There have been several bewildered as well as angry accounts coming out of the USA lately about how little media time has been spent covering the Democratic Presidential Primary campaign of Bernie Sanders.
Despite winning a string of primaries and attracting overflow crowds to his speeches, Sanders can’t seem to inspire any mainstream journalists to report on his apparently growing support.
With the Primary calendar moving to the New York state, Sanders supporters felt the media would have to take notice once those huge rallies started appearing in their own backyard.
But when nobody reported a gathering of tens of thousands in support of Senator Sanders in Manhattan’s Washington Square, it became clear to anybody paying attention that somebody didn’t want that story or those images widely distributed.
Now, depending on your political orientation, you might believe that’s because the corporate media, like all capitalists, doesn’t want to say nice things about a guy who hates them. Or, you might believe that the journalists covering Sanders know he doesn’t have a hope of implementing any of his promises, so why bother giving him any traction.
The question I have is — when did journalists decide that their job was to make up my mind for me?
And we here in Canada shouldn’t feel smug about how other journalists operate. Because our guys are doing the same thing.
Friday afternoon, CBC Newsworld’s “Power and Politics” featured a story on how Prime Minister Trudeau had floored reporters with his insight into the world of quantum computing.
Host Rosemary Barton showed a clip of the PM at a quantum conference as a reporter jokingly asked Trudeau to explain the science and then posed his more serious question about what’s going on with us and ISIS.
Trudeau, like any good politician, deflected to the computing question so he didn’t have to say too much about a subject he doesn’t really want to talk about.
Despite watching a fellow journalist being outflanked, Barton and her panel had a giggle and she wondered aloud what would have happened if the PM wasn’t such a gadget geek.
The answer seemed straightforward to me — in that case the story would have never run on CBC Newsworld.
And apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed the shift in principles around here …
Now, during our most recent Federal election, it became clear to those on both the Left and Right of the political spectrum that our media was enamored of Mr. Trudeau. And given the government he was running against that may be fair.
But now that they’ve got their Disney Prince, do they really think most of us can’t see through the ongoing gush-fest?
Will we ever go back to reporting the facts and allowing the public to decide for themselves whether the guy is up to the job or not?
A story out of Halifax this week suggests the defensive shields are fully up.
A week ago, the venerable local paper, the Chronicle Herald, produced a piece on bullying in a local school — bullying by recent Syrian Refugee children on the kids in their school.
It suggested that maybe the local authorities had perhaps painted too rosy a picture of the new arrivals — or that the powers that be had not truly been prepared to meet their needs.
The minute the story began to garner national interest, however, the newspaper spiked it, pulled it off its website and basically began claiming there had been no story in the first place.
Except it seems there was. A story that’s politically incorrect in our current environment.
You can find the machinations of what went on, including the Chronicle-Herald’s original posting here.
And here’s what you get when another reporter does some actual journalism.
First posted on The Legion of Decency