Thursday, October 9, 2008

Other Media Moguls Take Issue With CTV and Mike Duffy's Ethics

From Don Martin of the National Post. Hot off the press. Shame on you too Mr. Harper.


A Dion gaffe that shows Harper's mean streak
Don Martin
National Post
Posted: October 09, 2008, 9:34 PM


WINNIPEG - It's the new low in a snake's belly of a campaign.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion misunderstands a complicated question and the Conservatives trot out leader Stephen Harper to declare it the definitive proof this Liberal leader is unfit to serve as prime minister.

What, wondered CTV's Steve Murphy in a Thursday interview, would Dion do differently to help the economy if he was prime minister today?

Mr. Dion is clearly having as much trouble grasping the concept of him being prime minister as the rest of the country, so he sought clarification. Did that mean being elected in 2006, now, or on Oct 14?, he wondered. Two more times the question was put before Dion sputtered the pat answer about how he'd launch a 30-day economic consultation, etc.

But the reaction was almost more telling about this campaign and its characters than the incident itself.

Giddy Conservatives delayed their campaign jet's departure from Winnipeg, declared the encounter worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit without having seen it and hauled out a television so a cluster of reporters could view the puzzled expression on Mr. Dion's face as he tried to fathom the question.

Aside from the questionable ethics of CTV airing a segment when both Mr. Dion and interviewer Steve Murphy twice agreed to restart the interview to clarify the question, this is a damning insight into how desperate the Conservatives have become in their battle to belittle a Liberal leader they never dreamed could pose a threat to their government.

Before showing the unedited video that both sides had agreed not to air, CTV host Mike Duffy urged Canadians to fire up their video recorders to capture a moment he predicted would haunt the Liberal leader for the rest of the campaign.

It was an undoubtedly awkward encounter and hard not to shake your head in amazement as Mr. Murphy incredulously tried to explain himself to a baffled Dion, who finally turned in exasperation to someone off camera for clarification.

But spare some empathy for Mr. Dion. It's the end of a grueling campaign, the man has admitted to a hearing impairment and the question was open to interpretation while being phrased in Mr. Dion's second language.

The bigger question is how the Conservative response fits with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's efforts to tame his hard-nosed cold-hearted image with sweaters and baby hugs.

To use his first spontaneous media appearance of the campaign to declare Mr. Dion the most unworthy of the two candidates for prime minister based on a minute of misunderstanding is not the most flattering reaction for the prime minister.

In the end the incident they hoped to use to define Mr. Dion as a confused ditherer may actually provide more telling insight into the character of Stephen Harper.

dmartin@nationalpost.com

7 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

These aren't the only ones.

Andrew Potter and Kady O'Malley also condemn Duffy for doing this.

To be honest though.. it's Harper we should be going after for using this to attack Dion's language and hearing difficulties. It is completely classless, not to mention desperate to get an issue to get the heat off of him.

James Curran said...

Harper is now DOA in Quebec. Making fun of a Quebecer's language skills will cost him almost every seat in the province.

What a rotten thing to do. Duffy and Harper should be ashamed to look in the mirror.

Babylonian777 said...

"To be honest though.. it's Harper we should be going after for using this to attack Dion's language and hearing difficulties. It is completely classless, not to mention desperate to get an issue to get the heat off of him."

That may be good enough for when you talk among your fellow Liberal apologists..............it won't work for average Canadians though. It's pretty obvious he heard everything, and either over analysed it, or wasn't sure of the question, or was sure of the question (he is not dumb), and managed to avoid it by claiming it wasn't clear (even after he attempted to answer what wasn't "clear"...lol)

If it was a hearing problem, how come he didn't ask the journalist to SPEAK UP??? If it was a hearing problem, why couldn't he answer according to what HE HEARD???

James Curran said...

And why didn't Murphy answer him when he asked if he meant if he was elected today or if he was a PM today but elected 2.5 years ago. Cause he's ignorant that's why.

Scott Tribe said...

It doesn't surprise me at all Baylonian, that Conservative supporters and Blogging Tories would shriek with glee at attacking Dion over this. You have as little - if not less class then your Dear Leader.

It is no better then what the Conservatives tried to do to Jean Chretien and his facial disorder that caused his face to distor when he was talking.

Ken Chapman said...

This is the Canadian equivalent to "lipstick on a pig." A stupid pice of MSM mischief and just plain bad political theatre.

Duffy is not the quality journalist he professes to be either. He is turning into the Don Cherry of television journalism.

The job of making sure you are understood falls on the questioner. It is up to him to be sure he is understood first. Murphy is at fault here. NO doubt about it.

The Cons are as desperate and distressed as the McCains are these days.

Move on!

Babylonian777 said...

Don't for one second think I have beef with Dion. I have said it many times, he is a great guy, very likeable. Not a leader though.

"And why didn't Murphy answer him when he asked if he meant if he was elected today or if he was a PM today but elected 2.5 years ago. Cause he's ignorant that's why."

If the question wasn't clear, then why the hell are we hearing from the apologists that Dions Hearing problems where affecting the answers?

Pure spin, pure B.S.

You guys for the love of you won't face facts and give Gerrard Kennedy for the hell he made you guys.