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Monday 27 October 2008

National Post at 10

The National Post is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Ironically, the paper espouses a brutal free market philosophy yet has failed to have even a single profitable year and tuus, under the rules of the brutal free market, should have been folded years ago. However, because of its value as a propaganda vehicle its owners have allowed it to continue. Unfortunately, the market is a selfish lover and Canwest has been rewarded for its fealty with plunging stock values - Canwest is all but a penny stock at this point - so the Post's future is an open question. The Post has been an interesting combination of good writing and poor journalism.

I rarely peruse an issue without finding at least one howler. Not too long ago, one of the Post's scribes attributed the "I knew Jack Kennedy. You're no Jack Kennedy" line to "You're no, Ronald Reagan" and had Lloyd Bentsen delivering it to Bob Dole instead of Dan Quayle.

Most memorable of the Post's gaffes is fake front page story "IRAN EYES BADGES FOR JEWS" (May 19, 2006) which reported, wrongly, that Iran's parliament was debating legislation that would force Jews to wear Nazi-style yellow badges. And then there've been the front page polls - countless of them - conducted by the questionable Compass polling firm and designed to push a political agenda rather than actually report public opinion. I recall one that I actually did concerning tax credits for private schools. Unethically, the "money shot" question was preceded with numerous leading questions designed to make private schools (which the survey called "independent schools") appear in a preferable light to public schools (which the survey called "government run schools").

Ah the Post, Canada's answer to Fox News.
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Saturday 4 October 2008