Stephane Dion is the current Minister of the Environment in the Government of Canada. Which makes his address (Sources of Media Distortion in Coverage of Political News) to a Laval University event this month all the more startling. Paul Wells translated it. Politicians, Dion tells us, are
wary of aficionados of journalistic decoding and interpretation, [and] many set about speaking in empty jargon, antiseptic discourse, a series of vague or false-bottomed declarations or stock phrases and convenient slogans. This discourse offers very little interesting material to the journalist, who is left to compensate with his analytical imagination. That imagination is in even greater danger of being subjective because the politicians own vague and ambiguous words are subject to interpretation.