Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27: our sympathies go to......

As usual,the first three sections of The Moncton Times and Transcript have nothing worth buying a paper for unless you really, really care that there will be a variety of food available at the U2 concert.

Fracking made page three, but only because vandals damaged some equipment at a fracking site. Has fracking done any damage to us?  Good luck on finding a storty about that.

Real news doesn't make the paper. It's just like that time over ten years ago, when President Clinton publicly apologized for the CIA( and Israeli intelligence)- led massacre of 200,000 Maya natives in Guatemala. Most North American news media just didn't bother to report it.

The Moncton Times&Transcript didn't say a word about it, not even when it was known that one of the murdered   war Raoul Leger of Bouctouche. Nor did it say a word when the Canadian government refused to  investigate the case, or even to ask questions. They were still silent about the issue a year ago when New Bruswick film makers working for NFB produced a film about it.

The editorial page today has two, good columns by Alec Bruce and Gwynne Dyer. But the one I'll talk about is by Brian Cormier. No, this one isn't picking on Mr. Cormier or the T&T. It's picking on  us.

Cormier's column is about the death of Amy Winehouse, particularly that some people have no sympathy with her or her family because she suffered addiction. He says - and I t hink reasonably so - that a person who suffers addiction deserves sympathy as much as anyone does, that the addiction itself calls for sympathy. Most of us will probably agree. And most of us will be hypcrites.

We give sympathy depending on who dies. We will feel sympathy for Amy Winehouse, for the recently murdered Norwegians, for the victims of 9/11.  But tell me, when was the last time any news medium expressed sympathy for the two million plus innocent dead in Vietnam? for the half million civilians killed in the US terror bombing of Cambodia? for the over a million, mostly civilians, killed in Iraq? for the at least tens of thousands who have died in Afghanistan? for those adults and children being killed by drone bombers in Yemen and Pakistan? for the civilians we are now killing in Libya? for the 200,000 Maya killed in Guatemala? Or even for Raoul Leger?

When have you read of sympathy for the millions of refugees we have created with our wars - the starving, the widowed, the orphaned, the crippled? Do we figure maybe that them there foreigners don't' mind seeing their families starved to death or their babies splattered against a wall?

That's probably it. I mean, they ain't god fearin' people like us.

When Lieutenant William Calley of the US army in Vietnam was convicted of murdering 120 people, including babies and elderly, in Vietnam, he was pardoned after a few days in jail. That was the result of widespread compassion for Calley in the US.  When a Canadian child who was tortured into admitting he threw a grenade was imprisoned for years, tortured, and then sent to a military tribunal for trial, I saw very little compassion in our news media - and neither compassion nor integrity in our government.

Of course we should feel compassion for an Amy Winehouse. We should also feel compassion for all the people that our side abuses and murders. Better still, maybe we should stop doing it.

But don't expect to find anything like that in our news media. We should least of all expect it from Brunswick media - at least not  until after the U2 concert - and then, of course, the big football game, followed by the continuing crisis of bicycle lanes, and maybe the opening of a new pizzeria....

1 comment: