Friday, April 17, 2009


There's chutzpah and then there's chutzpah.
Stephen Harper, that moral compass-less disciple of anything partisan, has decided that sales was his original calling. But apparently, he doesn't believe so much in the product.
With his media blitz southside that began moments after President Obama's plane taxied off the Ottawa runway, Harper has turned to the US media to spread the gospel -- that he knows what he's doing, that Canada is the envy of the world, and he's the greatest talking head to hit the US network talk shows since Dr. Phil.
Oh, but wait. Apparently, despite some of the above being true -- like Canada's banks being better positioned to weather the current tsunami than many of their US counterparts -- his sales pitch can't be done from Canada. And it can't involve any other Canadians other than himself. He needs 'insiders' to get him to the best seats, the most supplicant interviewers, people who think Canada is just an importer of hockey players, back bacon and arctic cold fronts.
Fortunately, there's a super duo available to help grease Harper's wheels into the likes of Fox News (again), CNN and HBO -- George W's best set-up man Ari Fleischer, and for some optical balance, Clinton's lead blocker Mike McCurry.
Apparently, there's no economic job crisis amongst Canadian PR flacks, so our government has no reason to wonder if its wise to be spending taxpayers dollars in a recession on buying Harper face-time with Bill O'Reilly and Wolf Blitzer.
Hey, its true Canada does have a pretty impressive story to tell. And occasionally going to the shores of other countries isn't a terrible idea to spread that message.
But I'm still waiting for our so-called Prime Minister to talk to Canadians with sincerity about what his plan is, how Canada is going to rise and make good on its potential, despite a federal government that continues to think an ever-expanding Seinfeldian advertising campaign about nothing is a shrewd, tactical plan that doesn't cost Canadians anything. The cost is real.
Harper has said that Canada won't emerge from the recession until Americans get back to work and start buying. I agree with that in part, notwithstanding the need for a made-in-Canada plan of attack. However, I'm not so sure Canadians paying Americans to do a job that has no real payoff is a real forward-thinking strategy. Sounds more like an attempt at evading Canadian media, while trying to counter the Leader of the Opposition's reputation as an International Man About Town.
Frankly, if we're going to be hiring Americans to get us access to the US airwaves, I think we might as well go all-in. Instead of a frumpy, unsmiling geek who gets constipated everytime he is given anything less than a softball question, let's spend some money on a real spokesperson, too. My choice would be Susan Boyle. Isn't her story the same kind of attention getter Harper is hoping for?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Harper does need get Canada a higher billing on the world stage, but it would be better if we had something to back it up with -- like a foreign policy, or a backbone to ask for clemency for death-row Canadians in the US. He does know that Fox News is referred to as Faux News, correct? That he sought out the network that is regarded as Right Wing Propoganda and Tea Party instigators? How does that help Canada exactly, with the Obama Govt?