Sunday, November 26, 2006

Well, we ARE open to suggestions.


Back here, Kitchener Conservative seems thoroughly put out that readers just aren't getting the point of his original article, which was that it's just so tacky to interrupt a public gathering addressing cancer funding to whinge on and on about someone's indifference to the deaths of bunches and bunches of foreign people.

Normally, KC might have a point, except for the inconvenient fact that "Canada's New Government" has made it virtually impossible for the general public to protest against its policies in any meaningful way.

Take PM Harper's reluctance to hold regular press conferences with the Parliamentary Press Gallery, his contemptuous avoidance of journalists on a recent trip, and his ongoing muzzling of CPoC candidates, at which point, one can, in all fairness, ask KC just when and where someone should make their feelings known to Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Perhaps that latest protest does detract from the important message of funding cancer research, but if PMS insists on perpetually hunkering down behind the doors of his protective bunker, then he really has no right to complain if his critics have to go to greater and greater lengths to get their point across, does he?

15 comments:

journalistic integrity said...

So, you are saying that because a bunch of journalists are pissed off with the Prime Minister because he doesn't feed them dinner and ready-made news through faxes, that protesting at the cancer announcement isn't tacky?

See Andrew Coyne's article, We Are Not The Opposition

journalistic integrity said...

Since you're so cynical, you probably think the Prime Minster dropping the media off on the airplane runway so he could fly in personally to take 100 people out of Lebanon shows indifference to deaths of "Canadian" people in Lebanon.

CC said...

"ji" whines:

" ... you probably think the Prime Minster dropping the media off on the airplane runway so he could fly in personally to take 100 people out of Lebanon shows indifference to deaths of "Canadian" people in Lebanon."

Of course, if his lordship PMS had offered up his own seat and not turned that "rescue mission" into one glorious photo-op, he could have taken 101 people out of Lebanon.

Oh, and then there's this glorious little inconsistency:

Harper removed all media from the plane but kept a seat for his official photographer.

Now why don't you be a good little troll and high-tail it back to Kate McMillan's comments section? The grown-ups here have real grown-up things to discuss.

CC said...

By the way, "ji", supplying a link to an Andrew Coyne opinion piece in the National Post doesn't qualify as a logical refutation around these parts.

Not even remotely.

Kitchener Conservative said...

which was that it's just so tacky to interrupt a public gathering addressing cancer funding to whinge on and on

Well, I guess given your argument, perhaps a funeral would be an appropriate place too? How about a wedding or his kid's hockey game? Maybe when Harper has children over for a birthday party?

Normally, KC might have a point, except for the inconvenient fact that "Canada's New Government" has made it virtually impossible for the general public to protest against its policies in any meaningful way

That must be because of all

"the soldiers in cities"...

"Canadian Cities"...

"weren't not making this stuff up"

- The Liberal Party last election campaign. I guess what you must be saying is that Harper should run outside once a day between running the country and Question Period, so that every John Q. Protester can feel good that they can get picture taken with Harper present.

Kitchener Conservative said...

By the way, "ji", supplying a link to an Andrew Coyne opinion piece in the National Post doesn't qualify as a logical refutation around these parts.

Not even remotely.


I should have know that "Canadian Cynic" subscribes to the school of incoherent thought.

Cheers, see on the flip side....

journalistic integrity said...

I didn't know you had trouble seeing things from other people's perspectives......

Adam C said...

Hey, now, Andrew Coyne's column was completely on-topic, given that the protesters were all members of the Ottawa Press Gallery.

Oh, no, that's right, it was completely irrelevant. Also - having read it - ignorant (hey Coyne, try reading Franklin or Jefferson some time). And it contained very annoying beaver ads.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you had trouble seeing things from other people's perspectives......

Where do they get this? "Dumb" is a perspective I can understand very well. It's the default condition of humanity, after all. Most of us spend our lives overcoming that. Conservatives, of course, learned everything they needed to in Kindergarten.

Mes Amis said...

Kitch Con, do you see anything problematic with the press at large being denied it's role in the questioning and possible deconstruction of the statements and actions of a group we let run our lives?
To remove the one check that has the biggest stake regarding the public good?
As a sentient fellow Canadian don't you want all sides of the story to form an opinion?
A civil discourse is only achievable if both sides are able to agree on some points and from there give a rational stream of logic to support differing views.
I agree the polarizing 'I'm 100% right and whatever you say is all wrong' takes things from debating to a poo slinging contest.
Life isn't like that.
In the matter shunning the press and discouraging traditional displays of public dissent, our government has decided to draw the line, and guess what? We, the public, are left on the outside. They aren't acting in your best interests.
As a responsible citizen, regardless of political stripe or leaning, you should be asking yourself why are our employees in Ottawa raising a veil of secrecy? It is they who must earn our trust every day. Without a active press to pry in closets, ask the awkward questions, listen at keyholes, we're left with contrived official sound-bites and question period grandstanding.
It isn't supposed to work like that.
The most important part of a healthy democracy is an informed and skeptical public. Even a crook will act honestly when the spotlight is on them.

Kitchener Conservative said...

mes amis,

Yours is the kind of debate I like to see. You points are rational and eloquent and a pleasure to read.

"Kitch Con, do you see anything problematic with the press at large being denied it's role in the questioning and possible deconstruction of the statements and actions of a group we let run our lives?"

I agree that the press needs to able to ask questions, but keep in mind the press isn't the offical opposition, is it? There people who are elected that are given job to keep the government accountable.

An accountable press will make sure that both sides are heard so that the public is informed. Would you say that's what happening now?

"Without a active press to pry in closets, ask the awkward questions, listen at keyholes, we're left with contrived official sound-bites and question period grandstanding."

The press has been hand fed press releases for so long, they've forgotten how to do investigative journalism.

I don't know if you read the original post of mine that Cynic linked to. I was questioning the appropiateness of people protesting the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict on this past Friday at a press conference for a new cancer strategy. To me, these people where trying to steal the spotlight from something is too important to draw attention away from. The protesters certainly have their right to civil discourse, but don't you think there is a time a place for something like that.

What really was their point, the draw attention to something that been discussed and analyized from one end of the politcal spectrum to the other or just to gain some noteriety?

Anonymous said...

Adam C has trouble reading sarcasm.

Adam C said...

Oh, please, educate me with your anonymous wisdom. Who was being sarcastic that I missed? It wasn't Coyne. And if you think it was JI, you need to double-check your definition of sarcasm. If it was those stupid beavers, though, then I confess that I wasn't paying attention.

Mes Amis said...

KC- You stated;

'the press isn't the offcial opposition, is it?'

I was steering you towards the idea that the press is often more important to you and me than the opposition party. I trust politicians as far as I can throw them.

'An accountable press will make sure that both sides are heard so that the public is informed. Would you say that's what happening now?'

I said an active press.
There's the story and the story.
One you get from the PR flacs and official releases. The other story is spiced with the real reasons for a particular stance or agenda. The tone and direction gleaned from things the reporter was told in confidence or maybe from sources that don't want to be named. Those (non-smoking) back room deals are part and parcel of running the show, it always has been. The public Mr. Harper is a controlled and scripted actor who does very little off the cuff. The freestyle downhill events we leave to the NDP.
Investigative journalism, as a precondition, needs something to investigate. Meeting the stone wall of imposed silence and enforced isolation, so dear to present occupiers, is the anathema to open government.
Remember that promise so long, long ago?
Much of the dirt that is dug starts from a little slip in the banter of a scrum or, even better, a total lapse of discretion when replying to a snarky reporter's nasty dig.

Next up:
'the appropiateness of people protesting the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict on this past Friday at a press conference for a new cancer strategy'

If a group of fellow Canadians feel their thoughts and wishes are being marginalized and want to exercise their rights of free speech and assembly, more power to them. They won't have much impact if done in a park before a few hippies with a frisbee, a wino or two and a few disinterested pigeons. Your message just doesn't get much chance of falling on the desired ears.

Lets see now.

What's needed are cameras, bored reporters stuck covering a photo op, a Prime Minister focused on remembering his lines and the names at the head table and also getting that raisin stuff out from between his teeth cause the bran muffin he stuffed down on the ride in from the airport was real dry, add a bit of street theater and, voila, your vehicle to at least the 6:00 news.
Sure the event was noble and important enough to draw the top dogs.
That many millions to spread info that should be available to anyone that can use 'the Google' is bound to bring a sparkle to any bureaucrats eye. It seems strange that the top treatment centers don't already have a grapevine for this select field.
In my humble occupation I'm aware of the goings on country-wide thanks to online forums and union releases.
But back to the issue of public displays of dissenting opinions.
Yes, a funeral would be frowned upon, just look at that halfwit Phelps at the US military interments.
But what was this contrived spectacle, were you there or watch it on the tube? The program was started, servers being put in service, databases filled. This dog 'n pony in Montreal had absolutely squat to do with anything other than being another Ottawa reach-around to put a bunch of grinning mugs on tomorrows fishwrap.
What better time to go off-script, take em down to crazy town. It's goal was to get some notice and it got yours, didn't it?
Ergo, mission accomplished.
There is no such thing as bad publicity.

Adam C said...

Wait, wait, I get it now. JI was being sarcastic by misstating one of CC's examples in order to point out that it didn't excuse the rude protesters. Exaggeration is, after all, a component of sarcasm. Except that JI decided to leave out any sense of irony by not calling it a good or acceptable argument and instead simply phrasing it as snark (hint: avoid the phrase "you are saying"). And then JI decided to undercut any sense of mockery by linking to a sincere (if ignorant) rebuttal to the argument.

And so when I pointed out the ignorance and irrelevance of JI's link, I must have missed JI's biting sarcasm.