Anyone who monitors Canadian media closely will recognize the recent and drastic shift in policy, or at least rhetoric, stemming from the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) and Cabinet. It started with a lofty call issued by the Prime Minister on January 26, just prior to the World Economics Forum in Switzerland.
Harper set out his plans as upcoming president of the G8 and host of the G20 Toronto Summit in June. Chief among these plans is a “Canadian initiative to improve the health of women and infants worldwide.” This was coupled with a supposed shift in foreign policy as Canada attempts to establish itself as the supposed humanitarian leader in Haiti.
Not surprisingly, the Globe and Mail and other news organizations ran a press release from the PMO's office verbatim, with no critical commentary, analysis or insight. The state of media today is such that copy-pasting a press release from the PMO and slapping it on the front page of a national daily newspaper is accepted practice.
Indeed, Conservative strategist Tom Flanagan writes that “compared to most countries with which I have any familiarity, the Conservatives in Canada actually have friendly media to work with.” The ‘Propaganda Model’ is more than alive and well, but sometimes without even bothering to ‘filter’ news content.