Friday, June 6, 2014

The Sun and The Star

I’ve always been critical of the Sun Media and it’s corrupt agenda to promote conservative ideology and parties, and get involved in partisan politics. It’s an outright betrayal of the fourth estate and democracy.

Crypto-fascism

My theory is that it’s a form of crypto-fascism. The first thing military fascist dictatorships do when they come to power is take control of the media. This allows dictators to disseminate propaganda and prevent any unfavorable portrayal of the government.

With crypto-fascists in North America, they decided to create their own media to disseminate propaganda and ensure favorable coverage of their parties and governments. That’s how Fox News and Sun News were born.

In Canada there’s a conservative “axis of evil”: the conservative parties, Sun News and the Manning Center For Democracy. The Manning Center holds conservative conferences and trains campaign workers on strategy and media communication. Sun News coordinates with conservative parties on talking points.

Journalistic objectivity

Wikipedia defines journalistic objectivity as:

Journalistic objectivity is a significant principle of journalistic professionalism. Journalistic objectivity can refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these qualities.

Clearly Sun News significantly violates fairness, disinterestedness and nonpartisanship (at least.)

But this election in Ontario, they’re not the only ones.

Star Liberal campaign

The Toronto Star has been actively campaigning for the Liberal party since the election dropped. I’ve never seen anything like it (well except from Sun News.)

Aside from dozens of op-eds that heap praise on Kathleen Wynne and explain away any scandals her government was involved in, they have published about 30 pieces that attack Andrea Horwath with smears, sneers and outright lies.

Their main line of attack is to claim she’s a “right-wing populist”: just another Margaret Thatcher, Mike Harris and Rob Ford. This rhetoric is so outrageous it’s a page right out of Goebbels: the bigger the lie the more people will believe it.

Liberal strategy

Why is the Liberal party campaigning against NDP leader Andrea Horwath? Wynne’s strategy is: campaign from the left, squeeze out the NDP and win her coveted majority her party missed by one seat in 2011.

Why is the Toronto Star rhetoric the same as the Liberal party’s? Because like Sun News, they are coordinating strategy and talking points with the party they support.

Now, in the last week of the campaign, the Liberal Star’s transformation is complete: their website has Liberal red and party advertising plastered all over it.

Conclusion

When I was young I imagined the 21st century would bring flying cars. I never considered the possibility it would bring about the death of journalism and the decline of democracy.

Hopefully the social media will replace the old, corrupt, corporate-owned media in influence and bring about a rebirth of democracy.

Liberal Star in all it’s glory

Toronto Sun — surprisingly less crass

One PC ad at the top, in case you didn’t notice it…

4 comments:

  1. Kinda funny, I read this from fellow progressive blogger yesterday: http://sudburysteve.blogspot.ca/2014/06/on-ethics-thats-wrap-ad-buy-confirms.html

    Campaigns buy wraps of newspapers. They all do it. It makes sense. If I was in the war rooms of any of them I would recommend it. I'm not sure I am going to start throwing out "crypto-fascist" at them though...and certainly not selectively at all parties except the one I'm aggressively supporting.

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  2. I use crypto-fascist to describe the neo-conservative movement. Fascism is associated with plutocracy and coporatocracy.

    Although the Liberals foolishly abandoned John Keynes for Milton Friedman 25 years ago, they enact a moderate neo-liberal agenda, not hard-core.

    But they still do enable the neo-con "starve the beast" agenda. The neo-cons come to power. Bring in big tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich. Then the "Liberal" party cements them in place: McGuinty, Chretien and now Trudeau.

    There's obviously a big difference between buying an ad in a newspaper and that ridiculous display above. The Toronto Star turned their website into a Liberal ad machine for God sake! Not to mention the 30+ op-eds praising Wynne and attacking Horwath with Goebbels-like propaganda.

    Anyone who believes Andrea Horwath is a "right-wing Margaret Thatcher" is either ignorant or willfully blind. Anyone news organization that indulges in that kind of rhetoric — with the obvious intention of influencing the results of a democratic election — is no longer a news organization. They are another tabloid like the Toronto Sun.

    I'm not the one being influenced by cognitive dissonance here. I was always opposed to excessive corporate tax cuts, long before Horwath decided to reverse them. I always thought Sun News was a joke, long before The Star began campaigning for a Wynne majority. I'm not the one changing my views on these particular issues because of my political party...

    Technically I'm still a member of the federal Liberal party. Became a Justin Trudeau supporter, then signed up. Then gave up all hope the Liberals would ever return to the center after hearing his appalling position on the issues.

    Who knows? Cognitive dissonance may carry both Wynne and Trudeau to majorities while pretend progressives rationalize all the neo-liberal policies put in place afterwards.

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  3. Perhaps you haven't seen them before, so called wraps or money-bombs are becoming increasingly common both in advertizing in general and politics in specific. The idea is to basically take over all the extra space whether that is all the borders of a website, wrapping a newspaper cover to cover, covering every avaliable space in a subway station etc. Much like the NDP wraps, the Liberals are the ones paying for it. Only real difference is that the NDP wraps were rather bad strategy being taken out in right wing papers far from their base while the Libs were going for more of an energize the base in a friendly venue.

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    1. I have seen wraps before. I waste far too much time reading online news not to have noticed them. Of course, papers take careful consideration of what kind of advertiser they willing to plaster their website with.

      With political advertising a news organization has to consider the effect it will have on public perception of journalistic objectivity. Having a wrap that turns a news website into a political party website violates the ethic of non-partisanship.

      BTW, the Sun has right-wing op-eds, just like the Star has Ontario Liberal party op-eds (this election,) but the paper is popular among workers. They don't buy it for the political ranting. More likely for the sports section and the Sun Shine Girl. Workers are not right-wing. They ARE the NDP base.

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