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Sunday, May 2, 2010

If political bias was a lady’s petticoat, Jane Taber would be showing hers

Even as she reports on alleged political reporting bias at the CBC, Globe and Mail/CTV’s Jane Taber lets her own anti-Tory bias show. Ms. Taber reports that in a letter released recently, CBC editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire tries to refute Tory accusations of bias in CBC’s political commentary and news reporting.

Ms. Taber writes1 several paragraphs concerning Ms. McGuire’s letter and the controversy surrounding EKOS pollster Frank Graves’s suggestion in a Globe and Mail story that Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals should launch a “culture war” against the Conservatives.

Amongst her many paragraphs, Ms. Taber tells us that “Mr. Graves is not paid for his appearances on the CBC program, Power & Politics, where he presents his polling data.” Then she tucks in a gratuitous comment that seems to come completely out of the blue:

“Kory Teneycke, meanwhile, who most recently served as Stephen Harper’s communications director, is paid for his appearances on CBC in which he repeats Tory talking points and touts the Conservative line.”

Mr. Teneycke is not—as far as I can tell—a pollster. And Mr. Teneycke isn’t mentioned elsewhere in her commentary; just this one, less-than complementary, comment. So what point is Ms. Taber trying to make?

Why pick on Mr. Teneycke alone when there are supporters from the Liberals and the New Democrats who regularly appear on CBC News and Ms. Taber’s own CTV News to—as she sees it—repeat party “talking points” and “tout” their party “line.”

Her comment is true, I suppose, but biased nevertheless because it unfairly implies only the Tory supporter, Mr. Teneycke, is unique in this regard. This is the sort of political bias one sees on the CBC’s political program Power & Politics and on CTV’s Question Period and Power Play.

It’s not that these programs tell lies, but its how they introduce topics, how they quickly try to find Tory equivalence for any gaffe committed by the Liberals. It’s the softball interviews of Liberal MPs and supporters. It is the blatant leniency shown to the antics and props used by some Liberal insiders who appear regularly on Power Play as compared to the grilling Tory MPs and supporters receive.

Whenever CTV’s Tom Clark uses his favourite phrase “to be fair” one knows he’s about to be unfair by trying to alibi a Liberal gaffe or seek some equivalence to show Conservatives in a lesser light—and seldom is the reverse true.

It’s all small stuff like snowflakes, but pack enough of them together and one gets a avalanche of anti-Conservative sentiment from these broadcasters and their hosts like Ms. Taber.

1The full text of Ms. Taber’s report can be seen here.

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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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6 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. I refuse to watch Jane Tabor or even read her articles... She always gets a crack in against the Conservatives even thought she is maybe trying to give the conservatives a story that should be positive for them... she somehow will ALWAY say something negative... When I saw her and Shiela Copps laughing on National TV because they would not allow a conservative panel member as much time and laughted because they interruped him constantly... that was enough for me!!... If I ever see her appear on TV - my TV channel is switched and off she goes... She somehow spews liberal bias in whatever she says or writes - also notice she never mentioned in this article how much Frank Graves gave to the liberal party.. she always leaves out the negatives or negative comments that should be written against the liberals........and I do not have to listen to her liberal trash.... If more of us would tune her out...her ratings would go down.. and then liberals alone would be reading his liberal bias.... All the networks are liberals at the top, and these little tabloid reporters are trying to get good marks for doing as they think their bosses would like and hopefully move up the ladder.... Tabloid reporters usually go no where....

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  2. Very good post...it is good to get a dissection of her articles...she is one of the main "kool aid" drinkers...and it shows.
    But amazingly enough, just this friday, I heard from her own lips a compliment about the Harper Government and it was in the area of the minority government and how it has survived..a credit to Stephen Harper... I nearly fell off my chair...even her owl-eyed sidekick was complimentary... it was probably said just to confuse us...heheheh

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  3. Well said! Jane Taber should introduce herself as a Liberal supporter in her bio! What is her hidden agenda for pretending she is non partison.

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  4. If political bias were immodesty Jane Tabor and Craig Oliver would be doing XXX Porn.

    Two of the many reasons I have not to watch CTV.

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  5. Just listened to Jane on Question Period saying the Conservatives have started a culture war and asking whether doing so is a good idea for the country. What? I thought it was Graves who advised the Liberals to start a culture war and was telling Albertans to like it or leave and vote for Palin. As proof, Iggy is whipping his party to vote for the gun registry and he told people in Saskatchewan to learn French if they want to be a judge. Interesting to watch Taber's mind at work as she ignores that.

    As a Conservative I guess I see it differently from Jane. During the winter, two of the Liberal's worst nightmares came true; the Olympics were a huge success bringing the country to a united, fevered pitch and the economy continued to improve even faster than anticipated. (The deficit will be even smaller than anticipated and auto manufacturers are scaling back up.) Despite this obvious good news and elation, the CBC and other anti-Con press have gone out of their way to help the opposition convince Canadians that this is the worst place to live on earth. Their mission in the last few months has been to kill the joy.

    I listen to CBC on my bedside clock radio when I get up. Without fail, their "top" story involves bashing the Conservatives in some way. They could just as easily start off with any of the good economic news stories that abound, but instead they hammer away on their little broken piano. I think they hit the tipping point when they led off with the latest grumblings of door-knob Easter. I mean seriously, how can any news director justify having Easter's partisan rantings as a top story? Seriously.

    The reason the media is such a touch-point for Conservatives is because the Conservatives not only have to fight the Liberals, they have to fight the Toronto-centric press as well. I have no doubt that if the press just reported the news as it is, including the good with the "bad", the Conservatives would be well into majority territory right now.

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  6. Taber has psychopathic tendencies for sure. (real conservative)

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