Thursday, May 15, 2008

On parallels

Aaron Wherry documents just a few of the many examples of the Cons' distaste for facts - as well as the lack of as much media pushback as would be expected in the face of a government which cares so little for the truth. But a few more columns like these may be just what the doctor ordered to prod Canadian media into avoiding the same state of denial now inhabited by its U.S. equivalent:
(W)here the Bush administration manipulated a complicit media leading up to the war in Iraq, the Harper government has benefited from a complacent press here. At the height of the election financing controversy, one national news anchor lamented on air that the issue was too complex for the public to be interested in. Relatively few members of the press gallery bother to attend daily question period, and being the first to declare that a scandal is not a scandal seems to have become something of a competition among many of the country's columnists. Indeed, the daily fibbing of the government's ministers is rarely reported at any length. No doubt because many reporters long ago resigned themselves to covering a system of spin and deception. (They are not alone in this regard. A recent poll showed only 25 per cent of Canadians hold much respect for politicians. Just 49 per cent showed similar regard for journalists.)

But, if the Prime Minister still employed a national science adviser, he might ask for a lesson in the laws of action and reaction. The irony of the Bush era is that while many Americans still believe the "truths" peddled by the White House, the President's approval rating has languished in the low 30s for months. It helps that his greatest deception is demonstrated in a disastrous war. But it is surely not lost on most of the population that Iraq represents not the exception, but only the most obvious of half-truths. "I think," MacIvor says, "[Americans] have a sense that they've been taken for fools." If Canadians don't feel similarly so foolish, it is not for lack of effort by the Harper government.
(Edit: added title.)

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