Monday, February 14, 2011

Mike Duffy and the CRTC. A Hint at What is to Come

As the Harper stacked CRTC is looking at allowing Canadian news programs to just make stuff up, I'm reminded of Mike Duffy and his role in hijacking the 2008 election.

This was done by creating an entire show around the false starts of Stéphane Dion, when he was asked an obviously carefully drafted convoluted question by CTV's Steve Murphy, that even linguistic professors determined made no sense.

But what didn't come out in the media, was that both Steve Murphy and Mike Duffy were charged with ethics violations, as a result of their complicity in influencing the results of an election.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released two decisions concerning the broadcast of three false starts of an interview by CTV anchor Steve Murphy with Liberal leader Stéphane Dion during the October 2008 federal election campaign. Each restart had been requested by Mr. Dion and granted by Mr. Murphy, CJCH-TV (CTV Atlantic)’s news anchor.

One decision related to the first broadcast of the false starts (which were followed by the broadcast of the full 12-minute interview) on CTV Atlantic’s newscast CTV News at 6 on October 9. The other related to the rebroadcast by CTV Newsnet of the restarts on the public affairs discussion program Mike Duffy Live Prime Time later that same evening. The CBSC concluded that both broadcasts violated certain provisions of the Radio Television News Directors of Canada (RTNDA) Code of (Journalistic) Ethics and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics.
After the debates Stephen Harper's popularity had plummeted and he only regained the lead after this little stunt.
The fallout from the French and English debates shows the previous pre-debate 10 point Conservative margin is now four percentage points. Tracking shows incremental movement in favour of the Liberals and Stephane Dion. Dion registered his highest score as the person Canadians think would make the best Prime Minister.
Of course Mike Duffy was rewarded with a senate seat, where the Canadian taxpayers now shell out more than $150,000.00 a year so that he can campaign full time for the neocons.

But this is the kind of thing that the new CRTC ruling would make commonplace. News stories will be about cherry picking statements, and fabricating a story around them. And Canadians won't know what hit them.


  1. Not only was it a convulated question, but English is his second language, he was exhausted AND Dion has a hearing problem I believe.

    snip snip: The Liberal Leader said this week he has a hearing problem that makes it difficult for him to isolate sounds and catch the intonation of words, which may explain the trouble he has communicating in English, his second language. Although he has seen a hearing specialist, he said, he does not know the name of the ailment he suffers from.

    Now, hearing loss experts and advocates are applauding Mr. Dion's move to speak openly about the issue and give voice to those who may feel stigmatized by their hearing problems.


  2. Is that grounds to have him tossed from the Senate?

  3. In a column published today in the Ottawa Citizen, journalism professor Andrew Cohen reminded his readers of the sleazy depths to which some media are prepared to stoop to promote their political causes and the depths to which some politicians may be prepared to stoop to pay them off. His subject was the sorry hatchet job CTV and Senator Mike Duffy did on then Liberal leader Stephane Dion on October 9, 2008 just 5 days before the last federal election. The issue arose as a result of a twelve minute taped television interview of Dion by CTV Atlantic reporter Steve Murphy.



  4. National Post played role of Fox

    Aping the role of Fox News as the main cheerleader for the Bush administration, the Asper family's right-wing bully pulpit, the National Post, led and broadened the campaign against Dion. One editorial attacked Bill C-257, which would outlaw replacement workers in strikes against employers in federally regulated industries. Liberal support for this bill, the Post hectored, "would mark another colossal flip flop of the kind the former governing party has become famous for since Stéphane Dion took over as leader last December."

    A week later, in a piece headlined "Liberals go from Dithers to Flipper," Post columnist Don Martin weighed in with the assessment that Dion had a "lousy week." Why? "Not once or twice, but three times in four days we saw Mr. Dion flip-flop on positions he'd taken during the leadership race or his party had supported last fall." The column was apparently considered vital reading for all Canadians, since it was reprinted in the Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun and Ottawa Citizen.

  5. Corporate owned MSM helped Harper kill Dion’s true message

    When Stéphane Dion announced his decision to step down as Liberal leader on Oct. 21, he blamed his dismal showing on a Conservative ad blitz that kicked in as soon as he won the party leadership in late 2006. The advertising onslaught questioned his qualifications for the job, helping "define him with the public and he never recovered," the Globe and Mail reported the next day.

    But nowhere in the discourse was there recognition of a factor even more defining in bringing down Dion -- the reporting and commentary in the news media themselves. Most Canadians have never met Dion. Their knowledge and impressions of him are mediated by the press. And the press, with the Aspers' National Post and Mike Duffy's Countdown on CTV leading the pack, gave Harper and the Conservatives nearly unlimited access to their audiences to disseminate the Conservative message,

    One vehicle for disseminating the flip-flop message was the nightly Mike Duffy Countdown segment on CTV, where the Conservative frame was provided a friendly welcome. Anti-Dion ads played during the commercial breaks were reinforced by Duffy's guests.

  6. DanLaurinWindsor 4:12 PM on February 10, 2011

    Fine for the Harpercrites to talk about Flip Flops

    1. He will never tax Income trusts :

    2) Haper wanted Canadians to join in the war on Iraq:

    3) Harper Plaigarized the Australian PM's speech supporting the war:

    4) Haper said he would never appoint a Non Elected Senator Michael Fortier cannot win a seat in his riding so first act as PM he appoints him to the senate.

    5) “The Prime Minister has cut 39 percent of the operating budget from Status of Women, and he has cut the Court Challenges Program. During the election Stephen Harper said he would uphold the government’s commitments to women. Why has he broken that promise?

    6)In January the Prime Minister signed a declaration that he would support women’s rights and that his government would take ‘concrete and immediate measures’ to uphold its commitments to women. But this government did just the opposite when it eliminated equality from the mandate at the Status of Women.”

    7) “During the election Canadians were duped into believing a Conservative government would honour the terms and objectives of the Kelowna Accord. But that promise was broken with the Conservative budget, which cancelled the $5.1 billion agreement.

    8) The PM has repeatedly reiterated his commitment to end “the revolving door between ministers’ offices, the senior public service, and the lobbying industry”. “Prime Minister Harper has appointed three former lobbyists to Cabinet: Gordon O’Connor, Lawrence Cannon, and Jean-Pierre Blackburn,”

    9) Implementing an Accountability Act that will actually increase government secrecy and make it less accountable, after running an election campaign on openness and accountability in government;

    10) Pushing through a highly politicized deal on softwood lumber that industry representatives oppose because it puts more than $1 billion into the hands of American lumber competitors, after campaigning for years against any deal that does not return 100 per cent of duties paid to the U.S.;

    11) July 14, 2006 Breaking an election promise to implement the Patient Wait Times Guarantee and instead recycling the Liberals’ $5.5-billion Wait Times Reduction fund, but downloading its responsibility to the provinces and territories without investing any new money;

    DanLaurinWindsor 4:13 PM on February 10, 2011

    And these Flip Flops

    How about these: The Atlantic Accord Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrote a letter to Williams in January 2006 vowing to keep non-renewable energy resources out of the equalization formula. The 2006 election platform also stated • Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula. 'The Conservative government will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula,' Harper wrote at the time.. The 2007 Budget includes non renewable natural resources in the formula Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said the federal budget released Monday is a betrayal of his province, and he wants voters to punish the Conservatives in the next federal election.'What they've done today is basically and completely shafted us,' Williams told reporters after the budget was released. 'It's scandalous what they've done, when you think of it.'

  7. Lymetime 1:06 PM on February 11, 2011

    "Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind."

    ~ William Somerset Maugham



  8. A New Democrat MP's revelation that the 27 senators given their seats by ‘I'll-never-appoint-senators' Prime Minister Steve Harper would eventually cost $177-million plus expenses is fair political game.

    And, MP Peter Stoffer noted in passing, Senator Duffy racked up $44,000 in travel costs during just three months of unelected service in the Red Chamber.



  9. Is Dimitri Soudas's “Special Friend” Really the Best Choice for the CRTC?

    Dimitri Soudas has been involved in some of the most underhanded backroom deals, since Marjorie LeBreton played kingmaker for Brian Mulroney.

    So Canadians should be very concerned when we learn that one his chums has been appointed to the CRTC.
    Tom Pentefountas, who was appointed on Friday, "failed on every count" of the vetting process, Angus said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. "This appointment stinks." Angus and NDP House leader Libby Davies charged that Pentefountas, a former president of Quebec's conservative ADQ party, does not meet several of the job's requirements, including an in-depth knowledge of the broadcasting industry and media convergence.
    These guys no longer even try to hide their corruption. Instead they flaunt it like a badge of (dis)honour.

    So I wonder why they needed a neocon insider. Was it for Fox News North, or the Egyptian dictator?

  10. “This appointment stinks,” Angus said Monday, in case you were missing his point.

    2. The new vice-chair of broadcasting appointed to the CRTC. That person is already known as “an inexperienced puppet of the government” in some quarters. That would be NDP quarters. The person in question, Tom Pentefountas, “failed on every count” if you examine the official criteria for the job, says NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus. See, Angus and others believe that the government is appointing a friend of the government, not someone with solid experience in broadcasting and/or the regulation of broadcasting.

    Tory Minister tries to justify reeking, unqualified “appointment”

    On the other hand, ignorance can be an advantage. That was the line peddled by Heritage Minister James Moore this week, to justify the appointment of lawyer Tom Pentefountas, friend of PMO communications boss Dimitri Soudas, to the troubled Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission. Pentefountas's lack of background in the complicated world of telecommunications regulation ensures he will be innocent of conflict of interest, Moore insisted. Hilarious.

  11. A Montreal lawyer and friend of Stephen Harper’s communications director has been named vice-chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission – an appointment the NDP says was marred by improper interference by the Prime Minister’s Office.

    “There is a sort of glazed over effect that Canadians have with the outrageous behaviour of Harper, but this one pretty much takes it,” NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus said.

  12. To make things easier for everybody; HarperCon made it legal for MSM to lie to the sheeple.

    What's that? It was a CRTC decision and has nothing to do with Steve Harper?

    Guess again. Harper has appointed 11 of the 14 current members of the CRTC.



  13. Everyone has assumed that if CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein does the legal, ethical thing and tells Sun TV News to run the same gauntlet as every other channel, he will have his fragile head crushed between leathery Conservative fingertips. Von Finckenstein has publicly said he has not been approached and that the standard public hearings will be held this fall. He thinks he won’t be targeted.

    The argument that Fox News North will be fair and balanced, a hard-right antidote to the allegedly liberal CBC, is nonsense. A privately owned propaganda channel is not the equivalent of an underfunded non-profit public broadcaster stuck with the legal requirement to inform a huge fractured country on a factually immaculate basis.

    Fox celebrates ignorance and fosters hate, it’s your weasel heart, that chunk of you that spurts endorphins when a hated rival crashes his car on Ambien or is caught with a gerbil where a gerbil shouldn’t be. It’s a poison tree. Weirdly transfixing as Glenn Beck is, when you eat the Fox apple, it eats away at you.

    The fallout was more troubling, hundreds of emails from enraged men who wanted me dismembered. Fox, I contend and an apparently large contingent of its viewers - actively dislike women (and blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, people who get more sex than they do, i.e. everyone, latte, cranberry bogs, cities, passports, chicken living outdoors etc.). It hates Canada. It eggs on its women-hating fanbase which is, like the subsequent SwiftBoaters andTeaBaggers , a malign force bubbling with rage.

    Everyone has a line they won’t cross, and I was unwilling to mock what Harper has always resented since some ancient slight: the wine-sipping book-reading types who snubbed him when he first came to Ottawa. I grew up in small northern towns, with the allegedly stupid people who allegedly vote for Harper, and books were my ticket to what Harper calls élitism, which is plain old city living and he’s wrong to fear it.

  14. Revealed! Steve Harper’s secret plan to take over the CRTC and launch Sun TV
    Aug 19, 2010, Source: Toronto Life

    Lawrence Martin wrote a juicy column for the Globe today about Steve Harper’s push for Sun TV, a conservative news station that would be akin to his own version of Fox TV. After the CRTC rejected Sun TV’s bid for a licence in July (saying there was “little to distinguish Sun TV from other all-news services”), Martin says Harper and Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Péladeau and Kory Teneycke (a former Harper spokesperson) are trying to oust the head of Canada’s entertainment bureaucracy. Here’s what we learned today:

    1. CRTC chair Konrad von Fickenstein’s term is slated to end in 2012, but insiders report that Harper wants him out ASAP to replace him with someone more amenable to Sun TV.

    2. Von Fickenstein either loves his job or really wants to mess with Harper. He’s been offered ambassadorships in Chile and judgeships but hasn’t given in. Is heading up the CRTC really better than having your own cook at a villa in Santiago?

    3. CRTC vice-chair Michel Arpin’s term expires this month, and his request to stay longer has been denied. One down, one to go.

    4. Greg Weston, one of Sun Media’s top political columnists, was promptly shuffled out by Teneycke when he took over the political coverage. You may remember Weston for breaking the G20 fake lake story.

    5. The front-runner to replace either Arpin or Von Fickenstein is Luc Lavoie, Péladeau’s top crony. Appointing Lavoie might give away Harper’s intent to stack the CRTC, but Martin isn’t putting it past him.

  15. Good repost from: Casey01 Dec 17, 2010 7:49 AM
    Walter Cronkite was dead on the money when he said that these so-called "news" stations were no longer news but essentially now just opinion. They are preaching to their own choir. The day of well researched stories which actually informed the watcher was a thing of the past. Fox is just another on the list of stations with a political/ideological slant. Take it for what it is, this is nothing more than just "talk radio" on television, disguised as news.

    Sign the I Love CBC Petition:



  16. Harper’s knows you can’t unring a bell

    OTTAWA - A virtual pooping puffin with a well-aimed dislike for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion succeeded in derailing the well-oiled Conservative election machine Sept. 9, 2008, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper was forced to apologize for an ad depicting the animated bird defacating on his rival's shoulder.

    Only in Harperland is being smart a bad thing.

    Dion, a professor, objected to attempts by the Tories and others to characterize him as an aloof intellectual.

  17. The really sad thing about that entire fiasco was that Harper's french isn't as good as Dion's english. The french media has always showed a certain decorum or tolerance for anglophones who try to learn and communicate in their second language. Harper has neither of the qualities and lacks basic good manners and intelligence. Duffy acted in malicious fashion and was rewarded with a "fat" patronage plum. Who misses the good old days of Frank magazine when Mickey was lovingly referred to as "The Puffster"?