Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cut them off at the knees.

Skdadl revisits a comment made by Alison back in August when the Harper jellybean statement became the focus of those watching the developments of the very clandestine Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings.

I don't usually pay all that much attention to year-end retrospectives but Skdadl takes the very incisive point made by Alison and drives it straight into what should be an explosive issue.

The media in the United States has been co-opted as propagandists and it is starting to happen in Canada.
Without question, the curious adventures of Judith Miller of the New York Times made life hardest for those of us who believe profoundly in the first article of every democrat's Bill and Charter and Declaration. Why would we offer members of the fourth estate special constitutional protection if they have decided to make careers out of laundering government propaganda? That wasn't, y'know, the point of enshrining freedom of expression. Almost every other journalist who took the stand at the Libby trial or was even mentioned came off looking like an absurd, grovelling courtier to a snivelly, smirking, grubby regime whose time, we have to hope, is fast coming to an end.
The problem is that the Harper regime is using the Republican playbook. That includes media relations and the release of information. The carbon-copy behaviour of the Harperites should be a continuing media story in itself.

Sandra Buckler has wreaked havoc on the national press gallery by basically stating that if a reporter wants access, he/she had better play the game - the Conservative Party game. While the body of reporters got up in arms for a short time, that quickly died and information from the Harper government lives in a hermetically sealed jar, released in small, controlled doses.

Media ownership and convergence may have helped the bottom line of the news industry but it has done nothing for the independence of reporters and editors. Take the example Bob Kreiger and Dan Murphy of the Vancouver Province. Both have been effectively gagged by the publisher by having their often scathing political cartoons removed from the editorial pages of one of the Asper publications.

It's happening.

Reporters and editors, if they expect to retain their privileged positions of trust with the public, had better get off their asses. It is their job to critically question those in power, no matter who they are. And when a Sandra Buckler comes along, it is their duty to completely neutralize her.

Read all of Skdadl's post.

No comments: