In the age of expensive political campaigning, with television, radio and newspaper ads all costing money, the Conservatives with the help of Jane Taber have added a much cheaper fourth medium, news.
As it appears the Conservative Party merely needs to circulate an internal memo attacking the Liberals to get national attention. For in the last eight days Jane Taber a reporter for the Globe and Mail has written three articles on three Conservative memos that blast Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. Taber thus changing what was previously a five cent memo with a cc list of fifty into a national news story with an audience of thousands.
Jane Taber's recent Conservative-memo-dependent stories include March 9's PMO harpoons Liberal divisions on seal hunt where she writes:
In an internal memo to Conservative MPs and supporters, PMO strategists also suggest the Liberal Leader is a weakling for not being able to unite his caucus on an issue that he says he supports.Also there's her story from March 10 titled Tories question Michael Ignatieff's economic chops which included:
“Michael Ignatieff says the economy is his priority,” the internal Conservative Party memo says. “By failing to even bother proposing an amendment to the budget Ignatieff’s Liberals are ducking their Parliamentary duty. They are demonstrating to Canadians that they have nothing relevant to say about the economy.”And then there is today's Tories pounce as 'Ignatieff prorogues himself' which reports:
“After Eight Days, Ignatieff Prorogues Himself…,” is the headline of an internal memo sent by Tory party officials in which they note the Liberal Leader was a no-show in the House of Commons Monday.All of these Taber articles and others merely restating Conservative party line in the guise of fast breaking news, bringing Tory attacks on Michael Ignatieff to the national press.
“Ignatieff is nowhere to be found,” says the cheeky memo, which is sent to Conservative officials, MPs and supporters.
It's not news that Conservatives are saying sensationally bad things about Michael Ignatieff just as it isn't news when Liberals say bad things about Stephen Harper. It's one thing to get a Conservative viewpoint on a story, it's quite another when the Conservative viewpoint is the story. And when it's merely a story on a new Conservative attack on an opposing party it's not news, its a political ad.
For any reader who suggests Jane Taber is an objective journalist of the highest standard I would ask them, how is that Jane Taber has never asked herself, "Hey why am I getting all these Conservative internal memos? And why is only my name at the top of them under the words 'Confidential, we don't want this getting out to anyone in the national media'?" Then there's also the question of, does Jane not receive Liberal internal memos? Or have they just moved completely to a complex system of tweets incomprehensible to Taber?
This post was inspired from this earlier one.