The infomercial era (II)

by Aaron Wherry

A leader of tomorrow comes forward to say she deliberately rewrote her question for the Prime Minister to more likely please him and still didn’t get to ask it.

“The whole sideshow thing, I think that insulted me the most,” Ms. Raimey told The Globe today. “I was really upset by that. I find it extremely insulting because we are Canadians, too, and these issues are important to us. If our Prime Minister thinks they are sideshows – I mean this isn’t a government of one.”




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The infomercial era (II)

  1. The CBC does this all the time at their fake town halls, where they filter and choose the questions.

    • The CBC isn't my prime minister, or accountable for the answers!

      • You get to vote out the ruling party, and hence the Prime Minister. You don't have that luxury with the CBC…yet you still have to pay for their "services".

        • What G said. A lot of people don't seem to grasp the fact that, because the CBC is a public broadcaster supported by taxpayers' money, taxpayers should have a right to expect a certain degree of accountability and responsibility on the part of that broadcaster.

          • Thus I'm way more concerned about a fake town hall put on by the CBC than one put on by Harper. I expect that from Harper, and from virtually any politician, for that matter. Politicians are in the propaganda business. But the CBC?

          • examples?

          • They have none, they're just saying: 'Look over there a shiny object! Ignore the fact that Harper is too big a coward to ever answer an unscripted question from any Canadian! The Liberals did it too! Adscam!

            It's a waste of time reading their dishonest posts.

          • They used one of their own former employees, current working in the Ignatieff OLO, as a "man on the street" without disclosing who he was to criticize federal H1N1 response.

            They used a failed Liberal candidate who heads up an organization to remove Stephen Harper as merely an "interested viewer"

            They disciplined their own reporter for improperly colluding with the Liberals to question Brian Mulroney at the Schrieber hearings. They told us the reporter colluded with 2 Liberal MPs improperly and never disclosed who the MPs were.

            They were caught deliberately juxtaposing an answer Harper gave onto a different question to make it appear that Harper did not care about the suffering of the Lebanese during the Hezbollah conflict. Despite being a clear violation of their journalistic standards no one was ever disciplined for it.

            There is an article on the CBCs website to this day that calls Stockwell Day the "tar baby" of Canadian politics at the same time that they joined in the criticism of Pierre Poilievre for using that term as a racist epithat.

            You wanted examples? There are 5 off the top of my head. Without even bringing up Frank Graves. These are just the ones we know about. All the while, never have they perpetrated such journalistic malpractice to benefit the Conservatives or hurt the Liberals, which would seem to rule out "honest mistake" as an excuse. In the only example I can think of, a Radio Canada reporter penned an open letter to Canadian troops expressing support for the mission. CBC's response? They suspended her.

            Do you really think that Astroturfing a town hall is beneath them?

          • "taxpayers should have a right to expect a certain degree of accountability and responsibility on the part of that broadcaster."

            Reaalllly, now. Accountability and responsibility, you say. Taxpayers even.

            So, 'taxpayers' should expect a certain level of both of these from their publicly mandated broadcaster, but shouldn't expect either from their elected government? While, the former is certainly true, an argument for the latter is ridonkulous.

            Open Mic vs. Fat Mike. Qualitative difference Keyword: Open.

    • Oh, good grief – what a pathetic statement. I don't know about Duceppe, but both Ignatieff and Layton do town halls and respond to whatever questions are thrown at them.

      • Iggy crossed the country for several weeks early this year, attending a dozen or more open Q&A's … this got next to no coverage.

        Harper can't blink without a friendly, hand-picked audience an assurances that he won't have to take questions.

        Curious.

        • Plus having Mike Duffy to hide behind.

      • I've seen Duceppe do a couple town hall style events and the PQ did not pre-screen, edit or plant. And that is my anecdote…

        • Nothing like the sound of a good anecdote early in the evening…;-)

    • Every single broadcaster, whether the CBC or a private broadcaster, has to filter and choose questions. They have standards that they have to adhere to.

      And comparing a political town hall to a broadcast event is like comparing apples with oranges anyway. How does the CBC's behaviour affect how the Conservatives should behave?

      More important than that: why are the Conservatives afraid to listen to actual Canadians? You know, the people who might vote for them?

  2. It's pretty bad when the Prime Minister and/or his handlers at the PMO won't even accept a self-censored question.

    • There were 80 other student's questions that were not picked either.
      But a 30 year old student, confessed nonConservative supporter, whines for the media……boohoo

  3. Harper Is Bad, no-one agrees more than me, but I also don't think much of someone rewriting their question to make it more palatable and then complaining about media management. You're either playing the game, or not. If not, then good, I approve, and complain away. But if you self-censor yourself to try to make your question/views more palatable, then I feel less sympathetic about your complaints re. media management, since you already tried to media manage yourself.

    • These "town halls", wherever they occur, and whoever puts them on, are so damn bogus anyway. Anytime I come across one of them, I watch for a couple of minutes, and then my eyeballs just start rolling, they're so cheesy and obviously not what they purport to be. If you had a REAL collection of REAL people, these town halls would look way different. For instance, if you had a town hall in Vancouver, you would have, among others, real street people. In grubby clothes. Jabbering insanely. Asking other audience members for spare change. So they could go buy crack. But you look at the audience of "typical Canadians" in one of those CBC town halls, and there's obviously been a selection process that has gone on, so that that the audience is decidedly sterilized, antiseptic and quite non-threatening. They're all polite, well-dressed, well-groomed, etc. As Holden Caulfield would say, it's phony.

      • So are you Harper apologists. Aren't you ashamed of his cowardice?

        • I don't see why you think I'm a Harper apologist. I don't even like the guy. I never supported him. I disagree with a rather significant number of his and his government's policies.

          So Holly, here's some unsolicited advice. If you want to go rip into a Harper supporter, then go find a Harper supporter to rip into. Doesn't that make sense?

          Or do you get your rocks off by imagining that people who aren't Harper supporters are Harper supporters and then criticizing them for being Harper supporters? If so, you should really get some therapy.

        • Dear Holly, the moderator picked a few questions from the 120 students.
          The women's question (at age 30, yes you are a women) didn't get picked.
          Big deal.
          Our counrty must be in pretty good shape if this is all the Liberals and their luvin media have to complain about.

      • Real street people in grubby clothes… C'mon! What would that solve? Of course there is going to be screening, but there should still be real questions. The process is phony only if the questions and answers are phony.
        This is why we need real journalists to challenge governments to provide the substance behind superficial talking points
        Since Mr Harper avoids media scrums, real journalists and voters with unscripted questions, where do we get the opportunity to see him work without a net?
        It seems we have to wait for the election debates to see him ready to "take a punch," and I don't find that holds with the spirit of accountability we've been promised.

        • I agree with you that that sort of coccooning is wrong, for all sorts of reasons. But I'm reminded of that old saying that we get the govt we deserve. I'd love it if Harper waded into random scrums and took unscripted questions and all that. But he doesn't do it partly because he's an avid, rabid student of politics and he has concluded that information control is like a supreme good. And think about it — as many have pointed out, in politics , a "gaffe" is really a synonym for an unscripted moment of raw truth. Remember what happened to Kim Campbell when she gave a totally honest — and accurate — account of Canada's unemployment situation in 1993? She was crucified. Journalists on the one hand whine about Harper being an information control freak, but on the other hand, journalists are merciless in their wolf-pack attacks on any politician who makes "gaffes". I agree that what Harper is doing is wrong, but unfortunately he's responding in a somewhat logical and understandable way to the system as it is.

  4. "this isn't a government of one" What a great quote; it should be engraved on harper's forehead and maybe his weak cabinet and MPs would start thinking for themselves.

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