corporate and think-tank researcher

Donald Gutstein

25 Jan '11

Ethical Oil and the Right-Wing Echo Chamber

On Sept. 1, 2010, the term “ethical oil” didn’t exist except as the title of a soon-to-be-released book by conservative political activist Ezra Levant. Four months later, ethical oil was Harper government policy, or at least an official government talking point. On January 5, his first day on the job, newly-minted environment minister Peter Kent

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17 Sep '10

Harper’s Meeting With Murdoch — The Real Story

Why would big-time global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss how miniscule Canadian media tycoon Pierre-Karl Péladeau could set up a Quebecor Media television knock-off of Murdoch’s Fox News channel? The answer is that he wouldn’t — and didn’t. Even Kory Teneycke, who was Harper’s chief spokesperson at the

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31 Jul '10

Reframing Public Education: Countering School Rankings and Debunking the Neoliberal Agenda

1. Introduction and study overview West Vancouver real estate agent Brock Smeaton thinks highly of the Fraser Institute‘s report card. “Independent assessments of educational institutions such as the Fraser Institute‘s annual ranking of BC schools consistently place West Vancouver schools in the upper echelons,” he wrote on his web site touting West Vancouver homes. Parent

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29 Jul '10

Why Attack the Long Census?

Check off another box on the Fraser Institute’s libertarian to-do list. To understand the brouhaha surrounding the long census, look not to Stephen Harper, but to the libertarian Fraser Institute and its long-term agenda to get government out of every activity except to protect the market, including the market for statistics. The Fraser has been

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29 Apr '10

War On Public Schools Rages

Supporters of public education need to realize they’re in the middle of a war for its future, and they’re losing. The Fraser Institute’s school report-card program is merely the opening salvo in a campaign to strip public education of its funding and direct the resources to the private and nonprofit sectors. Every year the institute

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03 Mar '10

New Citizenship Handbook Twists ‘the Canadian Story’

A close read reveals shrewd propaganda designed to expand Harper’s immigrant base. There’s a lot of war and no medicare. Beginning March 15, the 170,000 immigrants who become Canadian citizens every year will need to learn their facts about Canada from the new 62-page citizenship guide, Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, which

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11 Feb '10

Gang Warfare Ottawa Style

The fight pitting Big Media against Big Cable is nasty, and instructive. In about two months, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will announce its decision regarding the television broadcasters’ proposal to collect fees from cable and satellite providers for broadcasters’ over-the-air network signals. Will the regulators side with the cable companies, who argue the

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22 Jan '10

Inside the DDT Propaganda Machine

Pretend to speak for poor Africans, lie about true causes of disease. That’s how you get the news media to love a lethal pesticide. [Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from Not A Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy, by Donald Gutstein, Key Porter (2009).] News is not propaganda, but the success of propaganda

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07 Jan '10

The Fraser Institute’s School of Spin

In this excerpt from his latest book, Donald Gutstein exposes the Fraser Institute’s school programs that work “toward changing the climate of opinion in Canada” The Fraser Institute launched a program in 1988 that would have far-reaching impact on advancing the corporate agenda. This program, aimed at students, is actually a half-dozen initiatives through which

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10 Dec '09

This Is How You Fuel a Community of Climate Deniers

Start with big oil companies, and the money and connections flow. [Editor’s note: This is excerpted from Not A Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy by Donald Gutstein, published by Key Porter.] Here’s how it fits together. Sallie Baliunas is a Harvard-Smithsonian Institution astrophysicist who has been providing scientific cover for global-warming deniers since

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03 Nov '09

How the Right-Wing Manipulates Media

Corporate-backed think-tanks operate a dual strategy to get their messages in the media. As the Fraser Institute’s five-year plan indicates, they court the press to obtain favourable coverage. But they also club the press when necessary. The weapon of choice is the charge that the media are too liberal and do not give conservatives a

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14 Oct '09

Following the Money: The Fraser Institute’s Tobacco Papers

When the Fraser Institute celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004, media coverage was ebullient. The Province was typical when it proclaimed in an editorial “we’re all ‘right wing’ now” and ended by congratulating the institute for “daring to dissent. May it do so for another 30 years.” This piece was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen

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16 Jul '09

Fraser Institute Bankruptcy Mini Study Spins Facts

The Fraser Institute’s motto is: “If it matters, measure it.” Mark Twain had a different take: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” It’s easy for statistics to become lies. A recent Fraser Institute mini study demonstrates how this can happen. This study was produced to contribute to the heated debate in the United States over Barack

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20 Mar '09

Promoting ‘Spiritual Capital:’ What’s In It For Harper?

Right-wing guru urges melding religion and money making. Trinity Western University and the Fraser Institute would seem to have little in common aside from their location in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. Trinity Western is an arm of the evangelical Christian church, with a goal to develop “godly Christian leaders.” The Fraser Institute is a business-sponsored

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12 Dec '08

Press Panic Sweeps the Nation

How to turn a legal, logical, ‘leftish’ coalition into a hysterical ‘crisis.’ Did Canada’s commercial press help the Harper government cling to power last week? From Halifax to Victoria, most mainstream newspapers declared the country was in a political crisis, attacked any suggestion that a “leftish” coalition government was legitimate or useful, and concluded that

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