Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Press Poodles Gone Wild


Inspired by a post by skdadl over at POGGE's place (which is still one of the best sites in the Canadian PoliBloggodome, by the way), a few days ago we wrote a piece about how the media-manipulation jockeys riding Stephen Harper are clearly using a strategy taken directly from the pages of the Rovian/Republican "Book of The Smear".

Which, of course, is to turn the National Press Gallery into poodles by limiting 'exclusive' access to their horse.

Why should we, as Canadians, care?

This, we think, is why:

Now a number of commentators, including even (gasp!) Mr. Don Martin, have made a wee bit of a fuss about all of this.

Which, unfortunately is just not good enough.

Not the 'fuss' part.

But rather the 'wee bit' part.

Because (media manipulation jockey) Ms Sandra Buckler's real evil in limiting access is not to cow (CBC Radio's ) Ms. Petty.

Instead, Buckler is making damned sure that the entire National Press Corps knows and understands that any of them can and will be shut-out if they don't play ball.

Which is why they should ALL make a huge fuss about this right now.

Up to and including going so far as to refuse to grant any exclusive interviews to Mr. Harper.

After all, it's not like the lizard brain is pimping a Ron Popiel pocket fisherman or something.

Because, last time we checked at least, Canada is not yet an infomercial driven shill factory.

Now, those words were written last Friday.

Then, on Saturday, we opened up the Globe and Mail and read the following from National Affairs columnist Jane Taber (no link: it's behind the BellGlobeCTVTSNRDSCHUMMedia subscription wailing wall):

"The Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie, says: "Only Sandra is authorized to make New Year resolutions at PMO". Mr. Brodie, who has a good sense of humour, is referring to PMO director of communications Sandra Buckler and the continuing tension between the press gallery and the PMO over how press conferences are conducted, who can ask questions, and who can answer them.

Of course, no need to worry about Ms. Taber's 'objectivity' because clearly she has unfettered, unlimited, and unimaginably unfathomable access.

After all, she writes and commentates for one of the biggest media conglomerates this country has ever seen, so her access is safe, right?


Which very likely explains why Ms. Taber (and/or her bossess) ran a huge picture accompanying her BellGlobeCTVTSNRDSCHUMMedia piece that showed a virile, if wobbling and wide-waisted, Prime Minister Harper playing shinny on an Alberta pond during 'Holiday Week'.

And who took that picture?

Well, apparently it was taken by BellGlobeCTVTSNRDSCHUMMedia's new staff photographer - the apparently award winning shutterbug, Ms Laureen Harper.


But still, that kind of stuff is all in good fun, right?

Because, really, despite all that, the country formerly known as Canuckistan is still safe because we don't have FOX News North and we really are not "an infomercial driven shill factory."

Well, maybe/maybe not.

Why the hesitation?

Well, here's Ms. Taber again, this time apparently speaking in her 'own voice' the very next day, Sunday Dec 30th, 2007:

Taber said Harper's strategy is effective -- as long as he knows when to draw the line.

"I think that Canadians were looking for a decisive leader, but sometimes he can go overboard, sometimes he can be too black and white with stuff," she told CTV.ca. "I think he's got to be careful about that. He can also be petulant about things."

Ya sure....... blabba, blabba, blabba, 'he's sorta bad, but he's actually good, unless he's bad, but, regardless it doesn't really matter because we like deciders"......blabba, blabba, blabba.

Which is inane in the extreme.

But the bubbles between the quotes isn't what is really worrying.

Instead, go back to the bolded bit (ie. she told CTV.ca)

Yes, that's right!

Ms. Taber, who works for BellGlobeCTVTSNRDSCHUMMedia, was actually being interviewed by BellGlobeCTVTSNRDSCHUMMedia.


That sure is some great 'News Analysis' we're gettin' there with our Popiel Pocket Fishermen and our Zirconian Diamonds.

So how come my head feels like an empty suitcase, and why are my abs are still flabby?


For the record, skadl's post was inspired by the work and art of Alison who, we think, just made a resolution/kinda/sorta (something, by the way that Ms. Taber's new photog refuses to do because, as she apparently says, "Why set yourself up to fail and be depressed?).


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