It was with some curiosity that I had been anticipating what Jesse Brown would do with his long-awaited politics show, CANADALAND: COMMONS. Brown has been looking at a program that he sees as pushing back against shows like Power & Politics, and I don’t disagree that we need new voices in the Canadian political discourse. This, however, is not it.
Let me first give you my credentials – I’ve been a freelance member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery for nearly seven years, writing for both large and small markets. I wrote my master’s thesis about community-of-interest media (religious, GLBT, etc) in the Gallery and how they shape their coverage, and I used to write the “Politics on TV” column on Macleans.ca before budget cuts came down. I’ve seen what political shows in Ottawa have to offer, and where their weaknesses are, and those weaknesses have little to do with them being “too insider,” as Brown seems to infer. No, there really aren’t journalists going around sucking up for Senate appointments – stories he took as gospel from embittered figures at the margins of the Gallery. Sucking up was pretty much Mike Duffy’s shtick, and look where that landed him. Brown is pushing back against a straw man, where the actual problems with political coverage are far different than what he tends to imagine.
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