Friday, February 19, 2016

How politicians corrupt the media

Notley's recent attempt to directly censor journalists she doesn't like is one thing.  A more insidious form of corruption has been politicians' blatant [legal?] bribing of journalists and media outlets they do like. 

Ezra Levant discusses this in today's Financial Post:
... The CBC is the obvious example. In the recent federal election, the NDP and Liberals battled for the hearts and minds of the CBC’s journalists. Thomas Mulcair started the bidding with a promise of a $115 million annual CBC bonus if he were elected. Not to be outdone, Trudeau upped the ante to a whopping $150 million. The politicians were brazen: they were offering the journalists who cover them a success fee [using taxpayers' money] if they were elected.
... The Canadian Media Guild, the journalists’ union that dominates the CBC as well as The Canadian Press newswire, formally registered as a “third-party” campaign group with Elections Canada, ... Every unionized journalist covering the election was contributing part of their own salary to an anti-Harper election effort.
... It’s not just CBC journalists who are corrupted by being politicians’ pets. Journalists at private media are, too. As they nervously polish up their LinkedIn resumes, they can’t help but notice that the only major, national news organization still hiring is the CBC ... How many private sector journalists are tailoring their own work now to mirror the editorial line of the CBC where they hope to be in six months?


Anonymous said...

Canada has been hopelessly corrupted by the "progressive" cause and I fear nothing is going to change that fact... We live in a country that has been hijacked by those that hate what Canada was and what Canada stood for. The freedoms fought for by a better Canadian populace has been surrendered over the decades by the self loathing leftists and their corrupted greedy selfish union comrades and nowhere is that greed, hatred and corruption more evident than in the "Canadian media". The Canadian media is full of self loathing marxists and con men and bad actors, much like their comrades in the Libranos whom the media regularly collude with in destroying this once great country. It was Judge Gomery who stated that the Libranos foster and nurture a "culture of corruption" in everything they touch and unfortunately the media were touched by the Librano corruption machine a long time ago. Trudopia is a text book example of how to corrupt and ultimately destroy a nation, third world dictators and other scumbags take note.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure it isn't a matter of big media corrupting politicians?

Naaaaw they were corrupt to start with, maybe it is just a natural merger of two pandering forces?

Anonymous said...

In terms of the union being anti-Conservative, I would argue its not just the unions representing the media but pretty much every union in every industry. We are on the only industrialized country where one doesn't have the option of opting out of having union dues spent on political activities. This doesn't mean bringing in right to work laws as union dues for the cost of bargaining, strike funds, and pensions would remain mandatory, but the political advocacy part would still automatically be checked off the dues, but one who objected could opt out.

As for CBC, no doubt increased funding would make them more supportive of Liberals and NDP, although I find most journalists there at least try to be as fair as possible, although many would disagree. Never mind their viewership overwhelmingly tilts left so that probably puts a lot of pressure more than anything else. That being said Canada's funding of public broadcasting as one of the lowest in the OECD per capita so if you look at it that way not much to complain. In Britain, the BBC gets 7x as much funding despite the fact Britain only has twice the population meaning per capita they spend almost 4x what we do. The US off course funds PBS at only 3x what CBC is despite having 10x as many people so per capita it is only 1/3. Much of the reason for having a public broadcaster was to service remote regions where the private sector wouldn't as well as linguistic minorities. Perhaps they could do what the Dutch public broadcaster does which is give every political party with seats one hour a week to present the news and events from their perspective so that would ensure all political views get a fair hearing.

JR said...

Anon #3 (12:17 PM)

The CBC claims to be politically objective and I believe that it's mandate requires it to be. But I don't see how any objective observer could conclude that in practice it comes even close to meeting its mandate. A simple test of this fact is that no almost conservative wants to see the CBC government subsidy maintained or increased. On the contrary most want to see it defunded entirely. Those on the lib/left, on the other hand, its the opposite. The vast majority like the CBC and would like to see its public funding increased.

I think your numbers on government funding of PBS are off the mark. In 2014 the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) (which funds itself, PBS and NPR) received a total of just $445 million from the government. That's less than half of the CBC's $1.1 billion. So, per capita, CPB gets just 1/20th of CBC's funding.

And yes, the BBC model is THE WORST of the lot.

Anonymous said...

In terms of Conservatives on funding CBC, I would disagree all of them want it entirely defunded or cut. I think in many ways that was an issue where there was a strong divide between the old PCs and Reform/Alliance as the former generally supported the CBC while the latter opposed it. Your correct in that at the moment there are more Conservative supporters who want it cut or defended completely, but that hasn't always been the case. More importantly most polls I've seen on the issue generally show the base wants it privatized, but the swing voters who open to voting Conservative, but won't necessarily don't want to see it privatized and they only favour cuts if in deficit position (which we are now) not when in surplus position.

JR said...

There’s plenty of evidence of media bias in Canada, not the least of which is the Media Guild’s anti-Conservative activism in the last election. I haven’t seen specific polls or other research on this for Canada but there’s little reason to doubt that the vast majority of practicing journalists do not vote Conservative. And University J-schools are not noted for being conservative - if anything they run to the far left. So what influence do you suppose this has on the political bias of the media as a whole, never mind just the CBC, which is likely among the farthest left.

In the USA, a study at UCLA (not a bastion of conservatism) attempted to objectively study the issue (going so far as to ensure that the researchers themselves numbered equally as Democratic and Republican voters) found this:

“Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS' "Evening News," The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal. Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.”

From Media Research Center: "A trio of polls conducted during 2013 showed that, by a wide margin, many more Americans see a liberal bias in the news media than a tilt in favor of conservatives. Even a sizeable percentage of self-identified Democrats seemed to concede this point ..."

In Canada, the leftist bias will only be worse, likely far worse.

I agree that, as you suggest, many conservative-leaning Canadians likely do have a nostalgic attachment to the CBC - “it’s part of our heritage.” They have an emotional attachment to it, even if they don’t care much for its programming. However, regardless of how Canadians “feel” about the CBC, or any publicly funded media for that matter, there are facts and principles that weigh against public media funding, besides bias, including: (1) there’s little need for it (2) it’s grossly unfair to make private broadcasters fund their competition (3) the potential for political interference and corruption (4) conservative Canadians shouldn’t be forced to fund ideologies they object to (5) .... .... ...

MontrealMarek said...

There is a real problem with the CBC. The CBC does not serve the Canadian public well. It spends too much time promoting left wing political views. The core mandate needs change.
The public needs information but many large markets already are well served by the private sector. The CBC should withdraw from those markets. That would save millions and would also help ensure that the private sector still continued in the news business.

Anonymous said...

JR - It is certainly true most journalism schools lean left and as for journalists I would suspect the percentage who vote Conservative is somewhat less than the national average although I would still guess somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20-25% vote Conservative. When compared to the median voter, the UCLA study is interesting and I agree with it, although your median Canadian voter is a lot further to the left of your American voter. Toronto Star which is the most left wing of the papers has the highest readership while National Post which is more conservative has one of the lowest so it does suggest Canadians in general (unfortunately) are quite left wing. As for needed or not, I guess my point is that every industrialized country has a public broadcaster so if we privatized or got rid of it we would be the first to do so. In addition most polls I've shown suggest Canadians are around 70-30 split on this with 70% against privatization and 30% for. Considering Harper's past views, I am positive he would have privatized CBC if he felt he could get away with it and the main reason I suspect he didn't was their own internal polling probably showed it was too risky for the party. I think in general not just the media, but pretty much almost all the establishment in Canada leans left and much of Canada's leftist tilt is since the 60s we've always been told it's part of our identity thus the difficulty conservatives face in winning. In the US, left wing ideas are really touted out as being part of their identity.

Anonymous said...

Show me a main stream news organization that is even slightly objective in its coverage of the leftist "global warming" socialist shakedown. This massive campaign of fraud is not only accepted without question by all msm outlets it is a scheme that is ferociously promoted by the MSM as well. Any political party that dares not go along with this leftist doomsday apocalyptic prophecy parade of wealth redistribution will be quickly and mercilessly savaged by all MSM outlets as heretics. Nothing illustrates the Medias leftist agenda, their moral and ethical corruption more than the MSM's complete capitulation and dedication to this leftist con game. Of course the Medias demonizing of evil Dr. Mr. Harper was a relentless assault of pure partisanship, just the same as the Medias cult like worshiping of the nit-wit drama teacher the Media helped get elected. The MSM is a tool of the left, to say otherwise is a bald faced lie or at best a case of cognitive dissonance.

Martin said...

There can be no legitimate argument as to whether CBC is biases to the left, the science has been settled for decades. Just one example will suffice to illustrate this. Just 2 nights ago CBC aired Naomi Klein's documentary on climate change labeling it exciting and controversial. It is impossible to think of an alternate examination being aired by CBC, or even commentators being given time for rebuttal, say Ross McKitrick or Stephen Mcintyre. A host of other topics are essentially closed for discussion on CBC. Producers and managers there have reflected the concerns and attitudes of urban viewers and like thinking friends rather that those of outlying ordinary Canadians.