Thursday 17 February 2011

UPDATED: Manitoba Matters with McFadyen: a preview

Interesting little development here in the Manitoba pre-election campaign campaigning. The provincial PC party sent out a communication about what they call a new TV Program:

Starting tomorrow morning, our party, in partnership with Shaw, will launch Manitoba Matters with McFadyen – a weekly TV program featuring our Leader, Hugh McFadyen, as he meets and listens to Manitobans from all walks of life. The program will air every weekend, once every hour, on Shaw TV Winnipeg ... with a new episode each week.
They promise "thoughtful ideas to bring vision, change and progress". Sounds good. We could use some of that "ideas" and "progress" stuff, and also some of that "vision" stuff that I always hear so much about. Vision, in politics, is like Bigfoot or the G spot. People claim it exists, but ...

Anyhow, without further adoo (Ado? Adieu? whatever...) here's your first look at McFadyen TV:

I sure hope this is in HD so I can see the bacteria in Hugh's pores:

Hugh meeting people: check. Hugh talking to people: check. Ideas and vision? I don't recall seeing any of that in the, err, TV program. Mind you, this is just the first one. We can hope for more substance in later episodes.

This is pretty crafty and well done, in my opnion. Yes, Hugh didn't actually say anything of substance, but the portrayal is very good. He's out with the people. He supporting something of importance -- a cause that resonates with almost everybody, and he's letting other people do the talking for him. Best of all, snagging a smiliing Hannah Taylor is a major coup. How can you not like Hannah Taylor? She's the Ladybug girl!!

You have to also appreciate that this is a positive message. He didn't place the blame of all these hapless homeless schmucks on Selinger. But the fact that he is out there walking to help homelessness, talking to people who are concerned about homelessness and interviewing Hannah with no sign of Greg Selinger anywhere, puts him on the front edge of this issue without having to say anything of substance. Neat trick.

Also a neat trick is this partnership with Shaw. How does that work exactly? Jim and/or Brad Shaw must obviously be aligned with the PCs, but one might wonder if the PCs are paying for the air time, or if Shaw is donating it, or if Shaw is actually paying Hugh McFayden to host one of its "TV Programs".

Hard to say what the impact will be. Half of us don't even get Shaw, and the other half never watch Shaw TV except at Christmas time when they have the flaming logs. However all of this is also on YouTube of course .. and with a bit of buzz this could get some eyeballs.

I also have to say that the PC machine has come a long way since the cheesy ads of four years ago. This could get interesting.

From the Free Press: "It's a paid segment," McFadyen said Friday. "It's similar to buying advertising, except that we're able to do more than you'd normally do in a 30-second spot."

Presumably the NDP could do the same thing ... unless Shaw just happens to have no more available spots left. Actually, if any party needs more exposure it's the Liberals, but that's for another post.


cherenkov said...

I had another thought as I was walking outside in the blizzard: With Shaw now controlling Global TV, I wonder if their partnership with the PCs will lead to an impression of bias in the Global coverage?

Anonymous said...

Bias in Global coverage?

As opposed to Bias in other media coverage?

Read any of Mia Rabson or Frances Russell's columns in the freep? They should just forward them to the Liberal Party for inclusion in campaign literature.

All media coverage is biased. The trick is to get an equal amount of bias from every side so the bias cancels itself out.

cherenkov said...

I suppose you're right, but you're talking about actual bias. I was thinking of perception of bias. The CBC may lean to the left, but they don't actually enter in to partnership with the NDP.

Gustav Nelson said...

Ceherenkov, it's time to take this little lemonade stand you call a blog and take it big time. With your insight and clever remarks, I'm sure you'll be a it!
You should get your own half hour weekly show!

Gil G. said...

I have to disagree cherenkov, the CBC does enter into politics, check this out

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister Jean Lapierre – now a journalist with the TVA network – told CTV Newsnet that questions posed by Liberal MPs in House Committee were written by the CBC.

"I knew all about those questions. They were written by the CBC and provided to the Liberal Members of Parliament and the questions that Pablo Rodriguez asked were written by the CBC and I can't believe that but last night, an influential Member of Parliament came to me and told me those are the questions that the CBC wants us to ask tomorrow."

-Jean Lapierre, CTV Newsnet, December 13, 2007

shows that the libs and cbc are deeply in bed together, the biggest problem with that is that you and I pay for the cbc as taxpayers. I have no problem with shaw supporting the PC's as I don't have to pay for it.

Brian said...

The video itself: from a political hack's perspective, it's good. One of Hugh's big negatives as that he's not a known Known like Doer was, and so anything like this that gives him a chance to be (a) neutral instead of negative and (b) a 3-D human being is progress for the PC campaign. Selinger has the same problem, ironically - but I don't think NDP HQ understands that yet.

That said, the main reason I'm writing is to quibble with the Shaw chatter. People keep reading motives and conspiracies into the slightest twitch in the mainstream media, and in my experience, they're usually wrong. In this case, Shaw has been providing MLAs of all parties with free airtime for decades as a way to fill community programming mandates. This sort of programming is literally older than I am.

What's *likely* happened here is that the Tories are just asking Shaw to break up their airtime - which also helps them push their content out in more digestible chunks online as well, and branding it a little differently so it doesn't come across as another tedious "MLA Report" w/ dudes in suits talking in a plastic studio. If I'm wrong, so be it, but Occhim's razor should be applied to situations like this before the illumaniti version gets churned out.

cherenkov said...

@Gustav: thanks, and I totally agree: I should be getting paid for this shit!

@GG: That's the Krista Erikson debacle you're referring to .. that's more of a covert sort of thing. No perception of bias if she doesn't get caught!

@Brian: but.. conspiracies are fun! If you take that away from me I'll have to stop blogging. I can't type unless I'm wearing my special hat.

Honestly though.. I didn't intentionally ignore the simplest answer. I can recall seeing stations offering equal air time to each party during a campaign, but I don't ever recall something like this where a broadcaster is running 3-4 minute ads for a particular party 24 times a day. At least to me it seems unusual.

Brian said...

"but.. conspiracies are fun! If you take that away from me I'll have to stop blogging."

...but, swatting down conspiracies is just as fun! If you take that away from *me*...

Filmon Tory said...

Hugh is too busy hosting his own show instead of finding out why people and MLA's are fleeing from the party. I regret listening to my MLA when we voted him for leader.
He has shown poor leadership qualities and it appears to be getting worse. We can only hope the party will come to its senses and call for a leadership review so we have the opportunity to move on with a real leader.

Glen Cochrane said...

I like how the opening theme is like 30% of the video. Cutting to the chase.

cherenkov said...

Filmon: He has been pretty disappointing so far, but I wasn't sure if that was him or the people around him giving him bad advice. Nevertheless, he is more charasmatic than either of the other two potential leaders, and now he has a very real chance of taking back the government, so I would hold off of calling for a review if I were you.

the Stiff Rod said...

BTW Cherenkov....the g-spot does to political vision and bigfoot however I am still waiting for those to be proven....heheheheh.

the Stiff Rod said...

Politics. Ticks. Fleas. Filthy business. I would rather be fishing.

Blue Rods Blog said...

Will McFadyen's "I'm not going to tell you anything just trust me" help him or hurt him?

cherenkov said...

He can probably get away with it for a while.

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