In this quickly formulated episode I offer my personal take on the ideological capture of our Legacy Media in response to a former journalist calling me out on twitter.
Hey everyone. Welcome back to coffee breath Conversations. I'm your host Russell and today I'm going to be doing a solo episode to discuss my thoughts on the state of media in Canada. To preface this, I commented on Holly Doan who has a great follow from Blackhawks reporting, Holly commented that the minister thanks subsidized media for participating in webinars sponsored by a liberal think tank, I commented, yet people will still believe that the legacy media is not ideologically captured. This seemed to have spurred some former retired journalist named Jeff Meeker, whose profile pictures Ukrainian flag but the words I stand with Ukraine in it, who said, that's quite an accusation, one that is born a fantasy with no basis in reality. You obviously have never worked as a journalist or know anyone who has. So to me, it was obvious he was looking for a confrontation and normally I don't waste my time with responding to people who have no intention of engaging in good faith. However, I felt this might make for a good audio only episode. So to answer his question, he is right. I'm not a journalist. I did dabble in journalism in college, inspired by my obsessive reading of Hunter S. Thompson's works. I wrote for three years from my college newspaper, freelance articles, mostly about the music scene, I was kind of into the punk rock scene a bit. And I was also on the local radio station a few times to talk about the provincial elections. And I wrote in frequently to my hometown star paper for op eds. I believe two of them ended up actually making it into the op eds at one point or another. As for knowing journalists, besides some local talent, I personally know rebel news reporter Kelly lamb, and I even had her on the show. But given all this, I do not consider myself a journalist. In a subsequent comment, where I mentioned that he doesn't know the facts, so he went after my character instead, he claims I'm a self avowed podcaster, who gives opinions demanded the foundation of my views, which of course, is folly because I do not believe for one second, his intention was to actually learn the foundation of my views in any type of honest way. I do want to actually discuss my thoughts on just kind of what I believe is the ideologically captured media. This could be a very long episode, I started gathering sources, I started putting the material together, and I realized, I tried to keep my solo episodes around 10 to 15 minutes, and I realized I probably had about an hour worth of material. So I broke it down into a few key examples. So I believe that there has been a slant on the mainstream media in Canada for quite some time. Since high school when I began to understand the meaning of propaganda and how it's employed. I began to look critically at the media sourcing, it appeared to slant left. As the Harper years dragged on the left slant began to solidify more and more. This came to a crescendo when the Harper government cuts CBCs funding. I note in the 2015 National observer, who is a left leaning source, according to media bias, did a piece on Harper and the irony is kind of delicious. Claims are that Harper hated talking to the press and Canadians except through pre screened and approved sound bites. Now I personally feel that the current prime minister has taken Harper's game and perfected it while the press at home swoons. Recently comments from foreign Dutch press indicated that he doesn't actually like to directly answer questions. And I believe that's because he doesn't actually respect the media, and he just strings together signals of virtue to fill empty space, often committing gaffes in the process that the media just laughs off. When the prime minister had his own, apparent Freudian slip of the tongue and 2019 fact checkers ran to his defense saying that he was joking that the comments were taken out of context when he was heard saying lines such as you sometimes hear about liberal bias in the media these days, how they're constantly letting our government off the hook for no good reason. Frankly, I think that's insulting It's clear they let us off the hook for a very good reason. Because we pay them $600 million. And of course, he got to the punch line. You don't get stellar headlines like this without greasing the wheels a bit. Now, like I said, fact checkers ran to his defense and said it was taken out of context. Was that really a joke? Or was that a wink and a nod? I think the leftists often call that a dog whistle. Was that a dog whistle to his base? Who knows? So in 2019, the Trudeau Government announced a $600 million media subsidy program. Now well, the government directly fund CBC the subsidies helped keep the failing legacy media going. To be fair, there are some right leaning news organizations that accept government subsidies. And while this podcast episode is focused on the left slant, I'm not ignorant that we have right leaning news sources that have their anti Trudeau bias, the difference I find is that they don't try to hide it. And besides a select few, they generally are not on the government money drip. Now, let's look at coverage of some of the many apparent scandals. So CBC ran an article outlining the blackface revelations and squeezed near the end. But many Canadians have said that they don't consider it racist, and that it was just part of a costume. Okay. Now, let's compare that to another CBC article for Pierre Paul VA, saying the term tar baby in 2009. Now PR claims he meant it as issues that stick to oneself. And CBC acknowledged this in the last line of their article, but ended that is also a racist term to describe black children. Notice the difference in how these two articles ended. One ended in a way that appears to signify what's not as big of an issue as people are letting on, while the other does a little bit of mind reading. Now, Pierre says On one hand, he did not meet in a racist way. While the media does not clearly say, No, he actually did me in this way. They had to slip that little bit of doubt into people's minds at the end. So something where intentions are assumed to be negative for one person, and a clear display of racism is played off as something akin to youthful indiscretion, I guess. Let's look at another case. This time was CBC kids, talking about our environment minister, Steven guilbeault. In this apparent fluff piece for kids, CBC tells a half truth in states that he was arrested and released. technically true. He did get one year probation and had to pay some of the costs. Is this just telling kids about the environment minister, or is this something else is this ideologically driven? It appears to me that there appears to be some type of ideology behind it. Now let's talk for a second about opinion editorials is up to the sole discretion of the publisher to publish op eds. Now, why do I not trust op eds in the legacy media? I want you to remember SNC Laughlin, direct quote, If Jodie is nervous, we would of course, line up all kinds of people to write op eds, saying that what she's doing is proper Katie Telford that reeks of astroturfing. Now, Wikipedia defines astroturfing as astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization, ie political advertising religious or public relations to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. It is a practice intended to give the statements or organization's credibility by withholding information about the sources financial connection. So when I hear well, they're just op eds. They're just random Canadians on the street, giving their opinions after I heard that testimony, given under oath. I have to ask myself, is the Op Ed really an op ed? Or is it astroturfing? While watching media coverage during the last election, one of the CBC broadcasters was grilling, interrupting, and appeared to be arguing with the former Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole, while in my opinion, thrown softballs to the opposition, the people that have funded and kept The Money top flowing for their organization. Now I know I've covered CBC quite a bit, but let's go to another recipient of subsidies CTV. Their coverage. A provincial Conservative Party leader former Patrick Brown, led to his resignation a mere four months before the provincial election. And as of only a few days ago, CTV was forced to apologize as they claim key information they received was factually incorrect. without going too far off script here, because this is a scripted episode, I do want to say that one of the biggest problems I've had with media is that quite often, not all the time is shown in Patrick Brown's case, the media can make allegations and then simply walk away unscathed to the next story. While the people that are involved in the story have to pick up the pieces of their lives, sometimes they lose their jobs. Sometimes it costs them their marriages. Their lives are destroyed by the media who claims they're just reporting. And the media moves on to their next juicy story, while the person is literally left to try to pick up the remnants of their life. And then finally, today, black blocks released in a tip result that appeared to be completely blocked out. Federal consultants compiled a list of 25 Reliable journalists to be instructed on correct ways to cover general elections. The consultants led by a former Toronto Star executive would not comment one way or another, it falls to government to ensure the new media ecosystem does not operate in ways contrary to the Canadian principles of peace, order and good government. So I wonder if we could actually see the names of any of them, if any of them would be centrist or right leaning? I mean, my guess is no. And in my opinion, it is not up to the government to determine how the media ecosystem works, because that isn't media. That's propaganda. I still remember a government that vowed to be open and transparent. The tips suggest otherwise. So to close this off, yes, Jeff. I do believe that a portion of our journalists have been ideologically captured by liberal and far left ideology, and that the organizations they work for steer in that direction. I don't think that's a stretch of the imagination, and I don't believe I'm grasping at straws. I believe that there's a fair amount of yellow journalism from all sides. However, the key difference is that generally the right leaning publications are not on the government money drip, and appear to me to be far more open to admitting their political bias and leanings. If you would like to offer your critique, please do. But I'm not going to engage in debate with you as I do not believe that either of us is going to budge on our positions.