Monday, May 16, 2011

May 16: A banner day for bad taste, propaganda, and skewed priorities...

The Moncton Times@Tribune was at its worst today.

The lead story, reasonably enough, was of the death of one of New Brunswick's leading businessmen, one of a tiny group who have dominated the province for decades, and effectively make this province their feudal estate. But he was important, and he was of local origins. So a front page story was reasonable.

Then there was a full page on him on A 4.   Page 5 was death notices. Guess who death took up almost twice as much space as all the others put together?  It was full of the same gush that had appeared in the stories, even listing all of the honorary degrees that go to all rich people for being rich.

Then, God help us, there was an eight page special section that gushed even more. It also informs us that McCain came of humble origins. His father was only an owner of a potato seed business, and an investor, who loved to own fine cars. Right. And I'll bet they had to park those cars in a garage made of cardboard boxes.

All of this is a tasetelessly excessive piece of boot-licking that does no honour to Mr. McCain.

The propaganda, too, began on p 1 with a headline "Gas drilling study is 'good news'" Industory, environmentalists.

This relates to a pressing issue for New Brunswick. There is methane gax trapped in the shale of New Brunswick. Energy companies want it. The gas is taken by a process called fracking, drilling, then flooding the drillhole with huge quantities of fresh water. But there's a catch.

Studies of a region with fracking going on looked at 60 wells in the area. Wells closest to the drilling had levels of methane so high it was possible to set the water on fire. And these are early days. With alll that water pumped in, is iti possible that all our groundwater will become pulluted?

The industry is quoted as sayiing this is good news. Big surprise. It just, they say, has to be done properly. Like, say, oil drilliing off the coast of Florida or nuclear power in Japan.

But,despite the the headline, the only 'environmentalist' quoted  is a geologist  who is already on record as being opposed to a moratoruium on drilling - though even he says all the studies are still unclear, and he is distrurbed at the high levels of methane found in well in recent studies. That's a long way from saying the studies are "good news for environmentalists" as the headline claimed. In fact, that headline is not just bad editing. It's lying.

Check the letters to the editor to see what most environmentalists think.

As uusual, The Moncton TandT is kissing up  to somebody with big money who really doesn't give a damn about the consequences to those who live here. Gee! I wonder who that could be.

And we still haven't reached the village idiot secton of the paper.

The editorial gushes over a board to encourage ' culture' in Moncton. They way he uses the word culture in an indicator that the writer doesn't understand the meaning of the word. I think the word he meant was fine arts.

In any case, it's clear that the puprose of the committee is not essentially fine arts, anyway. It's essentially about attracting toruists, making money, and doing it with anything that will attract a crowd. If it's ballet, fine. If it's drinking beer at Magnetic Hill while listening to pop music, that's even better.

Then, on the opposite page, there's an article about Moncton getting a pro basketball team. Right. This could fit right in with our pro hockey team in its 84 million dollar arena and our pro football team. And, hey, it would do kids a lot of good to sit on benches watching a pro tearm playing instead of  sitting on counches in front of a TV set watching a better pro team.

So far, only one city in Canada has been big enough to be home to pro hockey, pro basketball, and pro football - Toronto. But, you know, if we add up Metro Moncton and Greater Moncton and all the dense population  from Sussex to Sackville, we could show Toronto where the action is at .

Of course, it would cost money, much of it tax-payes' money. we could make that up by cutting the parks and playground programme for children - if we had one.  Or we could cut the library programme. I mean, it's already the lowest funded one in Canada. So nobody will notice.

Or we could grow up.

What a disaster of a newspaper!

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