Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25: The Moncton Times goes back to the gutter

 The Moncton Times and Transcript for this day makes its role clear. It has launched a vicious attack on those who oppose fracking. The attack is so vicious and unethical, it is impossible to believe this was launched without the consent and urging of the owner and the managing editor. They have all joined forces with SWN Resources Canada to declare war on the psople of New Brunswick.

The opening shot is by Brent Mazerolle on page A1. It appears as a news story. But it isn't. A news story is news news, not opinion. Mazerolle's column does not tell any story. It is nothing but propaganda for SWN and, one must now assume ,whatever linkage it has to the ownership of NBMedia (we haven't yet been told about  that.)

I used to feel sorry for Mazerolle. I felt sorry for any reporter working for such a disgustiing newspaper. But, well, sometime along the way we all have to decide how unprincipled we are williing to be for the sake of holding a job.

First off , over his picture, is a headline. "Shale gas company vows to return". That's a declaration of war. But this is a democracy, I am told. Aren't we supposed to decide whether the shale gase company returns? And on what terms?

The sub-head reads "N.B. suffers black eye" That's not news. That's an opinon. Probably, it came from the managing editor. Certainly, it had to be approved by the managing editor. That theme is carried on throughout the article, which gives the impression of crazed mobs attacking shale gas workers.

The company reports  "physical assaults on personnel".

To which Mazerollel adds, "A vision immediately springs to mind of vigilantes and eco-workers ....beating up beating up technicians and workers just trying to make a living." Indeed, it does. And that inflammatory statement by the gas company was surely intended to create such a vision. Thus the sub head "N.B. suffers black eye."

So it does. And the black eye has been inflicted by the gas company, the New Brunswick government, The Moncton Times and Transcript - and Brent Mazerolle.

Deborah Yedlin does a similar hatchet job on p. A4. this one is a bit sloppy because she apparently cannot understand what she reads. Early in the column she  gives away her bias. "Clearly the energy sector can't get a break."  That's so true. I often feel ashamed of the way we treat multi-billionaires who have multi billionaire firends who own the news media.   I mean, all they want is to take what resource wealth we have to make billions out of it while we work for low wages and pay their electric bills.

Yedlin has trouble reading. She quotes an American report as though it says everything is fine. "Perhaps even more telling is that the report makes a point of saying that not enough analysis has been done on shale gas extraction for concrete conclusions to be drawn.".  She seems to think that clinches the case for the shale gas companies.

Hello, Deborah? Read that again, moving your lips if you must. That means we don't know nearly enough about the effects of shale has drilling. Read----it-----slowly. In fact, that statement does NOT support the case of the companies. It's supports the case of the protesters.

She also says, seemingly thinking this too supports her case, that we still need to learn more to set adequate rebugulations. Really? In other words,  she thinks we should cross the street without first looking both ways.

She mentions that Quebec and France (She forgets South Africa) have banned fracking. But she doesn't think that important enough to say why they have done it.

She admits there are "cowboy" operators in the US.  How can she say that when she claims (untruthfully) that there has never been a case of groundwater contamination through fracking? And, for that matter, isn't the shale gas company we are dealing with of American parentage?

This, again, isn't a news story. It's an opinion piece - and it should never appear as news, not in any paper of any ethics at all. It's ignorant; it's illogical. Yedlin is a writer for Postmedia. Big suprise. Postmedia is the godfather for all the petty, journalistic pimps of Canada.

The Times&Transcript (and its brother rags of New Brunswick, I expect) have hit a low I didn't think possible. The confusion, the divisiveness, the intimidation, the fear this will cause gives pretty clear indication that we are dealing with people, within and without New Brunswick, who don't give a damn what damage they do to us or the province so long as they can make a buck out of it. And we are led by a government that has betrayed us and will go on betraying us. It has never met a wallet it couldn't kiss.

On the editorial and op ed pages, excellent columns by Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire. Excellent letter to the editor from theTaymouth Community Association Environmental Action Committee, the sort of people the economic and politicial leaders of this provience think of as a rabble to be frightenede into sildence.



  1. Either he is acting upon direct orders or Mr. Mazerolle does not know the difference between news and opinion. Of course the "new style reporters"...the Anderson Coopers etc. no longer are content to just report the news. they try to either make it or influence it or color it via their own political hue. Which case belongs to Mr. Mazerolle? If anyone has noticed, a great many of his "new stories" are really opinion pieces disguised as NEWS. If he is not supposed to be writing news instead of opinion pieces then someone higher up the food chain at the "newspaper" needs to explain to him the difference between news and opinion. Of course the "story" referred to is a joke....just another in a long line of PR for the poor downtrodden billionaire gas companies.
    If only we had a choice in this province...but, of course, we do not....So we are obliged to buy and read this bilge on a daily basis and grow ever increasingly frustrated.I cannot call the T&T the worst newspaper in Canada because I have not seen them all, but, by damn, I suspect its "among 'em"

  2. You forgot to mention the great article 'Ufo sightings are down in NB"

  3. Everywhere you go...barber shop, meat market......don't you just hear people talking about UFOs over New Brunswick? Yep..Page 1 story for sure.