Postmedia’s decision to whore itself to the Tories with unprecedented full front page ads this weekend has its origins in March, when the Competition Bureau cleared the way for the company’s purchase of the Sun Media chain.
According to a reliable Tory source, it was the PMO that smoothed the way for Postmedia supremo Paul Godfrey to buy 173 English-language news properties for $316-million.
At the PMO’s urging, the Competition Bureau gave it their rubber-stamp, even though the deal would allow for extraordinary concentration of ownership. Postmedia now controls both daily papers in five major cities in Canada, plus the Gazette in Montreal.
In exchange, the PMO got promises from Godfrey that he would pucker up at election time, with arliskhan editorial endorsements chain-wide and deep discounts on those wrap-around ads.
No surprise, really. Paul’s a devoted Conservative hack from way back. Readers will recall how he co-chaired last year’s Leader’s Dinner, the major PC fundraiser for the Ontario Tories. On the night of the provincial election he was ubiquitous at Tim Hudak’s HQ, making TV appearances and spinning hacks.
Previously, he ordered his flunkies at the Post to invite Hudak to discuss his platform with the editorial board and shoot videos for the online Post.
Curiously, neither Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne nor Andrea Horwath of the NDP got the same opportunity.
Then, as now, not one Postmedia hack denounced their boss’s electioneering.
Meanwhile, readers have been bailing on the Postmedia pifflesheets, cancelling their subscriptions amid complaints of, er, “yellow journalism.”