Monday, 13 September 2010

The Sun thinks you're stupid: Tab hypocritical in Davey Affair

On the latest edition of CTV's Question Period, ex-Iggy press secretary Ian Davey responded to a question about a Sun Media report by saying the Sun "is a newspaper for people who can't read" thus betraying what most senior politicos actually think about the tabloid. The surprise is not, of course, that Davey is dismissive of the Sun but that he would be politically inastute enough to insult the paper's readership rather than its editors. While the Sun is a politically conservative newspaper and sometimes little better than a propaganda sheet I suspect that a good percentage of its readership don't share the paper's editorial line and pick it up for the sports, entertainment coverage, Sunshine Girl (or Boy) or because of its readability. Worse still, Davey's elitism reinforces the Tory narrative that Ignatieff and his circle are elitists who look down on ordinary Canadians.

Predictably, the Sun is exploiting Davey's comments, trying to stir its readers up into a state of indignation in order to both elevate their degree of identification with the paper and mobilize them against the hated Liberals (even though Davey no longer has any official capacity within the Liberal Party or Iggy's office and therefore only speaks for himself, not the party).

Here is the lede of the Sun's article on the matter - titled "Who's the dummy?" in its print edition and "Iggy's former mouthpiece takes 'cheap shot' at Sun readers" online:

Read this if you can.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's former chief of staff, Ian Davey, hit Sun Media readers below the belt Sunday, saying they're all illiterate.
That means you can't read.
Sun readers must be quite thankful that their paper is so quick to defend their intelligence, if only it didn't feel it necessary to insult their intelligence at the same time by explaining what illiterate means. 

Ian Davey and the Sun evidently both think that Sun readers are stupid. Davey says it outright, the Sun demonstrates it by evidently believing they have to spoonfeed their readers politically, through crude attempts at propaganda, and intellectually, by feeling they have to explain the meaning of the word illiterate. The real difference between Davey and the Sun, though, is at least Davey is honest enough to state his views while the Sun is cravenly hypocritical and cynical by complaining loudly about Davey's "elitism" while inadvertently demonstrating that they actually agree with him.
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