Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29: Norbert Cunningham - Bottom Feeder

Today's column at the foot of the editorial page  is a collector's item.

Norbert is in a real tizzy because the election has been so boring and, for Liberals and Conservatives, so negative. He has the grace to say that Layton has been performing well - but the lack of grace to say he considers him goofy and stiff. (Nothing wrong with saying that - if you're also willing to to say similar things about Stephen Harper and James Irving. The ball is in your court, Norbert.)

In fact, this whole column is an attack ad against the parties that he criticizes for running attack ads. Norbert has no shown no sense of what the major issues are. (Mr. Irving probably hasn't told him yet.)

The election campaign was boring and is now confusing not because of the politicians Mr. Cunningham excoriates. It's boring because editors like those at The Moncton Times and Transcript have never informed the public about the issues, and have old us very little about the policies. Indeed, all we know about NDP policies from the T&T is that Norbert thinks them goofy. Some politicians are at fault. But the greater fault lies with our news media. In Moncton, it especially lies with a dreadfully ignorant and sometimes lying editorial board at the T&T.  For example:

In 2008, Harper was threatened by the possibility of a coalition of the opposition parties. He took the stand that such a coalition was illegal under the Canadian constitution. Norbert Cunningham and the editors at the T&T in general took up the cry that this was illegal. In fact, the constitution doesn't even mention parties.As well, and again despite the views of Cunningham and  his wretched paper, the leader of the largest party does not have the right to be prime minister. Indeed, the prime minister is not in the constitution, either.

The editors of the T&T  certainly have the right to publish whatever opinon they like. But in this case, they were either ignorant of the Canadian consitution and of Canadian history, or they were lying. It can only be one or the other. There is no middle ground.

If we are ignorant of the issues, it's because our news media have deliberately kept us ignorant - and Norbert has been a lead player. That's why New Brunswick has a Liberal Party that is exactly the same as the Conservative party. And of all of die hard liberals and conservatives out there, not one in ten thousand even knows what the words liberal and conservative mean. And I'm afraid the editors of The T&T aren't a part of the small group that does know.

In another con game, when a handful of people held a protest about the closing of Moncton High, every news medium in the city gave it full coverage. In fact, there was no story. Of a good two thousand or more parents available, there weren't enough parents at the protest for a decent game of dice. There was no story. But all the new media ran it as the big story of the day. Why?

1. Journalists can be like sheep. They follow the herd.
2. For the Times, it was a chance to further villify the school system.

They had been running an intense campaign against the teachers and the  education councils. Most of it was lies. The rest was vicious slander. The purpose was to discredit public schools so the Irvings and Ganongs and their friends could step in to suck more money out of the province.

When the Superintendent and the council chairman wrote to correct what the paper had been saying, their letters were published, and the paper laid off a bit. But it never admitted it had been wrong.

All of this time, a major writer for the T&T was a member of the education council. Why was he silent? Who put him on the council? (He obviously knows nothing about education.) Who does he really represent?

I spoke to the council last October. (Of course, the story neve made the T&T). That reporter and at least two other members were linked to corporate New Brunswick. I suspect you would find the pattern through home and school and many other groups in the province.

If our election was boring, Mr. Cunningham, it was so largely because of you and other private news media in the city. It was because of your betrayal of fundamental principles of journalism that we don't know what's going on and, not knowing, don't care.

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