Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crappy moments in journalism, questioning love of country edition

From the not so great moments in journalism files comes this entry from Jane "tell me about your cats" Taber, who offers regular proof that giving some members of the media the increased bandwidth of blogging isn't really a good thing.

Yesterday, Taber posted this insulting and groundless entry that, hold your breath, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff would be cheering for Canada in last night's Canada/Russia Olympic men's hockey game:
Michael Ignatieff is not conflicted.

In fact he takes umbrage with any hint of a suggestion that he would feel the slightest bit of conflict watching the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team play the Russians in a sudden death quarter final.
I'd take umbrage too, for it's an incredibly stupid question. I'm 1/4 Irish, should I be conflicted when Canada and Ireland meet on the field of sporting battle? Should I have my patriotism questioned? This is reminiscent of the Conservative attacks on Ignatieff's heritage, just like they attacked Stephane Dion's loyalty because his mother came from France. I expect such nonsense from the Conservatives, but not from the national newspaper of a nation of immigrants.

Taber's piece also begs the question, just where is this issue coming from? Who is raising this as a legitimate and newsworthy issue? As Ignatieff said:
Even just asking the question leaves him "stupefied by the proposition." He added: "I mean that."
So, who raised this issue? Rewind two weeks and oh, look, it was actually Jane Taber:
While Mr. Ignatieff faces many dilemmas as a political leader, his biggest right now would be who to cheer for if the men’s gold medal hockey game is between Canada and Russia, given his Russian ancestry.
Yes, that's right, she creates the flawed and insulting premise out of thin-air, with no sourcing to back it up, then forces him to respond to her made-up malarkey that not so subtly questions, without basis, Ignatieff's patriotism and love for Canada.

Stay classy San Diego.

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Toby said...

Do you not understand the journalism GOLD that Jane has found here?

Step 1. Ask politician ridiculous question

Step 2. Create article around idea that "politician thinks X is a ridiculous question"

Step 3. Profit

A Eliz. said...

I am about 80% Scottish but I do not hope that Great Britain wins over Canada in Curling!!

pogge said...

I've been pointing to this post from Declan at least once a year since he wrote it: Media Failure Two-Step.

CK said...

Gawd, Taber really doesn't know what to do with her time since Question Period went on break, does she?

She really had nothing better to write about? Yeesh!

Why do they concentrate on Iggy's loyalty to Canada yet they never bring up all the things Harper said years ago: like calling Canada a Northern European state of the worst kind; calling the east coast a culture of defeat; and all that praise heaped on GW Bush and his America at the time: that his conservative movement was a light and an inspiration for Canadians and the rest of the world. Why does no one hammer him with that, rather than to continue nitpicking Iggy about his loyalty?