Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Are we Allowing the Media to Write the Narrative?

I've found myself getting upset the past few days reading columns about the Harper majority.

There is an overwhelming attempt to rewrite Stephen Harper's political story.

Angelo Persichilli tells us that yes Harper was in the Reform Party but left because "he was disappointed" in them.

He left in part because of a power struggle between he and Preston Manning, and in typical vindictiveness, that has come to define him, held a press conference accusing Manning of pilfering money from the party.

He wasn't, but that didn't matter. The damage was done.

However, what Persichilli missed was the fact that Stephen Harper had become disenchanted with Parliament, and felt that he could do more for the movement, heading up the National Citizens Coalition, without the restraints of politics. And indeed he did.

With the help of top Republican strategist (Richard Nixon's campaign manager), Arthur Finklestein, he attempted to make the term "liberal" a dirty word.

Others in covering the Conservative convention have suggested that the "new" Conservative party is a marriage between Red Tories, or what Harper spat out as "pink liberals", and the Reform-Alliance. A bigger myth than Harper turning his back on Reform.

But the best piece of nonsense this week comes from Bruce Anderson in the Globe: Why ‘Stop Harper’ protests are no canary in majority coal mine

On the surface the article appeared to be critical of Canadians. We weren't upset that Tony Clement handed over $50 million dollars to a handful of people in his riding, that was used on some of the most ridiculous projects known to man. And when he gave them the money, he demanded no receipts, so consequently we have no idea what was spent where, though I hear the lighthouse on a stump was a real bargain.

It made Muskoka look like a miniature golf course.

Anderson also mentions the fact that Harper used a military jet to go to a hockey game, but that we forgave him because he took his daughter. How cute. Of course I'm sure she'd have rather stayed home with her dad spending quality time, and not be the victim of a photo-op with Conservative cronies and 11 bodyguards.

I remember when Stephen Harper was critical of Brian Mulroney for using his family in photo-ops.

He also speaks of a gentler mood in Parliament, which makes me wonder if he too does crossword puzzles during Question Period.

It's gone from cocka-doodle-dooing, to inane tripe.

But his most bone-headed remark was suggesting that "Strong leaders, with clear ideas for the future, passionately argued: This is the recipe for the success enjoyed in the last election by Stephen Harper and Jack Layton."

When did Stephen Harper passionately argue clear ideas? He spent the early weeks of the campaign stuck on a "coalition threat", while limiting questions to five.

And even then with the limited number of questions, he refused to answer those he was uncomfortable with, or had no script for. In fact, when reporters pressed, the crowd on cue yelled and hollered and drowned them out.

It's funny, I was just reading a story on Gaddafi's son, who has a PhD from the London School of Economics, and was pressing for reform, long before the Canada led war on his country.

He refused an appointment in his father's government and actually invited human rights activist to come and speak on how to improve the lives of the Libyan people.

But at the event, his father's supporters "yelled and hollered and drowned them out".

Maybe all dictators work from the same playbook.

But this begs the question, why are we allowing the media to create the narrative, by rewriting history?

It's like they've given Stephen Harper a do-over.

Forget the human rights abuses at the G-20. Forget the vilifying of watchdogs and hostile takeovers of arm's length government agencies. Forget the 200 page manual instructing Conservative MPs in the art of disrupting committees, investigating their wrong-doing.

Forget the more than 200 million spent on self-promotion ads, the ethics czar given hush money and the death grip on information.

We have a "new and improved" Stephen Harper now that he has what he wanted. Complete control to do whatever he feels like.

Including destroying the careers of any journalists who do attempt to tell the truth, I suppose.

Maybe it would be best to just not say anything at all.


  1. Tell the truth, Emily! Wow, you nail it every time you write.

  2. Why didn't anyone comment on Harper's closing remarks at the recent convention, "God bless you and God bless Canada", or did I dream that?

  3. And why aren't they writing about the fact that Harper and the Conservatives vision is about such a reduced role that they will govern the country in the manner of running a company? How can they cheer and brag about this paltry vision? To me that is completely unacceptable. There has hardly been a whimper about this in the press and yet it is a true indication of Harper's agenda.