Friday, March 31, 2006

The Prime Ministers: Louis St. Laurent

My correspondence on the CPAC series continues:
Hmmm... This is a strange series. I didn't like this episode either. He was voted our greatest post-war Prime Minister, yet they spent little time explaining why he'd get the vote of so many historians. What truly positive material we did see came from his own family (relevant, but not very surprising, one would think).

This emphasis on the 'Uncle Louis' facade, and, later, his, and his cabinet's, air of entitlement - which seemed to be much worse than the situations that fall under that category today - were not flattering. And whatever the true proportion of these episodes during his entire leadership, by paying lip service to his great achievements and lack of involvement in the PR machine, the producers are passing judgment on the man.

And this isn't the first example of that. I just found this one to be particularly heavy handed. Man, and I thought CPAC was a more balanced alternative to the CBC; guess no one can resist the opportunity to spin.

Later correspondence focused on Byfield's negativity:
Well, he's a journalist, and I have to say, I valued his perspective on St. Laurent more than, say, on Laurier, because Byfield was there covering the '57 election, for example. The fact that he relates how all the old-timers in his profession were unhappy with the government at that time, for example, is fine with me. I want to know. But it's the producer's job to balance that with St. Laurent's earlier success, and give Byfield a chance to reflect on that, if possible (don't know if he was even working then).

And CPAC's spin:
Well, I for one would seize any media source that showed the sort of balance I'm talkin' about; and I wouldn't let 'em go. :-) I know there are other people who feel that way too. There is such a thing as scoopin' and spinnin' yourself to death, I think. You're certainly sentencing your credibility to death, let's say.

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