I’ve never met him, I’ve never seen him, I’ve never heard from him. That’s the way I like my media moguls: totally invisible.
In my years at the Sun – on air and in print - no one has ever told me what I could or couldn’t write. Not once. My experience at other Canadian media outlets, however, has been quite different. A sampling:
- In 1988, at the Ottawa Citizen, Keith Spicer refused to publish a thing I did suggesting that the Free Trade Agreement would place our healthcare system at risk. ”We have to be nation builders,” Spicer said in a note to my editor. My editor showed it to me. He actually wrote that.
- In 2001, again at the Citizen, Scott Anderson dropped my freelance politics column because I was “too Liberal.” I pointed out that Izzy Asper (RIP) had hired me because the paper needed a Liberal. Anderson, who never met a managerial fart he couldn’t catch, was undeterred.
- In 2007, I quit my media column at the National Post because (a) they refused to let me say positive things about human rights and (b) they absolutely refused to let me print anything positive about the Toronto Star or the CBC (I have the emails to prove it). Even though they are, you know, big on free speech and all that. Um.
Anyway. Based on what I’ve read about his riding, Peladeau stands a pretty good chance of being elected to the National Assembly next month. At that point, his media days are over for a long time, perhaps for good. At that point, he’ll have even less influence over what I and others say than he does at the moment. Which, as noted above, is presently the square root of f**k all.
And if he loses? Well, then he goes back to doing what he did before: which is, still not telling me what I can and what I can’t write. (Including the anti-separatist screed I had in today’s paper. Here.)
Let me conclude with the title of a chapter in Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics: to wit, “the media is a special interest group.” That is, the only people who think the media is a pillar of objective thinking is, well, the media. The public sure as Hell don’t think that. They never have.
And that is JWK on PKP.