Government silence and media complicity

| 3 Comments

Every so often, someone in the mainstream media will complain about the Conservative government's muzzling of spokespeople, its secrecy, its general refusal to say anything about any subject that might embarrass it (which in the case of this government would be almost everything). Currently we have Jeffrey Simpson whining about the Cons' refusal to answer questions, refusal to let their staff or scientists answer questions and so on. His conclusion is that there is nothing the media can do, that it's a masterful, unanswerable tactic since the public don't care and all the media can do is occasionally complain.

What a pile of nonsense. I'm happy that Mr. Simpson sees a problem here, but this is a tactic that only works so long as the media is practically working for the government, insisting on giving the Conservatives stacks of legitimacy they do not deserve.

If all the media wanted was to publish eyeball-grabbing news, the solution is obvious. If the Conservative government doesn't want to talk, there are lots of people with interests in policy, who don't like the Conservative government much, who would be happy to get some coverage. If the Cons won't talk about their environmental policies, ask David Suzuki--you'll get lots better quotes anyway. If they won't talk about First Nations, ask Charlie Angus, or maybe even (gasp!) a First Nations leader. Imagine: "In answer to our queries, a communications representative of the minister repeated an irrelevant talking point. But First Nations band leader Joseph Awesomedude said the policy seemed designed to punish First Nations who attempt to take independent steps forward."

If the Conservative government found that the result of refusing to talk, or of giving no real information, was that their opponents got coverage instead and the news was all about the Conservatives getting slagged or someone else's policies being discussed, they'd come around quick enough. But the media won't do that because their job is to help the Cons look legitimate and respectable so long as it's the people of Canada, not the plutocrats of Canada, that they're screwing with.

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3 Comments

Great post!
Would be marvellous if this was also done more often - CTV running all 7 of Poilievre's identical dodgeball non-answers to 7 different questions.

http://www.globalnews.ca/political+dodgeball/6442755364/story.html

Perhaps a handy sped-up gif of it could be run in place of MPs non-answers in future prior to interviewing someone who actually does answer as you suggest.

I believe 'The Harper Brand' and its toxic twin alter ego, The Conservative 'Brand' need to be tarnished permanently. Painted exactly as they really are. Do I expect mainstream media to assist? No.. mainstream media use the word 'alleged' too much and seem to get much of their misinformation from anonymous sources not authorized to speak on certain policy, legislative, environmental, budgetary or electoral matters. There are some exceptions but we know who they are and that they need a lot of help to consistently and effectively reach Canadian voters.

If I had the money I would lease a tar sands tailings pond with a clear sight line to Fort McMurray and erect a 500 foot tall flashing neon sign with an astoundingly huge LCD or plasma screen underneath. I guess I would rotate my 'programming'.. or 'corrective branding'. For sure I would begin with quotes by important westerners and photographs of them. 'You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it' would be my first pick I guess.

Thanks to the new Omnibus Budget Brand we have fools and puppet tools like Joe Oliver, Peter Kent and Keith Ashfield as quotable mouthpieces and experts in burying or obstructing scientific studies.. so they deserve their moments of infamy.. and can help frame the Harper Brand as the most criminally toxic (but evangelical) to environment, fish, naturalism, wildlife, waters, people, science, land, habitat in Canada's history.

John Baird deserves heavy rotation along the lines of 'Go Israel !' That should go over big in northern Alberta. I believe he thought it was The Great Baird Rain Forest when he spoke so glowingly of his love for it. As most of us know its The Great Bear Rain Rainforest.. and uh.. that pipeline to Kitimaat, John.. and those Chinese VLCC tankers.. and your views on trashing The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.. your love of proroguing and situational ethics.. can we quote you ?

Poilievre is 'Harper Light' .. and a wannabe PM lined up just behind the poisonous piglet Jason Kenney.. and thanks for that link Alison.. The Russian judge gives oily-ethical Poily a score just decimals below Penashue for his ludicrous same answer to every question http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/tory-mp-peter-penashue-does-best-groundhog-day-153638030.html

Unfortunately.. I can't afford that sign near Fort McMurray.. nor can I hire Alexandra Morton or Dr. Schindler to save our wild salmon and do the job we elected Keith Ashfield to do. I can't hire Pogge .. or Nick Nikiforuk or Franke James or the galloping Beaver.. or the other dozens of stalwart or outraged or stunned or intimidated or silenced patriots I've come to treasure.

When the mainstream media mention that Canadian scientists are muzzled.. I cringe.. All of Canada has been muzzled and our views, thoughts, dreams misrepresented by approx 1000 to 2500 or so complete political animal thugs. There's your stinking majority .. This is the tiny but sanctimonious minority that currently 'speaks for Canada and Canadians' .....

G'day and Good Luck .. eh

I've sent this note (below) to Saskboy and will prob send to 6th Estate as well
Disaffected Lib and maybe the Beaver that gallops..
I'm looking for feedback... or critique
I believe 'freedom on information' requests may blow this wide open

Cool .. and keep up the excellent work !

T

----

I came across an exceptional article via the always excellent NorthernInsights.

The article, story and its included links re Alexandra Morton and Christi Miller, I was well aware of.. but Ms Morton (bless her vibrant marine biologist soul..) included several links I had not seen before, in her letter to one Dr Bernard Vallat.. One particular link takes you to Canada's Justice Department website regarding Canadian law. After continuing my very careful read of Ms Morton's letter and other helpful links, I also saw mention of how The Privy Council is involved. I suddenly realized there is a specific law.. and public record connecting infected salmon - suppression and obstruction of related science - directly to Stephen Harper

Would you have a look ? There's a comment included below the article that attempts to pull the facts together in terms of collusion, malfeasance, incompetence, suppression and obstruction. There is a crime underway.

Since all of this is public record via The Cohen Commission I was startled by the obvious.. There's links (below).. and as mentioned, the letter to Mr Vallat portrays a path of suppression, obstruction, delay, scientific muzzling regarding infected wild salmon, via infected Atlantic salmon eggs, virus testing etc through the CFIA, the BC provincial government and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and on to The Privy Council..

I don't need to tell you who runs The Privy Council ..
that's Stephen Harper and Ray Novak

Northernisights may not understand who could actually end up in jail ..... !

- http://northerninsights.blogspot.ca/2012/12/those-in-way-may-end-up-in-jail.html

- http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/ (letter to Dr Vallat)

I am going to copy this note to you.. and send it to several other bloggers.
I hope mainstream media can follow up with the suggested requests in the 'comment' via freedom of information

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