Selling Harper’s pension changes one inflammatory column at a time

Globe and Mail columnists Margaret Wente and Dakshana Bascaramurty appear to be on tag-team duty, spinning the inter-generational hate and prejudice that is the foundation of Harper’s pension reform sales pitch.

A few observations:

  1. The Globe and Mail, owned by Bell Media – a large corporation enjoying bottom of the barrel tax rates, has formally endorsed Stephen Harper and reform conservatism since 2006.
  2. The Globe increasingly emphasizes opinion and subtly crafts opinion to appear as news. Opinion pieces are promoted on its web front page and in its news category.  With few exceptions, the Globe’s opinion writers are wingnuts, among them the seasoned and highly skilled John Ibbitson, Tim Powers, and Margaret Wente.
  3. Harper has no financial basis for making the pension changes, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page. Harper is making those changes anyway; a) because he has always loathed the social safety net and b) because he needs funds for other very costly projects, fueled by Bill C10 and Bill C30 (expanded prisons, privatization of prisons and warrantless spying on Canadian citizens).
  4. To sell the unnecessary pension changes, Harper sent Diane Finley on a national tour telling young people that older people are a burden.  The sales pitch isn’t working as 70% of Canadians polled oppose the changes. Not to worry. Now that the OAS eligibility changes are passed, the ever loyal and dutiful Globe will continue to promote Harper’s talking points.
  5. And finally, writing an inflammatory column has likely garnered journalism newbie Dakshana Bascaramurty sufficient attention to cement her standing at the Globe.  Her previous fluff pieces garnered 20-40 comments. This latest one has gotten her over a thousand so far.  In the dog-eat-dog mainstream media employing more Ibbitsons and fewer Salutins, I guess you do what you have to do.

Writing evidence-free columns is relatively easy work. It doesn’t require research, it doesn’t require much thought or care.  Plop a hateful headline atop your baseless sneers and you’ll have what it takes to be a Globe columnist.  Just don’t expect to be taken seriously or admired.

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