Friday, July 15, 2011

July 14: Norbert Cunningham does honour to journalism

It's on the editorial page, at the bottom, an opinion column by Norbert Cunningham. It's about climate change; and it's the opinion piece of the year. No point in going through the formality of waiting for another four months. Give him the award now.

It's really about those who deny that climate change is happening. It's well written. It's angry for all the right reasons. It's forceful. It's clear.

It's also courageous. The deniers are organized and propagandized through big business which doesn't want to accept any regulation at all, or to lose a penny of profit by slowing climate chage - and certainly not for something that is pobably no going to happen before the current crop of business leaders dies. They really are so greedy and so indifferent to others that they care only about themselves.

People like that are not going to like seeing Cunninghams opinion in print - and such people are prominent and influential in New Brunswick. Thiscolumn, then, is something you must read, partly because it is so well done - and partly to pay honour to Mr. Cunningham's honesty and courage.

As for the rest of the paper, and with the added exception of Alec Bruce's column, it's mostly the usual
bland stuff.  Most of the real news of the day just isn't there.  In fact, most pages make me want to turn on the TV for the wit, hunour and insight of ts infomercials

Most of it is just bland drivel. Alas! I cannot be so kid to the editorial that takes a minor ncident, and uses it to launch a false and even lying blame on the public education system. This is an old game for the T&T. They do it because neo-conservatives in the US (and more than a few in Canada and New Brunswick) are determined to destroy our public schools. That's why they mounted a push for the scientifically absurd and damaging practice of  standardized testing and school ranking.

(University faculties of education don't dare say a word to defend the schools because they know who owns the province - and the universities.)

The goal is to shovel tax money out of the education system and into pockets that are already full from years of  ripping us off. They don't care about our children. They don't care how this harms them. If they could grind up all the children of the province and stuff them into sausage skins for sale at the supermarkets they own, they'd do it.

The game, for now, to discredit the school system. That's what this editorial is all about. It takes a foolish decision by a principal, and uses that as an excuse to revive a lie it spread a years ago when the Distrcit Education Council decided it was necessary to close Moncton High School for safety reasons.

On that occasion,the Times and Tribune immedately charged the District Education Council and the Superintendant with being at fault for ignoring school maintenance. That was a lie. And the editorial writer knew it was a lie when he wrote it. It's still a lie - and whoever wrote this unethical and conpemptible editorial knows that, too.

Maintenance could not be kept up - not because of local officials, but because the government would not vote the money for adequate mainentance. It has not voted enough mondy for years. The superintendentand the Discrict Education Council have no control over that.  The editorial writer knew that, too. 

This is lying, and lying in the column that is supposed more than any other to represent the quality of the newspaper. (And I guess it does. With some thrity years of experience in journalism in Canada, the US and China, I can say that The Moncton Times &Transcript as well as the whole Bunswick Media chain stand out as the most unethical, dishonest, and incompetent news media I have seen.)

When the school principal denied news media the right to know the names of graduating students, he did something foolish. It wasn't criminal. It in no way hurt education. It was just foolish. I've done foolish things. (I read the T&T every day.) You've done foolish things. I don't defend the principal. I have met him, and feel no need think highly of him)  But this was just a foolishness that hurt nobody,

Why didn't the Superintendent and the Chair of the DEC not publicly reprimand the principal? Because they are, unlike the twits and hacks and propgandists who write T&T editorials, intelligent and capable people. They know that a public reprimand for this reason would simmply damage morale in the public school system even worse than The Moncton Times  and AIMS already have..

Of course, the person who wrote that editorial wants to damage morale, publicly humiliate and destroy the public education system to make some you-know-whos even richer. That's what it's really all about.

These are our children who are being attacked. These are our schools that are being abused for the sake of our private profit. These are our newspapers propagandizing us to do damage to our schools and our children. If the people of this province have any integrity at all, it's time to tell Brunswick Media and its bosses to FO. (French translation - VF).

But I don't want to end on that sour note. I want to end with a thank you to Norbert Cunningham for a column that was a pleasure to read and remember.

Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the living God that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Cunningham.

(apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

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