It's fascinating to hear the Harper Party conflate its own self interest with the national interest. The latest example is a Tory proposal -- buried in an omnibus bill -- to change the Copyright Act so that "free use of news content" could be used in political ads.
The change would provide a treasure trove for those who produce attack ads. Tasha Kheiriddin writes:
What’s truly bizarre about this is that the Conservatives haven’t done well with attack ads over the last couple of years. Every time they run one, the Liberals seem to grow their lead in the polls. Nothing the Tories have thrown at Justin Trudeau has stuck. He has a tendency to trip over his own tongue; Canadians, it seems, just don’t care.
The proposed change once again illustrates the furniture which occupies Conservative head space. And Harper himself claims that the present situation represents a form of "censorship." Tim Harper writes:
If Harper has his way, his Canada in 2015 will include a media that becomes an extension of the government, dutifully collecting news footage that can be twisted and used for partisan purposes, then thrown back as an ad at the network that covered the news in the first place.
It means that every reporter chasing a silent Conservative down the halls of Parliament, every technical crew schlepping cameras and microphones over to the Hill, every producer and editor putting together a piece on the nightly newscast and every anchor introducing the segment, is working not just for their network, but ultimately the political war rooms of this country next year.
It means the government that makes a virtue of taking no free rides and doing its own heavy lifting when it comes to bombing ISIS targets, is only too happy to freeload off the backs of journalists, without seeking permission or providing compensation.
Mark Twain once famously observed that, "Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." Stephen Harper really should blush. He needs to.