Thursday, September 14, 2006
This is how the media sees democracy, folks
Let's not forget that the arguments the Ottawa media was using in its fight against Harper were centred around "principles" of democracy and freedom of the press. Well, let's take a gander at how this same media views its role and powers with respect to those same "principles" of democracy and freedom of the press.
From Warren Kinsella's piece today:
Harper outmanoeuvred the media, said my source, because he went on the road and spoke to regional media. In that way, he was still getting his message out. Besides, says he, former Liberal leader Paul Martin did he same thing during the election campaign, and no one complained.
But there will be a political price to pay, said the source, and he is right. "It's inconceivable to think that there isn't going to be some payback during the election... I know there will be payback. This is going to be a very, very difficult election for Harper."
Susan Delacourt, the Toronto Star Ottawa bureau chief, is willing to go on the record about the outcome. "On the whole issue of The List, the Gallery does not seem to be in any position to force reporters to stay on or off," she says. "[That] decision is being made by our newspaper/broadcast managers, as it should be."
In the end, however, the final election word will always belong to reporters, not managers. For a reporter so inclined, there are numerous ways in which to metaphorically insert a blade into a politician's back. Or provide undeserved glowing coverage about his or her adversary.
In the big fight about The List, the winner and the loser has yet to be identified. Stay tuned.
So, the media has a problem with our prime minister deciding which journalists he wants to speak to, but they don't have a problem with those same journalists engaging in stealth political attacks as payback against said prime minister.
Then they wonder why they rank just ahead of used car salesmen in public popularity.
UPDATE (10:33 am): Journalists also wonder why politicians like Harper distrust the media so much. This is why, guys. You even admit you backstab people like Harper all the time.