Friday, April 17, 2009

Real News Has Issues With Reality



When the Conservative party won the 2008 federal election many opponents of the party were disheartened. Others, like Murray Dobbin, were militarized.

Within days Murray Dobbin was on the Real News suggesting that the formation of a coalition government was imminent. As it stood, his prediction was off by a couple of months.

In a recent interview with Liberal party foreign affairs critic Bob Rae, Paul Jay asks him about Michael Ignatieff's abandonment of the Liberal/NDP coalition proposal, noting that it "had quite a bit of support in Canada".

When one calls their network the Real News, one should accept that this level of pretension comes with an obligation that their coverage will closely resemble reality. On this particular occasion, Jay's commentary doesn't.

Polls taken shortly after the formation of the Liberal/NDP coalition, polls revealed that 60% of Canadians opposed the coalition, as opposed to a comparably mere 37% of Canadians that supported it.

Moreover, the Conservative party enjoyed a surge in support after the proposal. Some polls had the Tories polling close to the 50% range.

The consensus among Canadians was clear: if the governing Conservatives were to be defeated, Canadians wanted the opportunity to decide who would govern the country in an election, as opposed to allowing the Liberals and NDP to seize power with a coaltion government that then-leader Stephane Dion had already insisted would never happen.

As a supporter of the Coalition government, Bob Rae certainly cannot afford to admit the extent to which Canadians rejected the proposed coaliton. But deep down, even Rae knows this is true.

Oddly enough, Paul Jay doesn't. This is rather unfortunate from someone who pretends to present the "real" news.

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