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ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for the prime minister of canada: john tesh


 

Everywhere we turn these days – on our televisions, in our newspapers, during three sets a night at our local airport hotel lounge  – Stephen Harper is playing the piano. The man who once mocked politicians who’d sink to Giving Something of Themselves to a personality-driven media is now our country’s best hope for a half-decent weekly variety show. My fellow Canadians, I say again unto you: this tip glass isn’t going to fill itself.

In all seriousness, I’m worried that the Conservative leader – who last week proudly proclaimed himself a fruit, presumably because he’s so easily bruised – is letting this whole “I’m actually a human” phase of his get out of control.

Don’t get me wrong: I see the strategic wisdom of showcasing his “softer” side for voters: I love my kids, I play the piano, I feast upon the flesh of man only when we’re out of Eggos. But I don’t think any of us is prepared for a world in which a smiling Stephen Harper emerges from a cabinet meeting, approaches the microphone and utters as his first words to reporters: “Thanks for coming – I baked you muffins.”

This week on the campaign trail: Stephen Harper teaches Mike Duffy how to make crepe paper tulips and sits in with Bob Fife’s barbershop quartet.


 

ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for the prime minister of canada: john tesh

  1. Scotty,

    I know the wounds are still fresh, but contrast that picture with Dithers jumping the shark with a guitar in hand, and you’ll know why you work at Macleans.

  2. This is too much. Enough already.

    I put up with SweaterMan.

    I could tolerate IamSoSorryMan.

    I said okay to Harper-the-Fruit.

    But PianoMan is just too much. Harper is no Bill Joel, and Laureen is not Christie Brinkley.

    What’s next? Prancing in the park holding hands with John Baird?

    I know penetrating virgin (electoral) territory is important, but I miss the real Harper. You know, the dude that we’ve been seeing for the past two years.

  3. Right of centre politicians are invariably demonized by the left, and their media fellow travellers, merely for holding the ideas they hold.

    Hence the necessity of having to counter that distorted perception.

    It turns out after two and half years of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister, not only is he a competent centrist politican, but we’re also finding out in this campaign that he has a decent and interesting human side.

    Is there a lesson here for the left and its fellow travellers in the media? I think so. If you really want to influence people’s way of thinking concentrate on debating the issues and respect others who’s views you disagree with.

  4. “If you really want to influence people’s way of thinking concentrate on debating the issues and respect others who’s views you disagree with.”

    Oh, so accusing your opposition of being a bunch of Taliban sympathizers is wrong then? Or right? Now I’m all confused…

  5. There is a town in Nova Scotia that has a great pumpkin canoeing race. When is Stephen going to paddle his pumpkin like Martha Stewart was supposed to?

  6. Jarrid:

    “If you really want to influence people’s way of thinking concentrate on debating the issues and respect others who’s views you disagree with.”

    Like this?

    Part of your comment from Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm:

    Funny, I think Obama will be remembered as a fantastically trivializing presence in American politics.

    He’s a flake. He’s a carpetbagger. He’s too far to the left for the American electorate.

    Or this (not too thinly) veiled ad hominem attack on Kady O’Malley from Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 11:48 am:

    “Kady … you are really grasping at straws…”

    What else is new?

    What I’m wondering is whether her salary will have to be expensed by the Liberal HQ, or whether it’ll be attributed to one of the local Ottawa area ridings for Canada Elections Act purposes.

  7. Scott, thanks for the humorous post with a serious message. Enjoyed it.

  8. “Billy” not “Bill” Joel.

    With apologies to the stephen harper image team (SHIT).

  9. I think it’s a strategy to wind up the Canadian arts community. There heads must be ready to explode when they see photos like this but scream like banshees about how Cons hate culture and want to ‘censor’ arts by taking away some tax breaks.

  10. Jarrid wrote: “Right of centre politicians are invariably demonized by the left, and their media fellow travellers, merely for holding the ideas they hold.”

    No, right of centre politicians tend to rally around claims of higher moral standing (family values, etc…), are often pathologically unable to cope with criticism, approach their opponents with derision and contempt, and are motivated more by zealous ideology than a desire to work collobaratively (it was the Harper government who circulated a handbook to their members explaining how to stall committee work, as one example).

    In the particular case of Stephen Harper, we have a guy who curtailed media access, thinks it’s funny to show a bird shitting on his opponent, used to advocate a firewall around Alberta, complained about unelected ministers – then proceeded to do the very same thing himself, accused the Canadian peoople of being salacious in the Maxime Bernier scandal, once tried to smear other leaders as sympathetic to child pornography… I could go on, but the point is one could argue that the press has given him a relatively easy time of things.

    The media ain’t liberal. They just have a pesky habit of asking questions, demanding accountability, and favouring facts over ideoology. The alternative is the ongoing hand-job given to conservative politicians by FOX news and their ilk, south of the border.

  11. yes, Harper wants taxpayers to support only the “right” kind of arts and culture, like us paying Harper to play the piano. Nice to see (hear?) our tax dollars at work.

  12. “The media ain’t liberal. They just have a pesky habit of asking questions, demanding accountability, and favouring facts over ideoology.”

    You have a lot more faith in them than I do. Sure, there are exceptions, including some journalists at Macleans. But, largely, the MSM seems lazy, more likely to focus on irrelevancies than delving into real issues and simply repeating whatever spin was handed to them. For example, some CTV reports seem like they are simply reading campaign literature, with no thoughtful analysis.

  13. Catherine,

    I agree with you that too much of the modern journalism product is superficial. I’m really more concerned about the tired conservative whine that the media is generally “liberal” and unfairly targets right-wing ideas and people. It’s become a mantra among those folks, who just can’t understand that the combination of ideology and mean-spirited thuggery makes them suspect to ANY thinking person. And despite the paucity of meaningful content in too many broadcasts and publications, I still think that most journalists are simply folks who ask questions and check facts. Such behaviour inevitably makes the conservatives look like, well, Stephen Harper.

  14. Mike,

    The first sentence of your quotation of my comment is my plagiarizing a Paul Wells comment in the same post and inserting the name “Obama” for “Palin”. I promise to no longer plagiarize Paul Wells’ comments.

    As to the rest of that quote you may wish to look up the definition of “flake” and “carpetbagger”. That Obama may be too left of centre for the U.S. electorate is very much a debatable and open question.

    As to the second quote, it is fair comment to remark on the objectivity or lack therof of the media. They have a special responsibility to be fair-minded and above the partisan fray. A media person is entitled to have a political or ideological leaning or viewpoint, most invariably do. But that leaning or viewpoint should not intrude on their work.

    I’ll take Chantal Hebert as an example. I think she leans left ideologically and politically. But her views rarely interfere with her analyis. More left of centre media people should look to her as a role model.

    All that said, obviously everyone, whatever their political leanings should debate issues and respect other people’s viewpoints even if they are diametrically opposed to one’s own.

  15. But what is he playing exactly? This is a missed opportunity…

  16. Uh, Scott. I’m not sure what you did wrong but this thread seems to have developed into an intelligent discussion of political differences and opinion. Please people, keep take your opinions outside…this is a Feschuk thread.

    As for the piano-playing, cardigan wearing, family loving, sincerely-smiled, steely-eyed, neo-con thinking image of Steven Harper, I’m sure there are a lot of people that get hot thinking about it, but not me. Here in Manitoba we have Vic Toews to get all warm and fuzzy about, although Vic’s handlers and media people seem to be a bit slow re-building his image. I’m sure in a couple of weeks we will all see Vic as the warm, tender, cuddly guy his handlers know him to be.

  17. “But what is he playing exactly?”

    Wagner. He’s oddly drawn to it, AND he just loves to sing “kill de wabbit, kill de wabbit…’ at the same time.

  18. But what is he playing exactly? This is a missed opportunity…

    It is called Whipeout by the Safaris

  19. Yet another Liberal media attack. Just for once I would like to see our media report instead of putting on their own political slant.
    With Mr. Feschuk it is obvious and he appears to be the worst.

  20. Remember Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show?

    If you read Vic’s comment in that voice, it’s pretty funny.

  21. Mr. Feschuk worked for a right-wing PM. He wrote his left-wing speeches.
    That pumpkin race in Nova Scotia is in Scott Brison’s riding. I think he might have actually won it once. Are pumpkins a fruit or a vegetable?

  22. I know the wounds are still fresh, but contrast that picture with Dithers jumping the shark with a guitar in hand, and you’ll know why you work at Macleans.

    Petey, don’t so brittle and humourless.

  23. To Sean, funny – thanks… was just making a point. Its not just a conservative’s whine as you say. (Its an election and there are whines from all sides on this matter.)
    But esp with the above article it is obvious.

  24. What an elitist.

  25. Someone said Harper was hammering out a Beatles tune, but in the 6-second sample i heard there was nothing beatles about it. I’m wondering if Ringo and Mac know their tunes are being used to exploit easily-influenced media folk…

  26. What an elitist.

    Not at all. This will play very well with “Tex and Edna Boyle” who, no doubt, are recognised personae in the Patrick Muttart’s database of cartoon characters.

  27. First I caught the interview with Harper playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps and now this …. I had no idea he had such good taste in music! As I live and learn who would’ve thought!

  28. Qoute: “Someone said Harper was hammering out a Beatles tune, but in the 6-second sample …”

    That would make sense because he has said in other interviews that he’s a huge Beatles fan and has the lyrics of all their songs memorized.

    In the past he’s also mentioned he like The Rolling Stones and AC/DC.

    Supposedly, Harper has a huge vinyl record collection.

  29. Cool Blue : did you say my boy Stevie likes ACDC = Hells Bells who would’ve thought!

  30. Policies, please, people, if I may be so bold…

  31. We could’ve saved a lot of taxpayers’ money and rented the man a keyboard for the Parliament lunch carrel. While we’re at it, who needs a leaders’ debate? Instead let’s have a federal leaders’ karaoke slam.

  32. Conor, be careful what you ask for, Jack Layton thinks he can sing!

  33. “Right of centre politicians are invariably demonized by the left . . . merely for holding the ideas they hold.”

    Given what ideas they hold, I have no problem with that.

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