Andrew Scheer’s political career is over.
There’s no chance it’ll be resurrected any time soon.
Despite winning the popular vote. Despite getting 230,000 more votes than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in last fall’s election, Scheer’s an albatross around the necks of Conservatives.
Or a lame duck. Whatever sacrificial bird tickles your fancy, he’s done like dinner.
So why do some reporters and media outlets continue to hound him?
There’s a certain irony that the more we learn about depression and mental illness, the more we wring our hands about cyberbullying and plain old bullying, the more some reporters seem to enjoy doing just that to politicians.
Once upon a time, reporters were hard-nosed and unrelenting in the search for a news story, but there were lines they didn’t cross.
One was that you didn’t drag a politician’s children into the story — unless the politicians themselves had put their children front and centre. Scheer didn’t use his kids as props on the campaign trail, as some politicians do.
They were there on election night, but were noticeably absent during the campaign. Yet, the curious leak on the very day he announced he was quitting involved his children. He’s gone — but let’s make sure he goes by attacking him where he’s most vulnerable — his kids.
The story about the party paying the difference in private school costs between Regina and Ottawa for his children’s education was infuriating to the Conservative base who contribute to the party. But Scheer didn’t fraudulently charge those expenses.
They must have been approved by the party. Whoever signed off on them is as much to blame as Scheer. He’s the convenient whipping boy on his way out.
The distasteful spectacle of a reporter pursuing Scheer through Ottawa airport as he left town with his family demonstrates how reporting has changed. That’s not journalism. It’s bordering on vigilantism.
Even Gerald Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, called it out on Twitter.
“Just saw a video of @AndrewScheer, kids in tow, being hounded through the airport by a reporter.
“Guys, please don’t do this,” Butts pleaded in his tweet. “You have no idea what his kids may be enduring.” That’s class. Leave the kids alone.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe Scheer did an appalling job during the election.
But now he’s resigned, let him go. Concentrate on politicians with real power — like Trudeau. Or politicians who fared worse than Scheer did in the election and didn’t quit — like Jagmeet Singh. It’s poor news judgment, too. Scheer’s old news. Move on.
Having the party pay for personal expenses isn’t new. Provincially, the Ontario Liberals bought a house in midtown Toronto for former premier Dalton McGuinty. He didn’t want to sell his Ottawa home and, as premier, the party felt he should have a suitable residence near Queen’s Park.
Property prices being what they are in Toronto, the party probably scooped a good profit. Other party leaders and premiers got clothing allowances.
We saw a similar tone in public discourse in Ontario when Lisa MacLeod was the new children’s minister after the 2018 election.
It’s one thing to hammer at the government and the minister over flawed policies, but there was a personal anger in the attacks directed at MacLeod.
Sure, the government’s initial proposal for funding for children with autism was flawed.
But the criticism didn’t stop at the policy. It took on a personal tone. MacLeod even received harassing phone calls and death threats.
In 2016, when she sat in opposition, MacLeod disappeared from the legislature for short while. She later let it be known she suffered from clinical depression. It was a courageous move. Politicians rarely disclose personal battles with mental illness, but MacLeod was forthright.
Fast forward two years, and that bravery is forgotten. Apparently, all the platitudes and hand-wringing about being kind on Bell Let’s Talk Day are just so much hot air.
Fair enough, in my many years as a political reporter, I’ve been tough on politicians. But I criticized policies, mismanagement, malfeasance, corruption. It was never personal.
It never involved family — unless a politician opened up to me on something from their private life that they wanted to make public. And yes, that does happen.
The rule is fairly simple: Politicians — fair game. Their family — not so much. Personal attacks? Never.
Social Media and the Hunter Biden Report – The New York Times
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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have invested a significant amount of time and money trying to avoid the mistakes made during the 2016 election.
A test of those new policies came last week, when The New York Post published a story that contained supposedly incriminating documents and pictures taken from the laptop of Hunter Biden. The provenance and authenticity of that information is still in question, and Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions.
While YouTube largely did nothing, Facebook deprioritized the Post story and Twitter initially moved to ban all links to the piece on its platform. Those actions infuriated some Republican lawmakers and conservative media figures, who accused the social networks of censorship and election interference.
We speak to Kevin Roose, a technology columnist for The Times, about how the episode reveals the tension between fighting misinformation and protecting free speech.
Here’s Kevin’s full report on the efforts by Twitter and Facebook to limit the spread of the Hunter Biden story.
The New York Post published the piece despite doubts within the paper’s newsroom — some reporters withheld their bylines and questioned the credibility of the article.
Joe Biden’s campaign has rejected the assertions made in the story.
There are a lot of ways to listen to ‘The Daily.’ Here’s how.
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Kevin Roose contributed reporting.
“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.
InvestorChannel's Media Watchlist Update for Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 16:30 EST – InvestorIntel
InvestorChannel’s Media Stocks Watchlist Update video includes the Top 5 Performers of the Day, and a performance review of the companies InvestorChannel is following in the sector.
Sources Include: Yahoo Finance, AlphaVantage FinnHub & CSE.
For more information, visit us at InvestorIntel.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Quizam Media Corporation (QQ.CN) CAD 0.50 (16.28%)
– Moovly Media Inc. (MVY.V) CAD 0.07 (7.69%)
– WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. (WOW.V) CAD 0.38 (7.04%)
– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TBRD.V) CAD 2.13 (0.47%)
– Wix.com Ltd. (WIX) USD 278.65 (0.13%)
– Glacier Media Inc. (GVC.TO) CAD 0.22 (0.0%)
– GVIC Communications Corp. (GCT.TO) CAD 0.14 (0.0%)
– Media Central Corporation Inc. (FLYY.CN) CAD 0.01 (0.0%)
– Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (PNC-A.TO) CAD 1.60 (0.0%)
– QYOU Media Inc. (QYOU.V) CAD 0.07 (0.0%)
– Adobe Inc. (ADBE) USD 494.58 (-0.13%)
– Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR-B.TO) CAD 2.95 (-0.34%)
– HubSpot, Inc. (HUBS) USD 309.79 (-0.59%)
– MediaValet Inc. (MVP.V) CAD 2.50 (-1.19%)
– Stingray Group Inc. (RAY-A.TO) CAD 5.50 (-2.65%)
– Slack Technologies Inc. (WORK) USD 30.81 (-4.47%)
– Zoom Video Communications Inc. (ZM) USD 537.02 (-5.51%)
– Network Media Group Inc. (NTE.V) CAD 0.14 (-6.67%)
– Lingo Media Corporation (LM.V) CAD 0.09 (-10.53%)
– ZoomerMedia Limited (ZUM.V) CAD 0.06 (-21.43%)
MAGA world, GOP unite on social-media bias after Hunter Biden story – POLITICO
MAGA world is uniting with mainstream conservatives to whip up a frenzy over social-media bias in the final weeks of the election, convinced that the handling of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden has presented a validating example of years-old MAGA complaints.
Twitter and Facebook’s attempts to limit sharing of the Post story, citing policies meant to throttle the distribution of hacked materials and fact-challenged articles, is being used as proof positive in MAGA world that social media firms have a liberal agenda, and are using whatever means necessary to censor conservatives and protect liberals. And Republicans across the ideological spectrum are agreeing.
The incident has fueled Republican plans to vote on subpoenas that would force testimony from the CEOs of both Twitter and Facebook on the issue. That hearing would come on top of another one already planned for next Wednesday, when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face a grilling over liability protections the tech industry enjoys for content posted on their platforms. Other Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have signaled shifts in how they wanted to regulate social-media platforms. And at the White House, chief of staff Mark Meadows has threatened to sue the two companies over the issue.
The flurry of activity caps a summer of anti-Big Tech maneuvering among conservatives, from anger over Twitter’s decision to post disclaimers on President Donald Trump’s tweets, to Attorney General Bill Barr’s rush to file an antitrust case against Google just two weeks before the election.
But now, in a matter of days, the handling of a single New York Post story has pushed long-simmering MAGA complaints about social-media bias to the top of Republicans’ talking points.
“They proved that all the lunatic ravings of the right were correct, and that there’s no objectivity [on social media platforms] whatsoever,” said Ron Coleman, a prominent conservative lawyer known for his work on tech censorship and free speech issues.
For nearly a decade, conservatives have accused social media companies of deliberately silencing them through a variety of subtle means — claiming their videos don’t always show up on their subscribers’ Facebook feeds, or that their accounts don’t show up in searches or that the platforms inappropriately label their content as promoting violence or misinformation. Researchers say such claims have never proven any intentional discrimination and note that some of the most widely shared content on social media platforms comes from conservative voices and outlets.
And notably, efforts to limit distribution of the Post story have not prevented the piece from circulating broadly on social media. The report generated 2.59 million interactions on Facebook and Twitter last week, more than double the next biggest story about Trump or Biden, even as national security specialists warned the information bore the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Still, anti-social media conservatives felt the handling of the story offered them a concrete, game-changing example of the type of silencing they have long claimed.
“The Rubicon was crossed [last] week, for sure,” said Rachel Bovard, a senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, who focuses on social media and free speech issues.
Years ago, the issue of internet free speech was popular among the more populist wing of the conservative movement — specifically, people and publications that drew influence from an online presence, and that were more likely to be targeted for violating platforms’ terms of service by sharing inflammatory content.
Throughout Trump’s presidency, Republicans have increasingly paid lip service to this constituency, echoing the complaints in hearings.
And Trump himself has repeatedly used his presidential platform to bemoan social-media companies’ behavior, hosting events about conservative censorship at the White House and signing a legally toothless executive order. As the November election neared, the White House pressured key Senate Republicans to hold hearings on alleged bias.
On Capitol Hill, competing Republican bills have appeared that would drastically revise Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which stipulated that digital platforms were not legally liable for content others had uploaded.
“The objection for some on the right always was, ‘Well, these platforms don’t engage in viewpoint censorship, they’re not politically biased, this all a crock of crap,’” Bovard said.
But now, the handling of the Post story — which offered unverified emails claiming Hunter Biden had arranged a meeting between his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian business contact — has pushed more of the GOP into MAGA’s anti-social media camp. The timing (days before the election) and subject (Biden’s alleged corruption) likely helped. Some Republicans, such as McCarthy, started calling for the repeal of Section 230, while others wondered whether Twitter had taken on even more responsibilities other than simple bias.
“Is Twitter an ‘in kind donor’ to the Biden campaign? A ‘publisher?’” tweeted Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie last Thursday.
Trump was more insistent.
“If Big Tech persists, in coordination with the mainstream media, we must immediately strip them of their Section 230 protections,” he tweeted Friday. “When government granted these protections, they created a monster!”
Shoshana Weissmann, a fellow at the free market-oriented R Street Institute focused on Section 230 and licensing reform, sees the current outrage on Capitol Hill as far more political than policy focused. She argued that there are valid reasons for Section 230 to exist, saying digital platforms aren’t capable of policing all posts.
“If I threaten the president online, then Twitter’s not liable for that,” she said. “It would be me liable for that, or whoever made the threat or did something illegal online is liable for it. And it makes sense because there’s billions and billions of posts.”
And repealing Section 230 wouldn’t actually assuage conservative complaints, Weissmann insisted.
“It wouldn’t fix the partisan moderating,” she said. “These things are totally unrelated. It’s just kind of punishing them, because they’re there.”
Regardless of the policy implications, however, the handling of the Post story has played right into the hands of MAGA’s political arguments. Coleman, a prominent legal voice in the anti-social media world, said he was surprised at how Twitter and Facebook handled the story.
“For the people who control so much of the media complex now, and who understand so well what virality is about, they completely failed to make any accounting whatsoever for the Streisand effect,” he said, referencing the phenomenon where an attempt to hide something actually draws it greater attention.
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