Postmediocrity and the Vancouver Sun……..1-19-2012
Remember how nauseating it was, not to say frightening, to have Conrad Black the megalomaniac and now convicted fraudster looking close to taking over the print media in Canada?
Well he wasn’t alone, and his philosophical fellow-travelers have taken advantage of our naively premature and naive relief over his ousting to insert a more purely corporate version of the guy into Canada’s newspaper biz.
In the Vancouver Sun it’s to be seen in the form of Postmedia News, where its writers completely dominates news and commentary on federal politics, mixing the two in a way that should have real journalists writhing in discomfort.
At one time bylines were relatively rare and clearly indicated that the perspective of the piece was the writer’s. Postmedia doles them out everywhere, the writing shifting, wherever convenient, between hard news and personal perspective.
Well, sorta personal.
We all know how corporations work don’t we? Their’s are executive-driven, centralized objectives. Their culture is counterdemocratic. They and of necessity those who work for them, cloy above all else to the interests of the corporation. Those interests cannot be assumed for one moment to parallel those of the general population. Corporations are in fact required to put public interest aside if it conflicts with the interests of their shareholders.
Corporations are big on predictability at a minimum and enhancement of their particular economic advantage wherever they can wangle it.
By and large they can be said to be the enemies of public interest. This is glaringly evident on a broader scale in the failure of global markets and the subsequent looting of tax dollars to prop up the mindless economic equivalent to gaming parlors they continue to be, despite their laying to waste of the economic well-being of private citizens at large.
Postmedia as I read it, is dedicated, in this country, to keeping Stephen Harper in power, primarily, presumably, because he is already there. His antidemocratic ways and ruthless pursuit of his own self-interest are in sync with their own. He has proven to be a quintessential top-down kind of guy……their kind.
After all, it’s not such a bad thing to have yer prime-ministerial goose circling the yard with one wing clipped. He’s never going to fly with much grace, but on the other hand he’s unlikely to get entirely loose to go where he wishes.
I’m no party loyalist. Serfdom is not deeply interlaced with my DNA. In a democracy worthy of the name citizens view their representatives as employees of the whole and elections as hiring processes. Right now Federal Liberals look likely to finally get their heads out of their butts and provide us with a viable alternative to Harper in the figure of Bob Rae. If they can do that I’m not at all concerned about the niceties of their internal policies re interim leadership.
Postmedia’s writers seem to be doing their best to try with Rae the anti-personell tactics that served to deny us seemingly viable alternatives to Harper in the past few elections.
They can’t dig up much against his party on the policy side. Conservative minorities have had little choice but to carry on with Liberal Policies, trying to leave the impression of course that they are somehow to be credited with their good effects, particularly in the area of financial regulation, Liberal creations all.
What are we promised by the newly unharnessed Harper? More jails. Now there’s an optimistic policy for you.
It is unfortunate for us, the employers of politicians, that the NDP is not generating a clear leader. But they are not. The Liberals are. Let’s hope their party-faithful do not trip on their own red tape and forget for a third time that they have a duty, above all others, to select as leader someone their bosses (us…in case you missed that) will be happy to elect as head of operations when we, blessedly, go to the polls again.
Shortly after I put this piece online Postmedia star Andrew Coyne, wrote advocating a move from Canada’s ‘near-ban’ on private political advocacy advertising to allowing, “say”, a ceiling of $10,000 on the amount an individual could spend on it and that this would’ meet the standard of providing every citizen equal ability to influence the outcome of an election at the ballot box.”
Well it would fatten up the industry in which he serves and the corporation which dominates so much of it and provides him with status and coin. On the other hand he surely knows that few citizens have anything close to the means to spend any money at all on political advocacy, let alone $10,000. I like to think of Andy as provocateur, privately despising the machiavellian bastards he works for, making an argument on their behalf so fatuous that only a complete half-wit could judge it otherwise.
Or maybe, sadly, not. Canadians are supposedly not all that good with irony. Disparaging the U.S. system of paid-for-politicians while arguing we should more closely emulate it? Maybe Andy thinks we really would fall for that: Maybe he’s not a clever Canadian beavering away in the background on our behalf, but just an establishment hack pandering to whoever is in power….., the folks who recently kayoed provision of enough public funding to bring a small measure of equity to the financing of federal election campaigns. As if we don’t pay that cost one way or another.