Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb. 9: Oh, for Pete's sake....

The lead story on p. 1 is neither news nor a story."U2 ticket sales take off"

In the first place, it doesn't have the number of tickets sold. Thirty people were standing in line. That's out of a potential 100,000 customers. As take-offs go, this is like me walking as fast as I can with both arms spread out and saying, "Vroom. Vroom." So how do we know sales are really soaring? Because the promoter says so. Wow! Stop the presses. We have another great, free ad for front page.

The next was, "Premier promises wetlands answer"   Hey! "Premier gives answer" would be smasheroo news. But Premier promises...?  Something that happens every day is not news. Oh, and p.B3 has another free ad for the casino disguised as a news story.

The Business page featured a statement that NB Power must keep energy costs down for big businesses like pulp and paper. (The speaker was somebody named Iving.)  Perhaps as a sign of how he has suffered over unfairly high energy charges, a photo showed him wearing a jacket that appears to come from Frenchy's. (For foreign readers. Frenchy's in a super-bargain - and very good - clothing chain.)

The page also has a column praising the BMO for donating $1,750,000 to a university. The real story, which nobody at the Times seems to have noticed, is that the greater part of it is going to business programmes. In other words, business is increasingly buying up universities in order to prouduce the kind of graduates it wants.

University presidents roll over to have their tummies tickled when that happens because they are not hired as educational leaders. (Normally, they know nothing about education.) They're hired to kiss up to big business and wealthy individuals. That's why we haven't heard anybody from the universities criticizing big business propaganda outfits like Atlantic Institute of Marketing Studies.

I was once invited to chair a large conference of MBA students from one of Canada's "Ivy League" universities. I was dismayed to learn that the MBA, like almost all their big business financed programmes, were heavy on propaganda.

Then there was the editorial of the day - the desparate need for a Canadian Football League team which, by the way, would make Moncton far the smallest city ever to have such a team. Ottawa, far, far bigger and more prosperous than the whole province of New Brunswick, can barely support a team.

Moncton, they say, is clamouring for a team. If anybody is doing any such thing, he must be clamouring in a very secret and sound-proof place.

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