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Monday, January 27, 2014

At CTV anti-Harper bias seems systemic

Watching CTV’s Question Period on Sundays, I often wonder how the host and quests can find so much to criticize and nitpick when, if fact, Canada is enjoying widespread prosperity and praise from around the world.

Have things ever been better? Perhaps, but only by a few degrees. Are there problems? Sure, but has there ever been a period in Canada’s history when there were no problems?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just returned from a visit to Israel where he was cheered at virtually every turn. Yet all Laurie Graham, CTV’s Deputy Bureau Chief filling in for regular host Robert Fife, wanted to talk about was the poor attempt at humour by Conservative MP Mark Adler who made his now infamous “This is the million-dollar shot” comment.

The prime minister scored big-time on the international stage in Israel, addressing the Knesset, the Jewish state’s parliament. PM Harper enjoyed several rounds of applause with but a couple of hecklers to mar the occasion. By the time he had wrapped up his speech, the room was on its feet giving the PM a standing ovation, with no descent that I could see. In other words, it was not solely the conservative members cheering the PM—the hecklers had walked out during the speech.

In his speech the PM made several statements that drew wide applause. Andrew Coyne, not normally a Harper cheerleader, described the speech in the National Post as “passionate, sincere, and—for the most part—right.” So what had CTV’s Deputy Bureau Chief  Laurie Graham to say?

You guessed it. Graham highlighted the charge that the trip to Israel was all about internal politics, and showed a video clip, twice, of the Adler incident at Old Jerusalem’s Western Wall. From a delegation of somewhere between 150 and 200 people, one short video clip emerges as the main item for two segments of Question Period.

We heard from CTV that the PM faced some “hecklers” as if implying there were a few, but I counted only two on the TV coverage, suggesting to me that many left-wing Israeli parliamentarians were enjoying and cheering the PM’s speech. But CTV chose not to showcase on their flagship weekend political show even one video clip of the historic speech.

How about the part when PM Harper said, “Israel is the only country in the Middle East which has long anchored itself in the ideals of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”? Or this one, “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is absolute and non-negotiable” Or even this, “a Palestinian state will come … when the regimes that bankroll terrorism realize that the path to peace is accommodation, not violence”? [Credit: quotes from National Post]

Is it any wonder we right-of-centre bloggers believe CTV News is guilty of political bias in their broadcasts?

7 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 fully support free speech and would die to defend it. But in this case it's not free speech it's hurtful and slanderous. CTV should have no right to say these harmful things about the greatest PM in Canadian history. They have their jobs because Mr. Harper has allowed them to have it by providing public funding same as the CBC.

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  2. Nobody, not even the Conservatives, pointed out to Laurie Graham, who was implying that the whole trip was about winning votes back home, that when Mark Adler asked to get a 'million dollar shot' he was refused by the PM's aide.
    I can understand the Parliamentary Press Gallery not pointing that out but I can't, for the life of me, understand why the Conservative Party didn't and why they continue to let these people crap all over them.
    It's just a little disappointing and discerning to realize that I seem to have more fight in me than all of them combined.

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  3. I now have refused to watch this garbage. By watching them - it gives their show ratings... I belong to a group who is promoting turning this particular show off. If they can't show both sides, and want to be liberal bias, let the liberals pay for it. I expect to see the negatives of this Government, but only the negatives week after week, is wrong. The only way we can change this is to turn them off and let their sponsors know the reason why....CTV must think we as Canadians are stupid and fools to not see what is happening here.. They are only ruining their credibility as there are other places to find out the "other side"... and it is beginning to make them all look like liberal bias fools!

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  4. I will admit I don't watch CTV Question period much although I found CTV seems to just be anti whomever is in government. They were pretty critical of the Liberals prior to 2006. In terms of newspapers which is where I get most political commentary from, I find the Toronto Star has a strong left wing bias, Globe and Mail is more centrist (they endorsed the Conservatives in the last three elections but endorsed the Liberals in Ontario), while the National Post is a small c conservative newspaper (otherwise they endorse conservative ideals, but not necessarily the party). CBC has somewhat of a Liberal bias but they at least hold the political insiders with one panelist from each party to try and seem balanced. I tend to find most people on both sides of the political spectrum blame the media for bias as the media is not supposed to give a one sided view from a certain slant but report the news in a neutral fashion although that doesn't mean they aren't sometimes bias however.

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  5. Canadians are not well served by the one-sided reporting from the media. So disappointing and dishonest.

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  6. I didn't watch the CTV Question Period or saw Laurie Graham in her coverage of the PM's visit of Israel. I know they are very biased against the Tories. Ask the question that "their govenment is not in power and will do and say anything about this Consrvative govt.' How many people tune in to their show?
    Also, as NeilD says, these Conservatives show not let anyone crap all over them. They should fight back. We should help.

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  7. If you think Harper [the man who can't even comb his own hair] is afraid of CTV why do you think he is trying to cut off the CBC funding???

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