Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 9: The word "fracking" appeared, and in Section A!

Page  2 carries a "fracking" story At last. It's even a truthful and journalistically respectable account. It's too brief to be really useful. But it's a huge improvement on the asence of any news we have been getting on the issue.

It has finally dawned on somebody that the strategy of withholding information about facking has been a big mistake. We still haven't had enough (or honest enough) information on the issue - and the Moncton Times&Tribune and Mr. Alward have been scandalously reponsible for that. Nor do I think we're going to start getting it from those worthies. What is more likely is that this signals some change of strategy, an attempt at a soft sell (perhaps with more interviews with collaborative "experts",)

Section C shows the T&T is beginning - though just beginning - to recognize the seriousness of the riots in Britain. Relying on Pestmedia for its news. the T&T is still trivializing the riots as "gangs of crminials". Maybe. But given the size and spread of the riots, that explanation sounds simplistic. It is surely more likely that these riots are a sort of "British Spring" that are showinig up profound social problems made worse from the days of Thatcher through Tony Blair and now to Cameron. Police cannot solve  a problem that was caused by a greed and indifference that has been inflicted on a society already crippled by class snobbery. The problem is not rioters. The problem is rulers.

There is another story from Postmedia which, as Postmedia usually does, try to shift discussion from the real causes of the problem, and  to aim all our concern and anger at straw men. In this case,  the problem is the recent stock market turmoil. The straw men are the politicians. Yes, it's all because this is the "sillyy season" in US politics; and business has lost confidence in the politicians.

Yessiree. If big business were running the show, if we could just get rid of those politicisns, then the markets would be fine. That's a childish anlysis.

1. It was big business that caused this recession in the first place. Unregulated capitalism, with all its greed and its lack of concern for anything but short-term profit, is what began the recession and is what is driving making even worse.
2. The politicians in the US are cerntarinly acting silly. But that's because big business bribes them to act that way. And what helps big corporations to get away with that that sort of corrupt behaviour is corporate ownership of newspapers - as in the case of Bunswickmedia. And Postmedia. It is not a coincidence that The Moncton Times buys much of its national news from Postmedia.
3. The Tea Party movement, which makes any usuful action by the US impossible, is a direct result of the propganda, fear, and lies generated by privately owned news media.

Yiu will notice that very little of our news is devoted to what is happening to the poor in all this, and to what we should be doing about them. That's because a)corporations and most news media don't give a damn about the poor, and b) they intend to blame the poor for causing the recession.

Sure. In fact, most of the wealth produced in the US and Canada has been has been going into the pockets of the super rich - and it has stayed there so that almost one-third of Americans now live in poverty. Combined with their greed, the super rich have been financially reckless, have plunged us into expensive wars, and have corrupted our politicians. That's why we have a recession.

But you'll never see a hint of that in Postmedia or The Moncton T&T. They'll be taking aim at old age security pesnions, health care, and other frivolous luxuries. Watch Obama's budget cuts. You'll see them in social spending. You won't see cuts in military spending. You won't see any rise in taxes of the super-rich, even though their real tax payments are very low. Watch for the same behaviour in Canada. Alward has already cut spending for schools. But he hasn't raised the cost of energy for those favoured interests who get special rates.

In short, there are only two reasons to buy today's Moncton paper. One is that the T&T has at least attempted to write an honest report about an anti-fracking deomonstration.

The other is Alec Bruce's column on the economic crisis, and how it is also a social crisis.. It is a piece of writing that combines fire, anger, realism - and the common sense we have not had from most of our news media.  I would urge everyone to buy The Moncton Times and Trnascript just for that column.

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