How we talk about this -

How we talk about this


Matthew Yglesias considers Packer.

I consider this another reason to try to enhance understanding of the fact that when it comes to political outcomes it’s the fundamentals that matter most. Interest in the horse-race aspects of politics is to some extent inevitable, but to understand the horse-race properly you need to spend more time trying to understand what’s actually happening in the country and less time paying attention to spin and positioning.


How we talk about this

  1. I think problem is much worse in Canada than it is in America.

    Americans produce an astonishing amount of news and ideas so if you don't like hot/not hot columns there are plenty of other newspapers, magazines, blogs, think tanks … etc. We have no such alternative in Canada – all we get are articles written by journos who are more concerned about staying in loop than publishing scoops and view everything on how it will effect Libs in polls.

    Political gossip is enjoyed by many people and should be provided – my issue with Canadian msm is that mix between gossip, horse race reporting and proper news is way off. I am news junkie but can't stand most Canadian news sources – I basically read foreign press for normal news and Canadian sources for gossip.

    I don't include Macleans in my rant because it is not really msm and columnists are good – Macleans provides mix of opinion that is appreciated, at least by me.

    • Please explain why you think one of the country's most popular magazines is not "main stream". And if Maclean's isn't, which magazines are?
      Or is "msm" actually short for "media I don't like"?

      • When I think of msm, I think of newspapers and tv stations that report news daily. I don't think reporting news is what Macleans does – it takes more of a big picture view.

        • Well, it's a weekly magazine format dealing with Canadian politics and some current events. I don't think it's that it's a different viewpoint from the so called mainstream, it just occupies a field that has essentially one player.

        • No offence, but I'm not sure your definition is a good one. By analogy, you're saying that "The National" is "msm" but "fifth estate" isn't.
          I'd suggest a better indication of "mainstream-ness" is the production's/publication's target market. With perhaps a nod to the makeup of its actual audience.
          (Thanks for answering, by the way. On reread, my comment above seems somewhat abrupt.)

          • "No offence, but I'm not sure your definition is a good one."

            To me, news is reporting on the day's events. Or yesterday's. I don't think there is a standard definition of what msm is – so it's just my opinion.

  2. I blame Peter Kent.

  3. Okay, enough dancing around.

    Minor and major stuff.

    The average Canadian hears radio headlines in the daily traffic jam, and very little more before falling asleep in the recliner. Political junkies have to pore over endless vague 'news' items to even get a mildly revealing offhand remark about a situation.

    Journalists/columnists who live in Ottawa, and make their living writing about it all know what the other guy is talking about, but the average Canadian does not. At best we get 'signals' rather than plain speaking.

    I have read numerous remarks about 'helmet-head' and how a hair is never out of place. I read a couple of years back about a personal make-up artist, hair-stylist and photographer. Are we being 'signalled' Harper wears a toupee and make-up? Well, I personally don't care if he looks like Goldilocks…but when we see photos of him daringly hanging out of choppers in full regalia, are we supposed to think 'Dubya'?

    Is Harper's sudden love of hockey [a book 5 years in the writing is often mentioned] and Timmies supposed to make us think of Dubya doing the phony brush cutting?

  4. And since this site won't let me register, or make lengthy comments…here's the rest of it.

    And what about the serious stuff…an attack on Israel is an attack on Canada?? What??? Yet not a peep.

    Are we about to bomb Tehran, leap onto the beaches? What?

    How about all our journos who have degrees and have lived and worked elsewhere…are THEY just visiting eggheads? No comments? No columns? Where has Wayne Gretzky lived all these years…yet not a peep about that for the Olympics.

    How about all the 'christian' groups the govt employs members of…the dutiful reporting about church attacks on our MPs, the Michelle Bachman foreign policy….doesn't anybody remember about the separation of church and state?

    You can always tell who's going to win an election, you just have to watch media reporting.

    PS I dwell on Harper at length here because he is most often in the news.

    • "How about all the 'christian' groups the govt employs members of…the dutiful reporting about church attacks on our MPs, the Michelle Bachman foreign policy….doesn't anybody remember about the separation of church and state?"

      Do you propose a rule that Christians can't work for the government? I think you are in the wrong country if you are caviling about separation of church and state because our head of State is also defender of the faith. And I don't know about the rest of the country but I do know Ontario's welfare system would collapse if we separated Church and State because religious orgs do an awful lot of social assistance work.

      • We have separation of church and state. That means that anyone with a religion can be a member of govt, but the govt isn't to be run for the exclusive benefit of any one religion.


  5. Trillium,

    Firstly. Why do you hate the troops?

    Secondly. Risk Saluting pondered this whole 'an attack on Israel is an attack on Canada' trope in today's Globe. As best he figured, Canada and Israel belong to the same broad civilization, as defined by Jason Kenney, expert on all things civilizational.

    Iran belongs to the same civilization as France. This is, they are both Canada's civilizational enemy.

    Thirdly. It is time this country rid itself of the kind of pragmatic foreign policy which tried to encourage the kind of rules-based international society which would allow a small, trade dependent nation like Canada to prosper. If riding ourselves of this harmful liberal legacy means making a few symbolic gestures, renowned mainly for their stupidness, then so be it. For this way lies glory!!!

    Hope that explains things.

    • Troops…sad failing of mine it seems. LOL

      Yes, I read all about the 'clash of civilizations' our govt is insisting on in an era of globalization. Is Kenney civilized? I wouldn't have guessed it. LOL

      Your third answer was the best! Yes indeed, let's make enemies and end up trading with no one. Glory indeed. ROFLMAO

    • Let us hope Aaron is not eerily prescient, rather he has a maniacal sense of humour.

      From his live chat of 5 Feb:

      Who do you think will be become the next leader of the Conservative party when Harper steps down or shown the way out?
      by Fred Moro at 2/5/2010 7:56:14 PM

      Jason Kenney.
      by aaronwherry

  6. '“political reporting as theater reviews” style of journalism.'

    Yes, that's exactly what we have. Canadians have no sense of what's genuinely going on in the country unless we discover it by accident in an off-handed column remark.

    What we get instead are endless polls, admiration of tactics and strategy, and a crapload of speculation. Nothing that helps either the country or it's citizens to deal with the 21st century.