Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb. 20: Extra, all about it....

For the Moncton Times and Transcript, the big story of the day, highlighted on p. A 1 with lots of pictures on A. 4. is about a big dress sale. Yesterday.

Yes, I know I'm just a man. But it was just a dress sale. A big one, but still a dress sale. And it's not coming. It's over. It was yesterday.

In fact, it didn't make the news at all outside New Brunswick.  Across Canada, the big news story is the fury over the Harper government's bill to permit police spying on our telephone calls and web messages, thus raising state spying on citizens to the levels it has reached in the US, China, and North Korea.

In Moncton, the story was a dress sale - one  that's over.

In fairness, the police state story does make NewsToday -but there it's focus is on threats made to the minister introducing it. If you want to get a better idea of what the fuss is about, you have to go to Letters to the Editor.

Nor does the paper have a word about shale gas. Remember that? Shale gas was the big issue they and the government were going  to keep us informed about.

Nothing from the news staff on Moncton High, either - though shale gas and Moncton High are the two most discussesed issues in town. Luckily, there's a good letter about Moncton High in Letters to the Editor. (I really don't know what we'd do for news if we didn't have Letters to the Editor.)

The lead story in NewsToday is about a Swedish man was was snowed into his car for two months. This will be a big help for all those who missed the story when the rest of the world heard about it several days ago. This one isn't even an update. It's the same story  as the old one.

As usual, I have no idea why Mark Abley wrote  his column, or why any newspaper would publish it.

Warships from China, Russia and Iran are now 'visiting' ports in Syria. I should think that's important since at the same time we have Israel and most of the Republican leadership candidates clamouring for wars ASAP against Syria and Iran - and the Russian/Chinese fleets are their visiting -  to protect Syria and Iran.

But this is a Reuters' report. So it doesn't bother with all that trivia. The Reuters' story, which seems to be as much about Bosnia as it is about Syria, is really an encouragement for military intervention against the Syrian government and it's "random cruelty".

Funny thing about that random cruelty. There has been a lot of cruelty from othe current Syrian goveronment. It has, for example, practiced torture in its prisons for years. That's why the US government was such good friends with Syria until recently. The CIA used Syrian prisons when they 'rendered" (kidnapped) people they wanted to torture. There was no charge. No trial. Just a year or two or more of torture. Those were days when American governments just loved the people they now accuse of cruelty. Britain had the same deal going with Syria. Harper played along with it.

Remember the case of Canadian citizen Arar who was illegally sent to Syria by the CIA in 1902?  And tortured for ten months? Remember how  our own CSIS went over to help out with the "interrogation'? Remember how the Canadian government didn't say a word to help Arar until it was forced to?

Remember how Arar went to the courts and was proved innocent? And remember how both the US congress and Harper had to apologize to Arar?

Yes. The Syrian government has a history of cruelty. That's why Canada and the US were good friends with it for so long. But you won't find that in the Reuters report. Reuters doesn't like to say nasty things about our side.

There's another story that is huge around the world. But not in the Irving news media.

The Israeli government has been holding a Palestinian for over two months with no charge and no trial and no lawyer. So the man, claiming innocence, went on a hunger strike.He is now approaching a world record for a hunger strike. He is also approaching death. Here is a Palestinian attempting a non-violent protest against Israel, a protest that has captured the attention and sympathy of most of the world, and whose fallout is impossible to predict.

But not in Moncton.

Moncton had a big dress sale yesterday.


  1. It was a Trade Show wasn't it?

    Describing it as a dress sale might be funny, but it's a bit like descibing the superbowl as a game of football.

    "If you want to get a better idea of what the fuss is about, you have to go to Letters to the Editor."

    Or somewhere you'd expect to get a better idea. CBC. Montreal or Toronto newspaper. Globe and Mail, maybe.

    I don't know why you expect a smalltown newspaper to be above what it is.

    Wow....I got to 15 pairings before I was able to make out both words in the anti robot thing.

  2. the paper described it as a show and sale.
    I think it's too kind to excuse the Times and Transcript as a small town paper. There's a good deal of small town that hangs about Moncton. But it is a city And the TandT is part of a newspaper system that covers the province - and all owned by the same person. That makes the whole set the equivalent of a newspaper in a pretty fair-sized city.
    NBmedia has the money and the audience to be a real, grown-up news system.
    But it prefers to publish propaganda and drivel. It could actually put out a far better national and international news section if it had one cub reporter checking out Google news for ten minutes a day.
    There`s no excuse for its appallingly low quality and its heavy bias. As well as being ignorant of easily available news and a pedlar of propaganda, it also appears to be both lazy and sloppy.

  3. Just as long as you don't give yourself an ulcer or something, fighting your lone battle:)

    Maybe I just look at it differently coming from the UK where I had the Guardian daily for the important stuff and the local paper really was just the local paper.

  4. Forgot to add that local paper was for a city more than 5 times the size of Moncton. Still just a local paper though.

    This site really needs to do something about those two words to be typed. I'm well into double figures now and I've still not found one I can read. I thought I managed one but it got rejected.

    You might be losing comments!!

  5. People in the UK are spoiled. They can choose within a range of papers from the best in the world to the worst.
    i had a clerical friend who was in the UK for some great occasion. Collar and all, he strode to a newspaper stall briskly, grabbed the first paper he saw and headed off to catch his train.

    He was startled to be pursued by the salesclerk, who tore the paper away from him and pushed the Times under his arm.

    You can't be seen with this, she said was an afternoon paper, mostly of race results.

  6. I should have added that the battle is not as lone as it might appear. Subscribers are few; but readership has been rising very rapidly. For reasons I cannot understand, at least 20% are Americans.

  7. Thanks for making me laugh (ironically) at the expense of the paper.

    Would you like to hear another good joke? Well how about this one: "There ought to be a law against big business being in the news delivery industry." ....Yeah, right! I don't think that will ever happen, will it?

    Btw, every Monday morning I stop by here: for Kunstler's newest socially and politically motivated post combined with insightful humor. I wonder if you've been there?