Monday, January 29, 2007

Attack Ads : The Wrong Enemy

I like the new ads, really I do. But I can't help but feel that they're going after the wrong enemy. The breathtaking width and depth of liberal and Liberal media bias in this country has been all too evident in the last two weeks; I've just been too busy to pick it apart - not that the rest of the Blogging Tories aren't doing a great job anyway.

In particular, what I've really noticed in the last two weeks is an upping of the ante in the war between the liberal media and the government. In the beginning, the media used to spin their stories, but a lot of the facts still came through. These days, the media seems to be anticipating where the government is going and moving creatively to head them off before they even get there.

Examples: The income-splitting initiative has had a lot of media recently, thanks to Sara and others. The portrayal in the media has been pretty much unanimous; this is a tax cut for 'the wealthy' and is designed to pit 'barefoot and pregnant' social conservatives against the daycare lobby. The Ottawa Citizen carried a major article on this on Saturday; the headlines making the points just listed, and a box showing likely tax savings highlighting those earning over $100,000 as saving the most - without pointing out that this would simply mean families with like income paying like taxes.

Then CTV announces that the Conservative Government is running the 'attack' ads - clearly implying that taxpayers money is paying for them.

These are just examples. What they have in common is that the bias is creeping higher up the story; it's not just media spin on the story, it's media framing the whole story in spin before they even begin to tell it. Many people only read the headline, or the box of figures - the media's making sure those people are getting the anti-Conservative message now, without having to read the whole story.

That's why, although I like the ads, I think they're going after the wrong enemy. We are more and more seeing the CBC, CanWest and CTV setting themselves up as the official opposition. It's going to be a tough fight next election, with four Liberal parties out there instead of just one.