Sunday, December 30, 2007

On interested parties

For those interested in seeing a bite taken out of Canada's new stenographers, recent posts by skdadl and Dave are definitely worth a look.

But as I noted in a comment on Dave's post, the problems within Canadian media goes far beyond journalistic concessions to Harper's desire to control the immediate message. Indeed, one could hardly find a better example of the contrast between merely sucking up to a particular government and an insistence on imposing a corporatist worldview than the National Post's admonition that Harper's already-reckless tax slashing has only whetted its appetite for another wholesale attack on the federal government.

Of course, that kind of message likely serves Harper's ideological interests in the long run as well. But it also serves to highlight the gap between the Cons' short-term political calculations - which have to take into account at least some of the obvious desire to provide more than just tax cuts - and the forces which can't get rid of effective government soon enough.

It's worth keeping in mind that in the long term, the media still does call the shots to a significant extent: its prominent figures are likely to occupy prominent roles far longer than most politicians, and it's able to take a longer-term view which tends to fall by the wayside in a four-year (or less) electoral cycle. Unfortunately, though, far too many of Canada's loudest voices are eager to see Harper and future governments go even further than the Cons already have in demolishing collective values.

Granted, some increased willingness to stand up to Harper would be a positive first step in moving toward a more reasonable balance in the interests represented within Canada's media. But the problem of concentrated corporate media can't be solved anywhere near that easily - and that's the battle which will have a more far-reaching impact on Canada's long-term direction.

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