Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dan Gardner: Try Googling Errol Mendes Liberal

When Dan Gardner writes a hit piece comparing our PM to a disgraced American President, communist dictator, American-Italian gangster, English king in order to revisit  "expert" opinion on prorogue.
This naturally led me to imagine which figures from history best exemplify Stephen Harper. At first I thought of the obvious contenders — Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, Michael Corleone — but then I hit on King Charles I, circa 1635.- Danny G. (Nice thanks Danny!) Can't find any references in Canadian politics: Liberals PM hint Jean Chretien or NDP Ontario leader Bob Rae who used prorogue on several occasions?
Hey Danny G, did you check to see if the expert had any relationship with the previous Liberal Government?
Just curious, seems like a number of media outlets, journalists are forgetting to include a potential bias.
To find bias by use of experts or sources, stay alert to the affiliations and political perspective of those quoted as experts or authorities in news stories. Not all stories will include experts, but in those that do, make sure about an equal number of conservatives and liberals are quoted. If a story quotes non-experts, such as those portrayed as average citizens, check to be sure that about an equal number come from both sides of the issue in question. Also check to see if a reporter's generalization about how "economists across the political spectrum" or "most health care specialists" is supported by subsequently cited experts. If they are all or overwhelmingly from one side of the political spectrum, then you've come across bias by use of sources. - Fair Press
I already blogged on this before MSM: Are They Cherry Picking Experts?
Danny where is that conservative expert in your article or the affiliations and political perspective on Errol Mendes? Hint it took me all of 0.28 seconds to find a problem. Too busy to use Google? Pity....
In September 2005, the Ottawa Citizen reported an appointment to the Privy Council Office:
Mr. Martin made several other appointments yesterday within bureaucracy's senior ranks, including the hiring of University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes as a senior advisor in the Privy Council Office to handle diversity in the public service and other special projects.
So maybe the media could report Errol Mendes as "University of Ottawa law professor and former senior Liberal advisor under Paul Martin".
Oh, and then there is this. Since 2006, Errol Mendes has contributed over $3,600 to the Liberal Party, including over $200 in the past year.
So maybe the media could report Errol Mendes as "University of Ottawa law professor, Liberal Party supporter, and former senior Liberal advisor under Paul Martin".
Errol Mendes' opinions might be worth reporting. I'm sure they are well thought out and thought provoking. But that he is also cheek-and-jowl with the Liberal Party in recent years, including a prime ministerial appointment to the PCO, is thought provoking as well. -Steve Janke (Conservative Blogger CPC supporter)
Conservative Blogger and CPC supporter Stephen Taylor on Prorogue here
An historical perspective shows that prorogation is quite a common parliamentary procedure in the country and most prorogations have passed without too much ink spilled on the pages of Canada’s historic newspapers.
After the latest CBC, Ekos President Frank Graves blow up you would hope the media would be able to spend 0.28 seconds on Goggle to double check and look for potential bias. Oh well.
BTW Danny I became a CPC voter (no financial or employment biases) after moving to Mississauga 1999 -2000,  voted Liberal, NDP in York South Weston until John Nunizata GST became an Independent. As an Oakville resident now voting for another great CPC MP Terence Young. I am proud of our PM, are you?
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hunter said...

I notice that Danny is too scared to allow comments on his hit piece. Can Danny explain how PM Harper has changed the powers that any other PM has had, or does it only bug him when it is a Conservative PM? Chretien had the same powers and he used them to call elections any time it was to his political advantage, but Danny doesn't mention that now does he?

CanadianSense said...

It is interesting, how the same experts are always cited but their potential bias are not scrutinized or mentioned in the articles. (It must be me)

I don't think this was an opinion piece. Look at the University of Ottawa professors that are against this government. The president is a former Liberal Minister.

This "University of Ottawa law professor, Liberal Party supporter, and former senior Liberal advisor under Paul Martin" also gave opinion against the government at Special committee on Afghanistan.

Why did Danny G. ignore the examples we both gave about Liberal Jean Chretien use of prorogue?

Great question. No comments allowed interesting on his article. Another great question.

gimbol said...

Perhaps it would be of good service if the Blogging Tories could publish a list of liberal experts.
As well as Errol the list could also include Amir Attaran and Nelson Wiseman.

Think of it as a quick reference for our MSM friends.

CanadianSense said...


my concern is not about journalists writing an opinion piece or using experts that have a political bias.

My concern is why ignore the perception for bias of the expert?

Why not examine the recent examples of Jean Chretien, Bob Rae and their use of prorogue as a comparison by the expert?

Why the cheap shots comparison to a beheaded English Monarch, Communist Dictator, American Mobster?

Are these historical figures a fair comparison?

Blue like you had a blogpost on Danny G.

his rebuttal

...for semi-literate and have little or no idea how to engage in rational debate.

Framing our PM as a English monarch, is this rational debate for the "journalist class" in Ottawa?

HitEleven said...

Dan Gardner lost it years ago. He used to be a respectable investigative journalist. Now he's become a shock jock-style pundit. If he can get a rise out of people, he'll write it.

All of this talk of a long-gone pristine parliament from some perfect past is nonsense. Parliaments change and adapt, for better and for worse. The fact that Canada's official head of state is essentially a figurehead means that executive power will fall increasingly on the head of parliament. The problem is that the Westminster system was not built for a modern governmental order in which we don't answer to a King/Queen.

Also, Mr. Gardner conveniently forgets that, after the fall of Charles I, England was run by Oliver Cromwell, the biggest tyrant of all.

CanadianSense said...

Welcome HitEleven,

best of luck with your new blog, I included a link on sites to help with traffic, hope it helps.

I have no problem with opinion hit pieces, don't think this was filed as such.

My concern is the use of "biased" experts, lack of accurate historical context presenting itself as "news".

Do you think Dan should come clean explain his political leanings and why they might affect his submissions?

HitEleven said...

Thanks for the link, CanadianSense. I responded in kind, though the help re: traffic will be largely one-way.

Regarding Mr. Mendes, Impolitical mentions an article he wrote about Mr. Harper a while back. Clearly not a fan.

As for Dan Garnder, I don't know where he stands politically. He seems to be largely libertarian, but not consistently. I think he's just one of those people that thinks he's smarter than the rest of us.