1/29/2007

Censorship

This just in from Ezra Levant at the Calgary Sun:
Ask a thousand Canadians what a "telecaster" is, and 99% would probably think it was a 1950s word for a newfangled TV set. But Telecaster is actually the name of the agency that screens TV ads.
Instead of advertisers having to get approval from every single TV station in the country, Telecaster is their one-stop shop. Canadian TV stations outsource their judgment to Telecaster, which is in charge of basic standards -- no profanity, for example.
Telecaster approves political ads, too. And so, what is a rubber stamp when it comes to toothpaste and shampoo ads becomes a powerful political censor when it comes election campaigns.
If Telecaster's decision-makers were normal people -- if they cared more about toothpaste and shampoo than politics -- this wouldn't be a problem.
But Telecaster's boss, James Patterson, cares enormously about politics.
Over the last three years, according to Elections Canada data dug up by blogger Stephen Taylor, Patterson made a whopping 17 donations to the Liberal Party, totalling more than $4,300.
That's more than most MPs give to their own parties. That's an extreme partisan.
One of the donations was even made in January 2006, just days before the last election. That's important, because Patterson was in charge of censoring TV ads that very moment. And censor he did.
That was when the Liberals rolled out their attack ads, claiming Stephen Harper was going to put "soldiers in our streets". It was absurd, and it backfired.
The point is Telecaster, run by Jim Patterson, didn't censor them, even though they used images of Stephen Harper without his permission.
But when the Conservatives produced a response to those attack ads -- showing video clips of Liberal MPs admitting their own attack ads had gone too far -- Telecaster censored the ads. Telecaster ordered the Conservative ads off the air.
The story gets worse: Telecaster yanked the ads after a complaint from the CBC, because it was their footage that captured the MPs making those statements. The CBC actively intervened to knock Conservative ads off the air. And the Telecaster censor, who just happened to be a major Liberal donor, was happy to comply.
Isn't that a cosy little family?
Has the CBC ever complained about the Liberals using images of Conservative politicians taken from CBC cameras? Don't be ridiculous. The CBC is a wing of the Liberal Party -- the left wing.
When it's not busy trying to yank Conservative ads off the air, it's running Liberal propaganda using tax dollars -- long infomercials, thinly disguised as political talk shows or "documentaries."
All this came out in the open last week when Telecaster refused to allow the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association to run a TV ad briefly showing Harper's own image -- even though the CRFA owned the footage themselves. Telecaster told the CRFA that they couldn't show a picture of Harper without his permission -- a ridiculous requirement that Harper does not want.
We know where this is going.
Patterson, the big Liberal donor, is getting ready to block Tory ads in the upcoming campaign. He knows thin-skinned Stephane Dion, the new Liberal leader, won't grant permission to the Tories to use footage of him saying foolish things.
So he's trying to set a new rule, a new precedent, to protect Dion.
In a free society, politicians have to live with the consequences of what they say. Patterson, the Telecaster censor, wants to change that. We know the CBC is on side with him. What about the rest of Canada's media?

Words fail me. It has been fairly obvious for some time that the media is run by the liberal elite, but not even I expected it to be this bad.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This may explain why they are releasing the new TV adds now. They want a precedent to be set before the election is called.

KPK said...

The footage looks like it was taken from a camcorder in the audience. There is no copyright infringement and the Conservatives have sign the necessary letters as far as I know. The CBC/CPAC have no case.

rabbit said...

My mother was the District Electoral Office in a B.C. provincial riding for many years.

During that time she had to be completely non-partisan - she couldn't vote, be a member of a political party, make a political contribution, or support a party or candidate in any manner.

One would think that the head of the Telecaster agency would be held to an equal standard.

James said...

It is positively scary how fragile democracy is in Canada.

If anything demonstrates the need for succesive Conservative majorities if for no other reason than to bring balance to the system, this is it.

I shudder to think how many other lieberal quislings are embedded in the system waiting to be awakened by their masters when called upon.

These "fifth column" anti-democratic sleeper cells need to be exposed and expunged from the federal government.

Only then will challenges to confederation, like the separtist threat in Quebec, be finally defeated.

The struggle for democracy continues! We owe it to Canada to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper a majority in Parliament.

BaconEating AtheistJew said...

There is no reason for any censorship in a political campaign. Let the parties whatever the heck they want, let them use whatever tactic they want. If they lie, let the gloves come off, because most people don't vote for liars regardless of their allegiance.
That being said, I wish the PC's would stop with attack ads. I find it immature and a sign of weakness.
Show your strengths, not the other guys faults. I think Canada is tired of attack ads too.

Hannah said...

Well this explains a lot.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out why these ads were being played so far in advance of an election.

Ruth said...

Actually, the new attack ads are unrelated to this issue. But, I agree; they do seem out of place. I am not sure why they are being run now.

Peter Thurley said...

The ads are being run now because suddenly the environment has appeared on the radar screens of Canadians, making the successes of the Conservative government in other areas a moot point. Canadians won't remember that they lowered the GST, delivered the promised child care program, spent more money on making our military stronger and for the most part, did what they said they would do. All Canadians will remember is that Ambrose choked big time. And suddenly, with an election looming, they have to revert back to the old, tired "The Liberals don't get it done." As far as I am concerned, it is sad that after a year of a very successful minority government, their hand has been played and they have to turn back to comparing themselves to the Liberals inaction, rather than letting their successes speak for themselves. Everyone knows the Liberals don't get it done: The Conservatives should be more concerned with selling their successes than the Liberals failings.

But attack ads sell. So they do it.

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