Thursday, 16 June 2011

Harper wants 100% control of the media, not just 90%

LAWRENCE MARTIN: Shades of Nixon: The PM’s media suspicions | iPolitics
Harper is aiming to wage a war against the so-called Liberal media - the media of which 90% supported the Conservatives in the recent election. Harper wants control of that last 10%. Read the article.


Here’s a prime minister coming off a triumphant election, one in
which he received editorial endorsement from 90 per cent of the
country’s newspapers. He has the country’s major media chains in his
corner. For an official opposition, he has a party, the New Democrats,
with barely a single major media backer in the land.

Yet one of
Stephen Harper’s first post-election moves is to mount a vituperative
campaign against journalists. His party president, John Walsh, sends out
a letter soliciting funds to fight what he calls the hailstorm of
negative attacks from the media elite. Stockwell Day joins the fray with
broadsides at the Conservative convention. Senate leader Marjory
LeBreton climbs aboard with fourth estate denunciations.

Does this
have the look of something straight out of Nixonland. We recall Spiro
Agnew, Tricky Dick’s Vice President, and his attacks on the “nattering
nabobs of negativism.” Whether he went so far as to try and publicly
bankroll an attack fund, I’m not sure.


The Conservatives’ post-election media strategy is a continuance of
the Harper campaign to limit access to real information. It piggybacks
on the vetting system Harper brought to Ottawa, the roadblocks put up in
front of the Access to Information process, the limits on questions at
press conferences and the like. It’s part of the wider strategy to make
all the Ottawa power blocks — Parliament, the civil service, agencies,
watchdog groups and his own party — more and more subservient.

though the media here is predominantly conservative, even though the
preponderance has been augmented with the arrival of Sun TV, it still
isn’t enough. The PM wants to go further. He wants the fourth estate,
like much of the rest of the nation’s capital, down on bended knee.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason it sounds like it's coming straight out of Nixonland is because it really is.

Arthur Finkelstein, one of Nixon's top political strategists, "the guy who slandered the term 'liberal' in American politics", worked for Stephen Harper while Harper was president of the National Citizens Coalition. When you're getting your political advice from the "Merchant of Venom", from the guy who invented the negative attack ad, that says something.