Friday, November 13, 2015

Justin Trudeau and the Humiliation of Postmedia

Ever since Justin Trudeau defeated Stephen Harper, and sent him and his Cons packing, the mood in this country has improved beyond anything I have ever seen, or ever could have imagined.

The totalitarian grimness of the Harper years has been replaced with a new mood of hope and optimism. 

But unfortunately that new and hopeful mood is seen as threatening by the powerful interests that control the MSM, who would rather have us ground down by the lack of hope or the darkness of perpetual pessimism. 

And are doing their best to bury our hopes and expectations under a stinking heap of cynicism.

With articles like this one.

Where Justin Trudeau's cool reply to a question about gender parity...

Is compared to a Dove commercial or pop feminism.

The slow, subtle melding of shrewd advertising into the political sphere is hardly new — and if you want more on that long history, Susan Delacourt has an excellent book on the topic. What is new about Trudeau’s approach is that he’s the first Canadian politician to so successfully tap into the pop commercial feminism that has begun to dominate both advertising and politics.

Whether it’s Mattel pumping out maudlin ads about dolls inspiring girls to be whatever they want — socioeconomic, racial and other barriers be damned — or Dove’s saccharin bits of self-esteem boosting sap that, in the end, still hawk “beauty” products, commercial pop feminism sells. So much so it’s now the stuff of parody.

Or articles like this one.

Some folks figure I’ve been unfair and unkind to our wunderkind PM. They think me churlish for describing how Justin keeps putting his hand on his heart and batting his eyes and other huggy-kissy stuff.

From now on, I promise to be more sympathetic to Prime Minister Trudeau. I will treat him with love and respect. I will adopt his “sunny ways.” I might even try to out-touchy-feely him. I will studiously avoid mention of his hair or the way he makes virtual love to everyone he meets, even his own cabinet ministers.

Where a brutish third rate hack goes after Justin Trudeau's sunny manner to the point of questioning his masculinity. 

Even though Justin's warm and friendly nature is one of his most commendable qualities...

But then both reporters work for Postmedia, the media conglomerate whose CEO Paul Godfrey, as Michael Harris points out, not only disgraced himself, he humiliated his organization.

The company’s CEO, Paul Godfrey, violated the core principle on which journalism is built: free speech. His offenses were multiple. The National Post spiked a piece from columnist and then-editorial page editor Andrew Coyne, presumably for writing something that didn’t conform to the Post’s program.

By suppressing opinion, ordering all his papers to endorse the Harper Cons, and turning their front pages into political pamphlets...

Godfrey committed what the late senator and Globe and Mail editor Richard Doyle said was the unpardonable sin of the industry: he held up the newspapers he runs and got a reflection of himself. And remember how this was done. On the weekend before the election, Godfrey disfigured the front pages of all his newspapers with a full-page attack ad in support of the Harper Conservatives.

Which couldn't have been more outrageous, or more of an assault on our democracy.

But the good news as Harris points out, is that Postmedia like other MSM organizations, is economically vulnerable 

Godfrey’s forced march of Postmedia editors through the swamps of political partisanship could cost the chain dearly. The National Post is already floundering under a $650 million debtload, kept afloat by U.S. hedge funds that extract big interest returns on their “investment.” No one is happy about that and many others in this besieged industry are taking on water.

In the meantime, Godfrey is totally out of touch with the people who hold the chain’s fate in their hands — his dwindling band of subscribers.

And we can use that to exert pressure on it and the others. By supporting independent publications like this one or this one.

And others I will list and promote on this blog.

And of course by using our social media, which played such a big role in defeating Stephen Harper...

To go after the deathly media barons who would condemn us to cynicism and despair.

And teach them a lesson they'll never forget...

You know when I was younger I used to think cynicism was funny. But now I see it as corrosive as cancer.

And after almost ten years of living in the Stephen Harper's grim Harperland, where hope went to die, I'm really enjoying this new mood of optimism.

So if those media barons want a war.

Then that's what they're going to get...

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  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    In total agreement with Michael Harris' column today at Ipolitics..The comments section is worth the time as well.I also notice that National Newswatch didn,t have his column up this morning.They normally do.
    To me it seems the MSM,including CBC's Power and Politics can't wait for Trudeau to make a mistake.It seems they want him to complete all his promises overnight.
    Then there,s Tasha Kheiriddin,s piece this morning stating that the PBO is giving Trudeau an easy way out on deficit,s even though it was the harper crew that created that deficit trying to buy votes and supporting big business..
    and something else worth reading this morning is David Climenhaga,s article on University of Calgary,s corporate influence scandal..

    I gave up on people like Mansbridge long ago.Now I add Rosie Barton,and anything written by Postmedia or the Globe and Mail.
    It,s simply not worth the energy anymore.

    1. Anonymous3:17 PM

      the CBC is still controlled by heil harper's fucking fanatics. What else did you expect of them? It stopped being the Canadian CBC years ago.

    2. hi anon...I haven't the slightest doubt that the Con media will try to destroy Justin Trudeau to please their bosses. They know that with the Cons in a dilapidated state they are the only real opposition. Which is why I am suggesting that we develop and support or own media, and go after them as hard as possible...

  2. Hopefully Trudeau closes the subsidy tap to Postmedia and CTV. No more economic action ads.

    1. hi Steve...yes that's a good point. Those media organizations are really going to miss that porky ad money. I honestly believe it kept Sun TV on the air long after it should have collapsed...

  3. FYI Godfrey presided over the darkest times of the Toronto Blue Jays where he helped nearly kill them (not good enough to win and not bad/cunning enough to get top draft picks) and hired his idiot sons to do the marketing.

    At least his incompetence will do some good for a change and hopefully kill Postmedia, the Orphan (Conrad) Black of Canadian media.

    1. Anonymous3:21 PM

      Not gonna happen. granddaddy murdoch won't let that occur to his illegitimate adopted godson, blackie. he'd rather see Britain and/or Canada go up in flames and all its citizens burn to death than have the/his fascistcons lose control in either country.
      You can't make this shit up, ya know....

    2. hi Dan...apparently the incompetent Godfrey is personally motivated to destroy the Liberals because he is furious at Kathleen Wynne for having fired him as the head of the provinces lottery corporation. But yes, with him in charge, if I worked at Postmedia I would put my life jacket on....

  4. Simon, you don't go to war when you're bleeding money out your backside. Even The Guardian recently published PostMedia's obituary. The Sun takeover was a feeble attempt to consolidate the rightwing nutjob market but it's an act of fiscal desperation. The American vulture capitalists who now call the shots at PostMedia are circling and will soon be picking away at the still moving remains.

    1. hi Mound...I agree Postmedia isn't in any shape to go to war. Not with the financial problems they have, and not after having endorsed the Cons against the wishes of most Canadians. But I have noticed that shadowy PAC-style groups are collecting money for the "conservative cause." and some of it could end up supporting Postmedia's assault on the Trudeau government...

  5. Anonymous10:02 PM

    Notice that communicating with National Post is not that simple. If someone more imaginative than I were to make it easier to voice their displeasure to MSM, That would be excellent. Media serves Canadians, not unlike Canadian Government. Maybe Haroer excrement has smeared itself too far and too wide. Need some harsh cleaning products!

    1. hi anon...there are many ways to put pressure on Postmedia. Boycotts, social media campaigns, and general embarrassment. As soon as we develop a good strategy I'll publish it here....

    2. ignore them and they will go away

  6. e.a.f.10:35 PM

    MSM has always supported various governments and prior to elections they have always carried an editorial suggesting how readers vote. I can still remember my Mother commenting on how the Vancouver Sun would support the federal Liberals at election time. Being a good New Democrats, she was not amused.

    what has changed over the years is how out of touch the newspapers have become in their editorials prior to elections. Harper and the Cons were no longer good for Canada, but the hedge fund wanted conservative. Its their paper, lock, stock, and barrel. They can have the opinions it wants. its freedom of speech and freedom of the press, if you have the money.

    What is a difficult issue is given the traditional roles media has played in our society, reporting the news in a some what factual manner to becoming leaflets for political parties and advertising for governments. However, on the whole Canadians are sophisticated enough to understand, newspapers no longer "print the truth". They print their version of the truth. If you want the truth, you must search for it. That is why some of us read blogs and alternative newspapers.

    The inability of organizations such as PostMedia's to see the red ink on the wall, will result in their demise at some time in the not so distant future. those with money in the hedge fund will want to see results on their investments, not political bird cage wrap, wasting their money.

    These organizations will cease to exist. Readership is declining and t.v. is loosing watchers hand over fist. Not only are people cutting the cable, the young aren't even "hooking" up to the system. If you do not remain relevant, your business dies.

  7. hi e.a.f. yes exactly, what is stunning is how out of touch newspapers have become from their readers, and how the editorial chiefs are mere tools of their big money bosses, or in the case of Postmedia, their hedge fund managers.That's why I am serious about our power to help shape the future of the media in this country. The stars are aligning, and our chances have never been better...