When I saw the above video I, like most anti-Conservatives that saw it, thought it was good fun. Look at Levant making a fool of himself, look at him embarrass the CPC on National television.
Then I saw this column by Globe tv critic John Doyle this morning. This sort of thing unnerves me. No, I don't usually rely on tv critics, food editors, and gossip columnists for insightful political analysis. However, I can't help but feel that someone who has made a career out of watching tv is a bit more representative of the Canadian population than an Ottawa boy with a political science degree. I know the blogging tories enjoyed this, but they're certainly not representative of the Canadian population (we hope).
I don't doubt that if you ran a poll about whether Canadians were interested in watching this sort of stuff, a large majority would say no, not at all, but we know Canadians also say that they hate attack ads, and we know those definitely do work. I remember an anecdote a journalism professor once told me about FOX executives watching FOX News with the volume on mute to decide if they were doing their jobs well or not. So how many uninvolved Canadians watched that bit on P&P the other night and found something to like about Levant's exaggerated movements and shouting?
This whole Graves-CBC thing has just been a fundraising drive for the CPC (possibly ruining a private citizen's career in the process), of that I have no doubt. Yet I'm worried it's a sign of things to come. With gas bags like Levant and smarmy courtiers like Teneycke becoming increasingly prominent in Canadian current events programming, are we destined for nothing but Crossfire-esque political commentary?