Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27: The Moncton Times and the The New Work times

There you have them, two big, metro papers with the highest standards. So, today's front page of the New Times has a big headline with story, "Pizzeria to open branch on twelfth street".

Well, no. The NYT didn't do that. It carries trivial stuff like "unemployment rises", "Thrity killed in Libya".

But metro Moncton, the hub of something, sent its fearless reporters out to get to the guts what really matters. We're getting a new chicken restaurant on Mountain St.  Boy, now the world will be talking about us for sure.

And there was good news under a joyous headline "Railcar company jobfair a success". Actually, when a hundred and fifty show up in the first hour some jobs become available, that's a success story for the bosses. But when a hundred nad fifty people scramble that fast to get one of fifty jobs, that's a failure. It tells us the job market is getting pretty bad. I guess calling it a success depends on whose side you're on.

Skip to the section C for the story of a Canadian soldier who died in Afghanistan for "non-combat" reasons. Like most of tnhe Canadian new media, the Moncton Times hasn't shown much interest in deaths "for con-ocmbat reassons." Americans have shown much more concern for their veterans who are dying at the rate of seven a day for such reasons.. Nor have we heard about the terrible price being paid in mental health and family breakdown.

A Canadian chaplain refsed to speak about the dead, perhaps invoking "let the dead bury the dead." He prefers, he said, to talk about the living who are doing an important job. You tell 'em, rev. Explain how their important job will bring about  the kingdom of heaven. If a clergyman is going to pick a side in a war, he should at least have the honesty to go as a soldier.

On the p. D1, we learn that Kim Kardashian had her bum x-rayed to prove it was all real. Hell, I could have done that without all that expensive machinery.

Skip to editorial page. This, there are two, good opinion columns. And a contemptible editorial - par for the course.

The For the Record column is on how universities are selling their souls to private businesss, norably the pharmaceutical business. (University presidents are a pretty gutless bunch.)
 What the companies are doing is funding research that is really used to spread propaganda for their overpriced products. (And the CEOs get honorary doctorates for corrupting the universities.)

Alec Bruce's column is instructive. You don't often see a writer who is incapable of doing a bad job.

Then there's the editorial. It's about fracking in the search for natural gas. The final sentence sums up the kissup tone of the editorial.  We must develop this resouce..."if it can be extracted safely with little risk." Did Norbert approve that phrase (or maybe write it?) How can something be safe if it has a (little) risk. The BP oil drilling in the Caribbean was safe by that standard. So was Chernobyl

And why should we take the opinion of either an editorial writer or our mousey premier when:

1. The Moncton Times and Grovel" didn't tell for years that the exploration was going on.
2. It hasn't told us anything about those jurisdictions that have forbidden fracking until further study is done.
3.It didn't bother to tell us, until the last minute, that there was opposition to it.
4. It has not told us about accidents in the US.
5. It has not told us that US banks are refusing to mortgage land where (or near) fracking is being carried out - or might be carried out.
6.We have no clear idea what we get out of this - except for more of the lowest-paying jobs in Canada. We could be, probably are, giving away another resource as we gave away our forests.
7.There is no evidence that Mr. Alward has listened to  his many "listening" consultations. There is every evidence he is very much the puppet that every NB premier has been.
8. As a man of action and insight, how come Mr. Alward didn't make fracking an issue in the election campaign? He surely can't rely on just the T&T for his news. Didn't he and his "team" know that fracking was going on?
9. His regulations were drawn up hurriedly only when he had to admit what was going on. There is no reason to be confident that they are good or that they will be enforced properly. As well, the fact that regulations were prepared so quickly suggests that corners have been cut for years - and there already is damage.

Finally, The Moncton T&T takes a side only when its owners tell it to. The tone of that editorial suggests that the owners have a stake in natural gas. So what is it? How much will they pocket?

Big business doesn't give a damn about the people of New Brunswick. Canadian mining companies in, for example, Congo have happily poisoned the country, starved its people and worked them to death. Your favourite Chiquita banana company has worked people into poverty and death in Central America, has overthrown democracies, and has murdered. Our lives, our children's, our futures are controlled by people who only motive is greed. This province has spent its whole history being bled  and manipulated.

All journalists, even the best and most conscientious of them, can never tell the whole truth. That's why I so much enjoy being retired from that part of my life. At last, I can tell the truth.

Still, I can  understand journalists who hold back. What I can't understand is those who grovel and lie - and enjoy doing it.

Don't expect the T&T tp tell you any of that. Don't expect it to be honest. Trust it only when it tells you a new chicken restaurant is opening on Moiutain Road.

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