Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30: The Moncton Times&Transcript: from low ethikcs to no ethics

At first, it's the trivia that catches your attention - the royal wedding that's on both the front page and the news section,  with gushier prose than ever; AND with more ga-ga pictures.

Then we're back again to the hardline progranda. It's about that busrdly expensive hockey rink our mayor  and the T&T prefer to call a multipurpose centre. If this is going to be such a profitable project, why not let the Irvings, Ganongs, etc. pay for it? Then, they can have all those great profits.

But New Brunswick doesn't have governments like that, not at any level. When the owner of the hockey team wants a new arena at low cost to him, then it's a civic need, and we have to pay for it. But when it comes to giving away tens of thousands of acres or subisidizing corporate energy bills, then we are reminded of the importance of helping private corporations. (In both cases, we pay.)

It gets worse.

In its last issue before the election, The Moncton Times (which has so far pretty much ignored the election) has four pages of election candidates going "Head to Head", duking it out with the tough but fair editors of the T&T. Actually, it was five pages of kiss-kiss trivia. I guess the editors were just all tired out from watching a day of re-runs of the royal wedding.

And it gets worse.

The six candidates chosen were Liberal and Conservative. Only Liberal and Conservative.

I'm not surprised that the T&T editorial boad can be so contemptuously, openly, and insultingly unethical. I am a little (well, only a little) surprised that political candidates would be willing to take part in such a journalistic and political fraud.

So I thank the T&T for letting us know which  politicians are as unethical as its editors are. (I have friends in journalism across Canada and in Asia. Some are not very scrupulous in their reporting. But even the worst of them  get a kick out of these stories about the T&T).

As it has been from the start, the Whatever section is the best part of the paper. This is the section of stories and commentaries by students in our public schools. This time, in another excellent idea, they include French-speaking students.

 Some were thoughtful. A couple were quite touching. All were well written. All were superior to anything I have seen in a T&T editorial column. ( Dr. Wallace's adivce column for teens is a sound one.)

I taught writing for six years in public school. I also taught it as a major part of my university history courses. I have been a professional writer for major markets. These students are good. Our public schools are doing an excellent job.

Just to sneak in a couple of thoughts on two of the columns:
1.For Nathan Tinzler who wrote about rugby - British Rugby came to us from British
 offiicers based in the colonies. But it was played only by the upper classes. So it was that the upper claases in Canada made it a game strictly for their social set. In those days, that was pretty much the only social set that could go to university; so Rugby became the big, university game.

The rules were confusing, though. So they were re-written, most at McGill, to become a new game - North American football. But it was still a game only for the rich.
That's why the Stanley Cup was originally for the amateur championship of Canda. The thinking was that anyone who accepted money for playing a game could not be a "gentleman" of suitable class.
And that's why, to this day, most pro football players went to university. Most  other pros - boxers and hockey players and jockeys, etc. did not.

2. For Aureli Pare, who wrote a very mature piece on putting those things we have a passion for into a balance with what we need for ourselves. That is generally true. But, if you're very lucky, you can find a passion that doesn't take from you, but gives to you.

I felt that way from my first day of teaching. The passion took nothing out of me, but added a great deal. I even did some supply teaching after I retired - until I realized they didn't want me to teach, just to baby-sit. So now I do voluntary teaching for Tantramar senior's college..

Mind you, I also have passions for painting and writing.  At that point, I agree with you. Too many passions, and one does end up looking like Easter Island.

Congratulations to all you students. Congratulations to  your teachers. Congratulations to your parents. Even the brightest of students can do badly without stimulating parents.)

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