Attack of the Conbots!

I don’t know why anybody would be in the least bit shocked that “Conservative partisans deliberately drowned out a journalist’s question to Mr. Harper.” Aside from being suitable wallpaper for whatever tiresome speech du jour the Dear Leader may happen to be delivering about [insert favourably poll-tested issue here], what other purpose the pre-screened, pre-approved members of the party faithful in [name of target swing riding] are meant to serve?

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that Terry Milewski was able to get out the first part of his rather lengthy and involved question without being shouted down by mindless chants of “Harper! Harper! Harper! Harper!” Guess the party operatives were a little slow off the mark at flipping the switch on their remotes in this instance.



Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Conservative Party of Canada, Media

37 responses to “Attack of the Conbots!

  1. At least they cheer for him and respect him, I hear Iggy was booed by 4000 hockey fans tonight and in a Liberal strong hold

  2. Can you provide a link to that?

  3. sapphireandsteel

    Yeah he did in St John’s. My question is this though, how come whenever something about Harper is brought up, someone always uses an unrelated point to muddy the discussion? Are they unable to effectively defend their side without obfuscation?

  4. It’s part of their stratagem… Distraction and deflection. I think you’ll find it in one of their handbooks under the chapter: How to be a Douchebag.

  5. sapphireandsteel

    So true. And it does make it quite easy to sling them a smart assed quip. They also seem to have quite thin skin.

  6. Fred from BC

    “Conservative partisans deliberately drowned out a journalist’s question to Mr. Harper.”

    Really? That’s your ‘spin’ on this one?

    Too bad there is video out there showing the entire exchange, not just the part where this so-called ‘journalist’ decides to shout out another question before the Prime Minister can repeat his answer in French (as was requested of him) and after the microphone has been handed to the next reporter (you know, the one whose TURN IT IS to ask the next question?). It was rude, disrespectful and totally unprofessional.

  7. Fred: Great. Can you provide a link to the “video out there”? I would be happy to post it.

  8. sapphireandsteel

    Fred it’s a bit rich to decry journalists of being rude when many of these politicians behave as bad or worse. We hold ourselves to a higher standard then this so maybe we should expect the same of our politcians and media.

    I have a feeling that your point might have been leading towards a theory of media bias. Well of course there is bias – but it’s not hard to find you own particular bias. I read a Lorne Gunter article that wasn’t badly written or offensive for offense sake. I enjoyed it although I didn’t agree with it.

    Your comment doesn’t really respond to the post. Rather you seem to discount the point made and then go on about an extended video and get all crochetty. Was Milewski behaving any differently than any other journo doing their job? Well not really considering Harper is very averse to responding to these things. Unprofessional? Hardly, you’re just being crochety again.

    So you discount things as spin instead of proving an intelligent response and become grouchy old uncle Fred? That isnt really an effective defense and isn’t really any different than the weak sauce offered by Archie.

    I’ve read a hilarious quote from you about proof. Hilarious because you often cite anecdotes in you commenting and very rarely providing proof. I don’t understand the high and mighty griping about others lack of couth which is often followed up with a bit of uncouth by yourself.

    Maybe it’s just me, but you seem to refuse to address things and often think cranky and bitchy wrapped in an anecdote is some sort of point

  9. sapphireandsteel

    Sorry the autocorrect on my phone produced some unexpected changes.

  10. It was rude, disrespectful and totally unprofessional.

    No you tit, that’s exactly how journalists are supposed to do their jobs. You’re supposed to be bold, tenacious, and when it comes to politics you hold politicians’ feet to the fire.

    We get it, you and all the other true believers hate a free press. You hate accountability. You hate having your dear leader subjected to questions. Just come out and say it, don’t try to redefine the job of a journalist.

  11. I seem to recall that Milewski was the same journo accused by the Liberals of unfair “bias” back in 1998 and hauled up on charges as such, but now that he’s dogging the Conservatives on the campaign trail, he’s suddenly become a hopelessly liberal hack.

    Like Shiner said, this is what we expect from journalists… To be equal opportunity offenders in terms of being relentlessly tenacious in getting at the truth, and even downright rude or hostile if that’s what it takes to provoke an unscripted, or god-forbid, honest response. So-called “conservatives” however want them to be “respectful” stenographers — at least when reporting on members of THEIR team. If they break rank from dutifully helping to amplify the party line, they’re dismissed as being “biased” or somehow in league with the “enemy”… It’s a curious take on role of the Fourth Estate in our society.

  12. CWTF

    Harper looks rather uncomfortable during this whole exchange, like a boy being questioned in front of a schoolmaster only to be saved by the droning out by his mates….

    Of course the question was never answered. Harpercons are rather emboldened by their thuggish behaviour quelle surprise…

  13. CWTF

    Maybe the religious freedom office will cleanse me of being a freethinker…

  14. No need to even go as far back as 1998. I wish I could find the video, but when Ignatieff had the infamous “red door blue door” press conference on the Hill, Milewski hammered him, he was jeered by the Liberal MPs behind Ignatieff for it.

  15. Tomm


    Fred is right. Milewski had already posed three (loaded) questions and asked that Harper answer in English and French. Harper had finished his English answers and beginning his French answers when Milewski tried to interject and shout over him. They should send that pit bull to the Layton campaign. Apparently he is being asked questions like “what is it like being a rock star?”

    But to get to your main point, I also thought the crowd should NOT have started defending their guy. I would definitely have preferred if Harper had tried to silence the crowd.

    By the way, his answers to Milewski’s zingers were very good. I think Milewski got his stuff directly from the Ujjal Dosanjh campiagn materials. He should do a better job vetting his material before whacking people on the head with it. I repeat myself in saying that there should be a professional association for practicing journalists.

  16. Harper didn’t actually answer the questions. Yes, he responded, but only to selective parts of what Milewski was addressing, and then only with scripted talking points. But you thought they were “very good” so I guess… mission accomplished!

    Hmmm. A professional association for practicing journalists. You mean like a UNION or something? Because, you know, that’s essentially what “professionals” like doctors and lawyers have… UNIONS. Only they don’t call them that, because it’s a bit down-market. “Professional Association” sounds so much classier. Some might even say, elitist. 😉

  17. There are several associations for practising journalists. Man you guys are stupid. Be curious to go back and see what tweetle dee and tweetle dum were saying when this was going down:

  18. Sorry Red, see you already brought that up.

  19. Tomm


    By prefessional association I mean like the doctors, lawyers, accountants, foresters, engineers, and dentists. These associations require a level of standard of ethic and behavior. If someone brings a case forward that this standard isn’t being met, it then gets reveiwed.

    A lawyer can lose standing with their professional association if they don’t maintain the standard. Given how influential journalists are in society, and given that they need to conduct themselves with high ethical standards, wouldn’t it be nice if someone held them up to a bar of behavior?

    Maybe what Milewski does is above a bar. But right now, there is just no bar in place and no mechanism or process by which to judge him.

    Journalists often become the judge and jury for public comments they solicit and report about. Some standard other than continued employment would be nice.

  20. Tomm


    This professional journalism association would not be a “union”.

    It wouldn’t set fees for service and it wouldn’t bargain on behalf of its members. It would have conferences and technical sessions that discuss how to be a better journalist and explore the diversity of the profession bringing journalists together. It would set entrance exam and continuing education bars for its members. It would have a disciplinary process for the public with respect to its members, and it would give its members a professional accreditation that would have been enacted by parliament/provincial legislature.

    It is exactly what we need in this country right now with “journalists” actively lobbying on behalf of political parties they approve of and slamming those they don’t like.

    We would hopefully get rid of some of the vendetta reporting we see.

  21. billg

    Boy that Harper…how does he have such a Vulcan control over all those people in the crowd behind him. I wonder if he’ll use those unbelievable powers for goodness instead of evil if he gets his majority. I on the other hand think Mr Harper deserves the treatment he’s getting from the media, probably not a good idea to piss of the people who write about you every day, but, the other issue is, a man like Jack Layton who has a smile and laugh with every member of the MSM gets a free ride with a party platform that should literally scare the hell out of Canadians, works both ways boys and girls.

  22. ski

    Wow thanks for posting this. I had thought that the questions were drowned out by CPC supporters as erroneously and slanted reported by the MSM. NOw I see that Mileski was allowed to ask THREE very leading and negative questions, with preposterous insults, denegrations and conflations included in them, aka linking Mai Wa to the death of 300 people and Harper politely answered these THREE insulting questions. Harper was then cheered by the crowd for his calm, polite, and clear response to all three insults. This video makes Harper look very good and Mileski look like a bad journalist whose questions should have been dismissed for liable. It’s great to see what actually happened. Thanks again.

  23. Heh. You can’t weasel all you want when it comes to the difference between a union and a “professional association” Tomm, but they’re tantamount to the same thing.

  24. Right ski, I’m sure the Youtube video completely turned you around on the situation.

  25. Tomm


    It really isn’t the same thing at all. An association that sets fees would not be attached to a professional accreditation association. It would be a conflict.

  26. sapphireandsteel

    Um I pay an annual fee for my membership to AIGA Tomm

  27. Tomm


    I looked AIGA up. It does not appear to include a registration that holds its members accountable to their actions. So it is not a registered professional association like I was describing. But I’m not sure, perhaps you could answer the following questions.

    Does it inclyde “Right” to title?
    Does it have a mechanism for a member of the public to lodge a complaint against a member?
    Does it have a Disciplinary Procedure?
    If the complaint is upheld, is there a penalty such as loss of title, fines, or incarceration?

  28. Does the issue really require this much discussion? Why don’t we all just acknowledge that the Tomms, Skis, and Fred from BCs won’t be satisfied until Harper has impressed all media into a national CPC “official information” guild—complete with uniforms, ranks, and armbands—tasked with the daily communication of Gerneralissimo Steve’s thoughts on the progress of Canada’s cultural revolution?

  29. Tomm

    Now we’re talking!

    Sir Francis can always be counted upon for coming up with some real S&M level accountability.

    However, in this case, I think it is more appropriate to have a slightly lower threshold. We don’t need to turn our society into a Kafkaesque world where all people we disagree with (e.g. Harper supporters, or climate change deniers), have to wear arm bands… quite yet.

    At least wait until I am in my dottage… or is that dotage?

  30. No. The purpose of the armbands and uniforms, Tomm, would be to allow Canadians to differentiate between irresponsible, rogue, counter-revolutionary media terrorists like Milewski and the psychologically healthy, culturally correct, and ideologically appropriate media commissars of the CPC’s Bureau for the Propagation of Right Thinking About the Shining Revolution and Its Glorious Leader, Stephen Harper (known in official commissariat correspondence as the BPRTSRGLSH).

    Viva la revolucion, Tomm! Hasta la victoria siempre!

  31. Fred from BC


    The video speaks for itself. Milewski had his turn , and asked his question(s) in a manner exactly like MPs, party strategists and other partisans would either ask or answer a question of an opponent on Power Play or Power and Politics: by deliberately working in some insults/talking points/insinuations (nothing new…they all do it). The problem is, he is NOT supposed to be a party hack and he is NOT supposed to be treating the Prime Minister as an opponent. He’s supposed to be impartial and unbiased, and do his job in the most professional manner possible. Especially with my tax dollars paying his salary!

    If he wants to do otherwise, he should be writing editorials where his opinion is clearly stated as such: his own personal opinion. He has a long history of this kind of bias, and it needs to end.

    You guys can deny all you want, and insult me as well. Won’t change the facts. You shouldn’t have brought up an issue that turns around and bites you in the ass (damn…the video of Ignatieff being booed at the hockey games is running right now on CTV NewsNet; didn’t think anyone would run it), as you’ve done so many times already. And using CONBOTS in your title? Childishness of the exact kind that is turning people off. Grow up.

  32. Yeah, a journalist talking out of turn and neglecting to begin with “If it pleaseth you, my lord…”. The scurvy cad. It’s all hell in a hand-basket, Fred.

    You seem to find media hackery objectionable. That’s swell. I’m assuming then that, if we explored your trail of on-line commentary, we should find stacked under your name thick reams of disgust concerning, among other media outrages, Mike Duffy’s slimy flogging of Dion’s flubbed interview outtakes in 2008 and Peter Mansbridge’s recent poodle-like leap into Harper’s ample lap. Care to confirm that?

  33. sapphireandsteel

    Tomm, sorry I couldn’t get back to you. I was at the Okanagan Greek day in Winfield enjoying a BBQ. I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow so I can get the info after that

  34. sapphireandsteel

    Sir Francis, fred’s high road schtick is well known and often proven to be hypocrisy with a simple google search. The grouchy old man is just a cautionary tale for all of us as we get older

  35. BPRTSRGLSH… Oh man, that was too funny.

  36. jkg

    Something tells me that if we had someone like Jeremy Paxman questioning Harper, his vanguard apologists’ heads would explode (btw, Paxo is just as scathing to Boris Johnson and David Cameron).

    It is no wonder Shiner is so occupied with the happenings in Great Britain. Even with the Royal Wedding, the discourse over there is miles higher more engaging.

  37. Do Not Feed the Tomms.

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