Smug, vain and stupid


There is a brand of journalist who can be relied upon always to kick the man who is down, and justify doing it because…the man is a dolt for being down – for the crime of not being Liberal,  Democratic, or in power. Today’s exemplar of the species is Kelly McParland, who spent the period before the US election reviling Trump and extolling Hillary. He can be relied upon to opine that all attempts by the Canadian Conservative party to defeat the Liberals are likewise futile. His idea seems to be that all parties and persons seeking power and who are not liberals are morally mistaken and deserve derision and defeat, and that it is his job as journalist to supply the first so as to ensure the second.

Today’s installment of McParland’s power worship illustrates well my thesis.

“How do the Liberals get away with this?”, he asks.

Stephen Harper introduces a take it or leave it funding formula for health care, which is widely derided by the provinces and is treated as another example of Harper’s arrogance by the press. The Liberals do the same, and this time, says McParland, “the premiers are feigning enthusiasm at having been soundly outsmarted.” Actions that had been held to be brutish when taken by the Conservatives amounted to outsmarting, when done by Liberals. Identical approach, wholly different judgments. Why?

The explanation why people accept this blather from the Liberals, he says, is that “people like to be stroked,” and he continues:

Provincial leaders enjoy having Ottawa put on a show of respect, even while working feverishly to outflank them. It’s probably far too late in the game for Tories to start presenting themselves as boy scouts ever on the lookout for kittens to rescue. They’d probably never be able to maintain the sincere visage needed to put across the ruse in any case. The Liberals got there long before them, and are so skilled in the performance that most of them probably believe they really mean it. That’s the sort of deception that’s really hard to beat.

There is of course a perfectly obvious explanation, and one that rings truer to the facts than McParland’s weak attempt at secretly admiring what he professes to chastise.

It is not that the Liberals are boy scouts looking for kittens to rescue. It is that the media portray them as such, every day. The Liberals debauch the economy (viz. capital gains tax, overspending) and that’s okay. They muscle local Liberal candidates out of contention and replace them with their appointees, while they prattle on about diversity and inclusiveness. That’s just the Liberals being their true selves, and is that not wonderful, asks the media? Liberals are doing what they cannot help themselves but do, because they believe themselves to be the governing class and the media are, by and large, their lackeys.

It has not occurred to McParland that he is describing accurately the effects of pro-Liberal media bias.  That would require some self awareness.