This Reformatory anti-CBC stuff is boring

It’s useful as a fundraising tool with CBC-hating SoCon grassy knoll types, I guess, but it’s also a lie.

To wit:

  • “I’m not a CBC booster, but the CBC was the best.” Stephen Harper, Globe, November 20, 1995
  • “The CBC/SRC is and will remain Canada’s public broadcaster.” Stephen Harper, National Post, September 15, 2006

Holy rookie mistake, Batman!

For the first time that I can remember, Mr. Angry has been the first politician to invoke the “E” word.  So much for his ever-helpful “unnecessary election” talking points.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

If there is an election, the Libs/NDP/Bloc should save that headline: it’ll help to remind everyone, in a paid campaign, who is really to blame.

UPDATE: Who says PMO doesn’t watch this web site?  They got on the blower to CTV to complain, and the headline was changed!  (Should’ve got a screen cap – I wonder if Kevin Bosch did?)

UPDATER: Never mind.  I did it myself.  You’re welcome.

“Would it be unprofessional to say we worshipped you, and named our band after you?”

The Mesleys.  (Not exactly as pictured.)

Today I was interviewed today by the CBC’s Wendy Mesley about the Jaffer/Guergis/lobbyist/blah blah blah stuff.

It’s an interesting subject, I guess, but I had other things on my mind. The whole time, I wanted to tell her:  “In Ottawa, four of us had a band we named after you, The Mesleys.  Our greatest regret was that we were never able to present you with our first platinum record.”

Actually, we never had a platinum record.  Or a gold one.  Or a tin one, even.

Anyway, I didn’t tell her about the band.  I chickened out (sorry, Yaz).  Meanwhile, Wendy’s story is on The National tonight.

Farmers Forum Apologizes


Patrick Meagher and Eastern Ontario Farmers Forum wish to apologize to Warren Kinsella and the Daisy Consulting Group for suggestions made in its edition of April 14, 2010.
In particular, Mr. Meagher and Eastern Ontario Farmers Forum wish to retract statements made about Mr. Kinsella and the Daisy Consulting Group concerning the quality of service it provides to its clients; the cost of its services; its ethics; and the credibility it enjoys with government. Mr. Meagher and Eastern Ontario Farmers Forum accepts that the statements it made were false and without foundation, and unreservedly apologizes for them.

Clash of the Titans

After taking the kids to see Clash of the Titans last night – which is about Greek mythology, sort of, and powerful forces toying with the lives of humans – I actually sat down and watched both CBC and CTV’s national newscasts, last night. It was interesting.

When you have a national news broadcast, or a newspaper, you can only choose to make one story your main story. There’s no way you can give two stories equal prominence. You have to choose.

So, last night, CBC chose the historic ruling of House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken. And CTV chose the historic events playing themselves out in Europe, with Greece (and maybe Portugal and Spain and others) possibly getting ready to trigger a new global recession/depression.

I wasn’t at the editorial meetings at either network, but I reckon that CBC’s editors decided that the ruling in Ottawa had all the requisite elements for a Big Story: drama, conflict, power, and the potential for the toppling of the Canadian government. On the other side of town, at CTV, I figure all of those arguments would have been made by the Ottawa bureau’s staff, but a decision was made to pay attention to the chilling economic developments in Europe – because those events, too, are dramatic and so on.

At both news organizations, the guiding principle would have been this: what is most relevant to the lives of our readers/viewers/listeners? What do they care about? What matters most to them? (I can tell you that every political party goes through the same existential analysis every day, too, for different reasons.)

CTV’s top guys and gals would have concluded something like this: “What is happening in Ottawa is interesting, but do our viewers really care about a dense, complex ruling by the Speaker of the House of Commons that may or may not result in an election or a reference to the Supreme Court, or whatever? Do they really care about Afghan detainees? What they care about is their families being plunged into another global recession. That’s what they care about.”

CBC’s bosses, meanwhile, might have said: “The European debt crisis is important, but it’s been a ‘crisis’ for weeks now. The IMF will step in sometime soon, and – besides – when was the last time our audience cared about the stability of the economy of a small country in Europe? Don’t they care, instead, about the fact that their government is possibly trying to cover up allegations of torture, and that the politicians seem ready to plunge us into yet another election, because none of them are capable of compromise?”

There are merits to both sides. What is ironic, to me, is that the Conservatives will almost certainly use the latter to offset the former. They’ll say – just you watch – that Canadians don’t want an expensive, unnecessary election about the fate of some likely members of the Taliban. And that what matters most is putting bread on the table. Having an election during another economic crisis is foolhardy.

Personally, I think CBC probably made the right call. I look at the Conservative argument, and invert it: the European economic crisis is real and significant, and it will have implications for every Canadian. To get through it, everyone will need to pull together. Your arrogance and intransigence and deceit are pitting everyone against each other, yet again. We need a government that understands the necessity of compromise – particularly if we are to emerge whole from the chaos that possibly lies ahead. When there is a Clash of the Titans – politically, economically – it is usually the little guy who gets hurt. So, cool it, already.

What do you think? CBC or CTV? Comments are open.

Um, er…

…I said the Speaker would “cave.” He didn’t! I was wrong! I was wrong! Ya-hoo!

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I owe Peter Milliken, who my mother adores, an apology. And I owe James Bowie, student-at-law, a lunch at the Japanese place.

Now, a fortnight hence, if the Reformatories flip the bird in the direction of Parliament again, and Mr. Milliken asks that everyone come together and be nice to each other, yet again, then lunch is on you, Mr. Bowie.

Until then, I stand before you, a chastened man.

(And, impossibly, a little bit hopeful that we may still have a functioning democracy, here.)

(Norman’s take, always worth reading, here.)

(And Susan has a fascinating little exchange with Derek Lee on what lies ahead.)