Tag Archives: Steve Paikin

On TVO’s The Agenda

The Agenda with Steve Paikin is a taxpayer funded public affairs shown on TVO here in Ontario. It’s good… and it’s not.  The two opposites can be true at the same time.

On the one hand, Paikin is a very professional, calm and informed interviewer. The tenor of the show is generally such that, depending on the topic, putting it in on TV might be a good alternative to Ambien or Lunestra if you’re having trouble falling asleep.  No grenade launching, no shouting; generally a show with polite discourse with a measured likeable moderator.

That’s the good about the show. The bad about the show is its leftist slant.  Paikin is a Liberal, not the small “l” classical liberal we’d all be OK with, no… more the partisan big “L” party apparatchik Liberal.  (His son Zach Paikin actually tried to run for the position of National Policy Chair for the Liberal party and also tried to be nominated to represent the Liberals in the Hamilton West/Ancaster-Dundas riding for the past federal election).

If you were to review the show topics over a cycle of, say a month, you would get a rotation dominated by the following;

  • Climate change! and how it’s an unfathomable existential threat to humanity/the Great Lakes/northern communities;
  • A procession of Ontario Liberal cabinet ministers to brag about how wonderful a job they’re doing and, without any critical line of questioning, who are allowed to promote inane ideas like cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, subsidizing self-driving car studies, HOV lanes on 400 series highways, borrowing $25 billion from children to pay for a reduction of hydro rates…and on and on;
  • Authors of obscure, unread books on Canadian culture, media or social experiences, often decrying the horrors of our racist and sexist country
  • Indigenous leaders and academics… lots and lots of them.  Allowed to moan (again without criticism) about what a racist/colonialist country this is.  (Including a recent episode wherein the academic, a U of Toronto professor no less, was allowed to postulate a conspiracy theory about the Canadian government keeping Indigenous people sick in order to rape their resources that would have made Alex Jones proud)
  • LGBTQ leaders and academics… lots and lots of them.  Allowed to moan (again without criticism) about what a sexist/homophobic country this is.

Again, this is all hosted by a perfectly amiable and intelligent Steve Paikin.  Often he convenes panels to discuss topics on his show but inevitably the ratio of Progressives to Conservatives is usually 4:1, if a Conservative is invited on at all.

But overall a milquetoast, left-leaning news program on a public broadcaster that tries to be a calm forum for the type of babble that only public employed intellectuals would be interested in.  And us.  We listen to the Agenda podcast frankly, not to get any insights but to hear the crap the other side likes to spout.  But honestly 2/3 of the programs are deleted after listening to the first 5 minutes.

So, surely then, the Agenda people and Steve Paikin are horrified to be hearing that a clip of their show, where they had Jordan Peterson on to debate gender pronouns is at the centre of the Lindsay Shepherd controversy at Wilfred Laurier.  That show is central to the whole fiasco that has escalated to international attention.

You’d think then that any “normal” TV news program would then be following up with the main players in this little free speech drama and milk it for a few weeks, use it to become a focal theme for the program in the next month or two.  Maybe a few shows centered around the debate with some of the main players could garner the Agenda a few more than the regular (measly) couple of hundred views an Agenda program seems to get on YouTube currently.

But no, no.  Not this program.  Take for example just the other day… the show decides, let’s instead give an antifa punk time to broadcast his intellectually corrupt ideas of “preemptive defense” and mention white-supremacists fifty times and slur people as racists and fascists – because they might hold an opposing view to him on just about everything.  This, our tax money and our public broadcaster has time for.

The Agenda on TVO is not a very good program.  One has to wonder what the purpose of funding this type of program with public money is in this day and age when – if there truly was a legitimate audience for a program of this nature – it could be migrated to the internet and podcasts and off the backs of taxpayers.

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On Spin and the Lesser of Two Evils

If I were ever to be elected to provincial office, I would shut down TVO my first day in office.  I’m so glad that basically no one watches this tax-payer funded network for Liberal propaganda… except for me obviously.

Note the “balance” on this episode – if you include the host, the conservative is outnumbered 5:1, and the conservative is a poor feeble minded old man who acts as a Wynne apologist to boot.  That’s the Left’s idea of “balance”.

Once upon a time, I thought Steve Paikin was a reasonable, professional journalist who hid his leftist bias. But on this episode he opens with talking points straight from the Premier’s office and actually wonders aloud why, oh why, is Kathleen Wynne’s personal approval rating at 16%.

Unemployment is down under Wynne?  The manufacturing sector in this province is absolutely and totally gutted.  Take a drive through the wasteland of southwestern Ontario. As a result there are literally thousands upon thousands of men and women who have given up looking for work – once you stop looking for work you stop being counted as one of the “unemployed”.  Add to that the literally thousands upon thousands of young men and women, recently graduated from school with zero job prospects and are either sitting at home playing video games or padding their resumes with volunteer and intern positions. That accounts for a large drop in the unemployment figures. Private sector employment has fallen, government sector increased. On whose backs are those jobs being paid for?

Oh, but the budget will be balanced… firstly, says who?  The Liberals?  3% growth is THEIR projection.  They keep projecting tax revenues to go up.  Intuitively we know that is bullshit in this economy.

And they claim the budget will be balanced next year… but only after McGuinty/Wynne have DOUBLED the provincial debt.  We are the most indebted sub-national government IN THE WORLD.  And how have they balanced the budget?  But levying all sorts of bullshit taxes, health premiums and selling our stakes in Hydro One a one-time balance sheet mark-up.

Paikin totally blows past the idea that the Liberals are the subject of five ongoing OPP investigations, have blown billions on eHealth, ORNG, cancelled gas plants, cancelled ORPP, MARS and we pay the highest hydro rates in the western world.  Our hydro rates have doubled in the past two years and now they want to levy a carbon tax on our gas because they, the wonderful Liberals, are combatting climate change single handedly.  Now they promise to help us with our hydro costs by removing the HST on our hydro, a move that will cost the Ontario government $1 billion.  NO – wrong.  It won’t COST the government shit – BECAUSE THAT’S OUR MONEY, NOT THE GOVERNMENTS.  We make the money and government taxes us, but if you follow typical Leftist logic it’s all their money first and they allow us to keep some to live on.  Every tax cut or rebate is portrayed as COSTING the government, but taxes and charges never seem to cost the taxpayers jack squat.

All this and yet I have zero faith that Wynne will be defeated in the next Ontario provincial election. We have entered the era of “lesser of two evils” when it comes to our politics and as Ben Shapiro so accurately writes about the US election;

We’ve been told since the end of the primaries that we must choose one candidate or the other. It’s a binary decision: pick Hillary, or pick Trump. Now, aside from the fact that a vote for neither is not a vote for either, the underlying logic seems to be that in any one-on-one electoral competition, the obligation to choose a candidate trumps any moral obligation to eschew bad candidates entirely. This leads to a lowest-common-denominator politics that can excuse any and all bad behavior by any and all candidates. If Matthew 7:3 enjoins people not to “look at the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye,” lesser-of-two-evils politics tells us that we ought to ignore both the motes and beams in our own eyes, because after all, our opponents have motes and beams in their eyes.

So the problem becomes that Wynne and the Ontario Families Coalition only have to paint the Ontario PCs as some unpalatable collection of evil bigots/deniers/anti-union rural rednecks and make it a contest of lesser evils – wouldn’t you feel BAD about yourself voting for those people? You may not feel all that good voting for us, but hey! We’re not close-minded right wingers. And boom… 40% of the population buys the idea that, despite your corruption and incompetence, you represent the lesser evil and you’re back in.

I hope I’m wrong.

 

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