Friday, January 14, 2011

The media - our manipulators

At the bottom of the editorial page, Norbert Cunningham has an interesting article about how TV and then the web have been disappointing for the predominance of mindless trash in them. Quite true. It would have been even truer if he had mentioned newspapers, too - especially since just above his column was an editorial that was a prime example of ignorance and manipulation.  (It also suggests big business in New Brunswick has shifted its support from the federal Liberals to the Stephen Harper cro-magnons.)

The whole story was there in  the WE SAY spot on the left side of the editorial. "Michael Ignatieff leaves no doubt he would lead an old-style tax and spend Liberal government."

Now, I have no great enthusiasm for Michael Ignatieff - perhaps slightly more than I have for Harper; but that still would leave a lot of room for upper movement should Ignatieff ever develop a principle and maybe even a policy or two. But that WE SAY statement is just ignorance, childishness, and manipulation.

For the ignorance, even a casual study of Canadian history would show that throughout the history of this country and its provinces, the bigger spenders have been Conservative governments. I do wish the Times and Transcript writers would learn some Canadian history. Perhaps they could start each work day by all singing O Canada. See if they can get past O Canada: te-dum-te-dum. te-de.

Perhaps the only cautious and intelligent and honest taxers and spenders of all Canadian history were the old CCF (now the NDP) governments of Saskatchewan under Tommy Douglas. They kept taxes down while still pioneering much of Canada's social services - like medicare.

Generally, both Liberals and Conservatives have been big taxers and spenders. In fact all governments are tax and spend. They're supposed to be. That's why we elect them. Taxing and spending is why we have roads and public schools and hospitals  The questions are not taxing and spending. The questions are who is shouldering the tax, and who is getting the benefit of the spending.

Those are the real questions; and they are also the ones that newspapers have avoided ever since the late 1800s when newspapers suddenly became far more widely available; and when wealthy newspaper owners like Hearst and Beaverbrook saw how they could be used to maniupulate people, to keep them ignorant of what is happening, to spread hatreds, and to get people all worked up by using childish prhases like "Liberals just tax and spend."

You can see the same thing in the American news media as they have people calling each other Democrats or Republicans as though each of those was a dirty word. Americans are ignoring the greatest crisis of their history by arguing about whether it was caused by Democrats or Republicans. In fact, both parties are irrelevant since both are on the payrolls of the same corporations. Anyway, the crises the US are facing don't begin with the politicians. They begin with unscrupulous bankers, with a defence industry whose greed knows no limits. (Defence industries love wars. Whoever wins, they still rake in huge sale. The US military lost, for example, in Vietnam. But for American defence corporations the defeat was a time for breaking out the champagne, and bonusses all around.)

The Moncton Times and Transcript loves using childish catch-phrases like "tax and spend". It gets people's attention away from reality. It gets them arguing over two political parties that are really identical puppets.

If we're seriously looking at budget restraint, we should be getting full information on exactly where our money is going. How much of it is being used to benefit private business like - oh - just off the top of my head - the timber and paper industries? Or - how do corporate taxes in New Brunswick compare to such taxes across Canada?  And, after all the loopholes are considered, what are the percentages of tax paid by the average person and the very rich?

No such luck. What we're getting is half-wit wit and, like Americans, being manouevered to argue about political parites instead of real needs, real prioirties, and questionable hand-outs.

Alward is Shawn Graham. They both dance for the same puppeteers. (Do you seriously think that Graham dreamed up the Quebec Hydro scheme all by himself? Do you seriously think that scheme would never have happened if Alward had been premier in place of Graham?)

So, in addition to scrapping our TV sets and computers, let's also help preserve our forests by buying fewer newspapers. And let's see if we can save the old PA system at Moncton high, and install it in the offices of The Times and Transcript. And let them sing along every morning,  "O Canada, our......ta de da de da...."

No comments:

Post a Comment