Saturday, October 21, 2006

Media swipe at the Blogging Tories

This article made an appearance in newspapers across the country this morning.

Pro-Tory blogs support MacKay, dismiss Stronach
Personally, I don't have much time for any politician who uses the floor of the House of Commons to perpetuate a lovers' or ex-lovers' spat. The pair of them need to have their heads stuffed in a toilet and flushed until the cotton-candy runs out of their ears.

But, it was towards the end of the Canadian Press article which got my attention.

The websites listed at have no official ties to the Conservative government.

But in recent weeks, the sites have run the same media talking points as those issued by senior officials in government.
That's innuendo which surfaced during the last federal election campaign. Founder of the Blogging Tories, Stephen Taylor, quickly put to rest any suggestion of impropriety and defended the actions of his members. For what it's worth, the accusations against Taylor appeared to be little more than sour grapes on the part of a couple of disaffected former Progressive Conservatives.

This latest bit from a major media organ is rather surprizing. While CP doesn't come right out and say it, there is a suggestion that some members of the Blogging Tories are in possession of Conservative government talking-points.

I have a tendency not to believe that.

Almost any political blog could be accused of that kind of thing. The truth is, Conservative party supporters, particularly Harper fanatics, would be well aware of CPoC dogma and it would be a simple thing to espouse them. Some are actually going to hit on the same points made by the PMO's spin machine. For the most part, however, it seems that the media talking-points CP is so concerned with are simply repeated after first being heard. There is also the fact that media talking-points surface with some regularity on the CPoC website, one of the only places you'll find a picture of Stephen Harper with a smile on his face.

There is also the fact that most media talking-points issued by the Conservatives are pretty simple and garnish-free.

CP's suggestion seems a bit of a stretch... and it probably gave the Blogging Tories more credit than they deserve.

Update: In comments there was more than one suggestion that I was being naive with regards the BTs. (One subtle, the other came right out and said it.) In all honesty, I don't really care. Maybe it's true. My point was to highlight the fact that a major media outlet was hinting at an accusation and then went so far as not to prove it. For anyone to take this posting as a defence of the Blogging Tories beyond that point would be a mistake.

However, I'll provide links, which came from comments, in the interest of offering more background. Certainly, during the last federal election campaign, the BTs ties with the Harper Conservatives became a point of contention, particularly where party fundraising was involved. Here and here are some well-detailed events which indicate a direct connection and there was certainly some fallout.

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