From the beginning of his tenure, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has gone to war with the media. He took his cue from his predecessor, Andrew Scheer. Max Fawcett writes:
Former Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer hinted at this in his 2020 resignation speech. “Challenge the mainstream media,” he said. “Don’t take the left-wing media narrative as fact. Please check out smart, independent, objective organizations like the Post Millennial or True North. There are other places to get news. Let’s stop being the silent majority.”
In his war, Poilievre has allied himself with Elon Musk who has labeled the CBC as "government-funded media:"
To be clear, there is nothing in the new label — one that, so far, has only been applied to CBC’s corporate account — that actually says that. It’s no secret that the CBC is funded by taxpayers, and it remains editorially independent of the government of the day, just as it was when Poilievre and prime minister Stephen Harper were in power for almost a decade. More to the point, government funding is not tantamount to the dissemination of propaganda, and if it is, then someone should tell the good folks at Postmedia, which collects many millions in government handouts every year.
Poilievre's motive is as clear as crystal:
Poilievre’s provocative use of the term “propaganda” speaks to his real mission: not informing Canadians but confusing them. Former Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer hinted at this in his 2020 resignation speech. “Challenge the mainstream media,” he said. “Don’t take the left-wing media narrative as fact. Please check out smart, independent, objective organizations like the Post Millennial or True North. There are other places to get news. Let’s stop being the silent majority.”
Poilievre has taken that argument to a whole different level. In addition to his now-familiar broadsides against the CBC, he took a run during a recent press conference at the independence and integrity of The Canadian Press, an organization that has always remained steadfastly apolitical and nonpartisan. “The CBC, frankly, is a biased propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, and negatively affects all media. For example, CP is negatively affected by the fact that you have to report favourably on the CBC if you want to keep your number 1, taxpayer-funded client happy.”
Unfortunately, the stunt is having its desired effect:
That torrent of turds, and Poilievre’s willingness to open the sluice gates here in Canada, is already having an impact on our democracy. EKOS Research founder Frank Graves created a “disinformation index,” a 15-point scale that “measures how strongly respondents have bought into four pieces of disinformation and how strongly they reject one piece of correct information: vaccine-related deaths are being concealed from the public, COVID-19 vaccines can cause infertility, COVID-19 vaccines can alter a patient’s DNA, inflation is much higher in Canada than in the United States, and climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”
The first casualty of war, they say, is the truth. In Mr. Poilievre's war, that most certainly is the case.
Image: The National Observer