Friday, December 23, 2011

Dec. 23: The silly season, lack of ethics, the usual...

There is really no news in today's Moncton Times and Transcript. There is just triviality, horoscope, comics... In other words, it's business as usual at the TandT. That makes Norbert's column particularly annoying. He gets off on a rant about how newspaper news media just report silly news in this, the silly season. It really doesn't occur to him that this is what the TandT does every day of the year.

In naming news media who run silly news stories at the Christmas season, the points out CBC. Now, in the years I've read his columns, he often criticizes the CBC.  I notice, though, he never criticizes private radio or television. Private radio newscasting and new analysis is abysmal across the country. Private TV is a bit better, but not much. But Norbert attacks only the CBC. It's really not CBC Norbert is all in a snit about. It's the evil of the people of Canada owning anything when his boss could be owning it and making big money out of it.

Then there's the question of journalistic ethics. Take a look at the editorial, "A good day's work".

Two thirds of it is the usual brainless praise for the New Brunswick government over the past term. that's okay. We're used to brainless. But the last two paragraphs are something worse than brainless.
They are a shameless and dishonest defence of the shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

Let's deal with the ethics part first. The owner of the TandT is a major player in shale gas exploration. An editorial writer, one with any integrity at all, tells us when he or she might be biased about the topic of the editorial. An ethical journalist that his boss is a major player, and admits it from the start so we have fair warning. That way, we know that this is a column kissing ass.

Then there's the question of honesty. "Somehow New Brunswickers need to evn better informed about energy issues." Damn right they do. And the major reason they aren't informed is that the government has either hidden information or broken promises or given false information. And so has the newspaper this half-wit, unethical and dishonest editorial appears in. In over ten years, both parties have told us almost nothing. Both parties are still babbling about tough, new regulations. Not only do we still not have the regulations - but we haven't hired inspectors even if we do get the regulations.

And show me where private radio - a substantial part owned by guess who - has taken up the slack. I've worked for private radio. I know how bad its news rooms are. and how carefully they censor the news.

Then bias and dishonesty takes a nasty turn.  "One considerable segment of the protesters are older New Brunswickers who return to the province hoping for a peaceful retirement..." Where did that pseudo-statistic come from? The protesters that I have met are of all ages and are both rural and urban. Why toss in this older New Brunswickers stuff?

Because the editorial writer wants to make a threat. "These are the same people who will rely more than any other slice of the population on a well-funded health care system..." And the writer implies without shale gas development they won't get health care.

If shale gas continues to do the damage to earth, water, and the atmosphere it has already done in some US states, it's the young people who will need the health care - and we won't have nearly as many older people to worry about.

The federal department of the environment has already leaked a document about the permanent damage to the land, plants, the water table and to people downstream from the Alberta oilsands. (The TandT didn't report that, either.)

Look. I'm sorry. Mr. Irving will have to make do with whatever money he may have saved in his RRSP. We can keep using fossil fuel - for a little while. But there comes a point when the damage is irreversible, when you can't do it any more - not even with all the money the shale gas industry has to buy politicians and hack journalists. You can't do it because the the planet will be dead. We may already have passed that irreversible point.

To illustrate for the TandT just how serious that would be, there would be nobody to buy ads in the paper.

The industry has hidden information from us. It has bombarded us with propaganda. It has lied. And it has done so with the hearty cooperation of irresponsible politicians and newspapers. like - you know who.

Even by the standards of the Irving new media, this is a disgusting, lying, insinuating, manipulative and unethical editorial.

Ah, well, this is the season when we are jolly, and when even the hungry get fed. I shall post only sporadically  for the coming week because it's a holiday time, because I'm moving, and because my computer needs repairs.

A reminder, though. Again, I have to do it here because the Times and Transcript won't publicize it in its metro section. On Tuesday, January 3, at 7 pm, the current events group will meet in the Moncton Library. I shall open with a very short bit about the Home Defence Authorization bill that has been passed by congress, how it likely to be used, and how it will affect Canada. This is probably the news story of the century. But it has  yet to appear in the TandT.

Then we'll go on to discussion of any topics you wish to raise.

Meanwhile, enjoy the holiday.


  1. It's too bad that there are only 25 readers of your blog.What is also disappointing is the lack of comments.
    I think you are right about the T&T bias.
    I have written three letters to the Editor and none have been printed. These have been within the guidelines except for length. They have been controversial and I challenged the "system". I think it is time to start a blog.

  2. Oh,the 25 are members. I get more than 25 readers a day. Curiously, though, the majority of readers lately have been in the US.

  3. I should add, too, that New Brunswickers shy away from any discussion of current events. There's a real fear that runs through this province - though it has been showing signs of change lately.