Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11:Clinic gives cosmetic surgery a facelift....

Wow! That's the headline for a SPECIAL REPORT on the f ront page of The Moncton Times and Transcript. Need your eyelid lifted, nose shortened, male breast reduction, tummy tuck? Get any one of the above at a new clinic in Moncton for only some $5000 each.

That's a front page special report.

 It's really, of course, a free ad. But it's even worse than that.

The Irving papers seem to be designed to keep New Brunswickers in the dark, and to keep them interested only in trivial things. I think that's quite deliberate. It ensures that corporate bosses and their hack politicians can run the province without any nit-picking democracy in the way.  The, land, the resources, the water, the people of New Brunswick can be used, stolen, polluted, bled dry all for the profit of a few - and then thrown away.

Meanwhile, keep 'em amused with rock concerts, hockey, 'events' centres....  Rub in the trivial with op ed commentaries by staff writers who keep us up on the latest developments on who is the world's greatest rock star, what fun it is to ride a motorcycle, or details of a recent family picnic.  Just make sure that readers don't ever, not ever think.

We're passing through local elections with no serious examination of the main issues. Instead, we get editorials babbling about the need to keep taxes down, and make sure city councillors don't get the best seats at hockey games,

Keep 'em ignorant. Keep 'em trivial. It works at the provincial level, too. Don't discuss shale gas or mining. Don't ask about the obvious conflict of interest in a council of businessmen given official status by government to advise on taxes, Not economists. Not union leaders. Not professionals. And, God forbid, not anybody who's poor.

Page C3 has a typical TandT story about groups that would like to end the federal grants that help out provinces like New Brunswick to maintain services. The groups are are referred to as think-tanks and not-for-profit organizations. (That's a code for propaganda groups bankrolled by big business).

And who does the Tand T go to for a reaction to these proposals? As always, they go to Professor Don Savoie of Universite de Moncton who, to nobody's surprise, surely, has a history of agreeing with advice coming from think-tanks that are propaganda fronts for big business.

Oh - a reason given for cutting down on transfer payments is that it encourages the provinces receiving the payments to keep taxes 'artificially' high. Damn right. It's a sin the way this province overtaxes corporations and the wealthy.

There's little reason to buy this paper even for local news,  For that, you can do better with La Presse Libre de Moncton Free Press. It's on the web. (and, yes, I write for it.)

For foreign news - lots of good sources available free on the web. You can also get them for e-reader, usually at a price close to that for the TandT.

The New York Times and The Toronto Globe and Mail? No. Both have some excellent people. The New York times also has an astonishing range and depth of features like a book review section, commentaries. But both also show an uncomfortable number of blind spots and, in the case of the Globe,  biases.  The National Post has recently been improving somewhat. But it's still heavily biased and unreliable.

Probably the best English language source in the world for foreign news is The Guardian, from Britain.  If you want a little more edge, try another British paper, The Independent.

Al Jazeera, despite its critics, has always been one of the better news sources in the world. Lately, it's not been quite as good because its ownership has been blanding it so it can make some money in the American market. (You cannot telll the truth and make money in the US news market).

Haaretz (Israel) is, with Al Jazeera, the best news source on the Middle East.

In French, the best are Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Liberation. There is some variation in them, from left to right, but all three all well done, professonal papers.

Then there's a curious web page that's made up of samples of  commentary and news from sources around the world. It's called International Clearing House. It's very edgy, indeed, very critical of American foreign policy, often quite strident - even to an annoying degree.

But I have never found it to lie, misrepresent, or trivialize like the ....well..... you know.....

1 comment:

  1. My favourite french paper is without a doubt le monde diplomatique. Although it can be biased sometimes, I often wind up learning lots of new things and work my capacity of critical thinking.