Thursday, November 8, 2012

Toronto Star's Bob Hepburn Proves Journalistic Integrity No Longer Exists

In just another glaring example of how absolutely pathetic journalism has become, the Toronto Star's Bob Hepburn proves we have not hit the bottom of the barrel yet. Hepburn never once mentions any of the sleazy practices during yesterdays U.S. election involving Democrats, but rather tries to smear both Romney and PM Stephen Harper with accusations anyone can disprove with a 10-second google search.

 Here's one gem: "For decades, Harper has been a keen student of U.S. elections, especially when it comes to what his counterparts in the Republican party were plotting. And throughout his political career, Harper has adopted many of the tactics first employed by Republicans, from robocalls and year-round attack ads to calls for tighter voting rules. Until the 2011 federal election, most of these crude efforts to disenfranchise voters in Canada were often hidden or overlooked. But they were in plain sight in 2011.Indeed, Tory robocalls became a major issue in the aftermath of the last election. " " In the U.S. election, robocalls were taken to extremes, with thousands of voters in Florida and elsewhere being told their polling stations would be open on Wednesday, which was not true. In New Jersey, voters were falsely told their polling stations were moved because of last week’s Hurricane Sandy."

 Just one problem Bob. Those robocalls came from the supervisor of elections, not the Republican Party. Matter of fact it was widely reported by almost all the major news organizations in the States, including the Washington Post. Maybe one might look over something like this as an oversight. Someone might also point out to Bobby that a major reason noted for Obama's re-election was the fact the Democrats ran a continual campaign since 2008, including, wait for it Bobby, year-round attack ads. When you include it with the other lies and fabrications you see why Hepburn deserves scorn and ridicule.

 Let's look at one more gem: "Indeed, Tory robocalls became a major issue in the aftermath of the last election. Documents filed just last week in Federal Court allege a company hired by the Tories telephoned voters in numerous ridings about last-minute changes in polling station locations, when in fact there were none. For the record, the Harperites deny any wrongdoing".
Really Bob? What the documents showed, legal documents, sworn statements Bob, was the company doing the calls advised voters their polling station location may have changed and they should make sure they know where to vote. The horrors Bob, the horrors. And p.s., when an actual person calls you, it's not a robocall. By the way Bob, it's a well-known fact all the Canadian political parties rely heavily on robocalls, just ask Frankie V. in Guelph.

 But this has to be the whip cream on top. Seems Bob rips Romney for having the audacity to name Paul Ryan as his running mate. Check this out, and try not to pee your pants: "The best example of that was Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman, as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan, a hardline white guy, added nothing to the ticket. It was a disastrous choice, given that he could have selected Marco Rubio, a young U.S. senator from Florida with deep roots in the Hispanic community. Some pundits are now saying a big part of why Romney lost was that barely 25 per cent of Hispanics, the fastest growing group in the U.S., voted for him. "Turns out Romney could have been president, if he had only chosen the safe route and picked a token hispanic for his running mate. Of course I'm guessing if Romney had of picked Rubio Hepburn would have been quick out of the gates accusing Romney of exploiting Rubio's ethnicity to become president.

 But hey, don't believe me, read Hepburn's editorial yourself, and ask yourself afterwards, how can this guy actually look at himself in the mirror everyday without puking.


Gabby in QC said...

To add to the list of sleazy voting tactics you deftly enumerated in one of your comments at the Tor. Star:
"Voting machine swaps Romney for Obama
... Upon selecting “Mitt Romney” on the electronic touch screen, Barack Obama’s name lit up.
It took Stevens three tries before her selection was accurately recorded. ..."

I do agree with Hepburn on one thing, though: I think Romney should have chosen a Hispanic as his running mate, given the growing size of the Latino population. My brother, who's not a political junkie, after seeing Marco Rubio's speech at the Republican convention, said that he would have been a better choice as VP-elect. Paul Ryan was an easy target for anti-religionists who are spooked by Romney's Mormonism & Ryan's Catholicism.

Martin said...

Re the robocall saga, Maher & McGrgor have devoted successive front page stories in the Ottawa Citizen to the subject. Yesterday their article was prompted by an Elections Canada report, which among other things admitted that there was only limited chance of criminal charges resulting from the P Poutine investigation.
Today they have story and photo of the CPC campaign manager in Guelph. The insinuation is that he must be hiding something, as he refused interviews with EC and M&M, and has moved to Kuwait.
To me, these articles reraking the Poutine story, are simply excuses to use robocall and CPC in the same sentence. The association repeated often enough will stick in the public mind, at least that is the idea.
As for the fact that Frank Valeriote is the only candidate in the 2011 election to be convicted of phone wrondoing, Maher sniffed on CBC that there was no comparison to his act and the major robocall investigations.
Biased journalism? you be the judge.

paulsstuff said...

So I guess Ignatieff has something to hide by going back to Harvard in the U.S. then.

Gabby in QC said...

On the robocalls issue ...
I often find fault with the Conservatives' communications strategy. When the story first broke, their reaction was defensive. IMO, they should have expressed outrage at the thought that someone, be it from their own party or some mischief-maker out to discredit the Conservative party, would tamper with election procedures. (I'm still convinced some activist/comedian could have orchestrated the Pierre Poutine impersonation).

All information should have been quickly made available to Elections Canada, including urging all staffers to be interviewed by EC -- in the presence of their lawyers, of course.

According to some media reports, some Conservatives fingered Michael Sona as the one responsible. IF that is true -- a big IF because remember, the media said so -- then that was wrong. The message should always have been: we don't know who Pierre Poutine is, but whoever is responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Sometimes the Conservatives create their own problems because of their reluctance to communicate fully with the public, through the MSM, if need be.

Martin said...

The above link to the latest M&M story about the Guelph CPC officials, I think skirts the very edge of libel. The photo of Ken Morgan is obviously not authorized as it is taken from a Facebook image, legal but quasi ethical. I have no knowledge of libel law, but surely citizens have some recourse to what amounts to trial by newspaper. If EC needs to talk with him they should either subpoena him or leave him alone.
I can see the reluctance to being interwiewed by EC, if confidential details show up next day in the Ottawa Citizen.

paulsstuff said...

I agree 100% Gabby. I've done a few posts here about the Conservative Party's poor communications strategy. While I do concede some of the problems are from media bias, many times it's cabinet ministers like Vic Toews or strategists like Geoff Norquay who struggle explaing the governments position.

Gabby in QC said...

Martin @ 2:26:00 PM PST, you're right that the media generally behaves like judge, jury, and executioner, so people's reluctance to be interviewed is understandable. The general public has such a negative opinion of politicians that they're willing to believe the media's interpretation of events, seldom believing politicians' denials/rebuttals shown in 15-second clips.

However, some of the controversies created by media attention might be made clearer to the general public if the people involved made a clear statement about their role, if any, in said controversy, without necessarily taking questions from journalists who could then manipulate some remarks into those out-of-context 15-second clips.

Gabby in QC said...

Paulsstuff, fortunately some Conservatives have been improving their communications skills, so that they don't sound like they're repeating the same talking points from memory.

Pierre Polievre is one whose debating skills serve him well in dealing with smug confrontational media personalities like Evan Solomon. Paul Calandra has also impressed me on the few occasions I've heard him speak. Candice Hoeppner and Michelle Rempel are also quite able in articulating the Conservative POV.

As for strategists, I usually prefer Geoff Norquat to Tim Powers. Norquay is a regular on a radio panel broadcast on Fridays on CJAD, with a Liberal & an NDP strategist also participating. Norquay comes across as informative & unflappable, often using humour to put his point across. Let's face it, on Solomon's show, the Conservative rep. is usually given short shrift, so it's kind of hard to "shine".

Gabby in QC said...

Oops! Just noticed a typo in Norquay's name in my previous comment.