Media Chews Up Harper And Mulcair

June 1st, 2014 | D. Stone 

Lately the NDP have been experiencing the brunt of Canadian media's pro-Trudeau bias. After a barrage of negative exposure due to the NDP's satellite offices in Saskatchewan and Montreal, the NDP have become victims of a journalistic cult with one goal: to make Justin Trudeau Canada's next Prime Minister.

If anyone unfamiliar with Canadian politics were to watch the CBC or read anything published by Postmedia, they would believe that the Liberal Party was the official opposition. In Canada's current media environment, it seems easy to forget that Thomas Mulcair is the real leader of Canada's official opposition. Just the same, it seems easy to believe that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party are corrupt, out of touch, and incapable of doing anything right. 

The media has created their narrative for 2015 and it pits the leader of Canada's third party against Canada's majority Conservative government. When Thomas Mulcair isn't being ignored, he's being bombarded by negative attention that often includes criticism about his angry demeanor. 

Even in Canada's less liberal media, Justin Trudeau steals the spotlight as Stephen Harper's official opponent in 2015. However, negative stories about Justin Trudeau rarely spread beyond conservative blogs and Sun News, while negative stories about the Conservative Party and the NDP dominate headlines following any minor controversy. 

As an example, Justin Trudeau's staunchly pro-choice position on abortion was covered positively in 57% of news stories across Canada following his announcement, while 43% of news stories in Canada covered his pro-choice stand in a neutral fashion or with a negative slant. Most of the negative coverage of Trudeau's pro-choice stand came from Quebecor affiliates and subsidiaries. When Thomas Mulcair followed Trudeau and declared that his party has been staunchly pro-choice for decades, it received very little coverage. These statistics come from a random sample of 100 Google News sources and the contents of their stories and headlines between April 15th and May 15th. 

From wildly trivial pseudo-scandals like the feud between Stephen Harper and a Supreme Court Justice, to the NDP's satellite offices around Canada, the media has nearly blacked out flaws within the Liberal Party in favour of turning small Conservative and NDP mistakes into Earth-shaking scandals. 

Thomas Mulcair acknowledged this growing media bias when he recently ripped into a CTV reporter, accusing her of fabricating facts surrounding the NDP's satellite offices. 

Many readers can probably recall hearing or reading negative stories about Trudeau's atrocious absentee record, but that doesn't disprove the bias of Canadian media. The evidence lies in the sheer number of stories that emerge in which Trudeau is painted positively or neutrally by the top five major Canadian news sources. As Google News (which aggregates news from around the country from major sources) proves, the number of positive stories about Trudeau compared to negative stories is almost unprecedented. When we compare the number of negative stories about Stephen Harper from 2005 (before he was Prime Minister), they far out-number the negative stories about Justin Trudeau today (before he is Prime Minister). For more proof, readers can use Google's Advanced News Search to bring up news from the past decade and today to compare headlines.

The media's ability to control attitudes becomes evident when search trends for all three leaders are compared on Google Trends. Thomas Mulcair falls far below Justin Trudeau...who is the leader of Canada's third party, with less than 80 seats. For more evidence, see Google's trend results here.

Canada's mainstream media have chosen to ignore Canada's second most relevant political party: the official opposition. When they aren't busy ignoring the NDP and Thomas Mulcair, they're busy mustering, fabricating and covering non-scandals. The evidence shows that Thomas Mulcair and the NDP are being unfairly represented by Canada's mainstream media. 

There can't be a doubt that most of Trudeau's opponents in media work for Quebecor, while everyone else covers his mistakes and backward strategies as though they were normal news or strong points in his leadership. The CBC continues to cover Thomas Mulcair far more negatively than Justin Trudeau, softening their obvious bias with periodic criticisms of Trudeau so they can defend their integrity whenever they're confronted. All in all, when Trudeau isn't being propped up as a saviour, his major missteps are downplayed or ignored.

If the NDP plans to stay relevant beyond 2015, they're on their own. Canada's media won't be on Mulcair's side. For Mulcair to stay on top and not be forced into retirement by 2016, he'll need a strategy to deal with Canada's pro-Trudeau theatre.