Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oct. 25: Things happened in the world....

...but not in the pages of The Moncton Times and Transcript.

One job of an editor is to go over reports, news items, to have a strong sense of what's going on the world, and to select those stories which best illustrate what is going on. In the whole of the Irving press there does not seem to be such an editor.

The Emir of Quatar (a very wealthy oil state) visited Gaza. Some editor at the TandT yawned, and turned to the next part, wondering if there might be a good story about a lost cat. The Emir promised Palestinians hundreds of millions in aid. (yawn.)

Apparently, it did not occur to anybody at the TandT to wonder why the Emir did that. Leaders of arab oil states have not been big on helping Palestinians. So here's why it's important.There are two parts to the story.
1. Israel has been following a policy of impoverishing and starving Palestine. Israel largely destroyed its power station. Much of the blockade is intended to keep out medical supplies and other help. It also bottles up any chance of Palestinian trade. Farmland is routinely annexed or placed out or limits for those who live in Gaza. The long-term  intention is to drive Palestinians out.
2. Those arab governments, like Quatar, who have supported the US now find themselves losing popularity for their failure to challenge the western onslaught on Islam. There has already been serious fighting and killing in some of those arab states - though never in the pages of the TandT.  And that is most strongly shown up in the failure of the oil states to help Palestine.

The Emirs and the kings are getting worried. As strict Moslems, themselves, they have to show support for Moslems. They haven't done it; and now they are facing serious, internal disorder.  That's why the Emir of Quatar went to Gaza and promised money. This is probably an important game-changer in the middle east. It's far bigger than any story in NewsToday. But it wasn't big enough to wake up a TandT editor.

The attack on anglophones living in Quebec has reached a new level of savagery - probably because the PQ government really has no agenda for anything, so it can survive only by appealing to bigotry and hatred. Few New Brunswickers seem to have the faintest idea what is going on next door. They never have. They seem to have never heard of the hundreds of thousands who have had to flee Quebec, of the rudeness of civil servants who deal with anglophones, of the refusals to provide services in English, of the refusals to hire anglos no matter how bilingual they might be. And certainly, readers of the Times and Transcript have never heard of the two year old girl who died just a few days ago because her parents were English. The paramedic who came insisted on his right to work only in French, and refused to listen when the English parents tried to explain her illness. (The ambulance service, yesterday, defended the paramedic, citing his right to speak and listen only in French. And, yes, he was bilingual). And so a two-year old girl died.

This is not an attack on Acadians or bilingualism. Quite the contrary. It is an attack on people who are bigoted, vicious, even racist - and a majority. I see signs of that in Letters to the Editor in the Times and Transcript. New Brunswick is not Quebec, not yet. But there are anglophones who would like to make it a mirror image of Quebec. And that would be a tragedy for New Brunswick - as it has been for Quebec and as it will get worse as the PQ, with nothing useful to do, plays on the fears and ignorance of those Quebec francophones who are the equivalents of some of those NB anglos I too often see in letters to the editor.

Quebec is a horror story whose full horror has never been shown in most of our news media. And it's a horror that could well come crashing down on itself. It's worth avoiding any move to copy Quebec.

The biggest story in Section A is that Oulton's is getting a larger parking lot.

There is a political story, too. Page 1. Mike Murphy is running for the Liberal leadership. Whoopee! The opening paragraph is not a news report; it is an opinion.Doesn't even the front page editor know what the hell a news report is supposed to look like?  It should not look like  "Mike Murphy has a clear-eyed and unflinching assessment of New Brunswick's  future if it continues along the same track it is currently travelling."

This isn't news. This is puerile gush.

It's a long story, and the gush is constant. At no point is it possible to get any idea what  Murphy's policy would be on anything except duplication of hospital services. Not that it matters. After all, his party will still run on contributions from corporations - so who cares what Mike Murphy thinks?

This whole story is a travesty of journalism, a political interview written like a soft drink ad.

Alec Bruce has good column, one that suggests some serious implications.

The editorial and Norbert's column are brainless, and show a remarkable indifference to public need.Norbert says we can easily keep buses off the road while we figures transit out. Sure, Norbert. Most of the people who need the bus are poor or elderly. So who cares? Tell you what, Norbert, you write a column that your owner can wait a year for some vital service. Then see how long it takes you to be standing outside and looking for a bus.

The editorial is the same as Norbert. Both want lots of time for our city planners at their hundred thousand plus salaries to work out a better system.

What a parir of twit! Planning is what those being money receivers are supposed to have been doing for years. They're the ones who designed the mess we have. What on earth have we been paying for? What has city council been doing? Has nobody on it ever wondered over all these years exactly what the plan is? Or if there is one? If there is any planning going on in this city, I have yet to see evidence of it.

I don't necessarily blame the planners. I suspect that, like everything else in this province, the only real planning is done by land speculators and corporate head offices. And we have a mayor and city council who are either complicit or as dozy as they come.

On op ed, Rod Allen thrills us with yet another tale of his family life. Way to show that good old journalistic qualities of brains, infoming the public, and courage, Rod.

Jody Dallaire's column is one of outrage, and rightly so. I urge you to read it.

So that's it - two items worth reading - by Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire.

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