evened out the Niagara River thing with attacking the “beer and popcorn” comment in the next election.

  52. hmmm, if there is a perceived bias by the likes of john g et al, perhaps its just a reflection of reality (ya know reality and facts do have a liberal bias) coupled with the fact that worldwide, straussian conservatism is a dying breed, and thankfully so….when Cheney said ‘the last throes’ he really should have been referencing his own political movement.

  53. (I of course meant to say Sea-Doo, but Day of course went with the non-Bombardier product, a Jet-Ski).

  54. Luckily we don’t have to rely on Kady’s opinion to determine whether a bias exists or a myth – we have people who actually study this question for a living.

    – A number of media studies, most recently by Ryerson, suggests that reporters and pundits vote Liberal over Conservative at a 4:1 ratio (some as high as 5:1). Almost every serious academic study over the last decade provides evidence of a clear bias for left-leaning parties and messaging or a negative slant to conservative messaging.

    – she herself claims there is some bias or “media narrative” whenever there is bad news for Dion and the Liberals (i.e. byelection losses)

    – When the Cadman affair first came to light – even after serious pundits questioned the plausibility of a $1 million life insurance policy to a terminally ill man – Kady was adamant that the Conservatives were caught and they should just admit that they offered am illegal bribe. Even to this day, she won’t consider the possibility that the story is bogus, rather she prefers to believe that the PM is a criminal.

    – On numerous occassions she’s referred to the Conservatives as the most dysfunctional, mean, angry government in history. Reporting that Stephane Dion isn’t running a tight ship can hardly act as balance to the nasty adjectives she reserves for Harper, the government and his PMO.

  55. From a recent Ryerson study:

    * Almost half of all Canadian television news directors, the individuals who have the most influence in determining what political news is covered on your favourite nightly newscast and how it is reported, vote Liberal.

    * A TV news director working at the tax-funded CBC is almost three times more likely to vote for the NDP in federal elections, compared to his or her counterpart in the private sector. The same news director is also four times more likely to vote Liberal rather than conservative in federal elections.

    * Just over two in 10 (21.4%) of all private sector news directors said they would vote for the Conservative Party. However, not one news director at the CBC described himself (or herself) as a conservative voter. NOT ONE.

    Nothing to see here. We have Kady’s assurances that no bias exists – what else do we need?

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