Popping the bubble

Gordon Campbell salutes the Fraser Institute on its 35th Anniversary

A couple of days ago I had a somewhat snarky twitter exchange with Tom Fletcher of the Black group.

In my defence I was high as a kite and in bad humour, having just come out of sedation from an operation to trim an offensive tumour in my mouth.

What I reacted to was a tweet of Tom’s directing readers to a Fraser Institute study on income mobility accompanied by this message: “Further to the innumerate #bcpoli discussion of poverty: ‘Poor’ getting richer.”

To which I replied “Understanding how you can have both income mobility over time and growing inequality is high school economics.”

Now I know I should have said “how individuals can have income mobility over time while a society can have growing inequality” but unfortunately Twitter’s 140 typing things limits an intelligent discussion of economics.

Tom replied, a little more snarky than me, “Go pitch your Occupy tent @IanVancouver.  It’ll be a lonely experience.”

And then I said, “You don’t have to be a wild lefty to reject the poor ‘research’ of the far right.  See US election.”

And so on and so on.

One of the lessons I learned from this exchange is wait till the anesthesia completely wears off before typing ‘twitter.com’ into your internet bar.

The other is, a la the US election, fewer and fewer people are interested in a media that publishes crap that is so out of touch with their lived experience.

“Crap that is out of touch with lived experience” might in fact be the motto of the Fraser Institute.

So surprise!  That Fraser Institute study turned up in the Sun today.  And double surprise, it is a piece of crap that doesn’t show what it claims to show.

The CCPA has published an excellent debunking of the study, “The rich stay rich“.  It’s clear that the Sun’s editors have not read this nor any of the thousands of papers on the internet about income mobility and the increase in inequality.

Or if they have they don’t care… “la, la, la I can’t hear you”.

Like Fox News too many media outlets in Canada would rather live in their own ideological bubble than think and write about the real problems people face everyday.

Too often this is true on the left, but it’s the right that seems to have institutionalized the blinkers.  Maybe that’s because they own the institutions.

A couple of weeks ago I sat in on a panel about the US election.  The panel was made up of a top Romney advisor and Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina.

The Romney advisor, of course, talked about the unforeseen failure of their campaign.  And in part he ascribed it to the bubble that they lived in and shared with people like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.  That bubble was out of sync with the majority of voters but they refused to recognize it.

It was so bad that their internal polls were methodologically skewed to represent their world rather than the real world. That proved disastrous.

They never had, he said, a clue of what was coming.


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9 Responses to Popping the bubble

  1. Merv Adey says:

    A made in BC example is the HST thing…Martyn Brown admitted on VOBC what we already knew…”it was a massive tax shift from business onto consumer”. Our lived experience told us that. Now I’m not anti-tax per se, but it’s the lying we can’t stand.

  2. Grant G says:

    Mr. Reid…”Tom Fletcher”…Enough said!

    And speaking of Tom Fletcher, …On Saturday, November 11th..Between 4:00 PM and 4:30 pm..The entire segment Fletcher disputed the Cohen Commission on Salmon..

    Fletcher defended fish farming and bafflegabbed the findings, the segment was sick, 1 caller cussed Fletcher out, ..

    The gall of a right wing hack, a legislative reporter pretending to be a fish biologist, when in fact he was doing nothing but spinning, fibbing and defending expanded fish farms..

    For shame on Sean Leslie to bring in Fletcher as a salmon expert, was Alexandra Morton not available?

    Put your tweeting humility away Mr. Reid..

    Tom Fletcher deserves no quarter, he does deserve a one-way bus ticket to Alabama!

  3. RossK says:

    And John Moore, in the National Post (how’s that for a pitched tent in occupied lands?), explains, using himself as a specific example of the income mobility of someone who was never poor, how the FI’s latest blather is nothing by an ‘economic parlour trick’…..



  4. Norm Farrell says:

    The Fraser Institute publishes predictable rubbish. That’s no surprise. It’s funded by economic elites and exists solely for the purpose of circulating propaganda to serve the interests of its clients. In response, I identify FI sponsors – Louis family businesses like London Drugs and IGA, for example – and redirect my consumer spending.

    We should expect more of broadcasters and newspaper publishers who are given government protections against competition and owe a duty of good journalism to the public at large. A number of people at Postmedia have taken financial and other benefits from the Fraser Institute. In return, they offer an uncritical channel to echo whatever nonsense the private organization is offering.

    Mr. Fletcher is a willing servant to the benefactors. Despite my using a quote of his from 2009 – chosen because he’s a direct distributor for the BC Liberals – Fletcher is best ignored.

  5. Oaken Noggin says:

    Tom who?

  6. Richard Bell says:

    Doesn’t everyone ignore Fletcher? Except maybe for the odd tweet for fun. lol

  7. RS says:

    “High as a kite and in bad humour, having just come out of sedation” you’re still more articulate, rational, and balanced than Fletcher could ever hope to be.

    Furthermore, I’m thinking integrity, unlike judgement (good or bad) is something that is hardwired in us and is not easily swayed by way of intoxicants or self-indulgence. You either have it or you don’t.

  8. Garth says:

    Ian RS(above) is correct you are more articulate than is Fletcher. Perhaps this is what is truly concerning to T.F.

  9. I used to see the comments by Tom Fletcher on “twitter” and wondered if he was a Liberal party employee. It wasn’t long after that I discovered this guy was a journalist. At least that what he thinks. A journalist as long as I can remember is someone who is impartial. Tom Fletcher is nothing more than a mouth piece for the Liberal party and an embarrassment to all journalists.

    Guy in Victoria

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