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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 

Saskatchewan Party CAUGHT Trying To Manipulate 'Letters to the Editor' and Callers To Call In Shows!

From the Editorial: ‘Propaganda Inc.’
By Stephen Whitworth
Prairie Dog
February 14- 27, 2008 edition
Regina, Saskatchewan

Is the Saskatchewan Party looking for a propaganda coordinator? And if so, what’s the pay? I might be interested. Here’s the scoop: On Monday, Feb. 11 a former journalism student of my acquaintance was e-mailed a job posting from her alma mater. (This is common practice with vocational colleges: employers send their job postings to the schools, who forward them to recent graduates who might be looking for jobs.)

But aha! This was no ordinary job postings, as I learned when this student forwarded it to me. The Sask Party is apparently looking for a communications officer (a common job for graduates of journalism colleges, since nobody hires reporters these days). Duties include “research and write caucus news releases, speaking notes and legislative reports” and “monitor daily news coverage of provincial politics.”

There’s also “develops and maintains database of people who will write and/sign letters to the editor.” Wait a minute. The Sask. Party wants to HIRE someone to make of list of people willing to write letters to newspapers? Well, that doesn’t sound very good. And what’s with this “and/sign” stuff? If the people on this list aren’t writing the letters the Sask. Party apparently wants them to sign their names to, who is?

It doesn’t stop there. The next duty listed is “drafts letters to the editor, facilitates their signing and sends them to the print media.” And that’s followed by “develops and maintains database of people who will call in to radio or televised talks shows” and, naturally, “monitors talk shows, alerts our database of upcoming opportunities to participate.”

I don’t know what the Sask. Party wants with a list of people apparently keen to write the Leader-Post and call John Gormley but I can imagine how such a list would be useful. It’s just what you need to get a good propaganda campaign rolling. (I’m sorry, that was rude. I should say “grassroots marketing campaign.”)

That’s the only logical use such a list would seem to have - a tool to be used to help shape public opinion. This is similar to a tactic PR firms use: to help push a product, you get seemingly independent, regular people to write letters to newspapers. Hey presto. Free publicity!

I guess I should applaud the government for their commitment to emulating modern business practices. And I suppose I am not surprised - I seriously doubt this is the first political party in the province to hire propaganda officers. Might be the first political party dumb enough to send the job posting to journalists, though. Maybe the Sask. Party should hire back some of those civil servants they canned recently. The people working for them now don’t seem ready for prime time.


A footnote: The Saskatchewan Party sent out a corrected job posting later the same day, which in turn was forwarded to my journalism college alumnus acquaintance, who, of course, sent it to me. Hilariously, all the sketch ‘make-lists-of-people-who’ll-write-letters-to-newspapers” stuff was gone, replaced with much more banal list of typical communications hack duties like “attend meetings with the director of Caucus” and “drafting and designing constituency newsletters.”

I take it back. I’m not interested in applying for this job. Sounds boring. What’s the fun if I don’t get to make lists of people who will sign letters they didn’t write?


A final footnote: The best part of this forwarded e-mail might have been the confidential notice at the end. “This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are intended only for the named recipients ...” blah blah blah.. “If you are not the intended recipient please do not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail; without the consent of the sender.”

Yeah, good luck with that.

From the Editorial: ‘Propaganda Inc.’
Prairie Dog
February 14- 27, 2008 edition
Regina, Saskatchewan

Regina Leader-Post

". . .people who will call in to radio or televised talks shows” and, naturally, “monitors talk shows, alerts our database of upcoming opportunities to participate.” . . .

Does the name Maurice Vellacott ring a bell? Didn't he do similar stunts back several years ago?

I can't believe that the good people of the prairies would allow the likes of Ritz, Vellacott et al to get to public office.

At least you curl better than you vote.

Don't forget that Saskatchewan is also the home of the Right Wing Diva, Kate McMillan!

Progressives in Saskatchewan are trying to deal with the 'post-Reform' phenomenon of harsh, nasty, reactionary politics which seems to be a reaction to the decline of our 'rural' areas.

We have a sizable hard core crew of right wing thinkers who have been demandiing that rural towns of 800 people should have a full surgical hospital, an elementary school AND a high school. They blame urban citizens for their imagined grievances ... and they equate 'urban' with the New Democrats, hence all the crap that comes from the mouth of Kate & company.

Buckdog, it's possible to stay with your reasoning until you jump off a cliff by saying, "rural towns of 800 people should have a full surgical hospital, an elementary school AND a high school."

Why shouldn't a town of 800 have a hospital and K-12 school? If more doctors lived outside of Regina and Saskatoon, the wait and travel times for patients would decline to levels of before the NDP dismantled the health system. And where's your proof that larger schools are doing a better job educating children? The test scores indicate the opposite.

Sorry, "Leftdog" I get your blog name muddled with your ID.

Whooee! I figger we could have a lotta small town hospitals if we weren't throwin' way $6,000 million in Afghanistan.

Anyways, I reckon the issue is with semi-official undercover bloggers, letters-toed writers and talk show callers. WE get wind every so often that this sorta stuff happens -- mostly with the fedCons on accounta they got more money than brains and they need to buy support and pay the dumbass commenters on the Globe & Mail and other big boards.

That letter's a real smokin' gun wrt media manipulation techniques.


"We have a sizable hard core crew of right wing thinkers who have been demandiing that rural towns of 800 people should have a full surgical hospital, an elementary school AND a high school."

THEY SHOULD HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS LEFTDOG!!!. There is no reason they can't. I agree with Saskboy on this one.

In terms of the COST of having a full surgical hospital in every town of 800 or more in Saskatchewan, you would literally require the ENTIRE provincial budget PLUS a huge tax increase to even come close!

COMPLETELY OUT TO LUNCH! You obviously both have NO qualms about bankrupting the province once again as was done in the 1980's (when another right wing gov't acted on sheer rural emotion and NO logic).

Name any other province or state where there is a full surgical hospital for every town of 800 persons.

Unbelieveble!!! :(

You boys have NO idea what you are talking about!

Okay huff and Saskboy - here is where Saskatchewan would need a full surgical hospital under 'your' rural priorities:
Birch Hills
Carrot River
Foam Lake
Fort Qu'Appelle
Gull Lake
Hudson Bay
Indian Head
La Ronge
Maple Creek
Meadow Lake
Pilot Butte
Porcupine Plain
Regina Beach
White City
*Flin Flon (Saskatchewan Part)
**Lloydminster (Saskatchewan Part)
Moose Jaw
North Battleford
Prince Albert
Swift Current

(My checking shows that this would be more hospitals than in the province of Ontario) - why are you so bent on bankrupting the province? Did it ever dawn on you that ALL of these endless rural communities are another relic and remnant of our 19th century pioneer legacy - it is time to move on!

Well... I still think that every town of at least 800 people should have an elementary school AND a high school.

You watch Leftdog with this boom were having lots of people will be moving into these towns that are hour out of Regina and Saskatoon.

"Saskatchewan has so much going for it you can afford to mismanage it and still break even!"
Grant Devine
Conservative Premier of Saskatchewan
(Never balanced even 1 of 9 budgets)

Oh Great Leftdog. Lets all bring up Grant Devine again and again and again. That is always the excuse from the Left.

Come on Leftdog. Your better then that!

"If you do not learn from the past, you are DESTINED to repeat it"

You are not making much sense here huff. But you have picked the correct political party to match your emotional ideology.

I will stop commenting on this post now. I don't want to be deleted.

We will have a good debate on something else one of these days.

check you mail box Leftdog.

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