Political theatre versus “abuse of media”
I was a little heavy handed over the Miller thing yesterday, so I’d like to argue a quick point that I should have made from the start. I know this is literally yesterday’s news, but for the sake of being fair, I’d like to clear something up.
The Star called Miller’s announcement “political theatre” in this morning’s edition. The cover of the Sun called it a shell game, suggesting that the surplus itself might just be the result of a tax shuffle. These are valid arguments, and this is the sort of coverage that Miller’s announcement ought to be getting. Not only that, but neither paper seemed to be all that mad about having to go out and cover it, either.
Chris Eby of CTV is one of the people I singled out in yesterday’s post. I said he had a point when he suggested that Miller was only concerned about his own legacy, and although I wish he’d had more to say about the announcement or the budget, I ought to give credit where credit is due. His attitude towards the speech doesn’t put him in the same league as Jerry Agar or Stephanie Smyth, the first of which called the announcement a “LET DOWN,” and the second of which called it an “abuse of media.”
Rather than writing another rambling post about it, let me just make that one distinction and be done with it. If you’re a journalist or media personality, and your instinct regarding Miller’s announcement is that it was political theatre or economic sleight of hand, then yes, you should totally report on that and engage with the issue to the best of your ability. But it seemed like there were a number of people who were just mad because they were hoping for something more juicy and exciting than a budget announcement, and that’s what I was taking issue with.
Meanwhile, this post and this post have attracted some pretty thoughtful responses from people whose opinions I really respect, and I haven’t gotten around to replying to them yet. I promise I will shortly, but do feel free to get involved in the discussion in the meantime. I’m also glad and a little bit touched about this post getting such a strong response, and I’ll be sure to follow up with everyone who’s gotten in touch as soon as possible. Keep them coming!
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