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Media Watch: About those corporate media editorials endorsing the BC Liberals

It's Election Day in B.C. and the NDP is widely expected to end a dozen years of rule by the BC Liberals. As usual in B.C. elections, major corporate-owned newspapers have come out in favour of the corporate-backed Liberals. But the editorials are less than ringing endorsements and -- in the case of the Globe and Mail -- less than totally accurate. And there's one big editorial endorsement missing. 

The Vancouver Sun editorial board has -- in an unusual move for them -- declined to issue an election editorial endorsement. This can be read as a lack of confidence in Christy Clark and the BC Liberals. 

 The Vancouver Province, for its part, issued an editorial that focused almost entirely on matters of personality and 'leadership' in asserting that Christy Clark was the better choice over Adrian Dix and the NDP. 

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail wrote a convoluted and error-filled editorial endorsing the BC Liberals. David Beers, the editor of The Tyee, has written a stinging critique of the Globe editorial. Beers writes, in part: 

The Globe and Mail published an editorial on Friday evening endorsing Christy Clark and the BC Liberals to form the next government for British Columbia. Adrian Dix and his New Democrats were deemed by the Globe too "risky." The editorial cited among key reasons Dix's opposition to the TransMountain pipeline and the fact that while he presents himself as moderate, he is running with "left wingers" who would "wield influence."

One might assume that at Canada's self-styled national newspaper of record the act of advising British Columbians on who they should choose to elect to run their province would be considered a weighty and important task. The Globe has excellent reporters in British Columbia ready and available to offer their insights and fact check the resulting editorial... one might think.

Instead, the Globe's editorial writer(s) couldn't properly spell the name of one of the NDP politicians they declared too "left-wing" and therefore risky. It's George Heyman, not, as the editorial had it, George Hayman.

Even more startling, the editorial embraces the TransMountain pipeline even as it gets wrong what stuff that pipeline now carries, describing it as a "gas pipeline that runs from Alberta and ends in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby" that is proposed to begin carrying oil. Certainly the Globe's reporting team based in Vancouver knows the existing TransMountain pipeline already carries oil.

Which raises the question: Who wrote the Globe editorial, how was it fact checked if at all, and who gave it final approval?

 

You can read the full piece by David Beers in The Tyee here

The other noteworthy thing about the Globe and Mail editorial is how hedging and reluctant they are in actually endorsing the BC Liberals. Although the editorial is framed in terms of how "risky" it would be to elect the NDP -- the same theme as a series of negative attack ads by the BC Liberals, it just so happens -- it does concede that the Liberal 'brand' is toast in B.C. and urges the Liberals to rename the party, even if they win. Adrian Dix, on a personal level, receives quasi-praise in the editorial for being a "business-minded socialist," whatever that means. 

Luckily, there are many places where you can find intelligent commentaries about the B.C. election. We've run opinion pieces this week making the case for voting NDP, as well as pieces urging a vote for the Green Party of BC, who are hoping to win their first ever seat in the legislature. 

To find all of rabble.ca's B.C. election coverage in one place, visit this page

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