by Ezra Levant
The Media Party is my favourite name for the hundred or so reporters and editors and TV producers — about 90% of them in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal — who shape the liberal news narrative in Canada.
They’re the folks who decide that we’ll have
100 stories about a fake scandal of “robot phone calls” stealing the election for the Conservatives — but that we’ll only have just a quick mention, buried in the back of the newspaper, about Liberal leadership candidates violating campaign finance laws by not repaying huge campaign loans, or the NDP illegally taking union money.
The Media Party hates Stephen Harper. But it’s not just partisan stuff. They have a party line about other issues, like the theory of man-made global warming, or the need to have a gun registry for duck hunters and farmers, or that the war on terrorism is bad and Omar Khadr is good.
It’s not like the Media Party has an official script that they are all e-mailed in the morning, like a real political party does. But they don’t need that kind of discipline — it comes naturally.
Because they’re all friends, and share the same viewpoint and pretty much share the same background — urban hipsters who really haven’t spent time in the West or the North or in rural Canada, who like the same music and jokes and restaurants. It’s called a monoculture — it’s the least diverse profession in the country, at least in terms of mindset.
You can watch them harmonizing over the course of a day, if you follow them on Twitter, the real-time mini-blogging website. It’s like a public chat line where different reporters kibitz with each other throughout the day. But there’s a subtle discipline effect that goes on there, as the official Media Party line is developed, and the leaders of the Media Party announce what the fashionable line is.
One of the leaders of the Media Party is Stephen Wicary. He’s been the online editor of The Globe and Mail for years.
Even though he worked for The Globe and Mail, and was paid by them to promote that newspaper, he could be counted on to promote and recirculate any anti-Conservative or pro-leftist comments published in rival newspapers.
He had a theme: Harper was an undemocratic bully.
Well, now come news that Wicary has quit the Globe. And he’s off to live in Cuba.
It’s like one of those creepy Cold War stories of the odd American who defected to the Soviet Union.
According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch — two liberal groups — Cuba is the most repressive regime in the western hemisphere. Particularly harsh on free speech.
How could Wicary go there, after being such a democracy and free-speech activist in Canada?
He’s not going there to liberate it or to train democracy dissidents, sure.
Wicary’s excuse is that his wife got a promotion to go work there. So — is that OK then? Did a job promotion for his wife trump all of his pro-democracy, pro-freedom talk?
It would be like Judy Rebick, the feminist activist, suddenly moving to Saudi Arabia. Or Jesse Jackson deciding he wanted to live in Apartheid South Africa. Not to fight for change — but because their family got a job offer there.
And what’s so incredible is the total, unanimous support for Wicary’s decision by the Media Party. All their talk of free speech? Yeah. That was just for show.
I’m not picking on Wicary. Avi Lewis and Tony Burman both left the CBC to work for Al Jazeera, owned by the dictatorship of Qatar. There’s a rich tradition of leftists in the Media Party going to work for tyrannies.
It’s a strange day for the Wicary family. It’s a proud day for the Media Party, to see one of their mean girls move on to the big leagues. But it’s an embarrassing day for The Globe and Mail. Don’t you think?