Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bill Good Bad Debate Moderator

I listened to the BC election leaders debate this morning on CKNW.  I thought all of them, Carole James of the NDP, Gordon Campbell of the Liberals, and Jane Sterk of the Green Party, came across well.

James made one mistake that women leaders sometimes make though.  She occasionally used an 'up-talk' style: when making an assertion, she would end the sentence as though she were asking a question.  This can make a leader come across as less than confident in their own positions.  But James didn't use that style consistently, just occasionally.  Jane Sterk never used that style.  

I thought the CKNW moderator Bill Good revealed bias against Carole James.  It showed up after James stated during the debate that the NDP had decided that during this election campaign, they would be "tough on the issues" but would not resort to "personal attacks".  Bill Good then asked James if she had not been engaging in personal attacks toward Gordon Campbell during this debate.  She responded firmly, "No".  Then Good allowed a long, long, long pause, so long that it made a statement in itself.  Then, in discussions with four voters -- these voters seemed stacked against Carole James -- after the debate, Good stated that he felt James had been resorting to personal attacks against Gordon Campbell throughout the entire debate.

He was wrong.

A personal attack is an ad hominem attack or gratuitious criticism of another politician that has little to do with the issues.  An extreme example would be past federal Conservative Party TV ads criticizing the facial paralysis of Jean Chretien.  During this morning's debate, James was simply being intensely critical of Liberal policies; each time she was asked about an issue, she would criticize the Liberal record on it and use the name "Gordon Campbell" when she did it. For example, when a caller accused James of misleading the public by saying that the Liberals had sold assets such as rivers when in fact they had leased them, James retorted that when "Gordon Campbell" gives a company a 49 year lease on a river or a 99 year lease on BC Rail, the result is esentially a sale.  That response was typical of James' responses throughout the debate.  She was on the attack, but not in a personal way.  

I found it interesting that while James repeatedly emphasized the name "Gordon Campbell" when answering debate questions, Campbell avoided using James' name and consistently referred to her as the "the leader of the opposition." But he called the Green Party leader, "Ms. Sterk". 

I'm not a defender of Carole James or the NDP.  But I think if CKNW is claiming to be hosting a neutral debate and re-cap, they should make every effort to ensure it is neutral.  After the debate, I had little doubt that Good was a Liberal supporter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Insite and the PHS Community Services Society: the willful blindness of the liberal elite and the chattering classes.

The People's Temple operated drug and alcohol programs. They were perceived to be so successful that Jim Jones was named one of "The 100 Outstanding Clergymen in America" by the Foundation for Religion in American Life. In 1976, he was named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. San Francisco Mayor George Moscone appointed Jones Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Harvey Milk gushed in a letter to Jones,"Rev Jim, it may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave."

Jim Jones seemed unstoppable. History now records the grim reality of the People's Temple.

The PHS operates drug programs in addition to their extensive tenement projects, and numerous social services. The über-English Mark Townsend wants yet more tax payer's money to set up communes in rural areas. The blue-blooded Liz 'Tania' Evans oversees the New Opiate wars – state run crack houses and shooting galleries. Wealthy aristocrats lecture their devotees to utilize the lumpenproletariat as a weapon against the bourgeoisie. Keep the cash flowing to FARC and the Hell’s Angels; our enemy's enemy etc, etc.

The pharmaceutical industry, drooling for a piece of the narco- pie, has joined this sophisticated public relations campaign - think Eddie Bernays does 'medical' heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. And corrupt little political machines jostle for photo ops alongside the PHS to appear progressive, gather votes, and to look like they are 'getting it off the streets' in their mad pre - Olympic clean up.

So three cheers to filthy little personality cults. Here’s to front groups and public funding of organized crime. Raise a crack pipe, a syringe, your styrofoam cup of methadone Kool-Aid to continuous revolutionary suicide on a massive scale.

Further reading:

Largely disregard expose of Jim Jones and People's Temple:

Largely disregarded expose of Portland Housing Society: