Deplores ‘low level’ of media

October 14, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Your editorial “Trump and Waning Media Clout” (6 October) appeared to suggest that the media have a right and an obligation to persuade us readers and listeners to your ways of political thought.  You don’t.

At one time, the Toronto newspapers ran on their front pages a “slate” of their preferred candidates standing for election for Toronto City Council.  It was clearly understood, there and on the editorial page, that the slates were the editors’ choices.  Readers were encouraged to study the issues, which were accurately reported, and decide for themselves.

Since the Canadian Supreme Court followed U.S. lead and banned libel suits against media a few years ago, newspapers, radio stations and television news reports have run amok.  Rural papers – including yours – have been more honest in presenting opinions mainly on editorial pages and in columns.

The CBC elected the Liberal party to the Ontario and federal governments.  They reported daily and negatively on the Progressive Conservative candidate in Ontario, and positively on the obscure federal Liberals and especially on Justin Trudeau.  Friendly photos were selected of Liberal leaders, and none at all for their opponents, for years.  Phrases like “failed to,” “stumbled” and “tried to slip through” were assigned to Stephen Harper, while Mr Trudeau was “all smiles” and “one of the people.”  Bill C-51, which the Liberals now embrace, was criticized as penetrating too deeply into citizens’ private lives, while the media persistently did exactly that.  Jian Ghomeshi was publicly fired, tried and pilloried by his former employer (and found not guilty later).

I deplore the low level to which Canadian media have dragged themselves, though it’s perhaps inevitable.  If two individuals argue, they tend to grow farther apart in their positions, leading in extreme cases to physical assault.  Maybe we shouldn’t expect anything better from Toronto-based media.

Charles Hooker, East Garafraxa

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