Monday, March 7, 2011

Ubiquitous fog of political misinformation

Trust them. They can see clearly now.
Cutting Edge of the Ledge, a weekly CKNW segment, is a classic display of journalism gone wrong in British Columbia. The participating trio - Good, Palmer, Baldrey - spreads a ubiquitous fog of political misinformation over the province, using radio, broadcast television, cable TV, daily newspapers and community papers as well as occasional public appearances courtesy of generous industry groups. In the radio gig, they are helped by NW screening calls to ensure friendly voices get priority over potential critics, if any survive the station's policy of banning those who ask hard questions. Despite only a handful of callers to each Friday segment, we hear the same voices regularly.

Last Friday, Good kicked it off with a flourish, introducing the new Liberal leader talking about her colleagues, "It has been quite a week. . . Christy Clark . . ."
"It's a great group. People are excited about the change that we're talking about, people are excited about the opportunity tuh, tuh, you know, to have a fresh start for government. So I think people, eeeeh . . . It's a great group, many of them I worked with, one of them I started working with, way back in, gosh, 1991. Many of them since 1996, 2001. . . 
Of course, Clark's voice clip launched a round of predictable cheerleading. Palmer  is "encouraged" that Clark isn't saying a whole bunch before she's had her transition briefings. Baldrey says she is getting rid of comparisons to Bill Vander Zalm and Clark is "being smart, ducking -  not ducking - ignoring the media." Bill Good agrees, "She's taking her time to be ready . . . "

The trio is pleased with Clark and the Liberals' but Palmer worries the BCTF will cause trouble for the new Premier because they're miles apart on major issues. Baldrey is sure this is a negotiation headed for complete breakdown and disaster and probably a school strike. He says,
"The BCTF asks for the moon and the sky and the stars and, unlike other unions, doesn't bargain, doesn't really get in there and start modifying its demand or compromising. It stakes out a position and doesn't move from it and that just leads to mandated settlement or legislated settlement as we've seen in the past. And, I think we're probably headed that way as well." 
Having dealt with one potential Liberal enemy in the teachers' union, the trio then defend government over its embarrassment after an adjacent doughnut shop was pressed into service as overflow for RCH emergency. Baldrey and Good have a theory about media manipulation being part of a continuing program  by RCH doctors.
"This is an extraordinary story. There's been problems at Royal Columbian in the past in terms of that emergency ward being overcrowded. It seemed to hit a new level this week with patients being put into the neighboring Tim Hortons doughnut shop. At the very least, it created a, it creates an image that is unpalatable for pretty well every British Columbian.

"On the other hand, the doctors insist that it was perfectly fine, that patients were never at risk, they got the appropriate care. I also know Colin Hansen says there was another ward available to the doctors, of twelve empty beds that they did not use and I still haven't heard an explanation of why they did not use . . ."
Good was concerned that the Tim Hortons incident gained so much attention,
"I suggested there was some media manipulation going on here."
What a shock it must have been to three newsmen with almost 100 collective years of experience. Imagine after all that time finding out that people with agendas use the media to gain public exposure. That pretense ranks with one acted by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie Casablanca,
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds? 
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! 
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money] 
Croupier: Your winnings, sir. 
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much. 
[aloud] 
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once! 
I will write separately about Baldrey's claim "there was another ward available to the doctors, of twelve empty beds that they did not use . . ." Have you seen any  credible reports of that claim or is it bull crap direct from the Liberal government? Did Baldrey check the veracity of the claim? Well, I did and I can say that the Global TV political reporter was merely doing damage control for the Liberals, something he does regularly.

Of course, after leadership, the ruling party's biggest difficulty has been HST. The Dull Edge from the Ledge trio was prepared to deal with that too with what amounted to a rehearsed 90 second commercial spot for the government. Bill Good began,
"Now, I understand you two took an HST test yesterday."
Palmer responded,
"Ministry of Finance has produced a Know Your HST quiz, one of those things that if they'd done a while ago, it might have helped them a bit. There's two of them, 12 questions on each, and you click on the questions and they come up on your screen and you get a chance to answer yes or no. I managed 10 out of 12 on them, which means I am pretty good on the HST but I still got some things wrong.
Baldrey:
I got 10 out of 12 as well but it does, it was interesting but it answers some of the myths that are out there, asking do you think your grocery bill has gone up because of HST, or down, but it does give you some questions like, one Vaughn and I both got wrong. An imaginative picnic basket where you put a loaf of bread, some cheese, some batteries, a blanket, and a basket, and a couple of other things and how many of those items are subject to the HST. I thought there'd be a number of those items, but apparently just one, so it sort of educates you on the impact of HST and clarifies some of the confusion that's out there, and I agree with Vaughn, if they had put this out there a little earlier with people perhaps some of the confusion and the apprehension would not be quite as high as it is.
Good closed with the government web address and his pals challenged listeners to beat their scores. If these so called journalists had any sense of professional ethics, instead of promoting the HST tests as answering myths spread by opponents of the tax measure, they would report the tests actually provide  selected information that aims to minimize the apparent effect of the tax on ordinary consumers.

The fact remains that, for business to save $2 billion a year while HST brings in the same or more than the old tax system, someone has to make up the for the cash going into pockets of companies like Shell Oil, Encana, Terasen and, oh yes, ones like Global TV, Postmedia and Corus Radio. The someone is the powerless group of ordinary consumers.

HST is a wealth transfer that takes money from consumers and pays it over largely to big business. Do you suppose Good, Palmer and Baldrey don't know that? Of course they do but it suits their personal business agendas to be mouthpieces for the Liberal government and its loyal business supporters.
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9 comments:

  1. In history, there is many examples of once great men who turn to tawdry toadies, when they perceive themselves celebrities.

    Baldry and Palmer have frittered away any pretense of being independent and now have become tiresome Liberal infomercials. Good, is just a 21st century Lord Haw Haw, a pathetic Quisling doing as his master tells him to do.

    Here is the state of the mainstream media, an embarrassment to their calling; tired, worn out - waiting until someone puts an end to their pro Liberal rantings.

    The three stooges have sold their souls to the devil and the public do not care, as more and more of us who want varied opinion find it on the blog.

    The three stooges hate the blogs, simply they reveal how bad they are. Their careers will end in a whimper, for no one will care or miss them.

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  2. good article Norm.

    I don't regularly follow MSM anymore given the shameless and relentless pandering to a corporate and very anti-democratic perspective.

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  3. As disgustingly boring as these three are, if one is making a list of BC Liberal toadies there is no way that the name of Gary Mason can be excluded. During the 2005 election campaign he wrote a series of puff pieces in the Globe and Mail that were so treacly they made one's teeth ache. The most prominent was that extolling the virtues of one Gordon Campbell. There were others, all in the same vein. He continues his brown nosing in the Globe, but many have caught onto his little gig and give him a good bashing in the Comments section.

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  4. I also listened in had to turn it off. Media in BC, and the rest of Canada for that matter, is totally corrupt.
    Canadians should be very afraid.

    CGHZD

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  5. Hi Norm,
    I spent several years in the media, namely radio in Ontario & BC. I left in the mid 90's and although I enjoyed my time in broadcasting, it's easy to understand how some allow their ego to rule over professionalism. I've never looked up to anyone in the media because they all have their own reasons to be there & it's hard to find anyone who is sincere about writing articles to inform the public and allow them to make their own decisions. However I must add that my view toward bloggers is far different. It's here I see for the most part a well balanced source of information. Individuals like you Norm and the others like Alex, David, Laila etc., should be proud to know that many of us appreciate your efforts far more than any sleazy reporter for the MSM.
    And finally, I truly believe the audience for individuals like those you name, is continually eroding. The only recognition (aside from their own industry awards ) these people seem to receive is from the bloggers. I sometimes feel that if we all stopped mentioning their names, it won't be long before no one ever recognizes them.

    Guy in Victoria

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  6. I waffle on the subject of paying attention to MSM contributors or not. It is a little like being present for a hockey fight. As much as that deserves no place in great hockey, it is hard not to watch.

    Today, I spent a few minutes listening to Good talking to a person trying to buy consumer products sourced entirely in Canada. That is near impossible, which of course supports the argument of people unhappy with HST. Remember how shoes were going to cost less because manufacturers would pass along tax savings? It seems those shoe factories in Asia don't save anything through elimination of PST. However, the oil companies, the mining exporters, the gas producers save big dollars without passing a cent back to consumers.

    Bill Good won't talk about that. It doesn't fit his agenda of selling politics of his friends.

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  7. My name is PJ and I am One VoiceMarch 8, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I find it ironic that so much ink is paid to CKNW. It is as though they are the only ones that are creating the problems. It is also ironic that we don't pay much attention to the US of A. I pay attention to people like Michael Moore, why you ask, because of the beginning statement that he made in. Here are his words. Quote:
    America is not broke.

    Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

    Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.

    Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true. Unquote

    Now what has this got to do with we Canucks? If you ask that please let me state his words again, " . . . 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined."

    Who do you think are pulling the strings in Canada, are they the little players that we often talk about or are they really the '400 obscenely rich people' that control and manipulate the economies of the world.

    We Canucks however, don't seem to think that what is happening down 'there' has anything to do with us up here.

    Speaking about the 400 obscenely rich men, Moore continues, "They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day -- this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart -- because you -- yes, you, too! -- might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone, don't rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day."

    And so we do, we believe the myth, while we cling to the bandwagon that is intent to destroy everything that would give us the remote chance of becoming one of the 400 obscenely rich men.

    Apparently I exceeded the characters so to be continued next . . .

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  8. My name is PJ and I am One VoiceMarch 8, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    cont. . .


    Canada is NOT BROKE. I say that because Michael Moore does not do or say anything that is not true. He has made films that have spoken the truth, and not once has there been a lawsuit aimed at him. He in fact has been the fodder of the US government as leaked through WikiLeaks.

    Do we have the same obscenely rich men here in Canada, yes, but I will state my opinion very clearly that they are few, but well connected to the 400 obscenely rich men that control the US (hell, the world) economy, the men with their ugly, poison, greedy fingers tightly around our necks.

    They will destroy our health care, they will destroy our education system, they will take the meager pensions from our seniors, all for the sole purpose of proving that they are able to do so.

    And we as the majority seem to have sole our souls to these 'devils' for the dream of becoming one of the obscenely rich.

    Historically, we are approaching an time called Medieval society, where the few obscenely rich partied on the back of the obscenely poor.

    400 obscenely rich men have more wealth then 155 million people combined.

    If you would like to read this speech and see the video of Michael giving it, go to http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/america-is-not-broke

    And if you are interested do here http://grittv.org/2011/03/01/michael-moore-people-still-have-the-power/

    This site is called GritTV.

    Part 2 is on the site, but you will also be able to view what other Canadians are trying to do to stop the actions of these greedy men.

    http://grittv.org/videos

    Maude Barlow's documentary called Water on the Table, her site here. http://www.wateronthetable.com/

    The time is to stop talking and take a stand. There needs to be a revolt started here.

    Moore states, "There's something happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you ...?"

    America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!"

    There are more of us than there are of them. We are no different then they are, there are more of us.

    Stand up and be counted or else you might as well prepare for the 400 obscenely rich men to complete their rape and pillage of this beautiful country called Canada.

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  9. I wonder when we're going to hear the "premier designate" be outraged over what happened at RCH.So far it's been spin,spin,spin from this government and not an ounce of concern for the patients or their loved ones.Yes Bill,Vaughn,and Kieth,people use the media from time to time to get their issue/message/point across.Gee,what a surprise!How ungrateful of them,eh?

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