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Why is Mulcair Running Away?

August 2nd, 2015 · 31 Comments

Will someone on NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s strategy team explain to him: the arrogance and refusal to answer questions or debate should only come AFTER the election!

The federal election campaign is just under way … and already the NDP’s man who wants to be Prime Minister has shown exactly the same dismissive personal traits that have so turned off and turned so many Canadians against Stephen Harper.

It was an incredible sight Sunday … Mulcair, being carried LIVE on tv  from coast to coast, with a potential audience of millions watching/listening to his every word … delivered his prepared statement and then rushed away from the podium: displaying a ‘we don’t take no stinking questions’ attitude!


Made worse by the fact that anyone watching would likely have seen the PM … with a reputation for disdaining questions … only minutes before not only  made the election call, also LIVE coast to coast , but then took questions, even if only five of them, in both official languages.

And Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, when he reacted to the election call from Vancouver LIVE on tv …took ALL the questions ANY  of the media  wanted to pose … and, in my view,  handled them surprisingly well.

And speaking of Vancouver, I was also happy to see that Trudeau did NOT cancel his commitment  … made before the election call … to fly to the West Coast to attend the Vancouver Pride festivities.

It was actually quite funny to watch CBC news types boo-hooing and almost apoplectic before and after the PMs visit to Rideau Hall that Trudeau had dared not to hang around Ottawa (or anywhere else in Central Canada) to be available IMMEDIATELY to react to the election call), but actually got on a plane to keep his BC plans … reacting and taking questions … MANY questions ..after he arrived here.

With a 77-day campaign … did any leader have to react within minutes, to cater to central Canada’s political establishment and the CBC?

Elizabeth May of the Greens was already in BC …  and made herself available early,  for the Eastern media, but did NOT fly off to Ottawa to cater to them.

But that brings me again to  Mulcair and how disappointingly he reacted  …  perhaps in a very telling way for British Columbians.

The NDP Leader CANCELLED his plans to be in Vancouver and for the Pride festivities so he could be … not in Ottawa … but in Quebec IMMEDIATELY when the election call came.

These decisions are not made lightly: it’s no coincidence that as Mulcair read his election call prepared statement in Gatineau, Que, right behind him was a Canadian flag and a Quebec flag.

BC can wait.

And I’m sure when he does make it out here, the NDP leader will tell us how important WE will be if he wins government. But clearly, second fiddle to Quebec … even cancelling his plans here to cater to the East.

And speaking on cancelling, Mulcair’s “people” have also announced the NDP leader will NOT take part in the broadcast consortium’s Leaders TV Debate if Harper does not either.

Sounds/looks more like Harper every day … and the campaign is just under way!

How ARROGANT that a political leader  … ANY political leader … who wants to be Canada’s Prime Minister REFUSES to take part in a debate that will avail him with TWO HOURS of LIVE air time to EXPLAIN and DEFEND his party’s platform to Canadians.

Imagine what it would cost to BUY that amount of air time!

What is Mulcair afraid of?

I believe he’s running away from the debate because the opening home game of Montreal Canadiens 2015-2016 season is on the same night as the French debate … and I  suspect Mulcair sees MORE VOTES in being seen at the game (PHOTO OP!!!)  than in being on nationwide LIVE TV actually discussing political issues before Canadians who care..

When Harper said HE would not debate, I was VERY critical of him … and so were many NDP supporters who castigated him for that decision. You can read all of that here:

It will be interesting … and amusing …to watch them squirm around now .. since Mulcair has shown the same disrespect for Canadians.

Being the Opposition Leader … NOT the PM …Mulcair should JUMP at the chance to speak to Canadians live for ANY extended period.

The fact that he  is refusing to do so and only taking questions when HE decides he’ll lower himself to do so, worries me a great deal.

And it should sound an alarm for all of us.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get instant alerts of any new postings on this blog by following me @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.  No spam)

→ 31 CommentsTags: British Columbia · Media · National

CTV Has Best July EVER: Global Prepares to Revamp

July 31st, 2015 · 35 Comments

CTV local Vancouver news has cut the ratings/audience gap separating it from Global BC AGAIN … achieving its BEST results ever.

In July, 2012 Global BC had a lead of 4.3 ratings shares over CTV; that slid in July 2013 to 2.9 shares; in July, 2014 to 2.7 shares and this past month that dropped again …to only a 1.46 share gap.

(From Nielsen: ”Ratings and share are percentages not flat numbers. A 4.4 household rating/8 share means that 4.4% of all households (that is to say homes with a TV set, not total number of people) watched the indicated program, while among those households watching TV at the time 8% of them watched.”)

CTV says its July overall ratings for its News at Six in the key Adult 25-54 year old demographic averaged 2.15 … its BEST July in the station’s history and it’s BEST month in more than 8 years.

Global Newshour’s July average was reportedly 3.61 …a gap of 1.46 … which CTV says is “the smallest ever between the two stations”.

I’ve also heard that last Monday, CTV actually beat Global at BOTH 5 p.m. AND 6 p.m.

CTV at 5 p..m scored a 2.2 rating, compared to 1.7 for Global and at 6 p.m., CTV News captured a 3.4, beating the Newshour’s 3.0.

The brass there say there has been  an upward trend of 6% in CTV Vancouver’s “2+ rating over the same period last year”  …  while Global News experienced “an overall decrease of 11% during the same period”.

These numbers SHOCK me … even though I have pointed out so many times (and been castigated for it by some) how Global, in my view, has watered down, damaged its product and, in my view, disrespected its viewers.

But the results give me no ”Schadenfreude”  satisfaction: it actually hurts to see the once MIGHTY Newshour … where more than 600,000 (and MORE) British Columbians tuned almost every night … reduced to its current state.

While our arch-rival competitor, CTV, grows and closes the gap!

I blame management … or should I say mismanagement: poorer hiring; poorer producing; poorer story selection; poorer writing; poorer supervision …and what looks to me sometimes as just laziness.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Global had what I believe COULD have been a great story, but left incomplete: how Cambie Street assembled properties have been left to languish in an unkempt mess. The story included unhappy neighbours, but even though there was a huge sign identifying the developer … there was NO visit to the developer’s office … no doubt pretty tidy digs …..  where they could have demanded, with cameras rolling,  an explanation and a cleanup.  Or what about a visit to City Hall!

Or another possible really good story, left incomplete:  about BC rolling in a BILLION DOLLARS of profit from increased gaming. The story included a casino business spokesperson and a spokesperson worried about excessive gamblers … but I did NOT see anyone chasing the Minister responsible, demanding to know WHERE IS THAT BILLION BEING SPENT?  ON HEALTH CARE?  Or the Opposition raising its concerns.  Terrible omissions in my opinion … especially since the Legislature was in session in Victoria. Could have made the story great!

That would NOT have been left out under Cameron Bell and Keith Bradbury … who took the Newshour to the TOP.

I’m not sure why the Global show/operation has become so slack … but clearly the viewers … or should I say former viewers … have noticed.

However Newshour fans may still  take heart: there is a NEW news director now in charge, Jill Krop, an experienced journalist, anchor; and they’re about to get a new Assignment Editor … a very key newsroom job … so station stalwarts are looking for big “changes” this Fall.

Hopefully those “changes” will be in the upward direction … and I won’t have to watch my alma mater slip further into a hole … as CTV continues to celebrate.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 35 CommentsTags: British Columbia · Media