Sunday, August 13, 2006

More MSM Watchdogs

If you are into encouraging accuracy in MSM, here are a couple of links worth checking out.

The first is CBC Watch, which seems to be dedicated to "exposing the bias" in the CBC - my kind of site. They have highlighted a terrific report by Arthur Weinreb of Canada Free Press, in which he gives credit to Stephen Taylor for his excellent work in the now infamous Christina Lawand 'report'.

A brief excerpt:

The actions of the CBC were far worse than anything that Dan Rather ever did. The Dan had evidence that George W. Bush had evaded his National Guard Service and in his zest to get the president, he ignored any evidence, however obvious, that suggested the documents that he had were forgeries. But here the CBC, by the use of selective editing and taking statements out of context didn’t just report false news — they actually created it.

Heads should roll over this. And some real thought should be given to their funding.

I noticed another recent piece by Weinreb regarding Caledonia (Obeying the Law - Dalton's Going to Think about it):

As with many things in life, there is good news and bad news in the McGuinty government’s handling of the entire Caledonia fiasco. The good news is that Dalton McGuinty is looking absolutely prime ministerial. The bad news is that he looks like the prime minister of Lebanon. Like Lebanon, there is a section of the province that is completely lawless, controlled by a group who are a law unto themselves who do what they want, when they want to do it. Much like the Lebanese army, the Ontario Provincial Police are around somewhere but they never do anything or get involved.

Beauty! This is going to be a regular read for me!


Alberta Girl said...

Re the CBC Joanne, I am wondering if Adler and Kinsella and other of the MSM would have been so horrified over this if the blogesphere had not caught it and exposed it.

Me thinks not.

Red Tory said...
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Alberta Girl said...

Hey Red - your moniker says all!

I wouldn't consider it flailing at media bias - it is blatant - one doesn't even have to twist anything to see it. But obviously you have your blinders on. The only reason you are finding it soooooo tiresome is because it is being caught and brought to the forefront. Take the blinders off Red, the MSM is being monitored and exposed.

As for the "trolling" thing - I was definitely over there shaking my head at the asinine thinking, but alas, no Cecile here. Of course, it was impossible to have any kind of logical discourse as any attempts to challenge the thinking and ask questions were met with namecalling. I finally left as it was obvious that it was futile to expect any logical responses.

Why Red, do Liberals always resort to rude namecalling instead of debating the issues.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Why Red, do Liberals always resort to rude namecalling instead of debating the issues.


leftdog said...

After all of the crap normal canadians had to endure from right wingers and conservatives over the last few years, I find it funny that you are so thinned skin when the media gently probes at your extremeist prime minister. All this ridiculous thread proves is what I have been saying for some time now: "Tories can sure dish it out - but they simply CANNOT TAKE IT". Grow up. You're playing politics in the big leagues now and Canadians are getting more and more sick of your whinning and carping. Medication just may do the trick for your delicate sensibilities. Sheeeesh!

Oh and about 'name calling' - you rightwingers have mastered that - just go look at smalldeadanimals of the western standard blogsite if you need a reminder. Sheeeesh.

TrustOnlyMulder said...

Joanne, there also used to be an organization called that ran something called CanwestWatch but I can't seem to find them. they had some good stuff on the Aspers.

RT, I'll ease up on the MSM when they stop trying to pull fast ones on the public.....and when Antonia Z. is no longer assumed to be the defacto political blogger in Canada.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I am wondering if Adler and Kinsella and other of the MSM would have been so horrified over this if the blogesphere had not caught it and exposed it.

AG, there are possibly two levels to this. First of all, how much of this type of thing goes on that flies under the radar? Stephen's catch on this one should be a wake-up call for all MSM consumers to read the label before blinding downing your media medicine.

Secondly, the very fact that it was a blog that brought this to light is especially sweet. :)

Leftdog, I agree that it is important for everyone to try to refrain from throwing labels around in blogs and elsewhere. Wben I see this going on, I try to remind people to criticize the behaviour - not the person.

Red Tory said...
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Joanne (True Blue) said...

What name did I call you?

Since we are both 'dead' to each other, and I am not in the habit of talking to ghosts, I still must ponder who exactly you are talking to???????

C. LaRoche said...

I hate to say it, Johanne, because I enjoy your media-related posts -- but as someone who has worked and studied media (albeit limitedly), the idea of an unbiased news source is a complete myth created opponents of whatever bias a media source takes. Dozens of decision go into a constructing a newscast or a news section -- what stories to report, what stories not to report, and, best of all, which angle within a story makes it most appealing to readers/viewers and their pocketbooks. The problem with 'sensationalist' journalism that has an agenda is not so much unique to the CBC as it is to the growing demands of the marketplace: these stories sell better. They get more viewers, they move more copies, and they are demanded by editors (who, in turn, are pressured by owners).

In the truest sense of the word, "media" isn't supposed to simply report news -- it is supposed to act as a check on the ebbs and flows of power in government. It is supposed to tell the plebes what government is doing with their money. This is such an imprecise science, however, that trying to be 'unbiased' is simply a day-to-day principle (sort of like "the customer is always right") rather than something that can be said for the end product. I commend media sources that make their bias clear rather than posturing to be "unbiased." At least this is more transparent. The only unbiased news you'll find will be in your head -- when you go to a number of news sources and synthesize their various points of view.

Re: this particular case, I would say this is more a symptom of 'sensationalization' than pure bias. It's the CBC's job to scrutinize government. This report obviously manufactured its own logic to make that point, and did so unfairly. Good on you to catch it!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good on you to catch it!

Laroche, thanks, but the kudos go to Sephen Taylor!

However, your analysis is most interesting. Yes, I agree that it is not possible to report anything without a smidgeon of bias, but a network that is funded by the taxpayers should do it's best to attempt to report in a non-partisan fashion. I don't recall anything like this going on during the Chretien and Martin years.

C. LaRoche said...

You're absolutely right -- critism from much of Canada's media (CBC; Globe and Mail) tended to be fairly soft while Liberals were in power. I remember a colleague of mine (an actual "real" journalist) calling the Globe and Mail "Paul Martin's best campaign leaflet." I think the problem might be that the CBC is simply full of journalists, producers and directors who vote Liberal, or at least empathize with Liberals more so than Conservatives. To be completely unscientific for a moment, the half dozen or so people I know who work for the CBC (at the very lowest echlons, where the actual reporting gets done) either don't vote, vote NDP, or sometimes vote Liberal. And let's be honest here: there's no way the top brass at the CBC completely avoided going to a decade plus of parties held by the Liberals and Canada's elite. They got comfy with the Liberals in power, and now that they aren't, they seem to be very unhappy about it.

You would think, however, that the producers in charge in this case would have been able to separate their own personal biases from blatant sensationalism. Oh wait -- you would think (hope?) that would happen in every case. The CBC, like the government, probably needs a good shakeup.

On the other hand, I'd take the CBC and CTV over the multi-million dollar graphics and obvious cat-in-tree-murder-scandal pandering American television media any day. Not so much because CNN's reporting is worse than CBC's, but because I really hate those flashy graphics :)

Mac said...

c. laroche, you're undermining the arguments of leftdog and the ghost of Red Tory by admitting there is bias in reporting rather than simply being a matter of 'thin skins' on the part of those on the right.

It's much easier to point fingers at the right and accuse us of intolerance than to entertain the notion that reporters and editors who vote NDP and/or Liberal might allow their personal opinions to influence their professionalism.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Mac, well said!

Laroche, I suspect that the CBC is hoping this Conservative government just a brief nightmare, and that they will soon wake up again to the comfy 'Entitlement' era, and cultivate a few more G.G. candidates.

Nicole said...

Since we are both 'dead' to each other, and I am not in the habit of talking to ghosts, I still must ponder who exactly you are talking to???????

I DO feel the love....if only we could all get together for a round of martinis, I think Zac, Sara and myself could do an "intervention"

WTH...this keeps life interesting :-D

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think Zac, Sara and myself could do an "intervention"

I don't know about an intervention. Maybe a seance. That's the only way I've heard that you can communicate with a ghost!

Nicole said...


The thing is, I could so see Sara digging out her Ouiji board now. I went to a Catholic all girls high school run by nuns and they put the fear of the devil in me { Not that you could have guessed I 'm sure!!!} I think I would pee my pants, either from being too scared, or from laughing.
On the bright-side, there would be martinis there and maybe Zac would hold my hand!!! :-D

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Nicole, yeah, I'm not into that stuff either (seances, that is).

Now the martinis are another thing. Are we talking vodka or gin, and are they straight up or with ice and a twist and an olive?

Anyway, I am quite happy letting that ghost R.I.P.