Paul Wells on Press Gallery motives -

Paul Wells on Press Gallery motives

Re: Trudeau, Conservatives, paid and earned media


Using the #sawanad (“Saw an ad”) hashmark on Twitter, readers are sending in reports that they’ve been seeing the Conservative ads criticizing Justin Trudeau on several shows. Most of the reports are from morning and prime time, although that’s when most of the viewers would be watching TV too. The Conservatives seem to be concentrating (or maybe the Twitter crowd is disproportionately watching) sports broadcasts and cooking shows (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares — wait, are those the same show?). Anyway, it’s a real buy.

One Conservative acquaintance with long experience in communications points out an explanation for the ads, and their timing, that I didn’t mention in my previous post on the subject. The Conservatives may simply have wanted to level the playing field. 

One thing that’s clear to anyone who walked past a newsstand on Monday, the first full day the ads ran, was that newspaper coverage of Trudeau’s unsurprising victory in the race to lead a party that has lost seats in each of the past four elections was (a) abundant and (b) credulous. Even Le Devoir, which is not busting out with Justin fans these days, ran his beaming mug across a third of Page 1. The big English papers were even more enthusiastic.

What makes me think the Conservatives believe they can’t get a fair shake from the newspapers? The Conservatives told me so. The fundraising page of their website is full of flattering quotes from my Press Gallery colleagues about Trudeau and his predecessors. “These journalists are entitled to their opinions, and to carefully select whatever facts they think best advance their views,” the page adds. “But, since all news passes through their journalistic filter, we need your help to get our message directly to Canadians. No filter. Just the facts. Without their snark and spin.”

Gathering nuts and crumbs for my next book, I asked one of Harper’s advisors: “You’re pretty convinced the gallery is left-wing, aren’t you?” “Not left-wing,” came the answer. “Liberal.” I don’t think it’s a baseless accusation, although, of course, everyone’s motives are always complex. What reporters hate most of all is incumbents and boredom, often synonymous, and the free ride Harper got in 2006 against Paul Martin was something to behold.

There are, of course, plenty of examples of pundits flattering non-Liberal leaders. In 2008 I wrote about the campaigning Stephen Harper: “There is something novel and, if you must know, charming about the Conservative leader’s sudden ebullience. In a spanking-new barn in Saskatchewan the other evening I started to wonder whether he had been inhabited by the ghost of Peter Gzowski… In the early days of this campaign he has been on his game in a way that is simply impressive to watch.” In 2000 Lawrence Martin, now cited on the Conservative money-button page, compared Stockwell Day favourably to Kennedy and Reagan.

But I’ll tell you who absolutely believes the Conservatives have to pay to see their view of Trudeau reflected before Canadians: the Conservatives do. Walking past a newsstand on Monday, they probably felt it was money well spent.


Paul Wells on Press Gallery motives

  1. In most Canadian cities (not Toronto), you can go to the downtown corners and look at the news stands. You will most likely find: National Post (far right); Globe & Mail (editorial board/commentary – right); and the local Sun Media press (far, far right). Now, think of this: in 2006 and 2011, more than 90% of media endorsed the Conservatives. Not even the most totalitarian press have that kind of numbers.

    This is the media Wells is sympathizing as being ‘liberal?’ The facts just don’t support the brainwashing of Harper’s communications army’s whine. It’s all just silly. I always Wells was smarter than this column.

    • G&M editorial board/commentary – right??

      • Haha I know, priceless!

        • When I disagree with someone, I go and look up the facts.

          The following link is the history of editorial board endorsements of the G&M dating back to 1926;

          # times Conservative Party endorsed: 16 (including 2006, 2008, 2011)
          # times Liberal Party endorsed: 8
          # times no endorsement: 2 (1926 and 1940)
          Still think it’s left-leaning Claudia? Francien? Evidence would be nice.

          • The problem with CPCers and facts is that by the time you debunk one they’ve invented six more.

          • Lol

          • Oh puh-lease! As per usual only non-sense.

          • Nonsense? Claudia, I don’t see you rebutting what I had to say.

            For the moment, it would seem you’re the nonsensical one.

          • Can you cite those stats?

          • It’s the only sensible thing to do, to endorse the CPC if all other alternatives are useless. That does not mean that the general opinion makings at the G&M are not left leaning. They are certainly not right leaning, generally speaking.

          • Merely saying that the G&M is left-leaning does not make it so, Francien. You have to prove it. Otherwise, you’re full of it.

            My proof? Let’s take a sample of recent G&M editorials.


            I count 10 editorials under ‘Latest editorials’. Numbers 1, 5, 6, 7, and 9 are either non-political or not to do with Canadian politics.

            #2 criticizes Ed Fast for not pursuing free trade vigorously enough. Right-leaning.
            #3 discusses Justin Trudeau. A read of the editorial suggests they haven’t yet formed a positive or negative opinion of him. Neutral.
            #4 praises a ruling stating the teachers union overstepped their bounds advising teachers. Right-leaning.
            #8 praises Alison Redford. Right-leaning.
            #10 criticizes the streamlined process for pipeline approvals. Call it left-leaning, though replace ‘oil pipeline’ with ‘wind turbine’ and this is an issue near and dear to the Ontario PCs.

            The tally?
            3 right-leaning
            1 left-leaning
            1 neutral

            Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your right-leaning Globe & Mail

            Francien – you are full of it.

          • Facts and reality have a liberal bias.

        • Endorsed Harper. Endorsed Bush. Loved the Iraq war. Right-winger Wente a proven plagiarist.- not fired. Publishes right-wing Tom Flanagan, associated with child pornography. Just keep whining about ‘liberal media.’ Please.

    • But isn’t there an obvious distinction to be made between individual journalists and ownership?

      I don’t even think the corporate tycoons can simply all collectively be put in a little box labelled “bad people” ; although i have no doubt the strictures of business are always on their collective minds. Perhaps i shouldn’t say, i don’t know any media tycoons. But i have an aversion to simplistic conspiracy theories.
      Certainly there’s unlikely to be a star chamber out there plotting to warp every Canadian’s mind toward the right, any more than there is a liberal conspiracy.
      In any case, even it were true, it’s as like as not there’s more than a few so called liberals in there busy putting their wallet ahead of their principles, as there are a room full of lord Black clones pulling the editorial strings.

      • No, I was talking about the slant of the writers. Sun is almost 100% National Post is 80%. That’s what Canadians have for choice?

        • Despite that[ the editorial slant] there are some good reporters at the post, and here at macleans. I think integrity and quality has a bearing, we just have to root for it.

  2. Like any system being changed by observation, as #sawanad becomes more popular, I wonder if Conservatives will place false reports on it to make ads seem even more widespread then they are. Given their cavailier approach to high conduct in communications strategy, they might not be above such things.

  3. Mr. Wells, since your Conservative friend gave an oral answer, did he specify large-L Liberal and did not perhaps simply mean “liberal”? I do think that there’s something to the notion that a professional class that is mostly educated, working-age, middle class and urbane is not going to go overboard for a party whose base appeals to none of these things. (of course, more and more Canada IS working age, educated and middle class so it still reflects a majority and therefore normalized view).

    • In the broader conversation, I took the capital L to be pretty clear.

      • Thank you for your prompt response.

        • I once went through the all the print journalists in Canadian dailies and concluded a substantive majority were right of centre. (The Sun empire really tilts the field) Indeed there are growing number lamenting that the Harper government is far too centralist for their liking.

          That said, if one uses impact and circulation numbers to weight the number it is perhaps more on the progressive side.

          • I am not sure there are enough uber right Canadians to keep the Sun’s circulation numbers up in terms of political stories. Canada is NOT the US and the Conservative Party is not the Republican Party. The relatively small uber right in Canada tends to wish they lived in the US with their gun laws and private healthcare. The rest of us in the Conservative party…the social liberals but fiscal conservatives, are grateful to be in Canada.

          • Actually there are still plenty of social liberals/fiscal cons still within the LPC.
            And the one who crossed over to the CPC will be seriously considering crossing back over by ’15.

          • “social liberals but fiscal conservatives” – that describes me. It definitely does not describe the CPC.

          • You see Keith,we each perceive ourselves differently. There isn’t just one kind of social liberal/fiscal conservative. Rather it runs on a continuum. You might be on one side of the continuum and me on the other. You might be in favor of programs that offer $7.00 per day daycare for everyone, free university and free passports for everyone. I don’t support those programs but I so support other things like better social support programs for people with low cognition due to FAS and other issues; subsidized public transportation for low income people; prescription programs, free healthcare with no premiums for everybody.

          • Where did you find all of that common sense? Spread it around I’d say. The more the merrier!

          • That’s probably true esp. accounting for the Sun. But often they are endorsing the kind of conservativism an urbane educated type feels more comfortable with.

          • You can see the 2011 circulation numbers on Wiki. I was surprised that the Star was at #1, considering that they don’t have national circulation. But they aren’t ahead of the G&M and NP by very much (something like 980,000 vs 950,000 for the Star and the G&M). This doesn’t take into account ownership, where I’m sure the various Suns add up, and the Metro isn’t mentioned at all (being 2011).

  4. So, about the exhaustive use of taxpayer $$$$ funding all of those ‘action plan’ ads.

    • And maybe it’s just me, but the four opening notes of Oh Canada they use to close those ads goes beyond merely cheesy to being a downright insult to our anthem.

  5. . “These journalists
    are entitled to their opinions, and to carefully select whatever facts
    they think best advance their views,” the page adds. “But, since all
    news passes through their journalistic filter, we need your help to get
    our message directly to Canadians. No filter. Just the facts. Without
    their snark and spin.”

    As i think both messrs Selley and Kay have already pointed out, there’s a universe of irony in them there words.

    Of course journos are going to be biased or subjective in their coverage at times – they’re only human like the rest of us.[ i think?]
    I’ve always thought the concept of a completely objective press [or academia for that matter] to be slightly ridiculous. The more professional, disciplined, experienced and probably talented you are the better – but slaves to an absolute objective truth – spare me. They wouldn’t be remotely interesting if they were. It’s a bit like the idea of heaven being a place where you sit around and listen to harps and sing obsequious praises to a guy who looks like a montage of colonel Saunders and Santy claus – the sheer tedium alone is enough to make the universe collapse in a bored whimper.

    But this does tell us something about the Conservatives – how utterly humourless, hidebound to ideology and conventional thinking they are – utterly lacking in imagination…in a word booorrrring! Most of them would be scandalized at the idea of a heaven without harps.

    • Shouldn’t ‘harps’ be Harps?

      • Lol, no that’s the other place….

  6. “But, since all news passes through their journalistic filter, we need your help to get our message directly to Canadians. No filter. Just the facts. Without their snark and spin.”

    That’s right. Instead, you should get the Conservative Party’s message to Canadian with Conservative spin and snark.

    I mean, really – their Trudeau ad so butchers a quote as to completely change its meaning, but on their Trudeau website they complain about spin and snark. I guess the “base” requires care and feeding.

    • And spoon feeding.

      • bottle feeding actually

  7. “I asked one of Harper’s advisors: “You’re pretty convinced the gallery
    is left-wing, aren’t you?” “Not left-wing,” came the answer. “Liberal.” I
    don’t think it’s a baseless accusation, although of course everyone’s
    motives are always.”

    I have to ask. Ive read it three times now…always what?

    That sounds about right. If Trudeau [ or Mulcair for that matter] turf Harper in ’15, it wont be because the media hates him or is too Liberal; it will be because Harper has finally bored even them.

  8. “…since all news passes through their journalistic filter, we need your help to get our message directly to Canadians. No filter. Just the facts.”

    Yes, the facts… as brought to you by the unbiased Conservative Party of Canada…?

  9. The pitching for the LPC and Trudeau must be seen in much more subtle terms than Wells is referring to.

    It is not just the front page of a newspaper what gets attention; it’s the manner in which the picture is being presented.

    My biggest beef is with the CBC and the skewed presentation of national leaders. When looking back on the presentation by CBC on the early Harper days, the CBC mainly touted the ‘secretive agenda’ line.
    The CBC has always had a difficult time being relaxed when presenting Harper or when talking about him or his policies.

    As a most recent example, one only has to consider Peter Mansbridge’s demeanor when he interviews Justin (The National April 16). Watch how Peter’s style is very relaxed and cozy towards Justin – Peter even smiles and makes small talk to ease the tension before going into the fuller interview. Peter presents Justin with some nostalgic video of PET to show him in a good light before the interview with Justin continues. During the interview, Peter mentions three times ‘Justin, if you were PM today, what would you say about the Boston incident?’ thereby placing Justin in a different frame for the viewer, as if Justin already has won to be PM.

    Now compare that to any interview done between Peter Mansbrigde and Mr.Harper. Find me one still frame in which Peter smiles or is cozying up to Harper when interviewing him.

    My bet is that you won’t find such a chummy still frame.

    I believe that Peter Mansbridge is well aware of what he is doing during those interviews. But of course, the intent cannot be proven by anyone. Only when taking a good look at what is going on, will the subtle message become overly apparent.

    What insults me most, is that the CBC and Peter Mansbridge’s are being paid for by all Canadians. And therefore the CBC should be extra careful not to distort the picture of doing politics in this country.

    • “Now compare that to any interview done between Peter Mansbrigde and
      Mr.Harper. Find me one still frame in which Peter smiles or is cozying
      up to Harper when interviewing him.”

      Er…maybe Mansbridge doesn’t like Harper as much, or he simply likes the young guy more…it isn’t rocket science. The Harper interviews were professionally done.

      On the positive side they didn’t insist Harper wear a little beany with horns or a wind mill on before the cameras rolled. And they didn’t quote him out of context, or lift footage out of a charity event without acknowledging it. Grow up. You’re asking people to put side all their biases and or instinctive likes/dislikes, be less than human…it isn’t realistic for one thing.

      I’d like to believe you’re objective, but i’m sure you aren’t. It’s unlikely i’ll find complaints of this nature on Ezra’s site, will i? I know, he isn’t subsidized by the tp – not yet anyway.

      • I recall mansbridge almost literally saying he would give Mr. harper a pass on his then-recent comments about judges and civil servants being anti-conservative.

        • If any thing Mansbridge is too soft on everyone. Harper will never give an interview with someone like Anne Marie Tremonti for instance. Someone who’s tenacious and persistent in their questioning.

          • If any thing Mansbridge is too soft on everyone.

            I’ll certainly buy that.

          • The style of interview Mansbridge is doing is not an attack style: he’s asking questions, one on one, face to face, to let the public get to know these people: their ideas, vision, personalities. Harper is an aloof guy; Trudeau is gregarious: of course their interviews come off differently, and it’s not because of Mansbridge; it’s because they’re really different guys.

          • What I am saying is that the tone has been set when Mansbridge creates those tones. Why do you and others regard Harper as aloof? Because others have set that tone for you? Yes, is what I think.

          • Why do you think he’s not? Every indication we’ve had, from him shaking his son’s hand, to ignoring a CPC acolyte collapsing on stage behind him, to his performance in Parliament or at the Olympics and his performance at election debates where he completely ignored the other people there.. hell, even at his own ascension to the leadership of the CPC, we barely see the guy crack a smile.

            There’s a reason, after all, why his piano performance was so widely remarked on.. because doing something that *isn’t* aloof is so out of character.

            I put it to you that perhaps the media isn’t the brainwashing device you think it is, and sometimes things really are just that bad.

          • Sometimes people are quite shy and they are seen as standoffish. I have a friend who is very shy. She is a school teacher and she does well in front of a classroom (her home turf) but she finds herself very uncomfortable with a group of strangers and she isn’t at all comfortable with displays of affection in public. I am not making an excuse, just suggesting a possibility. Schmoozing does not always come easy to introverts.

          • Not allowing questions during the hustings
            Keeping the media away from events.
            Vetting those who want to attend his events just to ensure that no contrary opinions are heard.
            Setting up tame interviews with poodle interviewers.
            Security checking children on halloween
            Refusing to answer questions in Question Period.

            Oh I don’t no why anyone would consider him aloof Francien. He doesn’t engage even when he gets the opportunity to, that might have something to do with it.

          • You just want to go up and hug him, fer sure.

          • He’s a stiff, but his strong point is supposed to be steady, competent governing. Don’t tell me he’s going to start trying to be the fun guy again – I haven’t gotten over him covering a Neil Diamond song.

          • I think it was the Beatles…I’ll get by with a little help from my friends”.
            A politician is obviously a person first and as a person they have characteristics and attributes. Justin tends to be vivacious and outgoing. He is charismatic and inclusive of others. His PR people (I assure you he has them) will play up the positive aspects of those natural attributes. Stephen is not charismatic. He is reserved and perhaps aloof. He is a nerd of sorts and obviously is not comfortable with public displays of attention (hence shaking hands with son – but maybe his son wasn’t comfortable with a hug in the school yard in front of the press either). Stephens PR people are going to play up his natural attributes, like his seriousness, his devotion to work, his steadfastness.

          • Franster, I don’t give a rat’s derrifuckiniere what you think about what I think because you don’t ever read what others write; you’re like some anti-social machine that just attacks anyone with a different viewpoint. You ask questions of people but prefer to answer them yourself. Aloof is not an insult; it’s just a characteristic. Harper wants people to see him as a lone wolf — remember the TV ads? That’s not the media’s fault, or Peter Mansbridge’s fault, or even mine. Trudeau is outgoing and naturally friendly: that’s not a compliment, it’s a characteristic. Now blather off.

          • It bothers you that I keep commenting, doesn’t it! Don’t stress so much over my postings; just ignore them. That’d be better for your stress levels. If you don’t have the intelligence to participate in a debate amongst adults, then just go sit on the sidelines yourself, or go play with your buddies. You can ignore me if you so wish. No one, and I mean no one is telling you to read or consider my posts.

          • Fair enough and deal: I will ignore you and you will stop answering my posts. Because that’s kind of hard to ignore. Have a good life. You are dead to me.

          • I don’t do them kind of deals; deals in which one party tells another party what to do. You are free to follow my posts or respond to them. It is not up to you to tell me whether I should, can or should not or cannot respond to your postings.

            Adult participants understand that much.

      • So you do catch the fallacy of your argument at the last moment.

        You are correct: The Sun network is not being subsidized by Canadians.

        But the CBC is subsidized to a tune of $1.2 billion @ year!

        Erza can be as by partisan as he wants to be, same for Wherry or others not being paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.

        But Peter Mansbridge should know better. In fact, I think that he does know better but acts against his better judgement. Shame on him!

        • The fallacy of my…not one word i wrote about expecting people to more than human got through to your tiny little partisan brain, did it? This stuff is just like a dog whistle to you apparently.
          At no point did i say Mansbridge was being partisan…just human. You can’t make people like you. Harper got the minimum professional treatment – that’s all he was entitled to.

    • It might have something to do with the fact that Justin Trudeau is a charming, likeable person, and Harper is, well, not. I don’t mean that as a reflection of their policies or eligibility for leadership of this nation, simply as a fact about their personalities. Harper is not a particularly open, extroverted person, and especially being interviewed as Prime Minister, the tone is necessarily going to be more serious.

      • That is interesting because I have two nursing colleagues who both vote Liberal. They met Stephen Harper in person and although they expected to really dislike the man and share NO similar political leanings, they actually found him to be a “charming, likeable person”. They did say he say quiet but he was friendly and sincere. They were very shocked. I would be interested to hear Paul’s description of his encounters with Mr. Harper one on one.

        • So what! It is his deeds, what he does, that many Canadians don’t like.

          • Did you even read ABarlow’s comment that I was replying to? That is the “so what?”
            He said Peter Mansbridge might “like Justin because Justin is likeable”, etc. I pointed out that two of my colleagues said Stephen is a likeable person and they went in with really negative feelings toward him. Next time before you chastise me, please read the thread.

          • I did. So what, he doesn’t personally eat kittens, he’s a good dad.
            He’s a bad,intentionally divisive and thoroughly dishonest PM, IMO and a lot of others.

          • I am just saying that perhaps Peter Mansbridge DOES like him as a person. I know you are relatively new to Canada but Justin’s father Pierre, was not considered to be well-liked by a lot of people. He tended to be very arrogant and he and Rene Leveque were best friends when they were young. Later years, they found bitterly over Quebec separation. Some Canadians feel that he was a fantastic leader, others feel he was despot. Things are not always so clear cut. Despite what many might think, there are always advisers whispering in the ears of the politicians and running things from behind the scenes. To you Mr. Harper may be “bad, intentionally divisive, etc.” but to others he is a good leader.
            I am asking Paul, is he a likeable man when you meet him person? We hear all about Justin charisma and we were told over and over again about Pierre’s. Is Stephen likeable?

          • I’m not sure how relevant the late Trudeau is to the present situation, honestly. By the time the next election rolls around, he will have been out of power for over 30 years. The youngest person who could have voted for him will be in their mid 50s, and, especially accounting for immigration, a significant majority of Canadians will have never been under a Trudeau government. The political, social, and economic landscape of the country is very different from the Trudeau years.

          • The Conservatives seem to be popular among senior citizens who ALWAYS get out to vote. That is where Justin’s relationship to his father will be positive and negative. Those Canadian seniors who liked his dad will likely look kindly on him. Those who hated Pierre will probably paint Justin with the same brush.
            The big thing the Liberals and Justin will need to do is get the youth out voting. That is how Obama accomplished his win.

          • Been here since 77 – is that relatively new? I’m well aware of PET’s political record and legacy thanks.

            My point remains. Harper apparently actively chooses not to be charismatic. But the really important thing is what he actually does. The same will be true of JT, charisma or no charisma.

          • As a fourth generation Canadian, I would say you are relatively new. However, you certainly are confident that you know everything about the entire country.
            As for your assertion that charisma is something you choose to have or not. That is ridiculous. Leaders are either charismatic or they aren’t. Bill Clinton is very charismatic, Obama not so much although he is a nice man.
            How you present to people is often just as important as what you do. JFK is remembered as a great US president yet he accomplished very little and he almost got the US involved in a war during the Cuban missile crisis. John Defenbaker was an accomplished Canadian prime minister but he was not physically attractive. Defenbaker was never fondly remembered. The same for Joe Clark. He was actually a very good prime minister during his very short time in office but they ousted him. They thought he was weak because he wasn’t physically imposing or attractive and his was a strong person who kept her own name. This political game has everything to do with appearance. Peter Lougheed was very very short in stature but he was fantastic on television. Pierre Trudeau was much better with an audience in person because he did not do as well with the cameras. His personal charisma didn’t shine through. The camera loved JFK and hated Nixon.

          • Wow – I’m only third generation Canadian so I will bow to your knowledge of the history of Canada. I will have to alert my daughter that because she is fourth generation so she can consider herself an expert. Mind you, her father is English – does that diminish her, in your opinion?

          • Yup she’s out…she’s really only a 2nd generation…pitty. My daughters are fifth generation…..
            Seeing how your late to the party, Jan. I will explain to you that Kcm2 was telling another blogger about Canada’s involvement in WWI and stating that although he was educated in the UK, he knows more than that person ever will about Canadian history. I was just dishing him back a little of his own pretension.

          • You don’t even lie well.

          • Do me a favour. Don’t assume i need a lecture after calling me a know all..yessh. So, thanks for the pompous lecture…and you have the nerve to call me a pretentious prig.

            Should i submit a sample of my DNA and bloodlines before daring to live in your Canada?
            Shall we compare reading lists? If my tops yours would that give me the right to know something about “your” country -have my own opinions?

            For your info i’ve traveled all over and lived in a fair part of this country,east and west and north[ bar NL and the arctic] And i live above 60 right now. I need no permission from one who frequently sounds like they haven’t ventured outside of AB.

            I didn’t assert charisma is a matter of choice. I’m merely repeating something Well’s says from time to time – that Harper “chooses” to be low key – uncharismatic – intentionally it seems. Perhaps it is your comprehension that is lacking here?

          • Haven’t lived in NL yet, huh? Saving the best for last? :-)

          • I went by on a Polish liner as i came in – does that count?

            Hope to correct that someday. It’s a part of the country that seems particularly authentic and real. :)

          • Re “fourth generation Canadian” – I’ve met many multi-generational Canadians who couldn’t answer the questions on the citizenship test to save their lives. How long you’ve been here is not necessarily an indicator of how much you know about Canada. I’ve met people born in Ontario who didn’t know Newfoundland is an island.

          • It is?

          • LOL!

          • Wow – you think Harper should engage in a likeability contest with Trudeau?

          • No, not at all. I have a sinking feeling that the blue pullover sweaters were an attempt to become more “likeable”. If you don’t have charisma, you cannot fake it.

          • Divisive as in how? As in telling Canadians that Quebec values are better than Alberta values? That sort of divisiveness?

          • No, his record of divisiveness and partisanship is common knowledge. Whether it be about making changes to environmental laws without adequate scrutiny, lying about how our Parliamentary system works; or muzzling his critics; or demonizing environmental opponents. That’s before we get into character assassination of political opponents via lying ,scurrilous attack ads….need i go on?

          • So telling Canadians that Quebec values are better than Alberta values is a good thing for this country. I’m trying to get your point. But that’s so difficult when you don’t have one.

          • That’s cuz you’re an idiot.

            You’re basing your opinion on one media interview in QC. One that some say was just political positioning on his part. At least i hope you are. If you are taking that attack ad at face value, you really are an idiot.

            I’m not saying i agree with it if it was just politicking, but then i’m not a politician am i.

          • So now I am an idiot according to you, because I’m questioning Justin’s opinions on the values of Canadians. Interesting person you are.

          • Think about it long enough, why don’t you…here’s a clue, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with questioning JT.

          • Hey, call me the village idiot if you will, and find out if I care.

          • lol i believe you. I withdraw it. Lets say foolish at times.

  10. They’re seriously whining about not getting a fair treatment from
    newspapers? Really?,_2011

    But oh yes they need your money to get past the “Spin”

    Translation – the newspapers print silly things like facts and they need your
    money to spread their BS because if Canadians knew the truth, they will never
    be re-elected.

  11. “But, since all news passes through their journalistic filter, we need
    your help to get our message directly to Canadians. No filter. Just the
    facts. Without their snark and spin.”

    I get it…That’s satire, right!

  12. Time for a list! The top 25 newspapers in Canada by circulation, and how they leaned last election:

    Toronto Star: NDP
    The Globe and Mail: Conservative
    Le Journal de Montreal: Conservative
    La Presse: Endorsed all three federal parties, based on individual candidates
    Vancouver Sun: Conservative
    Toronto Sun: Conservative
    The Province: Conservative
    Calgary Herald: Conservative
    Winnepeg Free Press: Conservative
    Ottawa Citizen: Conservative (actually endorsed a Con majority while endorsing a few non-Cons in individual ridings).
    The Gazette: Conservative
    The Chronicle-Herald: Liberal (?) I’m actually not sure, as I don’t really read the local rag too often. :)
    Edmonton Journal: Conservative
    Le Journal de Quebec: Conservative (?), I’m assuming, given that Quebecor owns it.
    Le Soleil: Expressedly did not endorse a single party (took a “vote for the best candidate” stand).
    Hamilton Spectator: Conservative
    The Times-Colonist: Explicitly endorsed no party in 2008. Not sure about 2011.
    London Free Press: I don’t know
    Windsor Star: Conservative
    The Record: Conservative
    Edmonton Sun: Conservative
    The StarPhoenix: I don’t know
    The Leader-Post: I don’t know
    Calgary Sun: Conservative

    So that’s 16/25 endorsing the Conservative (most cheering explicitly for a Conservative Majority). 3/25 that I couldn’t track down (because I’m lazy). 4/25 that either explicitly didn’t endorse a result or took a balanced view based on individual candidates (5/25 if you count the Citizen’s mixed bag). 1 that I think endorsed the Liberals (based on my own fuzzy memory). 1 that endorsed the NDP.

    I should add that your own publication (Macleans) explicitly endorsed the Conservatives, with caveats, if I recall correctly.

    While I know that Conservatives love to think that they are all victims of a vast left-wing media conspiracy, their paranoia simply doesn’t hold up against scrutiny. A large majority of the largest circulation print media outlets in this country are decidedly pro-Conservative, or at least they were in 2011. That may change in 2015 as more and more Conservative sacred cows are tipped by the Harper Government, but I doubt it.

    • It’s not about every newspaper journalist, or the media in general: it’s about the Parliament Hill press gallery. That’s how the Tories see it, anyhow.

      • I presume that the various publications choose who they have working that beat, but I could be wrong. Maybe they’re all volunteers.

    • I am not sure about Macleans. Andrew Coyne announced to EVERYONE that he himself was voting Liberal and he was the editor at the time.

      • Wow! Andrew Coyne was so biased he actually voted liberal, AND told everyone; AND wrote a column saying exactly why he did – even though he thought the CPC’s economic platform was better. The man should be tarred and feathered and run out of Dodge. Scandalous i say!

        • I believe you have problems with reading comprehension. Brightguy just said Macleans “explicitly endorsed the Conservatives, with caveats” during the last election. I expressed my doubts regarding the legitimacy of his comment based on the fact that the editor Andrew Coyne announced in a blog of his intention to vote Liberal and the reason he was voting Liberal. I don’t think you can legitimately draw a conclusion that a magazine or newspaper is “right leaning’ during an election if their editor tells readers that he is voting left and he thinks it is a real good idea.
          I know you are on the hunt for partisans but I assure you, this was just a passing comment. Perhaps, kcm2, YOU are a tad too ’emotional’ today. Does that happen to you too?

          • But if you read Coyne, you would know his principle objection to the Harper government is that it is not conservative.

          • Yes I have heard him say that many times. However, I still don’t think you can accuse a magazine of leaning in a certain political direction if the editor announces in the magazine that he is voting the opposite way. Also, I have always enjoy watching Chantel Hebert, Andrew Coyne, etc with Peter Mansbridge discussing political opinions. I recall during the “coalition crisis”, Andrew Coyne suggesting that Stephen Harper “cross the floor’ and concede to the coalition. I think Andrew Coyne is pretty non-biased because he dishes it out to each pary. I don’t think Macleans leans right. In fact, some of the journalists at Macleans seem to lean left, others right. That is my take anyway. It seems funny to me that one of the most talented journalists, Chantel Hebert, works for a paper, the Toronto Sun that is seen to lean left. Chantel comes across as really objective. She is not selective in the subjects upon which she chooses to editorialize on and she is incredibly intelligent intuitive.

          • Andrew is a purist, no left not right. Calls it like it is. Like in HoC he wants everyone to follow rules and leave any gimmicks behind.

            The problem with is that we live in a different world, communications affects us in a different way, we can’t use that approach anymore IMO.

          • So what kind of world do you want us to live in? One in which you lie through your teeth about me, and i return the favour. Law of the jungle is it?
            Coyne is calling for the placing moral/ethical limits on our political behaviour – he’s absolutely right.

          • You are absolutely right. That is why I enjoy reading his editorials so much. What I find interesting is that whenever he criticizes the behavior of a party or salutes the behavior of a party, the partisans get on there and accuse him of being right leaning or left leaning regardless of the fact that he skewers and salutes everyone pretty evenly.

          • You’ve been in advertising too long Claudia. You seem to have lost all perspective of right and wrong.

          • Andrew aspires to be a purist. But life stands in the way to fulfilling that aspiration. As life would stand in the way for anyone else thinking that life can be pure.

          • Hébert works for the Star. The Sun would be aghast at the notion it was a left-leaning paper ;-)

          • thx. Typo!

          • Coyne’s decision was personal, not corporate. Not that i find macleans particularly Conservative.

      • I think he broke ranks. Wikipedia has Macleans on their list.

  13. Very accurate synopsis paul and of course you are quite right – I think what a lot of people fail to truly appreciate is the degree of the tilt to the ‘ Liberal ‘ viewpoint that has occured. Of course this is completely understandable as we add value statements to these labels. If anyone asks me are you progressive? – how can I possibly say no otherwise by logic I am ‘ Regressive ‘ and progress good ! – MacLuhan was so right the medium is the message and all too many people don’t exercise the muscle between their eyes instead opting for their particular partisan spin they suffer from because they have drank so deeply of their particular batch of kool aid! As a long time volunteeer and employee for the Liberals – I worked for Trudeau senior – I was a delegate and chaired a policy and planning committee for Chretien – to name only a few – I have seen so much that I began to realize te contradictions in my own thinking and this was very enlightening because I came to a complete turnaround as I suffered from a all to uncommon disease called common sense becoming a Conservative – who would have thought – I am a founding member of Greenpeace and handed out more Georgia Straight magazines in Vancouver than any other volunteer and worked with Patrick Watson (who also has come around and matured)… I was so young (no pun intended) – it is quite something now to behold alll the same ol delusions that I used to accuse others of come back to haunt me :) – there is nothing that tastes worse than your own shoe leather – however although it has taken me a long tiome to grow up can not but laugh at many of my so called Liberal ideas that I used to suffer from :)

  14. Sure. It’s easy to find usually left-leaning pundits that occasionally put in a good word for a Conservative, like your example of Lawrence Martin & Stockwell Day. We see that all the time.

    But on the other hand it’s also easy to find a group of pundits/reporters that will gang up on and destroy a Stockwell Day because he got the direction a river runs wrong. They’ll destroy a Sarah Palin for one bad interview (I’ve lost track of the number of people who attribute Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house!” directly to Palin). The Liberals / Democrats never have to lift a finger to do these things. It’s all gratis.

    Those same pundits will happily ignore, and in many cases go out of their way to defend, dozens of gaffes, missteps, and all around stupidity from Trudeau. Last night’s example on the National where he stumbled and bumbled incoherently through the Mansbridge interview question (somebody feels “excluded”? Really???) of how would he respond to a terror attack like Boston was cringe-inducing, and horrifying to imagine him in that role; yet none of you will find it noteworthy.

    Sarah Palin was written off as an idiot and hadn’t made even half the idiotic statements nor stepped on half the landmines that Trudeau already has in his young career. He’s exactly the same…an intellectual lightweight who is in the position he’s in only because of his name, his youth, his looks, and thus his ability to appeal to the Low-Information-Voter estrogen brigade. That’s it. Ask him a question of substance and he simply crumbles. But, he looks fabulous, and besides Stockwell Day rode a jet-ski and wore a wetsuit as a publicity stunt. Dear God, we can’t have someone like that as PM

    And that’s where the Conservatives are right; You’ll find nice things to say about Conservatives from time to time, but when it comes time to draft a narrative that a politician is stupid, incompetent, lacks the gravitas needed or would be terrifying to see hold high office…there’s the rub. Only the Stockwell Days and the Sarah Palins of the world are subject to this scrutiny, unless the Conservatives do it themselves through negative ads and cheesy attack websites. Despite all the warnings from experts that it’s backfiring.

    • Oh COME ON. Sarah Palin is a horn-honking moron. She has shown no grasp of policy, can’t reliably repeat talking points and is prone to verbal diarrhea consisting of chains of barely-coherent words. Do you really think she’s cut out for the White House, but was destroyed by the media? Seriously?

      Have some shame, you’re too smart for this.

      • Do I think she was ready for the White House? No. Do I think the media helped destroy her? I don’t see how any reasonable person could believe otherwise.

        All I’m asking is…just how much stupid does Trudeau have to demonstrate before he’s given the same treatment by our “non-partisan, unbiased” press? Because he’s clearly even less prepared than either Day or Palin were. I knew he was over his head, but I didn’t know that he’d demonstrate that while sitting in a wading pool.

        • Ready for the White House? She wasn’t ready to be governor of a rural state. Palin didn’t need any help at all – she destroyed herself. I can’t think of a less qualified or less capable candidate in US or Canadian politics in my lifetime.

          It’s ridiculous to compare her to Trudeau or Day. That idiot carried her own mavericky rope onto the national stage, wrapped it around her own mavericky neck and appropriately destroyed herself. I can’t express the contempt I feel for a political party that would elevate that person to the VP ticket on the cynical hope that they could sell her to a nation.

          As for Day and Dion, they both suffered a string of unforced errors. The press did what the press do and they both paid the price. Come down off the cross and try to take a realistic view of the world around you.

          Trudeau – less prepared than Day or Palin? Really, I think we’ve dispatched with Palin. And as soon as Trudeau reveals something socially abhorrent (homosexuals are suffering from a mental disorder), utterly wacky (the earth is 6000 years old and humans co-habited with dinosaurs) or understandably human and forgivable (the Niagara flows south like Canadian jobs), the Canadian press will pounce on Trudeau the way they pounced on Day.

          • How come the press hasn’t pounded on those LPC or NDP MP’s who voted down, in committee, to not let Warawa bring his private member’s bill to the floor of the House.

            At least Jennifer from the Canadian Press is starting to see the light, when she said today on P&P that she finds it strange that none of the NDP and LPC Mp’s have spoken out publicly on the matter of independence for MP’s of any stripe. Good question? Why has the MSM not talked about the LPC and NDP MP’s not speaking out on MP’s independence???

          • And as soon as Trudeau reveals something socially abhorrent

            …like Quebeckers are better than the rest of Canada, and all of Canada’s problems are because the filthy Albertans are running things? Because that’s pretty abhorrent.

            uttery wacky

            …like thinking we should answer terrorist attacks by going hunting for root causes and that the poor terrorists blowing us up do so because they feel “excluded”? Because that’s pretty wacky.

            or understandably human and forgivable

            …like being asked about demonstrating substance, and thinking that reciting pi (whether to 19 decibels or decimals) has anything to do with it? Like being absent from the House to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from public institutions?

            You don’t get it. He’s already met your standard and flown far past it. When does the vetting start? When does the mean-spirited ridicule like Day had to endure begin? It’s not like Feschuk or Mercer has anything else to do these days. Where’s the constant mockery, the questioning of his intelligence, and the deeply personal attacks against his family that Palin was subjected to?

          • The questioning of SD’s intelligence and personal attacks on SP came principally from partisans on the left and political enemies…some, who much like you are twisting and torquing every incident with JT that you can get your hands on. It’s just your opinion, nothing more.

          • Quebeckers are better than the rest of Canada – as you well know, Trudeau was describing his father’s philosophy. The Conservative party butchered the quote to give the impression that he was talking about himself.

            You know this, but here you are perpetuating the Conservative lie. Utterly shameless.

            I agree that his comments about Alberta were abhorrent. But you can’t deny that they got plenty of coverage, and he immediately apologized.

            The rest – you’re not even close to Palin’s thumping idiocy. But keep trying, heck, keep lying about Trudeau. You’re sure to convince somebody somewhere.

          • Trudeau was describing the values his father had passed on to him, not “his father’s philosophy”. You damn well know that he’s reiterated those sentiments more recently also.

          • Oh for the love of God. Did you even watch the Alberta quote? It was in the same interview that personally espoused his own belief (not his father’s) in the superiority of Quebec. And just in case it wasn’t clear enough, he claimed this on behalf of the entire Liberal party.

            Watch here if you don’t believe me. And quit with the lies of your own.

          • “Did you even watch the Alberta quote?”

            You mean the Alberta quote that I AGREED was abhorrent? Where’s the lie in my agreeing with you?

            But that 14-year-old clip of Trudeau talking about Quebecers’ supposed superiority was butchered to deliberately mislead the viewer. Chris Selley in that Liberal-loving rag the National Post agrees:

            Here – just a reminder of who you’re advocating for: I dare you to watch any 5 clips.

        • She destroyed herself. She was such an idiot she became an international joke.

      • Were you describing Junior Trudeau?

    • I’m assuming that you’re ignoring the case of Stephane Dion? He was butchered by the media.

      If Trudeau has got a pass on this (which I don’t particularly agree with, but that’s neither here nor there), it may have something to do with the fact that, until a few days ago, he wasn’t the leader of a national party. Sarah Palin was running to be vice president of the United States, with a higher-than-average (due to McCain’s age) chance of ending up as President. It was a pretty big deal that she had exactly zero foreign policy experience, didn’t understand how her party’s own policies on issues like healthcare, or the ongoing financial crisis. For someone who was hoping to be in high office within two months of the interview, those are pretty big deficits in experience.

      That said, the media hasn’t exactly been giving Trudeau a free pass. When was the last time you heard someone in their 40s being constantly referred to as young and inexperienced? Harper became leader of the Alliance at 43 and nobody said a peep about his youth; Trudeau becomes leader at 42 and that’s all you hear. Being a career politician with zero non-political experience is apparently not a problem to run for office (Harper), but Lord help you if you’re an academic (Dion, Ignatieff) or a teacher (Trudeau–who, incidentally, primarily taught literature and French, not drama, though you wouldn’t know it from the coverage).

      • You are very right about Stephane Dion. His own party, however, did not give him the support he needed. He had issues with speaking the English language clearly. They should have given him all kinds of support with a linguist so he was more smooth and comfortable with the language. Also, do you remember the horrible quality of that video during the “coaltion crisis” that pretty much marked the end of his leadership. There was no excuse for not having a polished, professional product. The media was not kind but the Liberal party threw him to the dogs when he was struggling and looked toward their next leader.

      • “Butchered by the media”

        And the coup de grace was gleefully delivered by a currently sitting, rotund senator.

        • Sadly Mr. Dion was low hanging fruit, much of it thanks to very limited support by his own party.

          • Which excuses absolutely nothing.

          • Oh but it does in their minds…if it works being the mantra.

          • You are a pretentious prig.

          • It may not be true of you, but plenty of other supporters of this brand of Conservatism think the end does justify the means. Maybe you should as k yourself what you are doing belonging to such an amoral party?

          • I think perhaps you should ask yourself what business it is of yours to lecture me or any other person on the morality of the political party they vote for. You have been in Canada since 1977 so you are fully aware of what ended the reign of the “natural governing party – the Liberal Party in this country. It wasn’t some suggestions of election fraud or perhaps a screw up on the purchase of planes for the military. No, it was the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars…actual stealing money. People actually went to jail for stealing money and you are asking me why I belong to an amoral party?” For someone who says they are well versed in Canadian history, you seem to be blocking out some of the past.
            Hi pot, I’m Kettle. Pleased to meet you. Furthermore, you are generalizing about 40% of the Canadians who voted in the last election. I honestly wonder if you believe we are all so amoral, why you chose to condescended to move from your own superior country to our little backwater.

          • Theft of hundreds of millions of dollars? What theft are you talking about?

          • 250 million dollars was siphoned off to friends of the federal Liberal party in Quebec under what I do believe was called “the sponsorship scandal’ or “Adscam” if you prefer.

          • From Wikipedia: “In the end the Commission concluded that $2 million was awarded in contracts without a proper bidding process, $250,000 was added to one contract price for no additional work, and $1.5 million was awarded for work that was never done, of which $1 million had to be repaid.”

            That’s what happened in the real world, or “reality” if you prefer. No wonder you idiots hate the Liberals so much, you’ve been fed a steady diet of lies and you’re all as gullible as sh*t.

          • Oh I apologize. I misread. Sheila Fraser, the auditor general observed that 100 million had been given out to agencies who were friends of the Liberal Party in Quebec.
            My question to you? Didn’t the courts intervene, dismiss Mr. Gomery’s findings that Mr. Chretien bore none of the blame and decided that someone needed to go to jail. Didn’t Mr. Chretien also submit legal fees in the 10’s of thousands of dollars to Ottawa for his appearance at the commission and didn’t the commission itself cost Canadian taxpayers $14 million dollars.
            I am sorry, I made the mistake of asking Google, how much the adscam or the sponsorship scandal cost Canadian Taxpayers. It was a lot of money, starting with a 332 million program, etc.
            I understand commissions. We have had them here in Alberta. There was an inquiry into the bullying and threatening of doctors. Of course, despite many testifying that they had lost their jobs when they advocating patients and some even having letters to prove they were threatened, the commission found nothing really substantially wrong. Commissions are only as accurate as the completeness of the testimony and the honesty of those testifying. Now I can see you admonishing me if I got the amount wrong but to suggest I am amoral and stupid, when even selective research can’t change the fact that the Liberal Party was involved in a scandal where people gave contracts to their friends and then took kickbacks.

          • No Liberal was charged and convicted for Adscam because the statute of limitations had run out.

            PMSH changed that law , in the Accountability Act (?).

            As a result of the Gomery Comm, the LPC paid back Canadian taxpayers
            $ 1,142,818.27
            Still looking for the missing $40 million

          • There is no missing 40 million…or do you not respect the finding of the courts/inquiry? It’s becoming a CPC founding, fund raising myth, er lie.

          • It’s all under Goodales pillow.

          • “it was the theft of…” watch it lady. We still have libel laws in this country. Read the Gomery inquiry report and stop spouting nonsense…one person to my knowledge, maybe two went to jail. Harper spouted the same bilige – all liberals are criminals.

            Actually the country was reasonably governed when i moved here. What are going to do next – tell me to leave…oh, you already did.

            Forget it lady. For whatever reason you and i can’t have any kind of a reasonable conversation. Apparently i’m too opinionated to be a real Canadian, and you’re way too defensive,touchy and pure laine Canadian for my taste. I imagine i might hear the same twaddle from an old line Quebecer.

          • Uttering a threat is actually a crime in this country fella and the defense of libel is the truth. It was the theft of money and people went to jail.
            You have been attacking people who vote conservative on here all day…calling them “partisan idiots” and whatever else. Then you have the audacity to suggest that one party is amoral. Hah!
            Perhaps we can’t have a reasonable discourse because when it comes to politics you cannot be reasonable. You can only be partisan and obnoxious. Try reading back over some of the crap you posted today to very nice bloggers like Claudia who made benign comments. By all means, do not respond to any of my posts. It will be a relief.

          • Threats…get real will you.

            It’s already been shown to you that your figures are ridiculous and inflated.

            I have to my knowledge called one well known idiot an idiot.

            As for Claudia we’ve been having this conversation for days now.
            That’s your problem, constantly talking about stuff which you are Ill informed, and getting defensive when it’s pointed out to you.


          • By way, kcm2, I just want to take the opportunity to welcome you to Canada. If you need any maps, translation of Canadian terms like ‘Double Double’ let me know. By the way hockey is our national sport.

          • Dion was chosen party leader by the Liberal party, was he not? The Liberals obviously thought he would make a great leader, or why else would they have picked him as leader?

            And how much support did Dion get from his fellow Liberals when he turned out not to be such a good leader?? And how fast did Ignatieff dump the Green Shift after the ‘Dion-as-Liberal-leader-election? Pretty darn fast, as I remember it. But you may think that |gnatieff kept believing in the Green Shift long after Dion was turfed out as leader. Believe what you will.

          • why is my response to Thwim ending up at the end of this thread?

          • You are right. The media was not kind.

    • Load of codswallop…you made the same whining, self pitying arguments about Romney. I’ve been following the Trudeau leadership campaign from inside the party, and i can tell you i was surprised at how many liberals [ Joyce Murray’s in particular] were citing JT faults, with plenty of media comment and backing.

      You didn’t see it because you didn’t want to see it.

      • Oh, please! When Martha said some bad things about Justin, the party came down on her hard and where was the media giving her a hand?

        • I’ve read at least two or three articles defending Martha, in the last couple of days. Last one was Coyne’s most recent one.
          Maybe you should read a little more, comment a little less.

  15. ‘But I’ll tell you who absolutely believes the Conservatives have to pay to see their view of Trudeau reflected before Canadians: the Conservatives do.’

    Do they really? I can’t open a newspaper — any newspaper — without reading at least one column/editorial that either a) suggests Trudeau is a lightweight, or b) out-and-out calls him a lightweight. Hell, some rightist (?) columnists come right out and mock him, and mock him in a way even the most Harper-hatingest columnist wouldn’t dare try with Harper.

    That’s all fine. Trudeau should be put through the wringer. But this ‘left-wing media bias’ thing is just WAAAAAAAY too convenient for the CPC. It means they can slough off (and their supporters can slough off) any kind of criticism against them as a ‘left-wing media’ thing. It’s akin to a get-out-of-jail-free card. It’s institutionalized cognitive dissonance. If I were in the CPC braintrust, why wouldn’t I use that to my advantage? It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

  16. Wells, you confirm that it is the Media-Liberal axis v. the Conservatives and to your credit you do it with a snicker. Do you wonder why we, the public, hold you in such low esteem?

    • I assume it’s at least partly a critique of my wardrobe.

    • Wait a minute, if it is Paul’s perception that journalists tend to be more liberal than that is Paul’s perception. He is actually working in the business as apposed to the rest of us who are on the outside looking in. This is no different than the common perception that ,university professors, union reps and people in the arts tend to be more left-leaning politically. Are you going to chastise people for having that perception?

      • I can quote from direct and personal expereicne that there is no way you can have a career in our vaunted halls of academia and show everyone that you are a conservative – it just can’t happen unless it’s economics or a trade school or engineering !!!! – there is more bigotry and prejudice within our insitutions against anything that smacks of ‘ values ‘ you see the guiding principle is called ‘ moral relativism ‘ and once you drink that kool aid you lose all access to your common sense tastebuds and is probably the source of true and real evil in the world!

        • I agree. If I tell people here that I am a visual artist, don’t attend church and still vote CPC, they hold me as a person impossible.

          • Clearly none of you have worked in Tertiary Education.

            The vast majority of any major centre of learning are centrist and not left leaning no matter what professional victims like Horowitz and possibly Wayne declare. Wyane’s list of exceptions is not small and would include the entirety of NAIT and SAIT and the vast majority of most Colleges in Alberta. Add to that the Administration departments at each college/university with their deans, sub deans and other layers of senior management and you’ll find most employees are from the upper professional classes. These folk are not natural NDP supporters, heck they are rarely Liberal in nature.
            If you insist that Conservatives should naturally exist in more socially based topics in college, then that is curious because Conservatives tend not to value these disciplines and would rather they didn’t exist. It seems odd to deny the validity of something and then insisting it include you anyway.

            So I’m having a hard time understanding what the problem is for Conservatives in academia – Disciplines they hate and think shouldn’t exist on a doctrinal basis won’t let them play with them seems to be it.

        • You just keep on plucking that chicken Wayne.

    • I luv how uber partisans always use the royal “we.” I’m beginning to think they all have an identity problem. Maybe they just don’t like singular pronouns?

  17. The soc-con base always plays the pouty victim card…but when it comes right down to it, they exhibit the most egregious examples of state propaganda and information control.

    From a journalists point of view, what would be the appeal to parrot the party line? A senate position? There are only so many.

    And so why the surprise of purported media bias?

  18. I think it’s helpful to differentiate between “news” and editorial/opinion.
    The news-of-the-day stuff is just that … it often derives from perceived
    conflict .. “Critics say”, so reporters report what critics say and partisans
    see that as what reporters are saying. It’s not. Or the gummint said blah
    then and now it says blah blah. That’s what reporters do. So what.

    On the editorial/opinion side .. other than a few lonely souls left at the Star ..
    I don’t see a lot of thundering outrage at what the government is actually
    doing on the economy or environment or whatever. You get some huffin’
    and tut-tuts about the government style, but no real opposition.

    You have to go outside the major media to find major disagreement. After
    decades of punditi being filtered through the Black/ Asper/ Pelardeau/
    cheese cloth. I wouldn’t expect anything else.

    • Damn right. People that used to be main stream voices in this country – like Salutin or Dyer are now either marginalized or overseas. Yet we continue to hear the same endless bleating about liberal left wing media bias…it appears even smart guys like Wells aren’t immune from a little revisionism. Although he is talking about the OPG here – maybe there’s a distinction to be made? I would have said the OPG is more adversarial toward any sitting govt, rather than particularly Liberal in bias.

    • Sometimes though BG, it is even more subtle than that. Sometimes certain stories don’t get very much coverage and others get splashed everywhere. That shows a certain kind of bias as well. Or sometimes certain news outlets will cover a story and others won’t. One in particular comes to my mind….the story of Valerie Plame (CIA) agent in the US. When her cover was blown by Scooter Libby, Fox News hardly even mentioned the story but other outlets were all over it. That happens here as well when you check the different front pages across the country each day. Bias is reflected in what stories are chosen to lead the news at different papers.

  19. The Cons know damn well there’d be more right-wing journalists out there if Harper just stopped putting them in the Senate.

    • Hahaha! That is actually really funny.

  20. “What reporters hate most of all is incumbents and boredom, often synonymous…”

    Why do reporters hate incumbents? Would it be right to surmise it has less to do with political bias, and more to do with the natural rivalry between the two camps? One side wanting to get its story out unfiltered, and the other seeking flaws in the message.
    That seems to me to be a natural, even healthy one. In the ideal anyway.

    • I’d suggest it has to do with the whole “truth to power” mandate of journalism. They should hate incumbents and they should be a shrill voice against complacency. If neocons feel like their governments get a less fair shake, I’d suggest it has to do with the underpinnings of their policies (often more overtly inspired by emotion than evidence), and their zeal for Rovian politics. Combined, these are bound to grate most professional journalists (and thinking citizens).

      I can’t tell if Harper honesty believes that all parties ought to be subject to the same scrutiny as the one holding power, or if he simply knows it’s strategically smart to keep his troops under the impression that they’re unfairly persecuted underdogs. This is probably way too far down for Wells to comment on, but I’d sure be interested to hear his take on that.

      • Me too.

        I’ve got a long enough memory to recall how PET reacted once his love in with the media was over, the debt was mounting and they had got tired of the poetry and sun king stuff. The media was certainly more liberal friendly back then than it is now. But that didn’t stop the relationship between his govts and the media becoming toxic.
        Aside from the political aspect of it, i always thought he had a point when he complained the media wasn’t interested in context. I can hardly imagine that this is also the source of Harper’s distain for the MSM – more likely rooted in paranoia and a desire for message control.

  21. “What reporters hate most of all is incumbents and boredom, often synonymous.”

    This sentence is rather enlightening, and makes me see Aaron Wherry’s blog in a different light. I’ve often been annoyed at his glee when he catches a Conservative in a compromising or silly statement–he seems to magnify their foibles while letting the other parties get a free pass.
    I always thought he was blatantly biased against the Conservatives. However, it may be that he’s just biased against whoever happens to be in power, and sees his position here at Maclean’s as a sort of gadfly, to torment the governing party and keep them on their toes. Or not. But if I give him the benefit of the doubt, he becomes a bit less frustrating to read.

    • Your initial and longstanding opinion was (is) correct.

  22. CPC…Conservative Persecution Complex
    To say the least, “CPC” is getting tiresome.

    • What better.
      Trudeau antics.
      Turn off TV.
      Go outside.