Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jan. 29:..rather better than usual....

The better than usual part was NewsToday. It's actually following the Ottawa election scandal, relying on reports from Postmedia. Now, not long ago, that would have been an instant warning that this news was not be trusted. However, things seem to be changing at Postmedia as the element of propaganda has lessened.

The Reuters contribution, foreign news, remains as bad as ever, heavily biased in favour of views shared by the western governments. For example, it says that the world is dismayed at the loss of 7,500 civilians killed by government forces. Oh?

Isn't this the same world that watched the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraq civilians without being concernd? The one that watch the killing of a couple of million at least in Vietnam and a quarter million in Guatemala and tens of thousands in Afghanistan? Is it China and its government which have killed some fifty million in the past fifty years? Is it Russia which carried out massive slaughter in Afghanistan?

Come off it. Very few give a damn who or how many get killed as long as it's somewhere else.

And why, in its 7,500 total for the dead does Reuters ignore how many have been killed on the government side? No civilians killed on that side?

There is horror that journalists have been killed? Maybe. But every major power, including the US, has a record of killing journalists it doesn't like. There's nothing unusual about it.

There's another interesting thing about it. We're not getting reports about those terrible Moslem extremists in Syria. Now, usually, that staple fare in the western press. Why not in this case?

Will, it might have something to do with the fact that Syria is a pretty secular state. The ones who want to make it more strictly Moslem are on the rebel side. And the extremely fundamentalist Moslem sountries are the ones like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates who are on OUR side. (But don't wait to read that in Reuters.)

Why is the Reurters report slanted? Because we're being softened up for intervention in the Syrian fighting. In fact, we've been involved from the start. Where do you think the rebels are getting their weapons and other supplies? Where to do you think rebel soldiers are getting their training?

There's an important story on p. C1 about how we plan to spend $500 million to train Afghan troops. That's a lot of money to spend on a war that was lost years ago. In these austere times, that's a lot of money to spend training soldiers who frequently use their new skills to shoot back at us.

The NewsToday section isn't great. But it can pass for acceptable (by North American standards)  in a small daily.

Section A is weaker, quite a bit weaker. there's not a mention of any of the hot issues facing us - Moncton High, Royal Oaks, shale gas  We are, however, treated to a full page of people shovelling snow,sliding in it, and of ploughs driving in it - pictures to be treasured by New Brunswickers who have never seen such things before.

Most amazingly, there was a huge, New Brunswick story that didn't appear. It comes from the Fraser Institute, just the sort of propaganda mill (think tank) the TandT loves to cite. The TandT had room for a story about the expansion of a local movie theatre (though it was buried in the paper, not leading the front page as these free ads usually are.) But they missed the big one.

A survey of mining CEOs all over the world - the whole world - chose New Brunswick as the best place to do business. In the whole world. Why, my goodness gracious,  They say New Brunswick has the very best regulations, very reasonable,very fair. And, hey, if you can't trust a mining CEO, who can you trust?

Well, it is a bit of fake perhaps. If you're a mine-owner, it's far better to do business in Guatemala where there is no minimum wage at all, virtually no taxes, no regulation, and where the government will kill any worker who complains.  Congo is at least as good, and has been for over a century.As for China, hold me back. You can work miners to death in China and you can pollute to your heart's content - and they do that, every year.

But if I owned a mine, I certainly wouldn't name Guatemala, Congo, or China as great places to do business.  It would look, you know, kind of phony. The Fraser Institute knows that, too. So they all opted for New Brunswick as Miss Mining World. Yep. Fair regulations. Well enforced. 'Cause that's the sort of thing mine owners look for. How could the TandT have missed such a story?

Oh, check out the big story in Section B, p. 1.  "Carmen Diaz in no rush to have children". What a relief that is to the whole city of Moncton!

p.s. a note for the editorial writer. Montreal was NOT Canada's biggest city until the referendum and Bill 101. Its decline began fifty years earlier, and had nothing to do with language. (However, I agree that legislating lanuage for business signs is a very bad idea, one that comes at a high price for no gain at all for anybody.)

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