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Media / Media Bias

CTV's Beverly Thomson debates Stephen Harper

By Arthur Weinreb

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Last week Canada AM’s Beverly Thomson held a "debate" with Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper, with Thomson arguing on behalf of the Liberals. It wasn’t really so much a debate as it was a cross examination of the opposition leader. Then again to call it a cross examination isn’t quite accurate because that implies that it was similar to what occurs in a courtroom. But if that exchange had taken place in a court, there would have been a judge who would have prevented Thomson from cutting Harper off before he had a chance to complete his answer. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t fair and dispassionate journalism.

Thomson was questioning the Conservative Party leader on the goings on in Parliament regarding the motions of non confidence. While Harper was attempting to explain his party’s position, Thomson would cut him off with Liberal Party talking points and argue the Liberals case with him. Beverly Thomson had obviously bought the Tony Valeri/Jack Layton spin that if Parliament wasn’t sitting on a particular day, MPs were being paid to do nothing. It’s funny but the media never raises that issue when Parliament goes on one of its numerous breaks and long recesses. Now, when the Liberals and the NDP come up with the notion that MPs are doing nothing when they are not sitting, Thomson falls right into line like a good little Liberal soldier (oops; a good little peacekeeper - the Liberals don’t do soldiers).

Thomson also came to the defense of the government when Harper criticized all the spending announcements that the Liberals made since the "unofficial" election campaign began. Thomson countered Harper with the Tony Valeri argument that it is ok to spend those billions that Martin has promised because "we can afford it". Had this "interview" been a debate between Valeri and Harper it is hard to see how it could have been any different. It’s even hard to find the CBC being this partisan when it comes to undying support of the Liberal Party.

Perhaps the worst part of the interview was Thomson’s insistence that the vote could be held on Thursday, ignoring Harper’s statement that MP Darrel Stinson will not be available then because he is having cancer surgery on Wednesday. The ignoring of Stinson’s health seemed strange coming from Beverly Thomson who, since she was diagnosed with the disease has become a poster girl for the fight against breast cancer.

Thomson’s interview of Stephen Harper went way beyond the bias that is shown by those journalists who simply do not like the Conservatives. Beverly Thomson crossed that line to become a spokeswoman for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at:

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