Thursday, April 12, 2007

All the Mathyssen that's fit to print, and besides

It's been noted before that hardly a few days ever go by in the London Free Press without some article about London Fanshawe NDP MP Irene Mathyssen going on about this, that or another, an effect that begins to resemble editorial idolatry. It is true that Mathyssen is incapable of not going on about anything under the sun when an opportunity for media coverage exists, but why does the Free Press indulge this incontinence?

Better yet, though, why does the Free Press go so far as to manufacture excuses to showcase Mathyssen? For at least the second time, the Free Press is reporting on Mathyssen's campaign to send Tim Hortons gift certificates to the troops in Afghanistan. All fine and well, even if it smacks of opportunism coming from an NDP politician, but the Free Press has only ever covered Mathyssen's pitch — you'd think she came up with the idea. But the idea's been around for at least almost a year now, long before Mathyssen jumped on board in March of this year — I contributed myself last year in response to an email campaign. By implication, though, at least through omission, Mathyssen is getting the credit for it in the Free Press.

It's quite possible that the carcasses lying about at the Free Press, characteristically oblivious of anything going on around them, were unaware of the various drives going on in the country in support of the idea until the Mathyssen media war-room alerted them to it. If Mathyssen's number isn't on the Free Press' speed dial, then theirs is certainly on hers. In what's beginning to look like a mutually sympathetic political advertising campaign, however, it's really rather looking like both.


Flaming Bag of Shit said...

This just in: I said something today too!! Print it God Damn It, Print it LFP!!

Jake said...

The Freeps has become a mouthpiece for left-leaning local politicians. Besides Mathyssen, other politicians/activists like Barber, Baechler, Jarabek, Bryant, Eagle, etc. make the headlines far too often and for rather insignificant reasons.

These people--and by extension the Free Press--all breed on political non-issues that don't deserve a drop of ink let alone a headline.
The flavor of the week for them now is the Sifton zoning story in Oakridge. Before that, it was the zoning change for a big box mall at Fanshawe and Highbury. Before that, they yapped about heritage bylaws and limiting parking downtown.

Basically, the Freeps moves from one non-issue story to the next until they have exhausted each one to death. It serves to keep these activists in the news and make their constituents remember them when they vote in the next civic election. Voters will choose to re-elect them since they perpetually have their names sprawled across the media for no reason.

Name recognition from frivilous headlines are what is keeping these activists politicians electable--not their actual record.

Ben said...

The LFP is basically in the palliative care unit for newspapers. It has a skeletal staff, and has cut most of its editorial. The Sun chain is bleeding money, and Quebecor seems intent to squeeze as much profit as it can from the monopoly-holding LFP to cover large Sun losses in Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton. Hence we have Chip Martin (the reporter who lavishes coverage on Irene "Tim's for troops" Mathyssen) supposedly covering federal politics from York Street. Martin's "reporting" consists of phoning up Mathyssen every few days so everyone can be amused that Irene is able to form semi-lucid statements and thoughts despite her obvious mental handicap.