Left-Wing Label Creeps into Mainstream Journalism (Thanks Chinta Puxley of CP)


As I was driving around town Sunday, a newsbreak on one of Toronto’s talk radio stations (am 640, I think) spoke about a recommendation to raise gas taxes in Ontario from “The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives”. The recommendation was promoted uncritically by the newswriter as a solution to some sort of lack of affordable housing.

You can bet if, say, the Fraser Institute published a report recommending a reduction of gas taxes, it would be labelled as a “right-wing think tank” with the implication that the recommendation can be quickly dismissed. (I first learned of this “selective labelling” phenomenon a couple of years ago, when I got around to reading Bernie Goldberg’s brilliant expose of the mainstream media, Bias.)

I was all set to get worked up into a lather over incessant Canadian media bias and the legitimization of a radical socialist union-sponsored opinion shop, until I did the obligatory Google News search, and got a big surprise. Major props to the Canadian Press’ Chinta Puxley, winner of today’s “How did that one slip by the editor” award, for her work on the story, “Alternative Budget Calls for Tax Hike”:

The Ontario government should hike corporate taxes and add two cents at the gas pump to pay for a $10-billion injection into affordable housing, welfare and the environment when it tables its budget March 22, recommends a report to be released Monday.

The annual alternative budget, compiled by the left-wing think tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, argues little progress has been made under almost four years of Liberal government.

Ah, those four words – LEFT-WING THINK TANK – mean the world to this reader, and they made it onto the web sites of nearly all of Canada’s mainstream media organizations (CTV, Toronto Star, and others). It is great to see a little integrity and fairness creep into Canadian journalism for once.

A cursory google search on Puxley’s work reveals little on her own personal views – for all I know, she’s a lefty who had those words added in by a good editor. But until I hear otherwise, I’ll give her the credit – thank you Chinta for calling a spade a spade! And it certainly is a spade… check out this example of what kind of thing the CCPA stands for here in this news release from December 2006, and try to get to the end without throwing up: “Taxes are good for a nation’s health and well-being—study” .



Filed under Media Bias, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Left-Wing Label Creeps into Mainstream Journalism (Thanks Chinta Puxley of CP)

  1. James

    Chinta has done a lot of reporting for The Hamilton Spectator in the past few years. I vaguely recall her being new to the game and she did a lot of “youth” related stories at one point.
    I don’t really know anything else about her either, I think she may have moved on. I guess to CP.

  2. daeran gall

    a cursory google search would reveal the funding for the Right is higher than for the left.

    You might like this one.

    Breaking News

    Monday, March 03
    4:30 AM

    Preston Manning: building conservatism one convert at a time
    Lawrence Martin
    From Monday’s Globe and Mail
    The irrepressible Preston Manning was at it again on the weekend — running a big conference to unite conservatives and embolden the right.

    You’ve got to admire a guy who gets up off the mat. Mr. Manning was humbled in 2000, losing the Alliance Party leadership to Stockwell Day.

    In Alberta, provincial Conservatives didn’t want him as their leader. In Ottawa, no big job offer came from Stephen Harper. The Reform Party founder was left on the sidelines.

    But there Preston Manning has not remained. He formed a think tank to champion the cause. He’s all over the media, he builds networks, he solidifies the country’s conservative base.

    At his weekend colloquium, the big conservative players were all there, including Alberta’s Ralph Klein, who delivered a 9 a.m. speech. “Well yeah,” cracked Rod Love, the former fun-loving premier’s adviser, “he did some 9 a.m.-ers as premier. But that was on the way home.”

    Canadian conservatism has had no William F. Buckley (who passed away last week). But it has had architects and intellectual fonts like Preston Manning and Conrad Black who, like Mr. Manning, will fight on, selling the gospel, if even from a prison cell.

    The liberals/left has to recognize reality. It has been outfoxed, outfunded and outfought by these players, by Mr. Harper, by the Asper family and others. It is why conservatism finds itself more entrenched in Canada today than perhaps at any other time in our history.

    With the creation of Reform, Mr. Manning started something that, while exacting a heavy political price in the short term, eventually moved conservatives away from their Red Tory moorings. Stephen Harper, once a Manning understudy, welded the right. It is now the other side that, with the rise of the Greens, is splintered.

    “Actually, it was a decade ago this month when our tankers started to move,” recalled Mr. Love. Tory leader Jean Charest left the federal scene at that time to go to Quebec and he took his Red Tory popularity with him, leaving a big opening for other conservatives. His departure coincided with the arrival of the National Post, which provided the flock with a booming nationwide voice.

    In addition to creating the Post, Mr. Black, in what was a turning point in the country’s political culture, purchased a whole slew of major media properties. The Aspers took over the empire and have built upon it.

    While the right controls most of the major-city dailies, New Democrats do not have a single significant media title to their name. If they wonder why their message rarely gets promoted, they only have to look around at the vacuum in which they operate. The Liberal media presence, once strong, has diminished.

    With the Fraser and C.D. Howe institutes in their corner, conservatives already held the upper hand in another important area of the political infrastructure – think tanks. But this didn’t stop Preston Manning from upping the advantage through the creation of his own institute – The Manning Centre for Building Democracy – and it’s gaining clout.

    Further blessings have accrued to conservatives by virtue of circumstance. Conservative Alberta has become the wealth centre of the nation and is a population magnet. The impact of 9/11 pushed the continent rightward. This country’s once larger inclination toward peacekeeping and collective security has given way to a more militaristic foreign policy approach.

    The rug has been pulled out from under the lethargic left, although the right faces obstacles. It could suffer a setback in the Alberta election tonight. But its pillars are in place. It has the finances and the fighters and is at the forefront in the all-important spin game in the media.

    For example, while many feel it hasn’t been such a bad couple of weeks for Stéphane Dion’s Liberals – they got the Conservatives to come their way on many aspects of the budget and, in some respects, on Afghanistan, and they avoided an election that the Conservatives seemed to be pushing for – to read many press reports is to hear of Mr. Dion being clobbered once again.

    The liberal/left may have the great built-in advantage in this country because its place on the political spectrum is where most of the population finds itself. But, quite remarkably, with resolute forces such as Preston Manning leading the way, the other side fought the odds and gained the upper hand.

  3. Mmm is right. Here’s a lesson for you: an opinion column like the one you just posted above is NOT breaking news. It is Lawrence Martin’s opinion, and it happens to be highly refutable. Utter nonsense, if you ask me.

  4. Rob

    If we don’t get Stephen Harper out soon he will be a repeat of Baloney I mean (prime minister using the term loosely) Brian Malroney’s disaster only 3 times worse.

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