Media the reason NDP doesn't get credit: Lawrence Martin

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Media the reason NDP doesn't get credit: Lawrence Martin

In a column that should be widely read and cited, Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin this morning acknowledges that the NDP was ahead of the pack on many issues, and positions it took which were once ridiculed are now conventional wisdom ... even prophetic ... but the reason the party gets no credit is the fact that there are no prominent media organizations who support it:

With capitalism on its derriere, the left still gets no respect

Lawrence Martin, Globe & Mail, April 2, 2009

Quote:

With today's economic tremors, government activism is the big deal everywhere. The New Democrats couldn't ask for a better philosophical turn.

And yet, they're stagnant. In the low teens in the polls, they have actually lost ground since last fall. It's hard to figure. They were onto the economic file early, issuing dire warnings and calls for action. And it turns out they were on the mark a good deal of the time, occasionally even prophetic.

But there are no apparent dividends in Dippersville. No groundswell of support. Few praiseworthy headlines. No heightened profile in a media wedded to the two main parties. Without a media proprietor of any size in Canada hailing from the left, there is no one to sing the NDP's song.

So even with capitalism on its derrière, even with the Liberals opening up space by moving more to the centre, the left gets no traction. Jack Layton can stand there all day and pound the blue-collar bible and get only minor mention in the next day's press.

....

To change the voting culture, you have to change the media culture. Without a bigger voice in the fourth estate, the left's chances of making a breakthrough are minimal. The Reform/Alliance party eventually hit pay dirt, becoming the dominant force on the conservative side, because big media promoted its religion.

Anyway, if you hadn't seen the column, it's worth checking out in its entirety.

George Victor

Just read his column. He has been trying to tell it like it is lately, but on this he has to be asked ( at  [email protected]) just why the media might not be covering the New Democrats.

I'm going to suggest it's the craven cowards who are afraid to anger their advertisers - who just happen to be responsible for 80 per cent of their income!

He's long enough in the tooth, himself, to be able to afford some forthrightness.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

But we know that. 

Michelle

I keep trying to convince rabble.ca to buy the National Post, but so far my suggestion has been completely ignored!  :)

George Victor

Anyway, here's what I fired off (given the subject, with little hope of it seeing print):

"Anyone out there willing to take a shot at explaining  this phenonenon brought forward by Lawrence Martin in his April 2 column (With capitalism on its derriere, the left still gets no respect) ?Beyond that  broken reed about editorial rights? "And so it goes (Vonnegut)

George Victor

"But we know that. "

------------------------------------------------

Yes, and probably he knows that we know. But while he may realize that  we know he knows, he may not know the extent to which they (the Great Unread) don't know, and may be prompted to commit seppuku in a final column, an act of exculpation saying just what all should know.

We live in hope. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

When I said, "But we know that".  it was in response to the OP.

From the article:

Quote:
The CBC has a leftish reputation, but try finding anyone among its top TV commentators who trumpets NDP values. Rex Murphy leans right, Andrew Coyne is predominantly conservative, Allan Gregg has been anchored in the Tory party for decades and, among Chantal Hébert's many colours, pink is not prominent.
 

Jacob Two-Two

Well, bully for him for pointing out the obvious, but of course, being part of the media he still can't see the real state of bias like a fish that can't comprehend the water it swims in.

"There's also a lesson the left should have learned by now. To change the voting culture, you have to change the media culture. Without a bigger voice in the fourth estate, the left's chances of making a breakthrough are minimal. The Reform/Alliance party eventually hit pay dirt, becoming the dominant force on the conservative side, because big media promoted its religion."

He seems to be suggesting that media doesn't like the left becuase the left "just hasn't learned this lesson" of how important the media is. As if any amount of lobbying or cajoling could possibly affect the right-wing bias in the news. It's all about money and ownership, indistinguishable from the problems in our economic system. The media is owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the very uber-wealthy elite interests that benefit from right-wing ideology. If you're part of the media, and you try to "change media culture" you will get fired. Thosekind of voices are not welcome in their propaganda organs. Not that this happens a lot, mind you. In actuality you just don't get hired in the first place if you don't have the right editorial bias.

The real lesson the left needs to learn is not to engage the media differently but to go around it entirely. We need grass-roots ground-level propogation of left-wing messages in ways that big money has no power to manipulate. Mind you, it would be great to have a newspaper. If I ever become a multi-millionaire that's exactly what I'll do. But that's my point. What are the chances of that?

Loretta

All of those who work for unionized worksites could have part of their own pension investments in a left newspaper. I still think we could pick up the NP (and Global, while we're at it) and put it to good purpose, in many, many ways.

George Victor

That newspaper, I would deliver door to door, at dawn, gratis.

madmax

Media is getting hammered as advertising revenues drop.  Many writers are becoming dyed in the wool socialists overnight. There nearer to their expiry date, the louder you hear them sing Solidarity forever.

The media banged the drum for the right, and destroyed all the good that the left brought in to help contain free wheeling capital. 

Now media is reaping the harvest that they planted.

The media is realizing that not only can Local economies be ravaged by globalization, but that national coverage isn't all that significant in a global market either, when advertisers are concerned.

In the last 4 months, the media shift has been apparent. However, it will have to get alot worse and alot more worse before there words actually have any meaning or real sincerety.

Just having a media say, Gosh, the NDP were right, and I cannot figure out why the public isn't with them is a crock.

 

The media has wasted no time in trashing the NDP on every issue. They have helped shape public opinion for the last 13 years. 

It will take decades of "leftwing" media to shift public opinion. 

Its about time another media outlet described a paper as "liberal" as opposed to "left".  Which means, whatever the Liberals are saying on any given day is the papers position.  Much like Conservative media.

Today, I watch as advertisers leave, papers content shrinks, and people, nor longer believing the media content, end their subscriptions.

The media, has helped unbalance Canada. There are many people who have bought into need for corporate greed, and the need for Global Markets with no restrictions.

The Globe and Mail will soon die and become part of a larger chain paper made offshore.

The Global and Mail ;) 

 

 

 

George Victor

They have cut back their staff by 10 per cent, but are the only newspaper on the continent that is not in danger.

That's because of their subscribers' average income - which I can only guess at.

nussy

Perhaps it would take one Ed Broadband or Stephen Lewis? 

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

nussy wrote:
Perhaps it would take one Ed Broadband or Stephen Lewis? 

Best typo ever!

George Victor

No, those editors would not be moved by oratory. Or the publisher would move them - out. As they go down the tube and advertising dries up, it becomes last-ditch stand stuff. The editorials locally have become marvels of convoluted logic and despair.

nussy

Scott Piatkowski wrote:

nussy wrote:
Perhaps it would take one Ed Broadband or Stephen Lewis? 

Best typo ever!

Broadband? Where did I get that? Well you know what I mean. Laughing

Krystalline Kraus Krystalline Kraus's picture

Wait a minute, since when did the NDP stand as the only representation of the left? (or is that what the column means by the caveat the POLITICAL left?)

George Victor

The columnist and reader assumes that if the party of the left in Parliament cannot get some column inches for its excellence in predicting economic collapse, the non-elected left sure as shit will not be reported on by the MSM.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

Well, bully for him for pointing out the obvious, but of course, being part of the media he still can't see the real state of bias like a fish that can't comprehend the water it swims in.

"There's also a lesson the left should have learned by now. To change the voting culture, you have to change the media culture. Without a bigger voice in the fourth estate, the left's chances of making a breakthrough are minimal. The Reform/Alliance party eventually hit pay dirt, becoming the dominant force on the conservative side, because big media promoted its religion."

He seems to be suggesting that media doesn't like the left becuase the left "just hasn't learned this lesson" of how important the media is. As if any amount of lobbying or cajoling could possibly affect the right-wing bias in the news. It's all about money and ownership, indistinguishable from the problems in our economic system. The media is owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the very uber-wealthy elite interests that benefit from right-wing ideology. If you're part of the media, and you try to "change media culture" you will get fired. Thosekind of voices are not welcome in their propaganda organs. Not that this happens a lot, mind you. In actuality you just don't get hired in the first place if you don't have the right editorial bias.

The real lesson the left needs to learn is not to engage the media differently but to go around it entirely. We need grass-roots ground-level propogation of left-wing messages in ways that big money has no power to manipulate. Mind you, it would be great to have a newspaper. If I ever become a multi-millionaire that's exactly what I'll do. But that's my point. What are the chances of that?

All fine and dandy, but that doesn't explain why the NDP can't get fair play with the public broadcaster either - the very broadcaster NDPers are currently tripping over themselves to support.

And forget about newspapers. The old media is dying. The NDP and the left in general should be getting into new media with multiple web sites all feeding from and into each other - a web, yeah ... that's it ... a web.

This has already started but the effort needs to be put into overdrive and these web sites, feminist, green, labour, etc ... should give up the bloodless pretense of being bipartisan and embrace political parties such as the NDP. 

genstrike

Frustrated Mess wrote:

And forget about newspapers. The old media is dying. The NDP and the left in general should be getting into new media with multiple web sites all feeding from and into each other - a web, yeah ... that's it ... a web.

This has already started but the effort needs to be put into overdrive and these web sites, feminist, green, labour, etc ... should give up the bloodless pretense of being bipartisan and embrace political parties such as the NDP. 

Ummm, what about feminist green labourites who aren't members of the NDP and want nothing to do with the party?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Then back the party of your choice. The point is not to be non-partisan. 

George Victor

Or in doubt that you are about to be shit upon from a great height if you don't get involved and give public voice to the life issues at stake.

genstrike

Frustrated Mess wrote:
Then back the party of your choice. The point is not to be non-partisan. 

But didn't you just say that websites which cater to such people should drop the premist of being bipartisan and embrace the NDP?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

No, I didn't say that.

thorin_bane

We all know this but if you look at the trogladyte section...oops comment section we will have to fight a long time. They even have 'left wingers' on there who hate everything the NDP stands for. I can understand disagreement, but what is the point of saying "yeah the NDP sucks too" If you want to shift the media leftish. Or at least get some coverage.

My cousin got an update from Brian Masse and he emailed me to let me know what a P.O.S. propaganada letter it was. Asshole that he is since he became a manager, he hasn't lived in a con riding with those 10 centers.

I love pointing out 'taliban jack' to people. In light of recent days it is all the more telling isn't it. Right wingers are eating crow by the plateful and the media has gone even more full force for the Harp-Iggy horserace(or should that be horseshit).  When I heard a guest on the point say how hot she thought Iggy was, I nearly threw up in  my mouth.

My favorite comment was someone saying to the effect that if you make enough predictions you will get a few right. Funny that the right have been telling us forever that if you give the rich more money that everyone will live better, deregulation is utopia and only the military and police should get funding. Epic Fail over and over. Still Insanity as defined in the dictionary prevails. Obviously the poison that is killing us is just not being used in a high enough dosage to cure us.

remind remind's picture

There was a program on knowledge network I believe, about how disasterous Victorian time free market capitalism was for the Irish. I would add that then too they had evangelicals in the mix. People really should read up on that era and see the paralells

fogbrella

lawrence martin's article  - while appearing to be objective and sympathetic to the plight of the 'left' - is simply a way for the G&B to appear "fair and balanced" - it's little dribs and drabs about the NDP generally, and NOT about their (certainly Jack Layton's) possible objections to what Harper and/or Iggy are up to.

he wrote another article, on Mar 5/09, entitled "on this "war" the Pres. should listen to the P.M." (emph. and quotes mine), in which he seems to ignore completely the fact that all of them: Harper, Ignatieff, AND Obama are listening to this guy: http://bit.ly/Bush_policy_alive_n_kickin

he also states that harper's "shocking" pronouncement (in certain military circles, at least - and among the pathetically, media-soaked uninformed),  that "military success is unachievable" in Afghanistan - was simply Harper being "refreshingly candid".

Martin's inclusion of that, into his article, i believe, is pure propaganda, because, first, it assumes that mr. Harper is as pure as the driven snow, in anything he utters, and secondly, it belies completely the quality of deceit that's been employed, up to now, in this so-called "war on terror" - What? he missed it? All of it?

Then he suggests that Obama is simply marching possibly tens of thousands of add'l combat personnel into Afghanistan because he has to "look tough" - why? because of his - Obama's - simultaneous "exit from Iraq" (as Martin puts it - incredulously accepting that Obama IS "exit(ing)" from Iraq, when, in fact, THAT is utterly impossible!  http://bit.ly/FgBFr

it just ain't true! but what? Lawrence Martin isn't up to speed on that? ( http://bit.ly/Obamas_Afghan_surge_secrets )

what?

 

George Victor

I do not recognize Lawrence Martin in your inventive description.

fogbrella

sorry to bend your ear there, George

appreciate your stuff, by the way

but please clarify - you're saying that the L. Martin you know isn't oblivious of (the link above re "Bush policy alive n kickin" won't work for me, but see the Alternet website for this article, to see what I meant.:

 

"Top Neocon Max Boot: Obama 'Continuing and Expanding' Bush's Foreign Policy"

surely L. Martin is aware of the REAL reason Bush went into Iraq, and how AFghanistan is simply an extension of that, no?

You've read Pepe Escobar on the topic? http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EC20Ak07.html

George Victor

This was my correspondence with Lawrence Martin on March 19.  He says journalism needs a retun to anti-establishment position:

From: Martin, Lawrence To: Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 8:23 PM Subject: RE: To save journalism
Thanks George. We need a return of the anti-establishment. Regards, Lawrence.


From:
Sent: Thu 19/03/2009 1:00 PM
To: Martin, Lawrence
Subject: To save journalism

Dear Mr. Martin:   For writing something that has needed saying for a very long time, Bravo!   And  a media with spine will be needed even more as capitalism is re-invented, the planet heats up, and the Great Unread finally get around to demanding answers for their children's sake. They may even come to understand   public fora that carries all opinion - even the radical - will be worth contributing to. Even necessary.   Best.   George

fogbrella

George Victor wrote:

This was my correspondence with Lawrence Martin on March 19.  He says journalism needs a retun to anti-establishment position:

From: Martin, Lawrence To: Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 8:23 PM Subject: RE: To save journalism
Thanks George. We need a return of the anti-establishment. Regards, Lawrence.


From:
Sent: Thu 19/03/2009 1:00 PM
To: Martin, Lawrence
Subject: To save journalism

Dear Mr. Martin:   For writing something that has needed saying for a very long time, Bravo!   And  a media with spine will be needed even more as capitalism is re-invented, the planet heats up, and the Great Unread finally get around to demanding answers for their children's sake. They may even come to understand   public fora that carries all opinion - even the radical - will be worth contributing to. Even necessary.   Best.   George

 

and here's a copy of the letter I'm composing to him:

 

  subject: "refreshingly candid"   ( your "On this War, Pres. should listen to P.M." - Mar.5th G&M)

your article - including that Mr. Harper "is being refreshingly candid" seems troublingly naive, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, when you surmise that Obama's "gotta look tough"; it is NOT - as you say - because he's "exit(ing) Iraq".

That perception is extant, but it's quite wrong.

You should be aware that, in fact,  "exit(ing) Iraq" is quite impossible. http://bit.ly/FgBFr

and secondly, it's apparent - if you'll look - that nobody - including Mr. Harper - is listening to anybody BUT this guy...  http://bit.ly/Bush_policy_alive_n_well

Would you also say that Joshua Holland is correct in his assesment, there,  (par.1) that " the "New American Century" lies in the dustbin of history " ?
 
It's overly generous of you state as fact that the PM is being "refreshingly candid", but that would suggest he's being honest. where's the proof?

 

(cont'd etc etc) sincerely - fogbrella

George Victor

He's a good old guy, long in the journalistic tooth but open to ideas.  You willl hear his ideas on your posting - or not. His call for "a return of the anti-establishment" I found hopeful. It will be something to hear Newman,McQuaig et all in mid month eh?