September 20, 2015

Media Party disconnected from public they serve

Brian LilleyArchive

We have a real disconnect between our media and the people they claim to be serving.

I’ve known this for some time, I’ve been in the belly of the mainstream media beast for much of my career and have never fit in. I see things differently than the pack mentality that permeates so much coverage of news and especially politics in this country.

We’ve seen this disconnect appear on a couple of stories in the election over the past two weeks, especially on the issues of refugees and crime.

For most of the media covering the election over the past few weeks there has been no bigger story than the Syrian refugee crisis and while Canadians care and want to help, their concerns and views are vastly different than what the reporters covering the story.

In campaign stop after campaign stop reporters had one question, “When will we bring more refugees to Canada?”
Sometimes there would be variations such as why won’t you bring more or how fast can we get them here but the media pack following Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau were of one mind, Canada should be bringing more refugees to this country from Syria and we should be doing it fast.

Any concerns raised by Prime Minister Harper about vetting any potential refugees for security risks was set aside as simple fear mongering, at least by the media.

Then reality struck.

A series of polls showed that not only was this not the top issue for Canadians, only 2% thought that according to an Innovative Research poll, but more Canadians sided with Harper's plan to move carefully than Trudeau’s plan to quickly bring 25,000 or more refugees here by year’s end.

An Ipsos poll released September 15 showed 38% trusted Stephen Harper to make the best decisions on this issue for Canada compared with 32% for Mulcair and 30% for Trudeau.

The opposition leaders have been adamant that Canada should not play a combat role in fighting back against the likes of ISIS, one of the main groups creating the refugees. Canadians disagree with 57% saying they want to increase Canada’s military contribution to fighting ISIS. They also want to help with humanitarian assistance on the ground with 78% saying aid should be increased.

There is of course also support for bringing refugees to Canada with 49% saying Canada should immediately sponsor 10,000 refugees but the support for humanitarian aid and the military contribution remains higher.

Yet when International Development Minister Christian Paradis made an announcement about increasing aid, providing $100 million in matching grants for donations Canadians make to qualified charities he was peppered with questions of why he wasn’t announcing more refugees.

The next day at a campaign stop Harper was asked about speeding up refugee resettlement, his answer didn’t leave reporters happy because he called them out.

“I’ve already indicated, as you know,” Harper said, “this government made an announcement, this party, about our to take more refugees, before this was even in the headlines. In fact, as I recall, when we made the announcement that we were going to take in more refugees it was largely deemed not worthy of reporting at the time.”

Back then refugees didn’t matter, then it was all that mattered.

The other party leaders of course have not faced the same scrutiny over their decision not to fight the refugee creators but that appears par for the course.

It goes back to what John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker write about in their book The Big Shift and Laurentian Elites and the way most of the media belong to this club of people that share the same values and views. They agree with Trudeau and Mulcair and so don’t quiz, probe or question their assumptions quite as much as this Harper fellow that is clearly not part of their club.

It doesn’t seem to dawn on them that Canadians, the people they serve, the people consuming their reports – albeit in shrinking numbers – may have different views.

And the Ipsos poll shows that they do.

Which brings me to the second disconnect, crime.

On Friday I was in Calgary where Harper sat down with hockey great turned victims rights advocate Sheldon Kennedy.
The two talked about what the Conservatives have done on crime so far, what they plan on doing in the future. There was a special focus on protecting children and putting victims and their families first.

Some of the announcement was a regurgitation of past promises but coming as it did so close, geographically and time wise, to the murder of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, the little feisty two year-old that has been in the headlines, you would think this would rate top coverage.

Well, you’d be wrong.

That day the story was that Stephen Harper had said “old-stock Canadians” a term the Laurentian elites quickly dubbed racist. Never mind that Trudeau had used it in a media interview, that Stephane Dion had used it in Parliament, that it had been used by the media to describe Mulcair’s deep family roots in Quebec – Harper was a racist.

It is the type of assumption the Laurentian Elites quietly agree on. They nod knowingly when it is stated outright or inferred. It doesn’t matter if it is true, it doesn’t matter that Harper’s government has maintained high immigration numbers for a decade, that those immigrants come from quite the diverse set of countries – those Laurentians know Harper is a racist and the media party are a bunch of Laurentian elites.

Besides, crime, the issue the Conservatives were talking about in their announcement isn’t an issue to them, unless it involves a Conservative senator and then, like refugees last week, it becomes THE issue, the only issue.

And yet crime is an issue for Canadians from coast to coast. It is an issue that resonates with Conservative voters and New Democrats but somehow not with the people covering the campaigns.

The disconnect between the media in Ottawa, or on the campaign trail, doesn’t serve anyone but I fear it is getting worse rather than better.

Thankfully there are alternatives, like The Rebel, to bring a different view.


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commented 2015-10-03 14:34:58 -0400
Let’s look at the six stories that are “featured”. Two feature Gavin McInnes, who is a fairly classic self-deprecative commentator. One is titled “Sell the CBC” and is a solicitation for a petition. That’s not news. One is a commentary on gun control (and continues the disgusting politicization of tragedy by special interest groups). There’s also a solicitation to sign a different petition. Number six, the Putin video, is the closest to news, but it’s still more of a commentary piece than reporting (it also solicits for those petitions). So … we’re 0 for 6.

I hold a graduate degree from U of T, and the half dozen scientific papers I have to my name are probably more impactful than anything you’ve put out.
commented 2015-10-02 23:45:34 -0400
Brian, you are so right, as usual. And it should be pointed out that too many misinformed wannabe voters are ignorant of the true facts in elections. It is internet blogs and radio and good journalistic outlets like the Rebel who tell the truth, not the likes of CBC, CTV, Global or any of the lamestream medias…
commented 2015-10-01 18:33:48 -0400
I resent the MSM telling me what is important, and denying me the facts, so that I can make my own decisions, about what I do, and do not believe to be true, or false. I don’t subscribe to any MSM newspaper, nor do I ever buy magazine subscriptions. I learnt my lesson long ago, once they have your name and address, you are bombarded with junk mail.
commented 2015-10-01 17:05:29 -0400
I’m afraid it’s not that simple Jay… First of all you have to demonstrate some intelligence to get admitted to school…
commented 2015-10-01 15:37:22 -0400
Andy, I too would like to have a Journalism diploma from Ryerson. Where do I send for one? Is there a fee?
commented 2015-09-30 03:53:07 -0400
Nice try Andrew, but your pronouncement that The Rebel is “opinion columns all the way down” obviously doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as it exposes stories every day that the MSM had deliberately downplayed or chosen to ignore, hoping they will not be noticed… The Rebel is the gadfly that the MSM would dearly love to swat out of existence… So, Bravo The Rebel!… And since there is a daily dose of these kinds of MSM “deep-sixed” stories, that puts the lie to your conceit that they are somehow not “worth” reporting. Are the MSM beyond reproach in their judgements?… I would also go easy on your assumption that there is not “a whole lot of journalistic talent in these parts”… I don’t know about you, but I have Journalism diploma from Ryerson – do you??
commented 2015-09-27 15:46:39 -0400
The “Media party” is disingenuous. Does the Rebel actually provide any alternative? No, it’s opinion columns all the way down. That’s fine, but don’t pretend to be an alternative news org while doing it (I hate to tell you this, but Sun “News” fell into this same trap, becoming so blind to their vacuous ideology that nobody bothered to check whether anybody cared). Perhaps that’s why your point of view is not represented in the media – Levant’s personal vendetta against the Alberta NDP might be worth one column but is too vitriolic and narcissistic (yes ,it’s all about Ezra) to find a recurring home in MSM, and here isn’t a whole lot of actual journalistic talent in these parts. The internet is full of uninformed goons rambling about nothing.
commented 2015-09-25 23:55:10 -0400
The Party is not disconnected from the public they serve. They are well connected with a certain part of the public that might otherwise feel cut off or unheard. Readers on here might be a little quirky, but they feel connected.
commented 2015-09-24 21:04:14 -0400
The media party also suppresses news that might make people think again about voting for Justin Trudeau of Tom Mulcair.
There was only one very brief spot the the mainstream media a couple of weeks ago in which Justin Trudeau argued with a reporter about requiring that all of the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada should be fluently bilingual. This would in practice limit judges on the Supreme Court to french speaking Quebecers. In the french-Quebec culture, judges, courts and police are not neutral, but are own by french Quebecers and have a duty to protect the french in Quebec from other ethnic groups. The french Quebecers believe that only they have rights and that people who are not french do not have rights because the french were here first (the Vikings and the natives do not count). Such a move would produce nothing but Quebec and french friendly decisions and quickly make 3rd or 4th class citizens out of Canada,s English speaking majority.
This news clip which would make many people reconsider their decisions to vote for Trudeau or Mulcair quickly disappeared from the TV news. Contrast this with the weeks of coverage of the Duffy trail in which the analysis and comment was always that it made Prime Minister Stephen Harper look bad. Evidently trying to get improperly claimed expense money back in the public treasury is some sort of crime in the weak minds of the mainstream media. This is blatant mismanagement of the news coverage in order influence the election in favor of Liberals or the NDP.

I will be shortly terminating my Bell Satellite TV and telling Bell that the unfair , biased, and misleading, news coverage by the CBC is the reason. Screw you mainstream media.
commented 2015-09-23 14:30:08 -0400
This comment relates to many of the topics currently being discussed on TheRebel:
It’s becoming very hard to distinguish between propaganda and objective reporting in most Canadian News media. What good is a News organization if more and more people don’t trust what they read or hear — not just the interpretation of a selected news event but also what actually happened? Stories are invented to then be commented on, or events are ignored and censored and hidden from the public. It’s a shame because I think at one time our National News Media was overall quite professional, ethical and trusted. And make note that this current irresponsible behavior happens because it’s allowed and likely modeled at the top.
commented 2015-09-23 12:16:27 -0400
Yet Canadians in polls show they trust their media far more than their American cousins. I think I have seen something like 60% for Canadians and the low 15% for Americans. Otherwise Canadians swallow the bile with very little critical thought. Why else would 60% of Canadians want either the Liberal Party run by a child, or the NDP in power?
commented 2015-09-23 00:44:41 -0400
In my opinion The Party is very connected to the public they serve. They are not equally connected to every Canadian, of course, but they provide a good service in connecting with a certain part of the public that might otherwise feel alienated. It is exactly by being so connected that The Party risks criticism or even ridicule. It also connects more than its fair-share of extremists and bigots. But to call it “disconnected”? Not at all.
commented 2015-09-21 17:12:45 -0400

Yes – you sound completely rational, reasonable and sensible in your response to a completely normal comment about Stephen Harper and the fact that he is choosing to fund the CBC.
commented 2015-09-21 17:01:27 -0400
Shut the fuck up Jimmy, you bat shit crazy idiot. Go ask God why he deprived you of balls.
commented 2015-09-21 16:58:14 -0400
Peter Netterville,
Please read over " Duh Retards " last comment to me. “Idiot Logic” is a compliment. You are too kind.
commented 2015-09-21 15:39:57 -0400

So if not Harper – who is supposed to get rid of the CBC? Let me also remind you that the Liberals made more cuts to the CBC compared to Harper. Ironic isn’t it?
commented 2015-09-21 15:34:20 -0400
Alex, in Jimmy’s mind, since Harper did not pull all the funding for the CBC, he must therefore support it. Idiot logic.
commented 2015-09-21 13:41:26 -0400

Write another letter to Stephen Harper – who you will be voting for in a couple of weeks, since he approves of the CBC. You make it sound like liberals are holding you hostage or something. CBC has the backing of Harper.
commented 2015-09-21 13:28:12 -0400
Peter Netterville wrote " Those “knowledgeable people” do not present an eye of clarity, honesty, accuracy nor balance. And they should not be accountable to an editorial board, they should be accountable to the people."
Herein lays the problem indeed. Publicly funded propaganda sounds very criminal to me.
commented 2015-09-21 13:12:39 -0400
For some inexplicable reason those on the left never learn from their mistakes. They are incapable of exercising discernment. Therefore they serve as the present day equivalent of their "progressive predecessors: the Useful Idiots. They served the Soviet Union well as they starved millions to death. Now they serve the Caliphate well.

If they want to commit suicide, well and good. I would suggest jumping off the nearest bridge and getting it over with. I, however, didn’t ask to be included as a drinker of their kool-aid.
commented 2015-09-21 11:25:29 -0400
The internet has been my only source for news for some time.

In my opinion all people should be the ones to take the information and weight it themselves. I do not want my information “processed” for me, not by the CBC and not by theRebel. I read the stories on the CBC, CTV, Global, CPAC, theRebel and make up my own mind.

The truth almost always lays somewhere in-between.
commented 2015-09-21 11:23:56 -0400

I said that the CBC LEAN left. Like The Toronto Sun leans right – but they both have conservatives and liberals on the payroll.
commented 2015-09-21 11:21:57 -0400
Terry said, " the unattainable but worthy goal of fact checked information, analyzed in context by knowledgeable people, presented with an eye to clarity, honestly, accuracy and balance, and accountable to an editorial board. "

Herein lays the problem. As Jimmy has also admitted, the CBC is left wing. Those “knowledgeable people” do not present an eye of clarity, honesty, accuracy nor balance. And they should not be accountable to an editorial board, they should be accountable to the people. Editorial boards are just as partisan.

This, imho, is the critical point the you and Jimmy cannot grasp.
commented 2015-09-21 11:04:55 -0400
Bill Elder:
It’s nice to have something a little more substantive to respond to than “CBC Commie Poopoo fuck libtards…” and so forth. Refreshing. Thanks.
Setting aside the lazy, trite generalizations about champagne socialists and blah blah blah, you’re pointing to the fact that broadcasting (i.e., the transmission of signals by means of Hertzian waves) is dead in all but the most rural and remote areas of Canada, and that the digitization and democratization of information is rendering our old paradigms of “news” obsolete. I agree. But again, without getting into left vs. right bashing, I can’t help thinking something’s being lost; the unattainable but worthy goal of fact checked information, analyzed in context by knowledgeable people, presented with an eye to clarity, honestly, accuracy and balance, and accountable to an editorial board. That’s not “the Rebel”, and it wasn’t Sun Media, and it’s not other new media on the left either (like Rabble).
commented 2015-09-21 10:23:34 -0400
When Brian Lilley co founder of The Rebel Media looked into his mirror this morning he said to himself this “Media Party disconnected from public they serve”…
commented 2015-09-21 10:05:38 -0400
All views can be posted here regardless of whether they agree or disagree unlike some sites where they are taken down almost immediatley if they are not representative of the beliefs of the site.
commented 2015-09-21 09:59:39 -0400
Whew you can get dizzy with all the circular and non sequitur argument here. There is no argument (except denial) that corporate Canadian media is in decline. Paleo broadcasters and print media are struggling with record low viewer/subscribers and ad revenues. People are using alternate media for their info and there are a good number of new media consumers who are savvy to paleo-media manufactured consensus. Some Jurassic media, in a last ditch effort to bring MSM spin to the internet, are entering the media too late. The trust is no longer there and their web editions are bleeding as much red ink as the old media editions. Consumers have had a taste of new media veritas and they are not coming back to paleo MSM, I know I’m not. I once was glued to CBC and a few daily papers, but no more -well I do make the occasional brief visit to see if any reform is evident but I usually leave shortly after I see the tell tale agenda pimping.

I have always considered my thinking to be pretty mainstream, in sync with my demographic contemporaries, so when I left the MSM it was for a couple of reasons – primarily I wanted real factual information, and with no spin or one dimensional shaping. CBC was the first casualty of my move to alternative news sources because they probably exhibit the most intense example of what turns me off about advocacy journalism/messaging in a public owned broadcaster – I only require news, all of it, no filtering or omissions and I will form my own opinion – CBC and other advocacy media do not deliver this , opting for filtered info and proffering ready made advocacy as “journalism”.

The CBC ( like its print peer group) is no longer about Canadian programming but programming Canadians – primarily to its elitist insular prejudices and directives of how the world should work according to CBC social engineers. If I want to hear what the latest pet social justice issue ismaking the gated community cocktail circuit, I’ll listen to CBC – but I have little interest in what lucrative con the 1% champagne socialists want me to buy into – my interests lie with average Canadians – the demographic which is under represented in corporate media or in the troll-saturated MSM comment logs. So many great e-zines, blogs, citizen journalist streaming sites and podcasts, No time for self serving concocted opinion.

I borrow the metaphor from an established blogger of the snap shot of a dinosaur watching the approaching asteroid of its extinction in describing the MSM’s inability to cope with the new media journalistic meme of rejecting catering to power, owing allegiance to no political brand and casting a jaundiced eye at all special interest pressure groups – rejecting pretty much every impediment to populism and inclusive public policy review.
commented 2015-09-21 09:58:19 -0400
Troll “SNN agreed with me about how awful Muslims and Kathleen Wynn and gays and Obama and Liberals and socialists are.”

Their records speak for themselves!!
commented 2015-09-21 09:58:11 -0400
I’ve never been to Journalism school, but the process that forms the product must go something like this: Watergate 101; Cut and Paste 101; Intro to Non Sequitorism; and a smattering of math for super sleuths (1 + 1 = 17).

The depressing mediocrity is indeed the message.