Friday, July 15, 2005

Media bias

Jack Layton was in Regina last night for a barbecue. You'd think the most prominent media coverage would focus on, say, Jack Layton's presence. You'd be wrong.

From the Leader-Post's news summaries, the sole coverage of the visit from the paper's front page:
Conservatives slam Layton over agriculture funding

The federal Conservatives say that if NDP Leader Jack Layton was really concerned about farmers he would have included agriculture in his budget deal with Paul Martin.

Layton admits the deal is not perfect, but says Saskatchewan will get money from the budget.

He was in Regina yesterday where he met with Premier Lorne Calvert to talk about agriculture.

Let's leave aside two obvious facts: first, that any of the opposition parties, the Conservatives included, could easily have held out for agricultural support in the budget; second, that unlike the Conservatives in question, Layton was in fact in town to talk about agriculture.

Even ignoring those facts, why would the NDP leader's visit be subject to such entirely Conservative framing?

The Leader-Post doesn't seem to keep much by way of online archives, so I can't compare to the last visit by another leader. But I'd be shocked if the story last time Harper came to town was "NDP criticizes Harper's obstructionism".

And it's not as if the Leader-Post lacked a slightly better summary; if you dig far enough around their site, you'll find this longer story which at least covers the visit relatively normally (i.e. details of visit first, partisan criticism of visit second).

Just a friendly reminder that this is what we're up against.

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