|Fair and Balanced: |
The Conservative view and the Right's view
So while The Guardian was one of the few media sources practicing journalism in the build-up to the Iraq war, during the conflict and after it, Jonathan Kay was more than happy to dismiss its reporting and simply sip the US military Kool-Aid. It only took Jonathan Kay 3 years after the Iraq War started to come to the conclusion it might not be such a swell idea after all. He espoused the following ideas:
(1) Saddam was a maniac who had weapons of mass destruction;
(2) The creation of a democracy in the heart of the Muslim Middle East would transform the region by firing a fatal crack into the monolith of Arab tyranny; and
If Jonathan Kay is a big fan of The Guardian, he seemed more inclined to be a big fan of US Republican talking points. So how big a fan of the newspaper was he when they would expose the truth on these matters while he continued to hold the same erroneous opinions? Here's a hint: he wasn't reading any of it because facts have a liberal bias. But hey, that was many years ago and many people claim to have been duped by the US government and media into supporting the Iraq War. Alright then, let's give Mr Kay a mulligan, shall we? Let's turn to the other media story that has had the largest impact in international politics since the Pentagon Papers and that would be Wikileaks.(3) Putting the wrecking ball to Saddam's dungeons would end the wanton slaughter of Iraq's long-suffering people.
Every international news story you come across in the media often contains "as revealed by wikileaks". Despite this, much of the media condemns the release of the diplomatic cables and says that they provided very little new information. In 2010, Jonathan Kay clearly adhered to this orthodoxy. He refers to the wikileaks reports as a "document dump". When Kay referred to it as such, wikileaks had released around 2,000 articles and not the 100k that would often be reported. Most of these cables had been released in concert with The Guardian which in turn, worked with the New York Times, Der Spielgel, El Pais and Le Monde. Never mind the fact that no one questions the legality of the Washington Post's revelation that the US had secret prisons (Black Sites) around the world despite the fact that that information was considered Top Secret and thus, considered of greater US national security importance than any of the wikileaks documents. No, the details of the corruption in Afghanistan, the US predator drone bombings in Yemen and the intimate links between the Russian mafia and the Kremlin hold little importance to Jonathan Kay.
Therefore, the tireless efforts of The Guardian in journalism to contextualize and report the impact of these revelations elicit a yawn from him. A big fan, is he? This lead-in sets the tone to his letter. Why be bound by facts when we can cherry pick information?
So what distortions does Jonathan Kay want to express to The Guardian for which he claims to be a big fan of? His hatred for the Toronto Star's columnist Heather Mallick. Heather Mallick has, at times, impolitical ways of expressing what a large segment of the population feels and thinks. She's a columnist for a newspaper: provocation is part of her job. She does the same job that Jonathan Kay does but he doesn't like her opinions. In fact, he hates her opinions. He has dedicated one of his previous columns to berate her personally. Don't get me wrong, I love it when someone is called out for being a hack. On the Sarah Palin bashing tip, I agree with him. There is plenty of substantive issues to berate Sarah Palin that her personal life need never enter the picture. Yet at issue here is her portrayal of Stephen Harper in her comment piece. He only touches upon the op-ed in the third paragraph and only in general terms.
He finds it all very distressing that Mallick is echoing the voice of many Canadians that strongly disagree with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. Therefore, he spends his entire column taking shots at Mallick for previous opinions by using selective quotes. I would love to pick apart his critique of Mallick's op-ed of Stephen Harper if only Kay had done any of that. After reading his column, we aren't wiser or better informed about Stephen Harper; only that Jonathan Kay despises Heather Mallick. We knew that after your first column, Jonathan. So, for his misguided attempt to spread personal invectives across the Atlantic, Jonathan Kay is the lucky recipient of this week's hack pundit of the week.