Media buying Conservative spin

TheStar.com – Opinions/Letter – Media buying Conservative spin
October 13, 2009.   Re:Michael Ignatieff must target Tory deficit, Oct. 10

With a few exceptions, such as James Travers, the media are playing right into the hands of the Conservative strategy. Stephen Harper wants to make the next election a personality contest between himself and Michael Ignatieff. As if it were a boxing match. Problem is, it’s not.

It’s about a severe recession that is crippling the world, including Canada. But the media buy, hook-line-and-sinker, the economic spin coming out of both the U.S. and our Conservative government.

Both nations define “jobless” as those “looking for work.” They don’t count the people who have given up completely. Or those who had full-time employment, but now work part-time. In the U.S., that’s a rate of 18 per cent.

The U.S. announced last week that the “rate of job loss” declined last month. Sounds good, but if you look closely, it means that slightly fewer jobs were lost in September than in August. There’s still a net loss of jobs occurring every month.

In Canada, it was reported the jobless rate has dropped. Good news until you read the fine print: “Work in the private sector actually fell.” All the jobs were in government and “may not last.” Oh, and also, wage growth has slowed to its lowest rate in years.

One last point: The stock market is not the economy. Stocks and bonds rise and fall due to investment strategies of large funds.

Our media need to do some old-fashioned homework and report reality, not get diverted with spin and personality games.

D. Scott Barclay, Georgetown

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