Straight Talk
WARREN KINSELLA - Top 10 things politicians think about the media

Credits: Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency


We media folks love Top 10 lists. We do, we do.

There are probably at least 10 reasons for this. We'd list them all, but then there would be no room left for the main purpose of this Top 10 list, which is, by the way, the Top 10 Things Politicians Think About The Media.

Media folks get to torment politicos with year-end Top Ten lists. They're fun to write, they're easy to read, and politicians are far more preoccupied with them than they should be.

But politicians never get to say what they think about the media, particularly in Top Ten lists. So, having been on both sides of the divide, I decided to conduct a highly scientific survey of folks in various political parties. Here's what they had to say about the media:

1. We're lazy. "Too many reporters don't hustle. There's a lot of great political stories out there. You guys just need to work harder to find them.

2. We run in a pack. "Why don't reporters ever report different stories than their colleagues? Why do they all have to report the same stuff? It's boring."

3. We don't write enough about policy. "All of the political parties work hard to come up with great ideas and great policies. But they've got zero chance of ever getting the media to report on them."

4. We write too much about strategy. "Policy is hard to write about, so you guys write stories about back room strategy and tactics, which is easy to write about. And which real people don't care about."

5. We are obsessed with polls that are often unreliable and sometimes untrue. "The pollsters got Alberta wrong. They got Quebec wrong. They didn't see the NDP's rise, or the Liberals' fall. But you idiots in the media keep reporting polls like they're holy writ. It's a joke."

6. We pretend to be unbiased, but we never are. "At least Sun News are open about their conservative bias. What you see is what you get. But too many media pretend they don't have an agenda, when they do."

7. We get manipulated by anonymous sources with axes to grind. "Nameless 'senior strategists' have probably done more harm to the Liberal Party than the sponsorship scandal. They're a cancer. But the media keep using them."

8. We are too preoccupied with what other media are doing. "Stop writing about each other! Stop interviewing each other! No one cares!"

9. We get things wrong, but never admit it. "When us political people make a mistake, you guys hound us until we admit it and apologize. Do you ever do likewise? Not a frigging chance."

10. We demand politicians speak their minds, and when they do, we crucify them for it. "This is the thing you media do that is the most frustrating of all: You say we're all trained seals, and then when we step out of line, you hammer us for our lack of discipline."

"Oh, and you love your stupid Top Ten lists."

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