Nick Filmore is an award-winning investigative reporter and a founder of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Nick was a news editor and producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for more than 20 years.
However, McKenna presented the issue as though we had just learned about the income gap. The frustrating truth is that we have known for years that the changes the Conservatives and the Liberals before them were making to the tax system, plus other adjustments, was resulting in much greater income disparity and the hollowing out of the middle class.
In fact, even the conservative Conference Board of Canada recognized this as a problem 20 years ago!
The article’s weaknesses are glaring. This is particularly significant because McKenna’s article launched a two-week-long series under the topic, Canada’s Wealth Paradox series.
McKenna makes no effort to explain WHY the wage gap is still increasing. He throws around terms such as globalization as being part of the problem, but he does not explain WHY we have such serious incomes gaps.
Income disparity doesn’t just happen
McKenna leaves readers with the impression that, well, a problem such as income disparity just happens. But serious problems, such as massive income disparities, don’t just happen. These problems occur when governments choose certain economic policies over others.
You would never know from this story that Stephen Harper’s neo-liberal economic policies, which are discredited as a failure in many countries now, are to blame.
It is puzzling to see the Globe launch such an important – in its own mind – series with such a misleading, dishonest article.
McKenna makes no mention of the fact that Harper, and the Liberals before him, created trickle-down financial policies on purpose to make the already wealthy and giant corporations even more wealthy. This is done based on the false assumption that those rich folks re-invest their wealth in the economy. It’s not happening – it never happens!
McKenna failed to point out that these policies are a total failure. His so-called “journalism” is unbalanced and, considering his own knowledge in this area, dishonest. This article is little more than propaganda for those who espouse right-wing economic policies.
One of the reasons why this article is glaringly flawed is that McKenna’s work normally appears in the Globe’s Report on Business (RoB) where, most of the time, journalists present only the pro-business side of issues. Sometimes an opposing view is dropped in at the bottom of a story.
When an RoB journalist writes for the regular news or features section of the Globe – as in this case – the lack of balance is often obvious.
Economic term ‘neo-liberal’ taboo at the Globe
Interestingly, even though Harper has been governing Canada with extremely damaging neo-liberal policies for seven years, the term is taboo at the Globe. If the mainstream corporate media alerted the public to all of the evil elements in Harper’s neo-liberal package, I can’t imagine the CONS. getting elected again.
While McKenna briefly states that the Scandinavian countries are much better compared to Canada in controlling income gaps, he does not explain why this is the case. Simply put, those countries have economic policies that reflect their commitment to the well-being of the general population.
In addition to holding specific media outlets responsible for the integrity of their journalism, perhaps it’s time we held individual journalists responsible for their work. If we started doing this, Barrie McKenna would easily win the award for “Best Propaganda Article of the Week!”
Of course there are lots of journalists putting their bylines on misleading and dishonest stories. In this situation, McKenna is my sacrificial lamb.
Note: I imagine some of you are going to beat me up for singling out an individual journalist – oops, propagandist – for criticism. Well, going after faceless organizations like the Globe doesn’t bring change. So, as an alternative, we need to hold individual journalists responsible for their half-baked, misleading stories.
The little “crimes” that Barrie McKenna committed in the income gap story are, in fact, more serious than we might think. The large volume of such misleading journalism creates a propaganda-riddled “false reality.”
If the so called “reporting” and commentary in mainstream media continues to create the kind of imaginary world our elites want to see, can 1984 be far behind?