Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feb.2: Did you know it snowed yesterday in Moncton?

Today, I had to shovel to get my car out, then wade through some knee-high, white stuff to get to my copy of The Moncton Times and Transcript. It was lucky I found it because the TandT cleared up the mystery with all the details I needed to know. Apparently, it snowed yesterday.

Yes, it did. The front page  has a picture of a car with white stuff on it - just like my car had - and an alert reporter had written in the caption that this stuff was, indeed, snow.Further details took up half of page 8. Then, for those who still had doubts, p. C8 had a full page of photos of people walking in snow and, oh, just everything. The pictures were almost all of downtown Moncton; but they said it snowed all over the city. Perhaps we'll get those pictures tomorrow.

Well, all newspapers have that habit of telling us the obvious. The TandT just wastes more space on this sort thing than a serious paper would. 

Then it gets back to its normal job of pimping.

Today, it pimps for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers - with a fetching picture of one of the associations many Vice-Presidents, David Pryce. And why is there a picture of the eye-turning David Pryce in the TandT? And why is the article made up of quotations from David Pryce?

That's because the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers told the TandT to do that. And that just might be connected to the fact that the owner of the TandT has some interest in shale gas.

The thrust of Mr. Pryce's comments is that the petroleum industry really, really, really wants the people of New Brunswick to like it. But they are also really and truly concerned that drilling for shale gas should have strict, strict rules (which people like Mr. Pryce are willing to draw up just to show how sincere they are.)

The industry is so sincere, it really wants to inform people - you know, honestly and impartially - so they can decide. After all, the truth is that shale gas drilling has been proven to be perfectly safe wherever its been done.

What a cheap piece of lying propaganda for a newspaper to put on its front page!

The industry wants strict rules?  Then it must be awfully angry at NB governments for not drawing up any strict rules, and for not enforcing the few rules it had. Considering they've had ten or more years of this insolent neglect by NB governments, I'm amazed that the industry is giving NB another chance.

And they want us to get accurate information? So why haven't they been giving it for the last ten years? Too shy?

And I'm surprised that Mr. Pryce is talking to the Times and Transcript (or any Irving news source) at all, since they have all been distinctly vacant in their reporting on shale gas.

"Shale fracking can be done safely: spokesman" isn't news. It's a hooker's pitch. A truer headline might have been "Don't worry, honey. I get regular checkups."

Solid columns by Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire on the editorial and op ed pages. The latter, speaking on pay equity for women, noted that some fields get low pay because they're thought of as women's fields, and for that reason are deliberately low paid. The origin of this belief lies in the general view in our past that women were inferior to men. (That's why they couldn't vote. That's why it was quite legal in Canada well into the twentieth century for a man to beat his wife in order to discipline her.)

Teaching had been a man's field in the early days. That changed with the growth of public schooling, and the need for more teachers, a need that had to be met while keeping the education budget low.So that's when school boards turned to women teachers - though at lower pay than the men. It was a practice that was common at least into the 1960s. It was even worse for non-white women in Canada. Most of them couldn't get teaching jobs at all until 1960 or so. And few women, of any colour, could even hope to be a principal until recent times.

(My first teaching job, a grade seven class, paid me 2700 dollars a year. A woman with the same qualifications as mine got 2400. The principal assured me this was fair because men were the ones who had to pay for dates.

I should have been so lucky.)

The op ed commentary by the staff writer, this time Rod Allen, is as trivial and pointless as all such staff-written op eds.

Tomorrow's headline - "Monctonians shovel out from heavy snow." (I shall be available for photgraphs.)

Oh, yes. This is the Thursday edition when the TandT announces events of the coming week. The Moncton Library submitted the name of a Current Events group I host at the library the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. The library's annoucement was printed though - as usual - with the Current Events group omitted. (Maybe I should ask the owner of the paper to give the editor a call. You know, just as if I were, say, a spokesman for the petroleum industry,)

Anyway, come to the library on Tuesday, February 7 at 7 pm. I'll open with some brief comments on the news, then we'll shift to general discussion. I'd be delighted to see  you.


  1. the other 95% of the paper.......

    I've not read every post here but I haven't seen much of the "good" referred to in the blog title.

    The coverage of the catastrophic drug plan (lack of) and the problem between the dentists and the province has been quite good hasn't it?

    And that investigation/report on the abused wife/mother with a big tax bill; that was good wasn't it? Just what a newspaper should be.

  2. Glad you wrote this blog article, because now that I don't read the TandT news online anymore, I wouldn't have known what that white stuff was!

    Maybe if their writing was better, I'd pay for the online access.

  3. You must have read very few of my posts. I have often mentioned what is good about the TandT. It has, in Alec Bruce, one of the best commentators I have ever read. I said that many times. They also have excellent comment from Suzuki, Dyer and Jody Dallaire. I much enjoy the teenage columnists on Saturday.
    Sometime, they will have a decent news story - and I have said so - and just recently I did.
    But on the whole, it is a piece of brainless propaganda.

  4. Well I indicated I'd not read it all :)
    I browsed your headings and didn't see much obviously positive. I also searched on what I thought the paper had done well with - those subjects I mentioned, for example - and I couldn't even find anything about it.

    The lack of Catastrophic Drug plan, the poor faced with suffering dental pain or major hardship and a few other things have a big impact on the lives of NB citizens.

    The paper has covered these issues and others quite well regularly Perhaps I searched using the wrong words.

    Maybe you can point me to where you praised the paper for its coverage of those subjects affecting the many folk in NB less well off.

    Sorry, I don't mean that to sound as if you represent the better off.

  5. Forgot to mention....I have low expectations of the paper. To me it's a source of local news relevant to day to day living. That's it.

    Editing standards are dreadful

    The (UK) Guardian is my homepage.

    If only the Montreal Gazette had an NB/Moncton edition.