Thursday, July 8, 2010

Something for something, favors between friends

Harvey Oberfeld has an interesting scoop about Tourism's $650,000 deal with Global TV.  It is a timely piece as the BC Government begins its mass media campaign to sell that business tax relief that 80% of us think was introduced in shameful fashion. Global's faux news programing planned around Chris Gailus and others provides more evidence that Gordon Campbell's government uses the provincial treasury to buy sympathetic media treatment. It's been a habit of many politicians but the current British Columbia administration is shameless about doing it.  Of course, until recently, it has worked rather well for them.

CKNW and its band of Liberal supporters, the worst of which are Good, Clark, Levy, Campbell and MacDonald, have been shameless shills for the government during the signing period of the HST Initiative Petition. I found that strange because one assumes a radio station should be responsive to listener viewpoints and not hammering out contrary messages that ultimately serve to insult the audience. However, we also know that when behavior follows an illogical pattern, there is always a reason. In some cases, it's philosophical; more commonly it is economic. In other words, follow the money.

The facts are pretty straight forward. Mainstream media, newspapers, television and radio, have been onside with the pro-HST effort from the start. It has largely been non-stop partisan reporting. As a thank you, the BC Government commissioned a huge media buy to promote HST. A simple quid pro quo or something for something.

Global TV carries the Liberal banner and there is none worse at sympathetic reporting than Keith Baldrey. That situation amuses some of the honest people at Global TV but Baldrey is doing what management wants. Now, Harvey Oberfeld points out 650,000 reasons why Global and the Liberals are in bed together.

I looked through the public accounts listing of payments to suppliers and contractors, wondering if we could learn exactly how much has been paid to Corus, Global, Canwest and other media companies. These are numbers the government doesn't want us to know so they pay the money through agents and do not report the true beneficiaries of payments. Either that or the government didn't do any broadcast or print advertising in the last year and we know that ain't true.
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