Doug Finley did a good job on those attack ads, Doug Finley says -

Doug Finley did a good job on those attack ads, Doug Finley says


The Globe is ON IT this morning. Two Conservative senators face charges of breaking election laws and the intrepid Jane Taber is there to interview one of them… about what he watches on TV and the nice stained glass windows in his East Block office.

We need to get Taber and Gadhafi in the same desert tent. Moammar, the world will stand for your lies no longer: Those long, lush eyelashes can’t possibly be natural.

A couple weeks back, Taber gave us the mesmerizing scoop on how Gary Lunn is short but doesn’t mind being so on account of HIS TREMENDOUS MOXIE. Then, she obediently transcribed Stephen Harper’s reflections on how Bev Oda is a Hero To Us All.

And now, another puff piece about another prominent Conservative figure – this time Doug Finley, who is allowed ample space to muse on the genius of Conservative attack ads and the party’s brilliant political strategy without anything so impolite as a hard question.

Taber apparently sat down with Finley before the charges became public. When she called him back for comment, he declined to speak with her.  Tellingly, she portrays this not as a dodge but as an Old Party Warhorses Do the Darnedest Things! moment.

To recap: a senior Conservative agreed to be interviewed about how terrific he is – but then refused to talk to the reporter again once he became actual news. This did not stop the Globe from running the piece.

I believe it was Junius who said: WTF?

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Doug Finley did a good job on those attack ads, Doug Finley says

  1. All sentiment about Finley's illness and barely suppressed admiration for his attack ad prowess (which ads he claims he never looks at)… could only have been written by Taber. Yech! We're supposed to like this guy?
    No questions about Cadman, In and Out, etc. of course, that being a 'human interest' story… puke.

  2. And they said Lee Atwater was dead! But remember, he recanted on his deathbed, evidently the fires of Hell focus a mind, no matter how twisted.

  3. Jane Taber is a glorified gossip columnist who LOVES access. She'd kiss up to anyone in power if it got her a semi-exclusive.

  4. Thank goodness he wasn't wearing a kilt.

  5. I didn't see anything there about how he bravely got out of his death bed to make sure Nortel pensioners get screwed by their bosses.

  6. Jane Taber is ^not^ a reporter. To be fair, MacLeans' own Geddes did a puff piece on Finley not too long ago. So can't blame Taber.

  7. Why blame Taber for this?

    Our entire media treats the govt with kid gloves. If it gets any worse, journalists will be kneeling while they ask their softball questions.

    • Why blame Taber for this?

      Because she wrote it? And the Globe & Mail was also blamed for publishing it.

      "They're all the same," is not insight, it's laziness. Some folks in the media are worse than others and Jane Tabor is easily one of the worst. A total embarrassment to the "profession."

      • Indeed. We need call out these useless hacks for what they are. The Globe's not alone in this regard, but Maclean's has gotten better by leaps and bounds in the last five years. The Globe seems to be sliding the other way, in no small part to the vacuous scribblings of Taber and Blatchford.

      • I agree it's laziness, and all our media is guilty of it….so there's no need to single her out.

        • It's a refreshing change to see you absolving someone else of responsibility for what they've written.

          Very generous of you.

          • Still can't read, eh?

          • Why are you pointing the finger at me? Nobody can read these days!

            I think it's really unfair for you to blame me for the poor level of literacy in the general population.

            Stop persecuting me!

        • You're right, just last week we've had this piece about our town:

          The reporter wrote an article of investigative reporting without actually doing any investigation. He took the word of the victim and wrote it as fact. And that's our national news service.

          • I find it depressing that the media, who could do so much to help this country discover itself, concentrates on trivia and easy stories and careless reporting.

  8. How dare you mock the Conservatives when they are so busy sending plane in and out of Libya, and in and out, and in and out, never mind actually filling the planes up.

    • It's obvious to me that having a plane fly in, and then return empty, can't be an intentional move. Given the chaos in Lybia this type of foul-up was bound to happen.

      This particular outcome is much better than one possible alternate scenario: a bunch of Canadians (and/or others) make it to the airport, only to find that the plane intended to pick them up never left the ground because someone wasn't 100% sure that there would be anyone at the Lybian airport to extract.

      • Sure foul-ups were guaranteed to happen in Lybia. However, the Harper government has significantly shifted resources and influence away from DFAIT staff. In part, this is about the drastic simplification of foreign policy that Wells has spoken at length about. In part, this is about the centralization of decision making and control of the message. In part, this is about the deep mistrust of the Conservative government towards career civil servants.

        So it is even less surprising that it was a Canadian plane that left empty when filling the plane would have required a high degree of coordination between the staff of different ministries.

        • Good food for thought. Thanks.

          • Furthermore, I had seen a comment by a Conservative partisan somewhere accusing people of being trivial by criticizing a Minister for lying to Parliament or whatever, while the Harper government was busy Getting Our People Out Of Libya. Which in the end they failed to do for most Canadians there.

          • Basically I was/am trying to get your comments to be more like Stewart_Smith's, and less like that Conservative partisan you're speaking about.

          • I was mainly posting to get in the joke about in and out. You know, don't you, that two Canadian planes left Libya without any passengers and another was in Europe but did not have enough insurance. So I don't know if it was bad luck or incompetence or some of both, but I see no reason to give the toxic Harper government the benefit of the doubt.

          • You see no reason to give Harper the benefit of the doubt on this occasion or on any occasion?

            If the latter, then you would seem to be just as partisan as the Conservative partisan you mentioned.

          • except, not liking the current government doesn't make you a partisan… if it does, which party would that be?

          • Exactly; I don't like the Liberals much, and am not real enthused about the NDP or the Greens. I miss the Rhino Party.

          • I will keep that in mind. :-)

  9. Canadians will have to read between the lines on issues originating out of the harper con's government. The media undermines our intelligence, refuses to do investigative journalism and serves us gossip instead of critical information. This government has failed us on many fronts, just the malicious manner of debate and behaviour should be enough to turf them out, and the media has been complicit in giving them undeserved legitimacy. But it is thier incompetence that should deternine thier fate and a bit of responsibility on the part of our media would make a difference.

  10. The media is compllicit in keeping these cons alive, by damning with faint praise their malicious behaviour they give them legitimacy. Harper's incompetence is legendaryr, ripe with fodder for the investigative journalist worth his wage.

    • Some media people do go after Harper sometimes, for example this column by Dan Gardner:

      "…Ladies and gentlemen, it's my job to be blunt. So I'll just say it: Stephen Harper is incompetent.

      I know that's not his reputation. Lots of people accuse him of being ruthless, or an ideologue, but he's usually credited with being a basically competent manager.

      He doesn't deserve that credit. His government is badly run and incoherent. Promising fiscal conservatism, Stephen Harper spent money like crazy, expanded the federal government, cut taxes, and turned a surplus into a structural deficit (yes, it's structural, as even the International Monetary Fund agrees). He has no real plan for getting the budget back into balance…"

      • Dan Gardner for PM, leading whichever party he prefers.

    • It's the long continuing pattern of not telling the truth, with hundreds of examples through the last few years, which the Ottawa media has decided is really clever politics, to be praised not condemned.

  11. PMO, et al defending Oda is like a serial killer defending his gun.

    • Mass murderers are the gun type; serial killers tend to be more knifey. Still, point taken.

  12. "For all those who say that negative ads turn off voters, Mr. Finley responds: “Politics is an adversarial business. Kellogg's doesn't make their money by telling everybody General Foods are a great product.”

    Kelloggs doesn't run out of context quotes and invent motive and insinuate nafarious explanations for why General Foods is only in it for themselves either. Finley's rationalizing of his amoral communications strategy is truly pathetic. Yes we know Doug…the libs did first and worst, which is fortunate since it absolves you of all responsibility, doesn't it?
    Hopefully we'll be spared a future confessional tell all revealing how…sob…sob…he really really regrets ever having used such tactics. Although he should have little difficulty in persuading Taber to run it up for him.

    • Finley's breakfast cereal analogy is………..ah, forget it.

    • I see the future of grain-based advertising. Picture an anguished Charlton Heston tilting slightly askew from the camera, screaming: "Cheerios is people … people!"

      Followed by an ad in which Special K and coke are mixed in a poor child's belly, with explosive effect.

      I hate to say it, but I'm glad product advertisers have more morals than political advertisers. That's a pretty damn low bar to slide under.

      • A unidentified source from General Mills reports that Kellog's Corn Pops will rot your teeth and cut your mouth. "Sure it tastes great, but it's the breakfast food equivalent of crack cocaine. Don't try it even once."

    • Good point. Private companies generally treat each other with respect. They've tried direct misleading attacks, but they must not have worked, so they stopped. But it works in politics.
      Of course if Kelloggs attacked General Mills the way The Cons attack Iggy and Dion, General Mills would fight back hard even viciously to defend their reputation. They wouldn't have the naive notion that people will see through the unfairness of it all.
      That seems to be the Liberal's position. They've miscalculated badly.

      • Your concluding point is a depressingly accurate one. Didn't Mckenna recommend using differnt tactics when dealing with thugs? They should have listened to him.

  13. I don’t hold Macleans in any higher journalistic regard than Feschuk holds the Globe/Taber.

    Their opinion piece (unsigned, except for a vague “by the editors”) on usage-based Internet billing, contained questionable logic (possibly under te influence of parent company Rogers) and generated about 700 comments (mostly dissenting and critical).

    And the piece seems to have disappeared completely from the opinion section of this website – in fact, it seems to have been buried on the Macleans website so well, you’ll only find it if you Google it.

    It doesn’t even appear under ‘most read’ on the sidebar. When was the last time a Macleans piece generated 700 comments? Why is Macleans trying to hide it?

    You’d think a Macleans piece that generates 700 comments would be a little easier to find on their website, but no, Macleans has done their best to hide it.

    Macleans commenting on journalistic integrity? Isn’t there an adage about glass houses of relevance here?

    • That UBB piece was a poorly-written piece of fluff from Rogers' communications department.

      Maclean's should at least advertise how much a spread like that would cost as a service for all the other large corporate interests that want to whitewash an issue.

      What's a worthy price in exchange for your integrity, Macleans? $500,000? $1 million? $2 million?

      • These are guys who not only published Steyn but doubled down and called him a serious, importat journalist.

        [Incidentally, is he officially not writing here anymore? If he isn't, I guess I should keep my promise and subscribe to the print edition].

        • Haven't sen him in more than 6 months…I'm guessing he's toast

  14. I bet Jane Taber could sit on Mike Duffy's lap and talk while he drank a glass of water.

    • And burp him afterward?

    • For a few hours I just didn't get "it"……..then I dragged my mind out of the gutter, and voila!!

      • Best to keep your mind out of the gutter, lest you feel an overwhelming urge to make attack ads – and then brag about them

        • Hmmmm, I don't spend a lot of time in the gutter, but whenever I have found myself there, I have never had the urge to make an attack ad. :-)

          • Too busy looking at the stars?

          • Pardon?

          • It's a quote from Oscar Wilde. "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars."

          • Hmmm, OK, thanks. I (obviously) did not know that.

            I perused a few pages of OW quotes, and chuckled at most. But this one still perplexes me just a little bit. :-(

          • I take it to mean we are all base and animalistic and what not, but some of us take the time to look beyond it and at least try and transcend. I like it because it's humble. My own opine

          • Yeah, that's the charitable version, and personally I hope that's what OW intended. ;-)

            Of course there is the "We are all base and animalistic and what not, and some of us like to fool ourselves into believing that we are different by looking upward to the stars, so that we don't see the truth." :-(

      • I still don't get "it" (may be a culture thing, or may be I do get "it" without knowing I do) but it sounds quite funny.

    • I somehow doubt it. You're assuming Duffy has any "lap" left when he sits.

    • Danby, Jane Taber could sit on Mike Duffy's lap AND bend back and kiss his a_s AND not be embarrassed about any of it. She is THAT GOOD at what she does.

  15. One jounalist writes a piece slightly positive toward someone Conservative, and those who comment here can't take it!!

    How about Jeffrey Simpson who writes articles full of mis-truths, and negative toward Conservatives… that's dandy.

    (Thumbs down everyone)

    • "Slightly Positive"? If this was a side street near the Toronto lakeshore I would have had to pay extra for a happy ending like that.

      • LOL

        Charlie Sheen is slightly positive about cocaine & hookers.

    • As you wanted….

  16. How is the Globe article much different than the Macleans article from two weeks ago, other than timing?

    The Macleans piece also mentioned stained-glass windows, and added other frivolities such as his view of Stephen Harper's office window (creepy…), and his beard (yes, his beard). In fact, the two articles are at times word-for-word.

    Unfortunately, such articles as this Feschuk post are much easier to find on the Macleans website than more important pieces such as the controversial and fallacious editorial on usage-based Internet billing.

    If Macleans and Scott Feschuk are concerned about journalistic integrity, they need look no further than the magazine's relationship with Rogers when discussing UBB and other tech-related subjects, and not hide their own editorial on UBB (and the 700+ dissenting comments that followed).

    • If you punch UBB into search you get the article. But for the life of me I cannot find it searching through the subjects.

  17. Michael Ignatieff would make a great PM….
    Says Michael Ignatieff.

    As for those polled?

    Not so much.

  18. Credit where due department: Good on you for naming the blogger in question this time.

  19. Canada's deficit is sharply lower than anticipated for the year.

    Not insignificant stuff: China's news agency reporting – once again, Harper's government is making heads turn on the international stage.

    Inexplicably, China is not reporting on the fact that a Minister disapproved of funding on a relatively insignificant program, making a "not" notation on an internal document.

    So to recap: every man, woman and child in this country has a better future than they thought they'd had a few weeks ago…but then again…some relatively unimportant minister put a "not" on a document…

    So…you know….the Harper government must be on the cusp of implosion….what with that whole "not" notation on a single document and all…

    Today's Ottawa/Toronto media…so…in touch……the downtown leftist coffee shop crowd. The rest of the world? Not so much.

    • Canada's deficit is sharply lower than anticipated for the year…. because oil is going through the roof.
      How is does this reflect positively on a single policy of this government?

      FYI, the Chinese media doesn't report negatively on autocratic, anti-democratic behaviour of their own government, either.

      • Well yes.. that's the AlbertaConservative economic strategy.

        And see how well it's working in Alberta now?

        Oh, wait..

    • wouldn't the Chinese media be the epitome of leftist media? you know, they are the ACTUAL communists.

  20. It's the middle of winter! How'd this mosquito get in my house?

  21. What about the softball questions Peter Mansbridge gives PM Stephen Harper? There was so very, very much he could have got into… and instead, Mansbridge prefers to have a friendly living room chat with our PM! Mansbridge never pursues it when the PM dodges anything, never gives any tough questions, never follows up… just gives our lying PM a pass and acts like his fawning admirer. This isn't a political interview; it's friendlier than a Jay Leno interview with a guest!

  22. Journalists should never quote from 'an official spokesperson in the PMO' as they did again this week on In and Out. Protecting the anonymity of sources is important in journalism to protect those who are coming forward with information and who are at risk for divulging it. It is to protect the weak. Protecting the anonymity of official spokespersons in the PMO is cloaking the government from scrutiny, it is participating in government secrecy. Journalists shouldn't do this.

    • Yeah, but then journalists wouldn't have any gossip to report. And we all know how much journalists love publishing gossip from "anonymous insiders."

      • Gossip is one thing – but when reporting on the announcement of legal proceedings to take place in an open court this March in Ontario, I call this participating in shielding government from scrutiny.

  23. Funny, troops in the streets is how I remember my city last June. I guess the Liberal ad was prescient after all.

  24. Not at all — it's paramilitary and the result was the same. The government allowed a (para) military organization to have free reign on the streets of Toronto for one weekend last June. It's well documented. You can't make this suff up..

    • The thugs in the streets of Toronto last summer were not soldiers. They were cops acting under the direction of your police chief, using a "pretend" authority granted to them by Dalton McGuinty. The chief of police has conceeded that he knew he was giving his cops illegal orders, and he still has his job 8 months later.

      You don't help to safeguard civil rights by (deliberately?) misrepresenting what happened.

      What happened at the G20 was an abomination in a free society. It wasn't just another episode to be spun for partisan bickering.

      • Um sorry but I believe you're giving Harper a free ride here. He was told in advance that having the G20 in Toronto would be a logistical nighmare. We had cops (the para military) banging innocents over the head, firing rubber biullets at peaceful protesters, ripping off prosthetic limbs from disabled persons, etc. The evidence is clearly documented. The rot starts at the top and descends all the way down. Of course, Steve being who he is, isn't man enough to own up to his responsibilities — he never has and I suspect he never will.

        • I'd also like to add that I saw cops on 4-wheelers driving through city streets… were 4 wheelers really necessary? I mean, everything is paved over here… there's not a single dirt road downtown.

          It was a spending spree of enormous proportions.

        • So, let's recap.

          The police violated the human rights of thousands of people, illegally detained close to a thousand, beat people, bullied and assaulted peaceful protestors and bystanders alike. They strip-searched people who were detained illegally (otherwise known as sexual assault) and generally behaved like cowardly barbarians.

          The Chief of Police give his officers instructions about their authority which he knew to be in excess of their legal authority because he figured "it would be better" if they had that authority.

          The provincial government enacted extraordinary "secret" laws and failed to communicate that decision to the public.

          And the federal government choose a location that was "a logistical nightmare."

          In the word's of the Ontario ombudsman it was "the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history."

          And who is responsible for that situation, in your view?
          Stephen Harper
          And why is he responsible, again, in your view?
          Because he choose the location.

          If you think this situation arose out of a decision about the location then you & I have a different conceptions of cause and effect. Harper's decision on the location may have made the job of the police more difficult. But difficult circumstances don't ever justify the complete trashing of civil liberties which is what occured in Toronto.