Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ideology vs. Ideology - How I celebrate my freedom.

Happy Canada Day!
By now most people have heard about the new "conservative" SUN TV NEWS channel slated to begin broadcasting on cable in the new year. It is owned by Quebecor Media Inc. and it will broadcast from downtown Toronto under the leadership of Kory Teneycke once of the PMO in Ottawa. Media pundits have already dubbed it "Fox News North", and I'm certain Quebecor would be thrilled if it was as successful as its supposed American version. Of course the website of the new station says nothing about "conservative" just "straight talk opinion journalism at night". I guess thats code for conservative. I'm not even sure what conservative means, - would commentators advocate the status quo? Does that mean that other broadcasters are liberal, socialist or don't advocate the status quo? While I welcome the new station I have real doubts that it will be any different then the others.
If Sun News reflects conservative values, does that mean it supports Harper's gang in Ottawa? If that is true how would it give a new ideological spin to news that differs from CBC, CTV or Global? Does that mean Sun News would advocate fiscal conservatism? That would be good but in my view Harper's Conservatives are less fiscally conservative than Jean Chretien's Liberals. Or is it going to be socially conservative, is it going to rail on gay marriage, abortion, drugs and gambling? That will not get me to watch. So you can see my problem, their ideological spin would likely be pretty much the same as the ideological spin I get every day in the supposed neutral news broadcasts on the other networks.
There is a prevailing ideological bias in the Canadian media and it colours all the broadcasters almost all the time. A good way to describe the pervasive ideology is to contrast it to mine, not that mine is the "right" (no pun intended) ideology but it is the only one I've got and it is my blog so here goes. I'll write a topic or issue in no particular order, first give my view of the prevailing media propaganda, then follow that with my own propaganda or bias.

The G8/G20 talks in Muskoka and Toronto:
Media propaganda: Important to get the leaders together to solve the world's problems with concerted action and unity of purpose.
My bias: A huge waste of money, an anti-democratic exercise of "back room boys" playing at sorting out the world's problems. These pseudo-governmental bodies (Gx) have no mandate from individuals in the representative countries, and have the ultimate effect of wasting resources and reducing freedoms around the world.

The G20 Protest Mess in Toronto:
Actually I can't argue with the media bias here. Most of them saw it for what it was, and it wasn't pretty. The bottom line is that our police act like police everywhere and it is most certainly not to protect the rights of citizens. It seems that civil rights are most often jeopardized during stressful events, just when they need to be protected the most.

The Queen arrives in Canada:
Media propaganda:  Wonderful to have her back "home", isn't that a nice hat?
My bias: Ugh! A huge waste of money, talk about anti-democratic; it's 2010 and time to shed the concept of "royalty" except in its economic meaning. The lesson taught to our children is that a privileged birth entitles one to be treated with special rights. This is not the lesson that should be taught in a society based on liberty and individual rights, not a Canadian value.

The Afghan War:
Media propaganda: For Canada a NATO obligation, necessary to prevent the resurgence of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, plus an attempt to create a democratic situation in Afghanistan (so they can be just like us). Many in media would advocate staying beyond 2011 and "finishing" the job. 
My bias: I was not against the initial "Get Osama" reaction in 2001, but since then too many lives have been lost for too little gain. At least 150 Canadians have died "defending Afghanis" - a waste of lives and money. We have done nothing lasting in Afghanistan but piss-off the natives, prop-up a corrupt government and there is no way to fix the problem or any reason to, so we should leave NOW.

The World Economic Crisis:
Media propaganda: The world was on the edge of disaster in late 2008 and quick government action saved us. The stimulus money/bailouts saved us and the economy is recovering slowly but surely and the future in bright. Canada is in pretty good shape in all this mess because we have relatively low deficit/debt problems.
My bias: How could Canada be in "good shape" if all its "customers" (we are a trading nation) are in dire straits with huge deficits and bigger debts? Who are we going to sell to? Are they going to purchase on credit and how can we trust them to repay? Several European countries are on the verge of defaulting, their bonds are junk, they must cut their costs likely resulting in mass (government worker) layoffs and unemployment or at best reduced salaries for many. All this austerity will sharply reduce consumption/trade and a recessionary or deflationary situation is likely. The same is true in the States (our biggest customers), if individual States default (or need bailouts) their situation mirrors the European countries. The bottom line is that the medicine must be taken or federal banks will print money to "fix" the problem resulting in future inflation which is a silent stealth tax on us all.

Climate Change/Global Warming:
Media propaganda: An urgent global problem that must be addressed before it is too late with concerted world action effectively creating a new world psuedo-governing body that tracks and trades carbon production with the intent of saving the planet for the future.
My bias: The planet has been warming since the most recent ice age (10-12,000 years ago), and if we are in any way aggravating the rate of warming, we certainly cannot and should not fix the problem without huge costs in money and freedoms. Let the future deal with any problems that may arise if and when they arise.

An article I read by Mark Steyn in MACLEAN'S a couple of weeks ago prompted me to write this piece. Steyn's article (worth the read) talked about  Don Newman's (CBC) view of FOX NEWS, and how biased it was. Of course bias works two ways as I hope I've pointed out.
One other little note. You may know Penn Jillette, illusionist and libertarian host of one of my favourite TV shows: Penn & Teller's BULLSHIT (seen in Canada on TMN). Well, there is an article in a mid-June issue of Vanity Fair where Jillette is interviewed by an obviously biased reporter, it too is worth a look.
Enjoy your freedom, Happy Canada Day!

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