Biggest loser in election 2011 media coverage will be “truth”

There is a very well-known phrase — truth is the first casualty of war. Well, given what I have seen and heard during this Canadian federal election campaign, I would have to say that truth was the first casualty of mainstream media election coverage, particularly that provided by the state sponsored CBC, as well as the private CTV and, to a lesser extent, Global and CPAC.

Specifically, has there been equal coverage of all the political leaders? No, not even close. Have all the leaders been asked the same questions? No. In fact, I can recall few substantive questions being asked of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff or NDP Leader Jack Layton, such as the total cost of their promises, such as Cap and Trade and how that would affect the economy, as well as how they would change Canada’s role in Afghanistan or Libya.

The single exception would have been Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Michael Ignatieff, which was tougher than expected, likely because SunNewsNetwork had recently come on the scene.  

But, perhaps the worst example of media omission and untruth relates to a Conservative rally last week (H/T NewsWatchCanada.ca). The CBCs Terry Milewski asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper a three-part, very long four-minute question, that sounded more like a diatribe.

Did, in fact, the partisan crowd drown out either Milewski’s question or the PM’s answer — as was reported widely? No, it did not. I saw the event live and noted that the PM answered the entire question BEFORE the cheering started.

Why the cheering? Likely because the public, no matter what their political preferences, are fed up with the media’s lies, omissions, innuendo and daily faux scandals.

For instance, today’s news is a perfect example. On the one hand, we have a photo image of a volunteer working for Liberal MP Joe Volpe, actually removing Green Party campaign literature from a mail box within feet of Volpe, which, apart from blogosphere coverage, gets no media attention at all. Yet, sending an incorrect e-mail for a Conservative candidate is top of the news at SunNewsNetwork.  Why is this relevant? Because removing campaign literature is allegedly illegal according to Elections Canada rules, while sending a data base containing personal information to the wrong person via e-mail, while wrong and sloppy, is not illegal.  

Now, the questions are: (1) Why does the media have such blatant double standards? And, (2) Why is truth going to be the casuality of this election?

Well, here is an essay worth reading that might answer that question. It is by a well-respected investigative reporter by the name of John Pilger. It is not about the Canadian media per se but about how the Western media lies about war by omission and how that deliberate avoidance of the truth leads to a type of media corruption.

Thankfully, however, as the long list of Canadian journalists who are fair on my sidebar proves, there are many journalists who try to rise above the unprofessionalism — including most of those reporting for the new SunNewsNetwork.

The crux of the matter is then, is the media bias and censorship a type of self-censorship and individual bias or is it censorship by management, or a bit of both? Either way, once the dust settles after May 2nd, 2011, the biggest loser in this election will not be political candidates but “truth” in the Canadian media.

14 thoughts on “Biggest loser in election 2011 media coverage will be “truth”

  1. Definitely the biggest loser is the media in this 2011 election.
    Canadians have tuned out their cry wolf mantra on the conservative.
    Thank God for the internet and blogging tories to report the truth.

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  2. O/T,correct me here.

    Sandy, Jack Layton goes around offering to people, a plan which anyone would want without batting an eyelid. It is the EI plan. 360 hrs of work>52 wks off which is practically the whole year.
    Can you imagine the entire country buys into this wonderful plan. Everybody collecting their 360hrs work EI to rest for the the year.
    I notice that the media is not questioning Layton on this.

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  3. I haven’t heard any questions about the EI plan. In fact, that is my point. I haven’t heard “any” substantive questions by the media to either Layton or Ignatieff. I mean, look at this piece on the SunNewsNetwork mainpage — Bob Rae reacts to acts of vandalism. Why not ask about policy for heavens sake. Even SNN is caught up in the trivia.

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  4. This election has been much about nothing, and the main stream media is to blame: the MSM instead on concentrating on actually issues that affect Canadians (like presenting party platforms honestly) are more interested in gotcha politics against leaders of the political parties. The MSM are slaves to political spin doctors and admen.

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  5. Some further thoughts on the Milewski “Shout-out”.

    I believe at the start of his 4 minute question, TM asked (sarcasticly) for the PM to answer in both English and French.

    As the PM was wrapping up his English answer and just about to start his response in French, there is a loud voice heard in the background (TM wanting to interject another question perhaps?).

    It was at this moment, the crowd took over and started to applaud to drown out the question being shouted at the PM, who wandered about for a bit to wait for the applause to subside, following which he provided his answer in French as TM had requested.

    I believe the next day, the PM’s media people took the mic away from TM following his having placed his question to avoid the annoyance of another “Shout-out”

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  6. Sandy, the biggest question that I have is whether Mssrs Layton and Ignatieff are ever asked questions in the same way that Mr. Harper is asked questions. As you mentioned, Mr. Milewski did a fairly long preamble before he asked his 3 questions. Mr Harper also answered 3 other questioners as well. So do the Liberal, NDP, Bloc or Green leaders have to suffer through the same preamble before the reporter gets to the question? Have they always been doing this and as such Mr. Harper limits the amount of proselytizing he has to suffer through during these pressers?

    Mr. Akin made a backhanded comment in one of his tweets about Mr. Harper limiting questions. Perhaps if the national media didn’t preach while they were questioning then Mr. Harper would allow more questions from them. As it happens, they are on his friggin’ plane. They have hours to ask questions, they need only be respectful.

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  7. Thanks Stephen P — I remember now the request for the PM to answer in English and French. My point is that the follow-up coverage of the “shout out” as you call it, was completely invented by TM — for what seems like an attempt to deflect his abusive and disrespectful line of questioning. Truly, some of the media, CTV’s Robert Fife included, seem to have such huge egos that they think they, the media, are the story.

    Whatever happened, the reason people cheered was to drown out media abuse. Yet, the media present obviously didn’t get it!

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  8. The media seem to be on the PM’case for every mishaps he makes as they continue to ignore ‘the coalition party’
    If the media are so worried about the PM’s mishaps but are completely unperturbed to what the coalition can do to this country why then are they bothered at every mishaps the PM makes.

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  10. One more thing, the fact that I have a relatively short list of fair journalists means that all the rest are involved in the corruption of truth I and Pilger are writing about. And, that the untruth has become the norm to such a degree that Canadians are now expected to have to seek out the few who tell the truth.

    Whew!

    Yes, Houston, we have a problem!

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  11. Ok I was at the easter even with Stephen Harper in Victoria yesterday. The press coverage was as usual complete TRASH.

    The local news story was a bitch fest about how “tightly controlled” the event was and the fact that some “protesters” weren’t allowed in. Yeah I want my kids subjected to the yelling fits by a bunch of protesters for their easter egg hunt!!! This was a private event in a private home not some public event for everyone. The prime minister even had all 5 protesters brought in to meet him once the press was gone I saw them bring them in.

    Anyway I got to say the PM gets a real bum rap. He’s just a nice quiet type of person kind of like me. I’d hate to think what lefties think of shy people like me.

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  12. I agree Sandy, it is very disappointing to see SunTv following the Liberal media.
    Right now they have a long piece on about the conservative breach of privacy in Winnipeg on Theo Caldwell. The email was deleted and no information was released. Why are Sun TV exaggerating this breach when no information was actually released.
    I am sure similar things have happened to other candidates. This is more help from Winnipeg media to help Anita Neville. Anita Neville is the Winnipeg MSM BFF.

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