Saturday, December 31, 2005

I had the opportunity last week to read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, an entertaining little piece of pop sociology with a simple premise: Massive changes happen due to marginal changes. When a certain threshold is reached - not necessarily one that can be predicted beforehand, or even realized in retrospect - further change progresses rapidly and exponentially. Gladwell's analysis is a bit irritating in that it's mostly isolated (though impressive) examples offered in support of generalized 'laws,' without a useful, transferable conclusion, but the theory of the tipping point in itself is an interesting one to explore. While I think it's long been evident that the Canadian media as a whole tends to skew left, or at least anti-conservative - often expressed in support, with varying grades of subtlety, for Liberal policies and personalities - such an institutional bias remains a guarantee of nothing. Indeed, for whatever reason, the media as a whole - led by the Globe & Mail , Toronto Star and others - seems to be turning against Paul Martin at an ever-increasing rate, and giving uncannily positive or neutral coverage to the Conservative campaign. I'm inclined to think this might be rooted in some degree of cynical marketing groupthink, to be honest; attempting to demonstrate to the rubes, provincial and dull, that there are newspapers besides Quebecor's Sun chain that aren't entirely in the Liberals' back pocket. The evidence for this isn't much, I'll admit, but it's growing - and a good example is in the daily trickle of photojournalism. Yahoo! News' photo feed is a good example, collecting the most iconic of CP and others' work. The interesting thing here is that most shots of Martin are amazingly unflattering, making him seem old, tired, dazed, or choleric, and often including that charmless little grimace he seems to believe is similar to a genuine smile. Even that one shot of the PM looking unnervingly like a cornered, depressive skeleton that surfaced yesterday, in reporting the income trust probe and concurrent Liberal slippage in the polls, was dug up from AFP's archives of this past May. It's been hard to find a still photo of Paul Martin looking appealing lately, and it's not as though making him look Prime Ministerial is particularly difficult, with the right camera angle. Conversely, photos of Stephen Harper seem much more likely to be neutral or blandly flattering. I and many other have noted how he's suffered photogenically in the past, looking somewhere between unconvincingly cheerful and just plain creepy, but he's improved considerably of late; either that, or what unappealing photo ops he's had lately have been largely ignored. For instance, the Globe & Mail's story about the pre-emptive Tory strategy to deflect negative Liberal ads with an inoculatory one of their own is accompanied by a shot of...Harper climbing into a minivan. One might make the case that this was chosen to imply, with his reflection visible in the foreground window, some sort of two-faced personality, but I think that's a stretch; more than anything, it's just dull. I'm sure it wouldn't have been hard to find a photo of him in a vaguely sinister pose, if that was what the editor in question wanted. So do we have a case of selection bias here, in the choice of photos that make it out on the wires, and are subsequently run by a number of media outlets? I have no idea. Maybe it is just the old horse-race mentality, with no further calculation or connivances required. But I hope it's a real sea change, and a harbinger of popular opinion - and if that's true, maybe we can count on exponentially growing movement in the polls as we near E-Day.

13 Comments:

Blogger joealaxander4594 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

12/31/2005 04:39:00 PM  
Blogger answer-man said...

Hi, enjoyed your blog and introducing ourselves to the community. We have a nice blog survey we are sharing and has great interest. **www.BibleMediaDvd.Com** Drop on by it's an interesting article. Have a great day. I saved your blog hope you don't mind.

3/05/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

debt consolidation student consolidation
then I know where you may get your solution. For your comfort, I have enclosed the link, so if needed you can visit the site. Thanks again for your lovely blog

5/31/2006 02:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! You really are very talented and deserve an honest compliment, congradulations! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a internet treasure chest site/blog. It successfully covers internet treasure chest related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time, Scott.

6/24/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous wise business form said...

This is an excellent blog. Keep it going.You are providing
a great resource on the Internet here!
If you have a moment, please take a look at my wise business form site.
Have a great week!

7/22/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Hello... I am the traffic man, zip, zip, zip. Make a new resolution right NOW to get a flood of traffic to your website. Let me show you how to get FREE traffic to your site. Yes, I said FREE, FREE, FREE!!! Don't delay.

To find out more, visit my home business network marketing site. It successfully covers FREE information exposing FREE traffic and home business network marketing related stuff. Don't forget - FREE, FREE, FREE. You have nothing to lose!

7/28/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Hello... I am the traffic man, zip, zip, zip. Make a new resolution right NOW to get a flood of traffic to your website. Let me show you how to get FREE traffic to your site. Yes, I said FREE, FREE, FREE!!! Don't delay.

To find out more, visit my low cost mlm site. It successfully covers FREE information exposing FREE traffic and low cost mlm related stuff. Don't forget - FREE, FREE, FREE. You have nothing to lose!

7/28/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Scott A. Edwards said...

Hello... I am the traffic man, zip, zip, zip. Make a new resolution right NOW to get a flood of traffic to your website. Let me show you how to get FREE traffic to your site. Yes, I said FREE, FREE, FREE!!! Don't delay.

To find out more, visit my internet marketing center site. It successfully covers FREE information exposing FREE traffic and internet marketing center related stuff. Don't forget - FREE, FREE, FREE. You have nothing to lose!

7/29/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can help me with .httpaccess ?
where i can fined full information about .httpaccess file syntaxis?

2/06/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MESSAGE

2/08/2007 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wellbutrin


viagra pill



buy carisoprodol


order tramadol

2/08/2007 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MESSAGE

2/09/2007 07:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kodak digital camera ac adapter


kodak digital camera ac adapter



panasonic digital camera software


camera digital hp photosmart

2/09/2007 07:16:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home