The Canadian Media Rant: Trashing Heather and Naomi While Still Lovin' Brian
Rightwing-Dominated, Hypocritical and Riddled With Double Standards
Why is it that a nation such as Canada - with its largely liberal to left-of-center population - must endure, year in and year out, such a right-wing national media? In America conservatives complain about "the liberal media bias", but here in Canada we have exactly the opposite problem. And, unlike in America, our problem actually exists.
For an excellent, in-depth look at the right-wing bias, hypocrisy and double-standards of the corporate-owned media here in Canada, check out this great new article by Donald Gutstein:
Controversy over Heather Mallick's Sarah Palin remarks shows media bias
And, if you haven't already, you should definitely read Mallick's "controversial" Sarah Palin-dissing piece from last month. It's a good one:
A Mighty Wind blows through Republican convention
The Shock Doctrine
And, while we're on the topic of the completely messed-up national media here in this country, check out this earlier piece by Gutstein detailing the sordid tale of how many Canadian papers chose to assign right-wing reviewers to trash Naomi Klein's new book "The Shock Doctrine"... while at the same time hiring other right-wingers to praise Brian Mulroney's autobiography:
Libertarian media toe the anti-Klein line
Obviously, reviews of political books are often predetermined by the ideology of the reviewer, and here in Canada those choosing the reviewers at most of the large papers have a very clear agenda.
As Gutstein states about the Globe and Mail's negative review of "The Shock Doctrine" and positive reviews of certain other books:
"Perhaps the Globe 's books editor sought a reviewer who would turn the knife, and not one who was an expert on the subject. Curiously, though, when it came time to review a book written by well-known libertarian conservative Tom Flanagan, the Globe assigned the review to a kindred conservative, one who would, almost predictably, like the book. And for the review of Mulroney's new book, the editor selected a reviewer who had already written a flattering book about Stephen Harper"
The key point, as Gutstein says, is that here in Canada in the mainstream mass media:
"...it's getting constantly more difficult for progressive and divergent viewpoints to be disseminated. And that's a blow to a democratic society, which requires a diversity of viewpoints to survive."
Of course, there are many other sources of information, especially today in the age of the internet. And the alternative media is definitely growing online, which is cause for optimism. However, the reality remains that the vast majority of people still get their news from the large corporate-owned media outlets, all of which usually only present one - bullshit - view of the world.
As Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky showed in their 1988 book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media", the so-called Free Media is certainly free to report a full spectrum of ideas and opinions, but, aside from, perhaps, the Letters To The Editor pages, it simply never does.
And "Manufacturing Consent", it must be noted, was written before the consolidation of the media, particularly here in Canada, into the hands of a few individuals, almost all of whom happen to be of the extreme right-wing persuasion (first Conrad Black and the Thomsons; and then Izzy Asper and Ted Rogers).
As it's pretty obvious that the consolidation of the mass media isn't going to be reversed any time soon, what's needed is for it to simply be ignored, shunned, or, at the very least, seen for what it is. The first step to finding our way out of this sewage field of a media landscape is for people to realize they're being force-fed crap. After that, having decided they're sick of being offered such a limited perspective, they simply need to set their minds to finding other sources of information.
I mean, who wouldn't want a bit more balanced news coverage? Who wouldn't want a lot less crap and whole lot more truth? And who wouldn't want a national news media that was at least somewhat reflective of the progressive majority in this country?
Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Friday, October 31st, 2008
For more on the Canadian media read this: The CBC Rant: Avi Lewis and The Canadian Media In The Never-Ending Black Era of Conrad
Or this: Izzy The Lizard, Israel, Palestine and The Canadian Propaganda Machine
And for a recent piece on Canadian politics read this: Thank You Quebec: The Canadian Election Rant (Part 3)
For more on Canadian politics click here: Politics: Canada
And for a recent piece on American politics check this out: Pallin' Around With Pinochet: Seeing The Real McCain At Last
And for lots more on politics of all types visit the Politics Homepage