More non-bias

March 19th, 2009
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“The federal Conservatives have introduced legislation…” –

CBC Radio One news

“Prime Minister Harper’s government has introduced legislation…” –

AM 770, CHQR Radio, Calgary

Not that we’re in the business of documenting every instance of a media double standard when it comes to conservatism but, as with chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt. These two quotes were reporting the same event – the government’s proposal of mandatory minimum sentencing for gang-related crimes a few weeks ago. Many media outlets, but particularly the CBC, continue to refer to “the Conservatives” or “the Tories” as if they weren’t actually the government. Or they want to add the name “Harper” (and they do say “Harper”, not “Mr. Harper” or heaven forbid “Prime Minister Harper”) to something they think negative or controversial. Too bad for them when it’s mandatory minimums, which people generally support.

The “Harper” thing is very conspicuous; I even heard Deborah Grey repeatedly saying “Harper” on an As it Happens panel. Very bad form. No wonder I laughed when I saw an American commentator bending over backwards to say “Mr. Obama” or “President Obama” about a dozen times in one short feature.

Lastly, conservatives are just too fair and balanced. Even such a sterling writer as Lorne Gunter wrote about the CBC’s “predominantly left-wing coverage”. Predominantly? Does it have to be 100% before you stop qualifying the assertion? On that topic, I’m sure CBC Radio One’s saturation coverage of the election in El Salvador last weekend (because the left candidate was poised to win) was just a coincidence too. Liechtensteiners can look forward to similar coverage the next time they trudge to the polls. Yup.


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By John Weissenberger