April 16, 2006

Gotcha, Travers

A Jim Travers op-ed in the Star considers the underlying sloth of the Ottawa press gallery;

In diminishing the effectiveness of his press interactions, the Prime Minister is indirectly encouraging reporters to fan out to look elsewhere for news, a radical notion that's not in his interest and will lead to scrutiny no administration can sustain.

Reporters actually going out to get the news? This cannot stand!

So, there we have it - tacit admission by a leading Ottawa journalist that the majority of his peers have behaved as lazy, spoon-fed agents of the Liberal party. One would think that such a revelation would be worthy of a column of journalistic self-examination, or at least a direct acknowledgment that accusations of pro-Liberal bias have foundation. Instead, he predictably issues yet another "warning" from media to the Harper government.

When we speak of "newspaper recycling", Mr. Travers, we're really thinking of the paper, not the ink.

Let's get the real reason for this little squabble out into the open. The shrill cries from the press gallery for "accountability", the invocation of "American-style" motives in keeping cabinet ministers and government officials on a short leash, the faux alarm about "secrecy" are complete and utter hogwash. What we are witnessing is a media suffering through loss. Harper's changes mean the opportunity to practice the bread-and-butter of modern political reporting - the fine art of "gotcha journalism" - has been cruelly snatched from them.

At the moment, most seem to stuck somewhere between "anger" and "bargaining", May they move to the stage of "acceptance" soon, and get back to the real business of reporting.

I can't let the column in question go by without drawing attention to how Travers signals his personal viewpoint on a different score. (And I don't mean just the predictable cheap shot attempts to paint Harper as " reading from the George W. Bush script".)

...a social shift away from universal programs and toward what is euphemistically called "choice."

The word "choice" is not considered a "euphanism" when it comes to the question of abortion policy - so, why does Travers attempt to discredit choice when the issue is child care or health care?

Posted by Kate at April 16, 2006 1:46 PM

Zing!: MacMillan on Travers from ThePolitic - Canadian Political Weblog
Here: The word “choice” is not considered a “euphanism” when it comes to the question of abortion policy - so, why does Travers attempt to discredit choice when the issue is child care or health care? Liberal Shangri-La: Wome... [Read More]

Tracked on April 16, 2006 7:58 PM


I read Travers tid bit.He must of needed a paycheck..much ado about nothing.

Posted by: craig at April 16, 2006 4:01 PM

Previous Liberal governments regularly met with the press to send out their spin and their daily dose of stroking the press to 'get it right'.

'Right', being the Liberal view of what is being purveyed to the people of Canada through the press. Usually large heaps of bullshit.

Even though commies like Keith Bogus, will then add CBC's spin to the alleged 'news' it will almost certainly favor the Liberal party views.

With Harper, it's simply, when there is something to talk about, I will let you know in whatever way I choose. God forbid he may choose to talk directly to the People of Canada without the Pravda filters. AND have something of relevance to say.

I say Harper is the first intelligent, serious strong leader we have seen in this country in a couple of decades. I hate to say that even though I despise absolutely everthing that Pierre Trudeau did during his tenure, he was a similar leader in that, he didn't care what anyone thought. He had his warped vision and he went about the business of destroying Canada.

Stephen Harper is similar except for the direction of the vision. He will work to repair much of the damage that the narrowing perspectives of the Trudeau era left us with.

We may finally be able to double our views and perspectives by allowing binary thinking. That is to look at both sides of issure, policies and dare I say, judge them on their merits.

Journalists in the realm of politics have become what union bosses have become in the realm of the large workplace ... self-serving, free-loading bastards who have little merit by anyone's judgement.

You would think that with the ego level sustained by the media reporter, there would be some introspection on what their profession has become and how it is viewed. (somewhere near lawyers, politicians, and car salesmen) Are any of them still capable of shame or has the profession completely been staffed with sociopathic egoists?

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 4:04 PM

Congratulations on getting to the end of the article. I couldn't stand it about paragraph 4 and had to exit the page.

Posted by: molarmauler at April 16, 2006 4:16 PM

You really only need to read the first and last couple of paragraphs to get the jist of what these media dolts are trying to tell you. The rest is filler to make it look like they have spent some time and effort on their bullshit.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 4:31 PM

Jim Travers, who has a good political mind, will forever be remembered as just another mindless, idiot Liberal reporter, who wasted the last election inventing reasons for central Canada to vote FOR the Liberals, rather than against them. And it worked in Toronto. He would rather have his country insulted and run by a bunch of lying, thieving, rotten bastard Liberals than by honest men and women of other political parties. Some value system he has.

In fact he ranks right up with Susan Riley from Ottawa who wrote a column stating that the CPCs were overblowing the Adscam issue. She excused the Liberals early on by writing that it was more just incompetence by bumblers than crooked. We know now that over $40 million is still unaccounted for.
And as the wise man once said:
'Mistakes of this size are never made by accident.'

Posted by: rockyt at April 16, 2006 4:31 PM

I fully agree with the comments above, and would further like to say that the current crop of scribes would be able to learn from most of the Bloggers in Small Dead Animals, even the occasional lefty. I make an exception of Christie Blatchford who can out write every so-called scribe in Canada, right or left.

Posted by: ronrob at April 16, 2006 4:35 PM

I'm on the run. But my present comment on Travers's sophistry is that the Prime Minister of Canada has far more real power--because the PMO's not constrained by a whole lot of checks and balances--than the President of the United States. Why did Mr. Travers fail to comment unfavourably on this when the Liberals were in power--and Liberal PMs used their power to the hilt?

Mr. Travers either knows all about this, and is not telling the truth, or he doesn't know, which means he's an irresponsible idiot, masquerading as an expert. But, hey, neither option is any surprise. After all, Mr. Travers IS a bona fide member of Canada's MSM. Poor us.

Posted by: lookout at April 16, 2006 4:51 PM

What did Travers say?

1) - that 'for a reporter to actually research the news' rather than being a collaborator in governmental propaganda is 'radical'?

2)That researched reportage will 'lead to scrutiny no administration can sustain'?

What Travers is inadvertently revealing is that the press corps has been an actual unelected, self-selected component of our previous Liberal gov'ts. The Press Corp, not merely the CBD, has had a specific role of propaganda. As such, quite naturally, it would require being 'fed' the data, which it would then pass onto the brainwashed electorate.

Harper is rejecting a government that operates by propaganda (remember all the Liberal ads, including the 'guns in our cities' - they were pure propaganda); Harper is choosing accountability, openness, data based economic and political decisions rather than decisions based on cronyism, favours, and personal power agendas.

Therefore - unlike the Liberal gov't, which rejected scrutiny, the CPC gov't can, and isnists that it MUST, 'stand up to scrutinty'.

Travers is actually promoting an elected gov't that operates outside of scrutiny!!

Actually, we are now getting MORE information about our gov't and its operations, than we ever before received. Before, we had pompous empty rhetoric about 'how great we are, how tolerant we are, how etc, etc. All empty. Now, Harper comes on interviews with the MSM, and talks specifics - not pompous empty rhetoric. Specific questions are asked, and specifically answered. Same with the other ministers. What an enromous change from the emptiness of the non-answers of the Liberal Ministers, who could never, ever, answer a question with anything other than empty meaingless blather.

What is changing now - is the removal of the Propaganda Department from the Canadian Gov't (otherwise known as the Press Corps).
Finally, the brainwashing can be stopped..and we'll know what's going on in Ottawa.

Posted by: ET at April 16, 2006 4:52 PM

It is curious why the only time the left is in favour of personal choice is when it comes to abortion and sometimes pot. They perfer to tell everyone what to do and when that doesn't work their fall back position is lets put it to a vote, let the 'collective' decide. But individuals on their own that would be anarchy.

Posted by: Farmer Joe at April 16, 2006 4:54 PM

There also is a two-page spread in the Ottawa Citizen (pp. B2-B3)on the same topic. The Van Dusen incident looks slightly different when you consider the circumstances.

OK, so the leftist MSM kept the Conservatives in the political wilderness for 13 years, covered up the Liberal scandals until somehow everyone knew about them anyway, and now desperately are trying to put the Conservatives back out of office. I would rank that right next to the Horton bombing on the scale of political paranoia.

Shortly after the election, I wondered about a first in Canadian political history, "sore winners," but you no doubt will assure me that I will never get it. You may be right, since I am not a conservative partisan.

I have a modest proposal for turning this issue into a dead horse: PPG and MSM, simply ignore the government for a month, and see how everyone likes it.

Posted by: agitfact at April 16, 2006 4:57 PM

The media keeps threatening PM Stephen Harper....that can't be right.

They are as responsible as the Liberals for the mess that "was" Ottawa.


Posted by: RZ at April 16, 2006 4:57 PM

Pardon my spelling in the above post - but- I was/am frothing about Jim Travers, who is one of the Press Gang Propaganda Boys. [As is Susan Riley - another devoted Liberal follower.]

But Travers is a bone-deep Liberal. His criticism is focused around -If you do something I call 'bad', it is American behaviour'. That's part of the Propaganda Rhetoric of the Liberals.

Note what Travers says:

1) The military has shifted from 'values' to 'interests'. What's the difference? Is our interest in promoting democracy a direct result of our valuation of democracy? Is our interest in promoting the freedom of people a direct result of our valuation of freedom? What, what is he trying to say?? I know he's trying to denigrate Harper, but,..

2)How about a 'political shift to limit federal influence'. Yes, that's right, and it's about time. It's called a policy of decentralization. Canada is too large geographically and population wise, to be run by a centralist statist gov't so beloved of socialists and communists and fascists.

3)Then, he talks about a social shift - and refers to the euphamism of 'choice'. That's no euphamism, Mr. Travers. That's real. Instead of living in a welfare statist society, with all behaviour and thought run by a centralist gov't, we are moving (back?) to a mode that acknowledges human reason. And our power to think and make choices.

Notice that these three issues above, are all 'anti-Liberal', in that Liberalism, to which Mr. Travers is obviously devoted, is centralist, and does not permit its citizens to choose. Remember the Liberal ads - to 'choose' any party other than Liberal is to be 'unCanadian'.

4) And finally, he has to insert the meaningless phrase that Harper is 'relentlessly on message' and he actually criticizes that!!! His criticism is, of course, classic Liberal. He says that to be 'relentlessly on message is akin to Bush.
So, to be 'on message' is, according to Travers, not the mark of a leader but the mark of 'whatever we don't want to be like'.

He prefers Mr. Dithers - who couldn't be 'on message' because the Liberal Party, for the past 15 years, hasn't had ANY MESSAGE. It hasn't had any policies. Its only policies have been Stay In Power By Any Means - bribe the electorate, bribe the civil service, bribe anyone..but Stay In Power.

Oh- and Travers even criticizes the CPC's Five Points, trivializing them (because they are five), and ignoring, totally, their content.

And we say that the Press Corps is NOT a propaganda appendage of the Liberal Party?


Posted by: ET at April 16, 2006 5:18 PM


It's only a small percentage of the population that pays any attention to reports and news about what our government is doing.

If we had a government that was behaving badly by killing citizens throught neglecting medical services or confiscating property or stealing our money, people might be more interested, but they simply aren't.

The handful that are paying attention are largely discussing it with each other. Most of us know that MSM lies plays down or elevates it's information to suit it's own agenda, so most serious people don't take them seriously other than that they are a mortal enemy of what is right.

Consider too how few people in Canada are able to read and understand political reporting anyway. Consider how many people are simply not interested (high school, university, rappers and hip hop crowd, Immigrants who don't speak English, the very old, the very stupid, the sick, Native Indians, the very young the drunk and drugged) That is a sizable portion of the poplulation and they all don't pay attention.

Half of the people who pay attantion are hearing and having trouble with the lies and distortions.

In answer to your question ... very very few would notice a lack of reporting on the government of Canada.

It's sort of like when the govenment is not in session the county seem to buzz along better and there is a bit more confidence since no on is at the helm who may decide suddenly to change course and screw things up.

We need about 5% of the govenment we have and press that covers it.

If we all got up off our feel like we are 'owed' fat asses and looked after our own well-being ... we would all be happier, healthier and richer.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 5:19 PM

When it comes to abortion, "choice" is a euphemism; when it comes to child-care, it is not.

School vouchers which would allow parents to choose a school for their children would also be "choice", as would a freer health-delivery model that allowed for profit and competition for health-care services.

The only choice the left favours is that of sexual licentiousness/anarchy -- and that only because its a non-issue for them. In any area where they have a stake, they regulate according to their will, usually against individual freedom.

Choosing schools for our children, choosing our healthcare, choosing to retire outside of Canada, all come with punitive tax penalties.

Posted by: Richard Ball at April 16, 2006 5:20 PM

Duke: I don't think reporters are capable of introspection. They seem to absorb their limited knowledge from their college professors, and grow little beyond that. It's very satisfying to see a Prime Minister who doesn't curry favor with the over rated egotists of the MSM.

Posted by: dmorris at April 16, 2006 5:25 PM


thanks for that comment ... it's right on!

We should be regarding university professors just the same as anyone who is not in denial, regards islamist imams and clerics.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 5:29 PM

hey did you make it to the 4th para. i could barely get past the headline. jim travers is a traversty. someone should show him how to sharpen a pencil.

Posted by: spike at April 16, 2006 5:30 PM

"just another boy wonder riding a lucky streak." Would Mr. Travers have gotten away with referring to a female Liberal PM as a "girl"?

Posted by: Richard Ball at April 16, 2006 5:31 PM

These days, Liberal females are far too manly to be considered girls. So might be incongrous to do so.

I mean most of them weigh more than men, are often hairier and not nearly as good looking.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 5:37 PM

"the military has shifted from values to interests."

What the hell is that supposed to mean? If I hear the left mention the word 'values' once more, I think I'll hurl. What 'values' did our combat troops supposedly have before this 'shift'? They are taught to use judgement, but ultimately kill the enemy. That's what the military does. I guess these liberal military 'values' must be sticking a tulip in their peacekeeping gun barrels and participating in gay sex?

On the other hand, I'm enjoying watching these so-called reporters and their liberal masters completely meltdown. Harper's doing great.

Posted by: Irwin Daisy at April 16, 2006 6:00 PM

Journalists on the streets, in Canada, researching for news--scary, eh?
Travers et al could try listening to phone in radio shows--they seem to have no trouble getting CPC MPs to talk to the citizens.

Posted by: George at April 16, 2006 6:02 PM

Duke said: "If we had a government that was behaving badly by killing citizens throught neglecting medical services or confiscating property or stealing our money, people might be more interested, but they simply aren't."

The fascist egg bureauc-rats are being resisted here. The bureauc-rats are from federal agencies & egg marketing boards, read monopolies. The Egg Raid was carried out with the Ontario Provincial Police, up to 20 cruisers, riding shotgun.

The 'rats are behaving badly. Travers is another type of rat. +

'Easter egg' giveaway gets strong support


Staff Writer

TINCAP -- An "Easter egg" giveaway here Thursday was the start of a new campaign to push back at agencies trying to dictate what products farmers can sell off their farms, according to a Leeds and Grenville Landowners Association member.

"Throughout the summer, I'm sure you're going to see us all over the counties, yes, absolutely. The health unit has to be told," Richard Berube told The Recorder and Times as vehicles streamed in and out of the parking lot at TK Tires, site of Thursday's event.

The landowners organized the giveaway to focus attention on their contention that runaway regulations are infringing on the rights of rural residents and driving farmers off the land.

"All of a sudden we cannot have potluck dinners, we cannot have eggs at farmers markets, we cannot sell baked goods and it has to stop," insisted Berube.

"Big Brother does not have to watch every step and tell us what to eat and what not to eat - we can make that choice."

The association planned to give away 600 dozen eggs, and within the first hour after the 10 a.m. start, about half that amount was already gone. +$rec=17640

Posted by: maz2 at April 16, 2006 6:06 PM


governments live, think and act from election to election. I partially agree with your uncharitable depiction of our electorate, but nevertheless, come election time, the semi-literate brain-dead wake up and are courted as all-important king makers. In my unscientific opinion, it is not the partisans that make or break a government in Canada, it is the uncommitted swing voters.

If we insist on government with the consent of the governed, we had better make it the "informed" consent of the governed. We either swallow whatever spin the government in power gives us to further its re-election, or invent a "fourth estate" to examine and report on what a government (or opposition) says or does so we, the governed, can make up our minds about supporting or changing the government.

A docile press would not be doing its job.

Posted by: agitfact at April 16, 2006 6:32 PM

This is a true confession by Travers.

The MSM are indeed going through that psychological process of Shock, Anger, Rejection then Acceptance. I’d say Travers is at the Rejection stage, he sounds meek and humiliated by the incompetence of the MSM. It must be very difficult for him. I’m truly saddened.
I need to cheer up, maz2 pass me an Easter egg please.

Posted by: nomdenet at April 16, 2006 6:36 PM


But my point was that if the media stopped flogging government news for a month ... few would notice or care.

Otherwise I agree with your last comments.


Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 6:37 PM

Oh, isn't it LOVELY? Watching Jim Travesty and company going into complete melt down; they just don't know what to do with themselves--and it's such a treat to watch them splutter, breathe fire, self-destruct, right in front of us, on camera--and in print. They've been laughing at us neo-cons (in THEIR view) for a long time, and now it's our turn to laugh...

And it's Jimmy's turn to cry, 'cause Stephen's come back to Ottawa--as PM! 'Sorry for you, Jim, and all of your self-serving cronies.

Like other commentators have mentioned, I'm pretty amazed at how little able the current crop of MSM journalists seem to be able to take a step back and see how utterly pitiful and pathetic they look, as they cry in their beer, even as ol' Don Is-He-Human? asks Delacourt and Travers, "Do you think anyone really cares what we think or that we're whining about the CPC and Stephen Harper?" (Boy, Is-He-Human? and Puffy over at CTV are really showing their colours: red, red, and red again...)

PMSH is a sharp guy, so much smarter and savvy than the MSM thought: I'm not surprised. :-)
He'll get the news out when he wants to--and as ET and a few others have mentioned, we actually have learned more about what's REALLY going on in government since PMSH came into power than just a few months ago than we ever did with the spin of the Liberals. I'm still dizzy.

BTW, log onto the PM's Web site: and sign up for press releases, speeches, his itinerary, etc. He sends out five or six nearly every day.

My guess is that Travesty and co. are s_______ bricks as they notice that fewer and fewer people are reading newspapers these days--and that a whole lot of us that MIGHT have bought newspapers are blogging now. My husband and I have cancelled all of our subscriptions--even to the NP, which was doing a pretty poor job after its great start and except for the Western Standard--and are doing just fine. We know everything we want to know--thanks to Kate, Mark Steyn, David Frum, David Warren, etc. and NO THANKS to the winjers and whiners of the PPG and the MSM.

'Take a chill pill, guys, and relearn your trade. 'Nothing like the wilderness to hone your orienting skills.

Posted by: new kid on the block at April 16, 2006 6:41 PM

All the liberal press has left to say is ..

"its my party and I'll cry if I want to ... die if I want to ... you would cry too if it happened to you"

Please choose the 'die option' Jimbo! and suggest it to your cohorts while you are at it.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 6:49 PM

The sad fact is that Travers is actually bluffing. The MSM has long ago forgotten how to do actual journalism! If he weren't bluffing, why is he begging PMSH to reconsider his policy in his article?

Posted by: Fred at April 16, 2006 6:53 PM


of course I agree that few would notice, except that the Government (and its spin doctors) would be concerned about not getting "the message" out, and the MSM might have to pay reporters and editors for not working, and papers would have to fill column-inches with other stuff.

I'm all for trying it to see who cries "uncle" first. Anything to get away from pointless whining.

Posted by: agitfact at April 16, 2006 6:56 PM

"We know everything we want to know--thanks to Kate, Mark Steyn, David Frum, David Warren, etc. ..."

New Kid, you have proved Aristotle ("All men by nature desire to know.") wrong. What else is there to say about the conservative cause?

Posted by: agitfact at April 16, 2006 7:04 PM

nomdenet said: "I need to cheer up, maz2 pass me an Easter egg please."

When will Travers & Riley, & VD VanDusen & etc., get off their addfd & get out about 50 miles from Ottawa & investigate/report on the abuse of power as shown in the report pasted?

Travers, give us your pearls of wisdom on the Egg Raid. There are rotten-egg stories for you a-plenty.

Break your mirror of vanity, Travers. Get out into the country & get some eggsjyt on your hands.+

Posted by: maz2 at April 16, 2006 7:05 PM

Do governments have spin doctors? Of course they do. Does the MSM have spin doctors? Absolutely. The point is why would spin from the MSM be more valuable than spin from the government? Sheesh.

The other thing I find hilarious is that this news story about the news press keeps going on and on and on. It is only of interest to the MSM and they continue to report on it. Surely there's more interesting fodder out there - perhaps Iran? The press is fascinated with this story... we aren't. I guess it's something they can report on without informing themselves because its all about their feelings....

Posted by: Lanny at April 16, 2006 7:15 PM

Thanks maz2 ..yumm

Travers and the rest of the MSM baby boomers are so old that they can hide their own Easter eggs, they can’t remember where they hid them.

Posted by: nomdenet at April 16, 2006 7:28 PM

"I mean most of them weigh more than men, are often hairier and not nearly as good looking."

Duke, you know that's not entirely true. Whatever else one thinks of Belinda!, she is pretty. I'd hit that.

Posted by: Ed Minchau at April 16, 2006 7:53 PM


You got me there, but I think a freshly washed good looking ewe might have as much appeal.

However, I will keep waiting for Michell Malkin or Ann Coulter to make a pass ... or maybe Lori Dhue.

I like conservative women ... when they are screamin oh God oh God! they mean it ... Liberal women have no one to talk to when they are .... well ... screaming.

Posted by: Duke at April 16, 2006 8:25 PM

Well I think you're out of luck as far as Malkin goes, but IIRC Coulter's single.

Posted by: Ed Minchau at April 16, 2006 8:31 PM

... and that Kate McMillan is kinda cute too...

Posted by: Ed Minchau at April 16, 2006 8:32 PM

Hey agitfact (agitating fact? shrug, 7:04):

Just to check out what's happenin,' baby: I watch Politics with Is-He-Human?, Duffy Live with Puffy, Mansbridge with I'm-Peter-Mansbridge-and-You're-Not, sometimes Neil MacDonald, Lydnon McIntyre, Leslie McKinnon, blonde Susan, Kevin N. on Global, and various talking heads on CTV (Lloyd, Sandy, et al.), Tim Russert, etc., etc., but I still get more for my money with Frum, Warren, MacMillan, Steyn, and co. than the liberal MSM. I've heard all their schtick and spin before--and ya know what?

It doesn't square with reality.

Steyn, MacMillan, Frum, Warren et al. do.

Posted by: new kid on the block at April 16, 2006 8:41 PM

Correction: McMillan...

Posted by: new kid on the block at April 16, 2006 8:45 PM

if you wear glasses get them checked. if not get some. BS good looking attractive ? how would you compare BS and rona ambrose in a beauty contest ? thats what i thought.

Posted by: spike at April 16, 2006 8:50 PM

nomdenet has placed Travers in the boomers category.

Right where he belongs; the babyboomers, the most selfish, self-centred, narcissistic of the left liberals. +

How did they become the "babyboomers"?

Read here of the boomers parents/grandparents: read and weep? Prosperity can kill the soul/spirit. +

Jumping Off The Page
By Pat MacAdam

Over 10 years, at his own expense, Gary travelled across Canada to interview 70 surviving paratroop veterans.

After the war, Lloyd Swick took advantage of veterans' credits and enrolled at the University of Manitoba. He lived in a hardscrabble veterans' colony on the university's campus -- "digs" that made old army H-huts look like the Ritz.

The colony of 12' x 24' huts was christened Veterans' Village -- 72 huts laid out in three circles of 24. Another 30 followed later.

Each "circle" had a central washroom and laundry. The shared wringer washer churned around the clock. The huts were built on skids from salvaged lumber. Coal-fired "Quebec heaters" were the only source of heat.

Each family was assigned a two-room "suite."

The huts had no insulation, paint, cupboards, floor coverings or running water. Most mornings the fire in the stove "was out" and water in buckets was frozen. Baby bottles on the floor, under cribs, were "frozen hard as bricks."

A single veteran had his tuition paid and received a $60 monthly living allowance. Married veterans with children received $92 (one child) or $102 (two children).

Veterans' Village opened in May 1946, and for the next few years was home to 400 adults and 600 children.

With the help of a $3,000 grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lloyd Swick has produced a veritable jewel -- Stories from Veterans' Village -- an oral history of stories he collected from alumni of Veterans' Village over the course of a year. +

Posted by: maz2 at April 16, 2006 9:13 PM

We had years of a Liberal government no noticeable principles, only audibly expressed ones, aired through their PR network of journalists, many of whom were government employees.

Now Canadians have a new and unusually focused government, and those same media can't stop talking and writing about themselves -- about how important they are, about how scorned they are by this new government, and to warn that they are capable of inflicting great harm when they are thus scorned.

These blithe assertions of entitlement, they're straight-faced warnings that they can bypass the choice of the electorate are clear evidence that the left-of-center media have been quietly turning into enemies of democracy. "PM's control strategy is working -- for now" is the headline on Traver's piece, and it's oh-so typical. It's not voters who choose who governs this country, his ilk keep reiterating, it's journalists, and any reduction in their entitlements, they think, merits Canadian's sympathy.

What a joke. What they consider to be their trump card, their gun-in-the-drawer comes straight out of the LPC strategy bag with no alteration: the accusation that Conservatives are "American-style". Travers twice refers to Harper's "administration". How odd. The Liberals had a "Liberal government", and a "Liberal cabinet"; Harper has an "administration".

Gee, where have we heard that term? And yet from a voter's point of view, this government's work at cleaning up a thoroughly corrupt culture of entitlement has nothing whatsoever to do with George Bush. Why do we keep hearing it? A couple of nights ago on CBC National's "our panel" or whatever it's called, Dan Leger of the Halifax Chronicle Herald remarked that Harper's approach to the PPG "smacks of George Bush/Dick Cheney-style manipulation.

Hmm, but don't you have to have your hands on something to "manipulate" it? If you walk away from a noisy drunk who is pestering you for spare change, are you "manipulating" him? And would any bystander take his accusation seriously?

Posted by: EBD at April 16, 2006 9:37 PM

Last Thursday the 'Parliamentary Press Gallery' segment of Don Newman's "Politics" featured Newman, Travers, Weston, Delacourt and Russo all whining about Harper's treatment of the press. And when they weren't whining about that they were taking cheap shots at the Harper agenda - mostly by mouthing Liberal talking points. Travers' column is more of the same. Pathetic!

Posted by: JR at April 16, 2006 9:45 PM

The balm of the boomers: m-j, pot, cannabis.

Travers & his set have made cannabis their "entitlement".

Quote: "Thanks to the pot he's the picture of health"...

"He can't pay the 14,000 dollar bill he owes Health Canada, but he doesn't really want what the government grows anyway."

Bjkkdfwt. The heart does not bleed for you, Michael Day. Parasite; ingrate. +

When it comes to cannabis, the sky is the limit.

Medical marijuana users forced to black market

Global National
April 15, 2006

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Winnipeg is home to Canada's only legal supply of pot.

It's grown, picked and dried in the bottom of an old Manitoba mine for people like Michael Day.

Thanks to the pot he's the picture of health, but his health card is not helping him much.

"I have a tumor wrapped around the right eye and cancer going up into the brain. I've tried everything and the cannabis seems to work the best"

But recently his supply has been cut off.

He can't pay the 14,000 dollar bill he owes Health Canada, but he doesn't really want what the government grows anyway. +

Posted by: maz2 at April 16, 2006 10:02 PM

'Journalists' on the Hill are miffed cuz' they're gonna miss their shot at the trough.

As a good Liberal flunky turning tricks for the Party in the Press they could expect a reward like working for a Liberal-friendly Communications Firm or Ad agency - and cash in big time, enough to pay off a nice cottage. After pocketing a tidy sum they would go back to their 'first love' - journalism! lol, lol....

Posted by: infidel at April 16, 2006 10:21 PM

Copy of email I sent Travers on his column today.

To: Travers, Jim
Sent: Sun Apr 16 08:48:21 2006
Subject: PM's control strategy is working- for now

Do you honestly believe ordinary Canadians, who don't watch much politics, really believe Mr. Harper is being presidential in his management style? It is only the media, elitists and the chattering classes that try to put this label on Mr. Harper in an effort to demean him.

As for Afghanistan becoming a quagmire, don't forget it was the "great" unwashed Liberal party who put us in there. Harper is merely carrying out his support of the military as they sacrifice their lives and the rest of us sit home in our comfy chairs. By the way, there was little coverage by the press of the Nov. debate which changed the role. Wonder why that was since the press is so interested making sure Canadians know what their government is doing?

Your column appears more wishful thinking than any thing else and belies the recent polls that show Mr. Harper is being accepted by the population.

I watched you and the other talking heads on Newman on Friday. It was sad to watch. We have serious legislation put before the Canadian people and all you guys can do is whine about your own issues. That's what it sounds like out here Mr. Travers. Canadians don't care and despite the efforts to get Canadians all worked up in a lather you have the ordinary folk saying it looks good on all of you.

The Press Gallery tried to get the public worked up over the Shapiro ethical investigation and the Fortier/Emerson appointments. None of that worked, so now the press gallery is working on the communications strategy.

Take for example the churlish Julie Van Dusen. She wanted her question answered so badly. What was that important question? Is Harper getting rid of Shapiro? The answer was kind of obvious. That really informed Canadians of what was included in the 250 section Accountability Act. These are the types of questions that annoy Canadians and show that the press is only interested in gotcha questions and not substance. Van Dusen is famous for these.

By the way, I do see cabinet ministers appearing on TV, making speeches i.e. Solberg, O'Connor, Baird, Strahl, Cannon. I do see Harper making speeches, giving lengthy press conferences. I know it isn't being done like the press gallery wants it.

Screaming inane questions after caucus or cabinet really does not become the press gallery or the government and certainly does not inform Canadians as members of the press gallery would like us to believe.

Whether the press gallery likes it or not Harper is not going to operate like Paul Martin and his ministers. From what I see the government does not want to be in the face of the public 24, 7 just so the media can fill its 24 hour news cycle.

Threatening the government as you did, not so subtly, does not become you or the other members of the press gallery. The government does need the media to get out its message but the press also needs the government or there may be fewer reporters employed in Ottawa. It is in both parties interest to compromise so that the important issues affecting the country are reported.

Posted by: hollinm at April 16, 2006 10:45 PM

13 yrs of licking the boots of the liberals, hoping for a posh appointment,by the msm, went down to defeat Jan 23. They know they will never get anything from the conservatives. It would take years before the msm could become friendly to conservatives, and expect the public to believe them. As they don't expect Harper to last too long, they won't change their spots. The question all editorial boards should be asking is, what if we are wrong, and he gets a majority, and maybe a second one. Should we start getting rid of the Jims, Boags, Julie VD, and looking for unbiased reporters and talking heads. Most of these people have been around since Trudeau, and haven't realized that Canada has changed and voters have changed. Some US papers talked about sending foreign correspondents to the red states, to see what was happening out there. Maybe the press corps should try living and working outside of Ottawa and Toronto for a few years.

Posted by: maryT at April 16, 2006 11:54 PM

Hey Duke, I thought you were off riding somewhere. I am in Caroline Alberta in August for a family reunion if you get out west at all. In the meantime, Belinda even with her money, is not pretty. As far as journalists working -- I can only judge by the highly biased Vancouver Sun, and I would venture that a handful of their writers actually do some research and tell it like it should be told.
Well said hollinm.

Posted by: morison at April 17, 2006 12:20 AM

Spike, I would never compare BS and Rona Ambrose. I'm just pointing out that Duke was being a little over the top, that not all of the women on the Liberal side of the house are bigger and hairier than men.

Rona, if you're reading this, call me.

Posted by: Ed Minchau at April 17, 2006 12:48 AM

The Other Sites of Interest - Autres Sites D'Intérêt section of the Links page on the Press Gallery's website could use a little updating. It still lists the Canadian Alliance and the PC Party of Canada. It does not list the Conservative Party of Canada.

Rather along the lines of the point Kate is making, don't you think?


Posted by: Mark Collins at April 17, 2006 10:19 AM

Kate, I find it amusing that you are complaining about "gotcha journalism" when your entire post is taking two sentences from an entire article and proclaiming "Gotcha"!!!

If you take a moment to actually think about what Travers wrote, you will realize that he has a point. The national media send national correspondants to Ottawa to cover the national government. If the national government refuses to leave the prewritten and well known script, then the media will have to go out and dig for dirt. If this really does happen, I all but guarantee that your party will regret it. Just like the Martin message attacking Harper, it will stop getting reported.

Posted by: Jason Cherniak at April 17, 2006 12:15 PM

Jason Cherniak: And you yourself illustrate the "Gotcha!" problem. Digging for news does not necessarily mean digging for dirt--though it seems to for Mr Travers and much of our MSM.

Just look at the MSM's appalling laziness in failing to investigate and analyze the Canadian Forces' change of mission in Afstan over a period of some seven months.


Posted by: Mark Collins at April 17, 2006 12:19 PM

Jason, perhaps you overlooked the link I provided to the original, so that readers may judge for themselves. There is plenty of evidence, including statements from dissenting mainstream journalists, to indicate that the Harper government has been at least, if not more, forthcoming than the previous one when sharing information.

This blog post, in fact, is precisely the opposite of "gotcha" journalism, in which a statement is sometimes dishonestly extracted (have you stopped beating your wife?), excised from context, often enhanced by a misleading headline and then framed with editorial commentary. Or, if context is supplied, it doesn't appear until 7 or 8 paragraphs down.

But why must I explain this to you?

Posted by: Kate at April 17, 2006 12:23 PM

Jason Cherniak: see: "Afstan update: about four months late"


Posted by: Mark Collins at April 17, 2006 12:28 PM

Jason Cherniak: What I take from the words in your own entry (which echoes a statement made by Travers), you are saying (in essence and as an analogy) that if you don't feed the PPG pablum, they'll have to go find some solid food. So, it would seem that we are all agreed that the PPG is happy to be spoon-fed pablum...which suggests that they are lazy (as Kate has been alluding) and NOT digging for the truth (which is what they say is the value of the media that the Conservatives so-called silence is killing).

Can't you see the hypocracy? Put together what Travers said with what Zolf (and others) have said and you begin to see the whole picture that the contributers to this site have been saying all along...the media were NOT keeping the Lieberals honest and were, in essence, manipulating the voters through their reporting methods to achieve their desired political goals.

Posted by: Ima Hassle at April 17, 2006 12:40 PM

I don't know why you folks read the Star in the first place. You must certainly realize it's political position isn't going to change...ever. I find it amusing to hear conservatives bitch about it's support of the LPC.Surprise, surprise.
Yet, the same ranting lunatics who cry partisanship at the Star, regularily cite the Toronto Sun to support various conservative positions. Come on, let's be fair. At least liberals know what a biased piece of crap the Sun is and generally avoid it.

Posted by: davidson at April 17, 2006 2:04 PM

I don't know why you folks read the Star in the first place. You must certainly realize it's political position isn't going to change...ever. I find it amusing to hear conservatives bitch about it's support of the LPC.Surprise, surprise.
Yet, the same ranting lunatics who cry partisanship at the Star, regularily cite the Toronto Sun to support various conservative positions. Come on, let's be fair. At least liberals know what a biased piece of crap the Sun is and generally avoid it.

Posted by: davidson at April 17, 2006 2:05 PM

For people who don't pay attention to the MSM, and especially think there are more important things to discuss than the PPG's issues with the new government - you sure are discussing them a whole lot.

Posted by: Avenger at April 17, 2006 2:46 PM

Who says we don't pay attention to the MSM? You'd have to be a hermit or functionally illiterate to avoid them if you're at all interested in political commentary, which all of us on this blog are--well, nearly all of us.

There's a difference between paying attention to them and AGREEING WITH THEM. I pay a lot of attention to the MSM, because how else can I effectively or meaningfully critique what they're saying? That's what burns my butt and so many others': that we have to daily be subjected to the BS of the MSM, and then find ourselves writing to their outlets at the CBC, CTV, Toronto Star, G & M (depending on the journalist), etc. to call them to account for their slovenly and sloppy reporting, which sometimes tips over into outright lies and misrepresentation.

It's almost a full-time job and in the case of the CBC, which is funded by the tax payer, it's frustrating as heck because that organization seems to think that it is above being either questioned or accountable.

Who do we contact in the CPC to ask that the CBC either be scrapped or substantially pruned?

Posted by: new kid on the block at April 17, 2006 3:27 PM

People who follow politics *certainly have* been paying attention to what the media is about.

Political panel discussions, with media being the only guests, is more common than televising the full speech of the government, so that we can hear for ourselves what was said, in context.

CPAC has helped that to some extent, but they are falling to using panels more and more.

The internet and blogs started to congeal like-minded folks; before that, we had no real way to intrude into the columnists' viewpoints.

Surely, a few letters to the editors doesn't count for much.

Now we hear the media complain because of the changes in how information is being dispensed to the public.

E-mail updates with the full content of speeches and reaching out to local tv networks, around the Ottawa gang is being tried by the PMO.

Media outside of Ottawa is being given a chance to participate in news from their capital...what could be wrong with that approach?

We respond to whatever arouses our curiosity around anything political, and the huff and puff of the Ottawa media certainly has aroused our curiosity.....

It is important to feel assured that what we read in the papers, or hear on the other media, is the full truth, not some token pull-out.

Our interest in this dust-up is part of wanting to be assured that those 'pull-outs' are fair and balanced.

*We* will decide if it is or is not, with *all* of the available information...we love information and focusing on why that bit of information became the prime pick.

Posted by: Buffalo Bean at April 17, 2006 3:41 PM

Aye...there's the rub.

The CBC is in the domain of the CPC government now. They are the ones you should complain to.

As for the rest of the MSM, or the Corporate Media (CM), I am not here to defend them. I think they are just as lazy and overfed as y'all say. But I don't buy into the whole "let's band together to bring down western civilization" conspiracy that I read about here. And since media are ratings driven, you starve the beast by tuning it out.

(And in the "lazy and overfed" category I include both liberal and conservative pudits who do nothing but peddle talking points.)

Posted by: Avenger at April 17, 2006 3:44 PM

Mr. Travers replied to my email criticizing his latest column by telling me he is a columnist, not a reporter and therefore his column represents his views on the events of the day. So I guess Travers because he is a columnist can say anything he wants no matter how distorted it is while a reporter needs to report the news which in turn contains only biased words i.e. Bush lite, American style etc. so that the public is led to a certain conclusion of what that reporters thinks. Me thinks the lines of communication have been blurred in the MSM between news reporting and op-eds.

Posted by: Helen at April 17, 2006 4:12 PM

Mr. Travers replied to my email criticizing his latest column by telling me he is a columnist, not a reporter and therefore his column represents his views on the events of the day. So I guess Travers because he is a columnist can say anything he wants no matter how distorted it is while a reporter needs to report the news which in turn contains only biased words i.e. Bush lite, American style etc. so that the public is led to a certain conclusion of what that reporters thinks. Me thinks the lines of communication have been blurred in the MSM between news reporting and op-eds.

Posted by: Helen at April 17, 2006 4:12 PM

Harper is dividing and conquering with the MSM. Bob Fife already split from the pack, essentially calling Julie Van Dusen a loudmouth who should shut up yesterday on CTV's Question Period. Craig Oliver was on Fife's side, Shameless Jane of the Globe & Wail was on the whiners' side, but it's funny to see these self-important know-nothings chew each other up.

Those on Fife's side will do their job and give the people what they want when they tune in: THE NEWS. Those on the whining side will be frozen out and will be unable to do their job. If their bosses weren't partisan Lib hacks, they would be fired.

Who wants to bet: Bob Fife gets the next one-on-one with the PM.

Posted by: NCF TO at April 18, 2006 12:39 AM

What does "euphanism" mean? Is that even a word?

Posted by: thickslab at April 19, 2006 4:37 PM