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Bill Fox

Former fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University, former press secretary and director of communications for prime minister Brian Mulroney, author of Spinwars (1999, Key Porter, Toronto)

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The diversionary nature of much of today's political coverage promotes government by risk avoidance. Today's cabinet is being ruled by the doctrine of "plausible deniability".

Apr. 1999 - from Spinwars
... what happens to society's ability to organize itself when commercial considerations clash with the concept of journalism as a public service? Bluntly put, can healthy self-government survive on a steady diet of editorial "junk food"? News, at least in theory, set both the political and the public policy agenda. News determines the context within which political events will be perceived, and assigns responsibility to politiccal leaders for resolving, or failing to resolve, policy problems.

Apr. 1999 - from Spinwars
... the media are, arguably, the central nervous system of today's wired world.

Apr. 1999 - from Spinwars
Because most reporters lack the expertise to assess policy issues on their merits, they tend to shape their coverage to focus on the element of a policy they are expert in - the politics of it.

Apr. 1999 - from Spinwars
... corresondents - either foreign or regional - look at life through a telescope, but Ottawa reporters look at life through a microscope. ... every utterance by a public figure is carefully parsed, every shading in language or nuance of phrase signals something of significance.

Apr. 1999 - from Spinwars