Friday, October 26, 2012

Oct. 26: Mickey Mouse journalism....

Wow!! excitement. excitement. a real, pro football team might come to Moncton (oops. sorry, Metro). Wowie! That's nice.

But just for once, I'd like to see a financial breakdown of municipal spending and benefits on one of these affairs. Exactly how much does it cost us to get such an event? How much of the money spent on it is spent by local people (and therefore is no gain for for Moncton at all)? How much comes from outside Moncton? Of all the money spent in Moncton, how much of it stays here? How much of it goes into the pockets of a very few - or into the pockets of people who don't live here at all?

Pro football is not a charity. It exists to make money for itself - not for the population of Moncton. This is a newspaper which constantly praises business methods. Okay. Let's see some business methods in reporting on these extravaganzas that City Hall is so proud of bringing to us.
Radian6, the company we promised $3.8 million to for a return of 300 jobs has instead cut 100 jobs. (Good thing I heard it on Norbert's favourite news network, CBC). Still no word on it in the TandT, not even on the business page.
The general sloppiness of news coverage and editing remains unmatched in Canada. Read the subhead on p.1 under "metro open for Ticats: mayor". The subhead, presumably written by the editor, says CFL team can play as many games here as they want. The word team is singular. That means the team can play as many games here as IT wants.

Then, for the third, straight day we get a story on the shooting of a pet dog. Now, I yield to no-one in my disgust with people who do such things. But life goes on. This is not a three day story - especially since there is nothing new to report. We could use the saved space for real news like, say, a discussion with Dr. Cleary about her report - or the thousands of reports of damage caused by fracking and transporting shale gas.

P. 2 has yet another non-story on the Liberal convention. Like the others, it has nothing to say So why print it? When they choose a leader, tell us his name. That will be news, sort of.

p. 4 has a story that's really an ad for the casino.

As usual, there is almost no news in NewsToday. There is, however, a story (with picture suitable for framing) of the president of Enera speaking to a very safe audience of the St. John Board of Trade. NB, he says, is running out of a gas supply, and it could be by the 2020s. His whole talk appears to have been based on planning for a continuing supply of energy based on oil and natural gas. In short, it was a propaganda boost for shale gas.

We could, indeed, be in trouble by the 2020s. But it won't be for lack of such traditional power sources. It will be for the stunning damage those traditional are doing while we, at the urging of the President of Enera, continue to add to the damage. Well, what would one expect him to say?

 He's head of company that makes its money out of destroying the environment. Inevitably, and sooner rather than later, we won't be able to destroy it any more. But that's not his problem. His job is to make money out of these fuels as long as it is possible. And to make money now. What happens in the 2020s, by which time it will be impossible to fix anything, is not his problem. Like others of his sort, the President of Enera is encouraging us to stall until it's too late to fix the problems.

And what does the government of NB think of that? So far, the evidence is it doesn't think at all. Why should it. It knows nobody gives a damn what it thinks.
And that brings us to editorial and op ed pages.

The editorial is, well, it's a TandT editorial. It's the sort of teen-age gush that teenagers haven't used since the editorial writer was a teen. As an example - if the Hamilton Tiger Cats play a season in Moncton, it will be an easy matter for Hamiltonians to hop on a jet to take in a game. Right. Hamilton is full of people rich enough and dumb enough to spend a thousand or more to see a football game. And business partnerships will spring up between Hamilton and Moncton. Right. What sort of partnerships? Why? And mayor Leblanc is the only person that business and citizens can trust to get the job done. (Well, I'm sure business trusts him,)  And create lasting relationships for the future. (What relationships? What is he babbling about?)

Norbert is on a rant, again - a couple of rants. You can measure just how much he's foaming at the mouth by counting his use of adjectives.  It's already rising in the first paragraph (along with the first of his non-sentences). Heavy use of adjectives and non-sentences are signs of a bad writer. It really takes off in an incoherent second half that could have been reduced to three words. "Damn the CBC."

(Does Norbert really find private radio in Moncton stimulating? Please tell us the station. I got one of them yesterday that was playing a hit tune from the 1940s, "The Ghost Riders in the Sky". It was corny in the 1940s. The passing years have not mellowed it. The other private stations sound like any other private station I've even been on - music, inane prattle, talk show  hosts who don't know what they're talking about discussing what they don't know with other people who don't know, either.

And music hosts. "Hey, gang, we have the music YOU want to hear." I have known a great many radio pop music hosts. Never met one who was physically younger than 30 and mentally older than 13.

What's YOUR favourite private radio station, Herbert?
For reasons obscure to me, there is an opinion column by Craig Brett, Canada Research Chair in Canadian Public Policy at Mount Allison. For openers, it's not an opinion. It's a vague, sometimes naive and largely unintelligible gush about public policy. Why is it on the opinion page?  I suppose it's intended to be an ad for Mount A.  Gee! The TandT usually runs such ads as Special News Reports.

Anyway, if you don't know much about what public policy is, this article won't help you. If you do know what it is, this article still won't help you.

Alec Bruce has a column lighter than his usual style. But it's well-written. It's amusing. And, you know, it has a hint of truth about it that I shall remember whenever I get the urge for the newest piece of computer equipment.

There are several  letters to the editor worth reading. I would especially recommend
"Women's rights are worth fighting for" and "Information flow mishandled".

I'm in a grim mood. Last night, I watched Youtube for the scene of  a Nazi Youth singing   "Tomorrow belongs to me". It is the only part of the movie, Cabaret, that I remember. And I still feel the shock and the stealthy horror of it - and the warning of what was to come.

I guess I shouldn't look at it while I'm following the US election.

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