05.08.2010 07:37 AM

The constitutional right to lie to your readers

What a load of facile horseshit.

They “hold the powers that be to account.” They spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend a journalistic principle on behalf of all media.” They “cast important light on powerful individuals and institutions.” They valiantly provide “a free press, an educated citizenry and an accountable government.” Canada is “a vibrant society” that has been “built,” well, by them.

No, actually, Canada was built by lots of other people – not editorial writers.  And, to put a fine point on it, what the case was about – WHAT IT REALLY WAS ABOUT – was that the National Post lied about “Shawinigate,” and then relied upon forgeries to buttress that lie, and then went to court to prevent their lie from being exposed.  It’s a bit like what newspaper editorial boards argue, all the time, about the need for government openness and transparency and so on.  Except that they don’t think the principles of openness and transparency should apply to them.

But, really, why am I so exasperated, after so many years?  I mean, after all, these are the people who “built” Canada’s vibrant society.

I should know better.


  1. billg says:

    Bang flippin on WK.
    Anonymous sources have said tonights performance at the Bovine will change music forever, or, maybe just for a couple of hours.

  2. Steve Gallagher says:

    Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

    Have fun, amigo.


  3. JH says:

    Thumbs up Warren.
    I’m all for this if it means no more gotcha! journalism and reporting rumour and innuendo as fact. Libel chill has its place. Ah the press – hoist by their own petard!

  4. Steve T says:

    Completely agree, WK. “Protecting a source” is often code for “made up a story.”

    Newspapers and journalists put themselves FAR too high on a pedestal. They sit up late at night and watch All The President’s Men, and fantasize that they are all the next Woodward or Bernstein.

  5. auntie-em-m says:

    Agree with alloftheabove.
    As a resident of a small city with only a Canwest crappy daily for delivery, I know we’ve all been exposed to enough slanted lying editorials to cause an exorbidant number of heart& stroke incidents. Along with local Corus radio right-wing talk shows, I think we’re making medical history. Especially as we’re short of doctors and hospital beds.

  6. parnel says:

    Another tory rag caught in their culture of deceipt

  7. Sandra says:

    Well, damn. My ancesters (early settlers in this country) cleared lands, went through hell during winter months, started farms and businesses, fought in wars and all they had to do to build this country was to write on a piece of paper?

    If only they’d known.

  8. Blair Shumlich says:


    I think you meant to say “culture of receipt”.

  9. Herman Thind says:

    Agreed with all. There HAS to be some sort of guidelines established for the press, rather than the old chestnut about “press integrity”. Fact is, media has become nothing but shit-disturbers looking to sell more papers/advertising hours/time slots.

    While there are some true journalists – mostly with small independents, or “public” networks (even they are waning), for the most part journalism has become about:
    – Having a “certain look” (face for TV, etc.)
    – Popularity of certain anchors (and the battles to please the boss to be that anchor)
    – Sensationalism (sex/fear/hate sells)
    – Selling the message of your advertisers (if Big Oil, the CPC, the auto industry, and real estate are your biggest advertisers, then you try pretty hard to present them in a positive light. In the current real estate disaster – coming – the media is guilty, guilty, guilty, of goosing sales, capturing helpless young “first time buyers” by basically lying while presenting only ONE SIDE of the real estate story with so-called “experts” who all profit from real estate sales).

    Unfortunately, the general public has not nearly the education/skill required to differentiate between “info-journalism”/”ad-itorials” and REAL NEWS – even we get caught up in believing the blarney every now and then…

  10. Granny (Betty Van Horne) says:

    I agree with both Warren and Herman. Regarding the “”News”” “Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear. Brilliant is when you know which half to believe” (Orben’s Current Comedy).
    George Orwell would be saying “Told you so..Told you so !”

  11. Tceh says:

    The “right to lie” extends to our own Federal Government Warren. Otherwise how could Jim Flaherty pass off this piece of HS as proof of Income Trust related tax leakage when it is only proof of Conservative arrogance and NDP stupidity. http://www.caiti.info/resources/fla_docs.pdf This is all Flaherty could dare release because to disclose all the facts would show he was caught in a lie. He chose to ignore RRSP deferred tax revenue becasue that would deflate his argument end of story.

    The Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors (CAITI) has been doing backflips to get the media to look into the Income Trust tax leakage lie over the past 3 1/2 years and all they have gotten is silence from the MSM. They are not interested in the truth. So I got to agree with you bud. MSM can cry about why readership looks at them and doesn’t want to buy their product anymore but the main reason is what they got to sell isn’t worth anywhere near the asking price.

  12. JH says:

    I wonder when the Lame Stream Media is going to get it?
    Go out on the street. Nobody believes them anymore, nobody respects them as being the purveryors of independant analysis. It’s all gotcha! journalism and wanting to be the next ‘Woodstein’. And the various ‘war rooms’ have encouraged that (sorry Warren) nobody believes anything the press says. Look at the polls – they says it all. We all sit out here in the boonies hoping for facts and independant analysis and we get biased fluff from the right and the left, as reported by journalism school prostitutes. And BTW I worked in Ottawa in a political context and most of the top press folks at that time seemed to be marking time until they could land a job in a minister’s office or some other political appointment. There are even families (no names) who’ve made an even bigger career of sucking on the public press thorugh journalism than even the politicians.

  13. JH says:

    Should have said sucking on the public teat – sorry – long night – hockey game & beer!

  14. Patrick Deberg says:


    I wrote a blurb on the post blog website after reading their editorial stating the same thing you wrote here.
    It was the first time they didn’t print something I wrote ……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.