That the public is generally disinterested in the business of Ottawa is something I blamed for the current state of the House of Commons. Scott Reid blames, in part, the press gallery for the fact that so few are interested.
We can begin with a Parliamentary Press Gallery that, increasingly, is dazzled by political tactics, bored by substance and disinterested in the awkward obligation of challenging authority. With too few exceptions — and one fewer with the sad passing of the Star’s Jim Travers — reporters seem more interested in sounding like in-the-know party strategists than detached observers.
It is they, in particular, who tell us repeatedly that “no one cares.” And all too frequently, there is little, if any, suggestion that part of the media’s function is to serve as a check on abuse of authority. Put another way, if Woodward and Bernstein had followed the same method we sometimes witness in Ottawa, they would surely have shrugged off Deep Throat, explaining that no one cares about such a technical, complicated story and that, in any event, Nixon’s triumph over McGovern rendered the matter moot.