A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.

Is TV hurting the Liberal’s and NDP’s chances in the election campaign?

Marshall McLuhan (April 24, 1979, age 67).  Yes!

“We have an election underway here in Canada and the issues include separatism, as well as jobs and inflation.  All of these are hot issues.  That is to say, they are completely unsuited to the TV medium.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  The McLuhan strategy.

And today we also have an election underway.  And while the issues have changed, Marshall’s observations remain relevant.  If TV is unsuited to the selling of hot issues then the party that avoids the issues on TV is most likely to win.  Not surprisingly, McLuhan had another idea, too: hot issues could be pushed on a hot medium like radio.  If McLuhan is right, this could be what is required for a Liberal or NDP victory. Hot sell on radio, cool engagement on TV.  But can any of the opposition leaders beat the Harper stare?

Cordially, Marshall and Me


Marshall McLuhan, Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 545.

Tags: ,

Michael Hinton Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Communication, Politics No Comments

Leave a Reply