Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A Government controlled Media?

The campaign and election of President Donald Trump has exposed the constant bias of the Liberal media. Unfortunately for the media, technology has now created a means of a quick response to their opinions. Social media has become the favorite outlet for the President as he ignores the main stream media. As a result we may see new laws to revive a dying form of information as advertising dollars dwindle. The danger lurks in government interference in the media market.

In 2001, Mount Royal Professor David Taras published a book, in which he argued that the Canadian media was in the midst of a cataclysmic change. At the time his premise was that there was conservative media concentration. Today this is far from the truth as most media is under Liberal and progressive ownership or management. The media over the past sixteen years has seen a shift from investigative reporters to opinion columnists. More often than not printed and broadcasted news is delivered through liberal rose- colored lenses, destined to vilify any conservative point of view.

The use of a completely bias lexicon creates an antagonistic environment. The left constantly use words like: Islamophopia, racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia and other epithets to describe any event that does not fit into their progressive beliefs. Conservative leaders are vilified and are often called authoritarian and even tyrants, but progressive leaders on the other hand are always called intellectuals and compassionate. Compare these two statements by MSNBC’s Dave Mathews on Trump’s and Obama’s inaugural speeches: For Obama he said that ‘I felt this thrill going up my leg’; for Trump he said it was ‘Hitlerian’ instead of ‘Jacksonian’. These nuances in the media create a constant rift among conservatives and progressives. Political correctness smothers debate and has created an environment where people are afraid to express their opinions for fear of being attacked for their views. Freedom of speech seemingly only belongs to the left.

Acts of terrorism by Islamist Jihadists are very seldom initially reported as acts of terrorism. Instead a description of ‘mentally disturbed persons’, ‘self-radicalized’ or lone wolf’ is used to report these attacks. However the Quebec attack on a Mosque was immediately reported and acknowledged in Parliament by the PM as an act of ‘terror’. It seems that the media and politicians have a different standard for reporting similar events.

The narrative of the mass media is definitely more progressive. Too often the media fawns over pronouncements made by Hollywood types about serious issues of which these sycophants have no experience or understanding. As long as the point of view is progressive the media will publish and cover it as news. The backlash against this growing trend of adulterated news is the unfortunate rise of fake news on the web. Too often fake news, by both right and left, has been taken as real news and has created many distorted view points and reaction.

There is a growing lack of credibility in the main stream media, so much so that an increasing majority are now consumers of news through social media. As a result mass media outlets are losing advertising dollars and are accumulating debt. Problem is that publishers and some Canadian broadcasters are seeking government intervention; which unfortunately seems to be supported by the Canadian Liberal government of Justin Trudeau who commissioned a new report by Public Policy Forum.
The report recommends among other things that the government change tax laws to favour Canadian news publishers and use the new revenues ($300m/$400m) to create a publicly subsidized journalism fund. As if public funded media like the CBC is not controversial enough in its overt support for the Liberal government, now we may have government funding the  media which is already progressive in nature.

Furthermore, there are politicians who want to legislate free speech. Liberal MP Iqra Khalid introduced a motion against ‘Islamophobia’. With the Trump’s decision to put a temporary ban on immigration from 7 Muslim countries which  draws protest by the left, and the shooting at a Quebec Mosque, this motion is sure to pass. But make no mistake this motion is an attempt to silence rational criticism of political and radical Islam. Despite attacks on other religions there has never been legislation similar to M-103.Why now?

Most Canadians do not take notice of Government legislation unless reported and debated widely in the media. Interference in the media advertising market and legislation to manage freedom of speech is in my view a very dangerous slope. Intentions that may seem to be insignificant at first could later morph into more drastic legislation that could result in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four prediction of a socialist regime of new mass media abuses.