Press Gallery off message

Sun Media’s Elizabeth Thompson:

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper described last Fall’s stock market dive as “a great buying opportunity,” it was seen by many as a bit insensitive, given the number of Canadians who had just seen a good chunk of their retirement savings melt away.

On Feb.10, when the S&P/TSX hit 8,817.89 – one of the lower points since Harper’s comments – an anonymous tech savvy individual registered the web address and created the Harperdex, which set out to track how much the $1,000 invested the day after Harper’s comments would be worth.
But stock markets are like public opinion polls and what goes down eventually goes up again. At noon today, the Harperdex shows that $1,000 is now worth $1,003 – probably not what the creator of the Harperdex had in mind.

Oh, Liz… you presume too much!

We learn from Canwest’s David Akin,

Ottawa Citizen reporter Glen McGregor quickly put up (mostly, he says, as a fun exercise in some Web programming techniques). The idea was simple: If you had invested $1,000 in the S&P/TSX Composite Index the day after Harper said “Buy”, the HarperDex will tell you what that $1,000 is worth.

It’s good to see that the Liberals are getting some help creating anti-Harper mini-sites. Now, if only we could find out which journalist is moonlighting as Perez Hudak?



  • Gabby in QC

    Umm … shouldn't the title of this post read “Press Gallery On Message”?
    After all, hasn't the PG's mission been redefined – to say and do everything and anything at all to disparage the PM?

    With apologies to David Akin, one of the few PG members whom I still respect – even though I sometimes disagree with his interpretation of things Conservative.

  • Bec

    Buying and expecting a quick gain? Dumb. So the point is, how did you interpret the message from the PM. Hopefully not like the spineless and more like a courageous and confident, consumer.

  • David Akin

    ah – hem. Say what you want about Liz, but my post was “nothing but the facts, ma’am”. Your guy said what he said. All Glen and I did was point out how that advice would have worked out. If anyone was helping Liberals out, it was PMSH …

  • Omanator

    Have you people not learned that the Press is out to hang Harper? No matter where you look ,its always the same
    Even Mike Duffy's sucessor is slowly turning me off. Hi's shmoozing with Ignatieff tonight was too blantant for words I remember the day when a Reporter Doug Fisher and another one who I don't want to name at this time
    redeculed and denigraded Preston Manning after a speach he gave in Mississauge. They laughed that he was even trying to get more seats in the house. The year was 1993 and I was living in Mississauga. Preston Manning won more than 80 seats in that election. It was also the day I shut the CBC off permanently.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Hey, I was just pointing out Liz's prelim conclusion and thought it was interesting to think she thought there was an angle there.

    I had a feeling it was GM's work when I saw that it was a Python script.

  • Bec

    “Your guy said what he said”? Are you serious David Akin?
    Serious and investigative journalism should not be a daily dose of personal biases and blatant partisanship.

    It is juvenile and offensive. How is the media doing these days with their readership/viewership?
    My investment in the industry, DOA and you are the reason. Blind and total immature reporting.

    I am offended when a senior chief CTV reporter complains that the PM will not grant an interview and then comments” I guess he doesn't want to answer any tough questions”. The second question out of that same 'professional journalist's mouth, when granted a 'tough' (lol) question in a press conference is, ” why did you miss the photo op, were you in the bathroom”?

    Why don't you guys ask Ignatieff any tough questions? There are HUNDREDS! Don't answer because we already know the answer.
    What a crock of crap!

  • wilson

    Have our Canadian media asked Iffy a question on the economy?
    Oh right, so they did,
    and his answer was 'we will have to raise taxes;.

    Opps, better stick to the one subject Iffy is an expert in, war reporting.

  • Liz J

    Getting a little touchy are we? Tough!

    So you pointed out how that advice would have worked out, what makes you the expert? You have powers to see into the future and with variables?

    When will you smart fellas ask Ignatieff if he loves Canada or if he were a fruit what kind of fruit would he be?

    You can to forgive us, or don't, for feeling we're not being well served by much of our media.

  • Stan

    Did Harper say buy the TSE index or did he say look for buying opportunities?
    POT, MGA, PNP.WT, CCO, etc etc etc.

  • Liz J

    It's just so tiresome to read and hear so many negatives from the PG's and others in the media about this PM.
    Akin lost when he referred to our PM as “your guy”. Dammit he's our Prime Minister. Nice stuff eh? We know what we're dealing with.

    They went after Dion when they found he just couldn't get their Liberals back to power, they had method in their madness. Now they're trying to package and sell Ignatieff, a person who returned to Canada for his own benefit.
    It's up to us to sift through the spin and we will.

  • Gabby in QC

    “It's up to us to sift through the spin and we will.”

    Indeed, Liz J, it is up to individuals to bypass the media filter. But at least David Akin has a blog where one can challenge whatever he reports on, if one is so inclined. Elizabeth Thompson has one too, but I think I messed up in registering for it. The user name I post under did not show, so I decided not to post a comment there.

    But how does one contact the CTV's Question Period, Power Play, or that venerable (some might say ossified) institution, the CBC's Politics? How does one challenge some of their inaccuracies? They appear not to want any feedback.

    As for the “your guy” reference, I guess I missed that one. But let's face it, the level of language generally has declined and is much more casual that it used to be. I guess it's the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert factor.

    On the kind of language used, though, if we conservatives feel justified in devising all sorts of “cutesy” – and some not so “cutesy” – names to refer to Ignatieff, should we be outraged when the same happens with PM Harper – who IS definitely MY guy? (You know I am a staunch conservative, and in no way disrespectful of the office nor the person).

  • JDot

    David Says..

    “Your guy said what he said.”


    “If anyone was helping Liberals out, it was PMSH …”

    Wow, just admit your a liberal already David, or do we have to wait for a budget lockup…

  • Liz J

    When a journalist refers to our PM as “your guy” he's really exposing himself.

    Wonder if he'll be joining the MSM hordes to spin the the flip-flopping Mr. Dithers the second through the Puffin poo at the pseudo leadership convention?

    I'd say referring to Ignatieff as Iggy is rather friendly compared to what the Liberal apologists call our PM. We've had some fun with a few monikers we've tied on to Ignatieff, most quite fitting.

    The Liberals have been more than name calling Mr Harper and well before he became PM and they've continued to treat him with utter disrespect. According to Liberal doctrine the Office of the PM can only be respected if a Liberal holds the Office.

    We all recall Martin scuttling his butt frenetically across the country in his last stand lying, telling us he had Canadian values and Mr Harper did not.

    I'm still waiting to hear a journo ask Ignatieff if he loves Canada or if he could be a fruit, what fruit would he be.

    Respect begets respect, we sure aren't seeing much of it in the politics of this country. The US isn't much better. To belittle the person who is leading your country is to belittle your country and your people. Having a differing opinion on policy is fair game but personal debasement of our PM is just plain wrong.

    He's definitely MY guy too Gabby. I've never been prouder.

  • Gabby in QC

    “Respect begets respect, we sure aren't seeing much of it in the politics of this country.”

    Agreed, Liz J. All the more reason for conservatives/Conservatives to take the high road whenever possible, despite the real or perceived attacks against the PM and the Conservative Party.

    When I first read about the HarperDex, my immediate reaction – some might call it a kneejerk reaction – was “Aha! another attack on the PM, trying to ridicule him!”

    However, on reflection, if one quotes exactly what the PM said, one would see an important omission:
    «In an interview Tuesday with the CBC's Peter Mansbridge, after the release of the Conservatives' long-awaited platform during another tumultuous day for world markets, Harper said he believes there are “probably some great buying opportunities out there.

    “We always know when stock markets go up, people end up buying a lot of things that are overpriced, and when stock markets go down, people end up passing on a lot of things that are underpriced,” he said.

    “I think there are probably some gains to be made in the stock market. That's my own view.”»

    Notice that Ms. Thompson quotes the PM as saying ““a great buying opportunity” conveniently omitting the qualifying word “probably.” As one of her employers said in one of their promotional campaigns “words are important.” Omissions are also important.
    “Probably” does not mean “go out and buy!”
    “Probably” does not mean “the market has hit bottom – time to buy an index fund.”
    “Probably” does not mean “listen to my advice because I'm a great financial advisor.” Only the ones who advised clients to hold on to their Nortel stock can make that claim.

    I wish people would react like this when the PM speaks ;-)
    but I don't think it's realistic.

    Furthermore, as I posted elsewhere, if I had been wise enough to follow the PM's hunch, I would not have bought an index fund, I would have bought individual stocks like Google at $275, now close to $390, a tidy profit of $115 per share. Not bad, eh?

  • Liz J

    The PM's “hunch” was bang on. Even stating a fact gets spun out of the realm of reason if it comes from our PM.

    It's almost a full time job trying to keep up with the spin and the outright lies.

    Today I lost my cool with “Gayle” who spews her condescension on Janke's site.
    Her reply was exactly what I expected….. ” my comment says more about me…”, yada, yada.

    I'm certain there's a psychiatric term for people like that.

  • Gabby in QC

    “I'm certain there's a psychiatric term for people like that.”
    Yes – nuts.
    Don't get me wrong. I like nuts: macadamias, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts …

    But seriously … I once referred our mutual friend to this website, but it fell on deaf ears.

    Umm, I'm not following my previously given advice of taking the high road. Shame on me!

  • Gabby in QC

    Oops! forgot the link:

    Time for me to turn off the computer for a while … see you later!
    And I'm not talking to myself, I'm talking to Liz J. ;-)

  • Liz J

    Gabby, sometimes even good people have to take matters into their own hands. I'm sure you get my drift!

  • mecheng

    To be fair to Akin…if he was talking to Cherniak about Dion, I'm sure he would have referred to him as “your guy” too…

  • Jen

    Liz, What media do canadians have? surely not those like arkins thompson clark etc etc right, and we don't need lectures or insights from any of them either right Liz ?
    They support everything the liberals did everything and before they can pass judgement on the prime minister there are the liberals to deal with first and foremost. Why the media is still holding the candle to the liberals is beyond me.
    Are these reporters suggestion that whatever and everthing the liberals did is normal acceptable by them? because I have yet to hear them condemn the liberals far less ask the liberals for the missing money.

  • Jen

    Wheneve the Q/P, Newman on politics or PP or any talk show hosts on national television go on AIR to belittle insult condemn the prime minister for the work he is doing. 'OPEN LINES TO THESE SHOWS ARE A MUST. ' These medias hate their own country pride for her is yet to be found in the smallest bone in their body. the reason they don't have pride is because the liberals are still hanging around still pouring their venom.

  • Jen

    Question Ignatieff? Say what!!! They are afraid of their own kind LPOC. Ignatieff even admitted that he admires the way the prime minister handles the media-so he too is doing the same. Ignatieff like the PM are not jackasses like these medias. But the difference is, Ignatieff is a liberal, has learned very quick to get what he wants 'free of charge' in promoting himself and his book among other things, all he has to do is call upon TABER, OLIVER, PPG, G/M T/S, PP, CTV,CBC and it is done according to his word.
    PMSH gets his media from the STATES and so far none of them has asked him what fruit or vegetable he wants to be nor about his hobbies. According to Robert FIFE those are THOUGH QUESTIONS.. HOW SAD OF A FRUITY REPORTER….

  • China Tour

    Great post. Please keep at your good work, I would come back often.*

  • China Tour

    Great post. Please keep at your good work, I would come back often.*

  • tuscany villas

    the Harperdex shows that $1,000 is now worth $1,003 – probably not what the creator of the Harperdex had in mind. which is quite resonable and unique things to share.