Friday, March 06, 2009

Oh for god's sake, are you kidding me CP?

Usually, CP is a very competent journalistic organization. But they're pissing me off today. In addition to the piece I posted on earlier, they just moved this piece on the wire from the usually competent Joan Bryden:

Liberals stand down in election standoff (Fedbudget-Standoff)
Source: The Canadian Press
Mar 6, 2009 16:25

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By Joan Bryden

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Liberals are standing down from an election standoff with the Harper government, insisting they want to compromise over measures to stimulate Canada's sputtering economy.

Ralph Goodale, the Liberal House leader, says his party is in discussions with the Conservatives in hopes of finding a compromise that will get money flowing quickly without sacrificing government accountability.

``We are not aiming to set up some phoney confrontation,'' Goodale said Friday. ``This is no time to have some parliamentary showdown.''

This headline and lead is absolute bullcrap. I defy Joan and the Canadian Press to show me just where, just how, the Liberals are supposedly backing down. Please, show me. Show me position A, position B, and the difference and how it's backing down.

I'll wait.

Here's how this week has gone:

*Liberals: We want this money to move, but there needs to be basic reporting. Are we threatening an election? We're not making threats or playing games, we're saying Harper needs to dampen down the rhetoric and sit down work with the opposition here to work this out.

*Conservatives: This means an election! You guys are holding-up this funding that Canadians need, its a confidence matter, election, RAWRRR!

*Liberals: We want this money to move, but there needs to be basic reporting. Are we threatening an election? We're not making threats or playing games, we're saying Harper needs to dampen down the rhetoric and sit down work with the opposition here to work this out.

*Media: Liberals are backing down from election threat, they want to work with the Conservatives, the Cons huffed and the Liberals bluffed.

Newsflash, CP: this has been the Liberal position ALL THE WAY ALONG! It hasn't changed since Michael Ignatieff's presser on Tuesday through today's comments from Goodale. They've been saying the SAME THING all along. So, again, how are they backing down exactly?

Go and watch the video of Ignatieff's presser again if you don't believe me. Here's a few highlights:
“We feel we cannot write a blank check on $3B of stimulus. We have to have some indications on what programs this is going to be spent on. We want accountability before we vote, and we want accountability after we vote…this is very basic stuff, this is how democracy works. The government has to respect how democracy works. We want accountability, and we’ll demand it.”

Q: Harper says if you guys don’t like it, we’ll see you at the polls. Do you take that threat seriously?

*Laughs* “I find this threatening stuff ridiculous. We had about three weeks of kind of the era of good feeling, we were all sort of post-partisan and making happy-talk, and suddenly we’re into threats and menaces and my way or the highway and all this junk that we had before Christmas. The PM has to understand he drove this parliament off the cliff before Christmas, he had to prorogue parliament with this kind of aggressive partisanship. We’re now in an economic crisis where he’s got to walk back down the hill and talk to me. I’m not writing a blank check on $3B. No Canadian would respect me if I did. So, we’ve got to talk. Why don’t we talk instead of threats and menaces and bluffs and all this kind of stuff. I want to do the job that Canadians want us to do…I don’t respond well to threats and I don’t write blank checks, so if he wants to solve this problem we’ve got to talk.
Now contrast this with what Goodale said today, which according to CP is some kind of major stand down from the earlier position:

Ralph Goodale, the Liberal House leader, says his party is in discussions with the Conservatives in hopes of finding a compromise that will get money flowing quickly without sacrificing government accountability.

"We are not aiming to set up some phoney confrontation," Goodale said Friday. "This is no time to have some parliamentary showdown."

...

But Goodale said they won't debate the motion or force a vote on it until late March, giving the sides several weeks to reach a compromise.

He also indicated the Liberals could amend or drop the motion altogether if the government comes up with some other way of assuring them that the fund wouldn't simply be a blank cheque.

"We have signalled to the government one way to do it. They may have other proposals to make. We'd be very interested to hear what their proposals are."

I ask you, where is the stand-down here? Tuesday, Ignatieff says we want accountability, we need to talk. Friday, Goodale says we want accountability, we're talking, and if they have better ideas for accountability, we're open to hearing them.

This is utterly ridulous. And you know what else is ridulous? CP allowing this blatant lie by the Prime Minister of Canada to go by unchallenged:

"But there is no excuse for an opposition that has been saying we need to deliver money more quickly to now say we need to delay that money or say things like we need to have parliamentary sign-off on every individual project. That is not realistic. It's not going to work that way."

The opposition has never said that. The Liberal motion calls for nothing of the sort. Stephen Harper is lying. For CP to give him a platform to out and out lie to the Canadian people without pointing out the utter inaccuracy of his statements is extemly irresponsible.

That's stenography, not journalism.

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5 comments:

Jamie said...

I gave up on the Canadian Press for consistency during the last election with the various Janet Guttsman edited "articles" that were being put out. I complained about bias a few times and twice I noticed the headline changed. I guess the internet allows them to have impartiality in hindsight sometimes. That headline is completely misleading and is just more poor journalism.

sassy said...

Good post, I literally did a double take when I read that headline earlier today.

lyrical said...

After the election, I noticed how critical CP was of St├ęphane Dion at times. And of course their articles are picked up by loads of other papers across the country.

CP also didn't report on Mr. Dion's Friday morning Shadow Cabinet announcement until the following Monday, so the story didn't make it into other media until then either.

I hadn't really paid that much attention to this kind of thing before, but I do now considering CP is supposed to be somewhat neutral.

RuralSandi said...

Send this to her - challenge her.

sjw said...

Susan Riley was on Newsworld this morning basically conveying the same message.