Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jan.18: No news continues.

There was really only one story worth reading today.  The Common Front for Social Justice has told the finance minister he should not reduce the debt by cutting off services to the poor. He should do it by raising taxes paid (or, rather, not paid) by the upper middle class and by corporations. The request is actually quite modest. (It's for only thirteen percent for corporations ), which is probably less than the corporations collect in government welfare.

Twenty percent would be far more realistic - especially given all the exemptions that corporations can claim. It's a good idea. But even 13% is not going to happen. The Finance Minister knows quite well who he represents -and it's not the poor or the middle class. (But he'll listen. What a thrill! listening is so much easier than telling Mr. Irving to pay a little bit of his way.)

Front page also had a story about the location of the new Moncton High. It's pretty much the same story it had yesterday on that subject. I guess they felt some readers just can't get enough of a good thing. There's also an editrorial saying pretty much the same as the story.

There's also yet another story about how the closing of Highfield Square is an 'opportunity'. Again, it's essentially, more than essentially, the same story they ran yesterday. That is, it's not a story. It's a plug for borrowing a couple of hundred million by this over-its-head-in-debt province at a time when world economies are in collapse. Weneed it. For a hockey rink. Worse, even in good times, this spending of public money would bring most of its benefit to private hotel chains, hockey team owners,etc.

Funny how corporations and the very wealthy who are forever raging about big government and taxes and who hate welfare suddently become all keen when it's big government and taxes handing out welfare to them.

Good newspapers don't repeat the same stories day after day. And good newspapers don't use news to propagandize its readers into  wasting money.

And good newspapers don't waste space on stories that have no relevance at all to their readers. Page one begins a major story that is really an ad for the skating championships. The head blurb on the story is that hotel rooms are still avaliable for those wish to attend the event. Think about that.

Are we people in Moncton being advised to rush to one of the hotels to get a room? Surely not.  Surely the pitch for hotel rooms in Moncton is aimed at people who live some distance from Moncton.

So why write such a story when almost all the readers will be people who live here, and don't need a  hotel room? Do they think there are New Yorkers who browse the The Moncton Times and Transcript to see what's going on in the hub of the world?

That story illustrates the thoughtlessness with which the TandT is put together.  The editors routinely run stories about nothing, repeat stories without any new information, and daily select two or three international stories which appear to be chosen simply at random. And it wastes most of its  op ed pages, on childish, little stories by staff writers.

This is a paper run by people who just don't care what the news is. So long as they  have a near monopoly, they can sell ads. All they have to make sure that nothing that is critical of anything the Irvings and friends want is ever reported. Once that's done, they feel free to run anything that's trivial and cheap.

Keep 'em in ignorance. That's the motto of The Moncton Times and Transcript.

Oh, don't ever exoect to know the whole story about the Halifax sailor arrested for espionage. He might have been working for the Russians. The Russians do have an interest in our northern waters. But the US, too, has a long record of refusing to recognize Canada's claim to the Arctic. And many other countries like China and Japan and Britain and Norway are deeply interested in a region that is becoming navigable.

The not so subtle hints are that the Cnadian was tipping off Russia. Maybe. But there are no friends between nations, not when big money or strategic advantage is involved. It's quite common that the paid informant himself doesn't know who he's working for.  After all, your average spy does not walk up to a potential traitor to say, "Hello. My name Boris. I am spy for Russia. You haf plans to sell?"

Nor is it likely that Harper would be enthusiastic about letting the word out if Britain or the US or some other "friend" were involved.

We'll probably never know the whole story.

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