Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov. 20: Page One...Read all about it....

The big headline, the leader for today's news is that jury selection has begun for a murder case. Is this information you have an immediate use for? Notices have been sent to a thousand people for jury duty. So? Many have already been excused. So? About three hundred are expected to show up. So? The court will take attendance. So?

And that's the TandT decision of the big story of the day.

At the bottom of the page, way down at the bottom, is a much shorter story. The Transpo union is willing to accept a lower wage offer. Well, of course it's at the bottom. It's a very big story about a highly divisive issue that's been going on for months but, I mean, nobody gives a damn about mass transit. Right?

But there might be a hint in this downplaying the the union offer. It may be that city council, like the owner of the TandT, doesn't want a lockout settlement. It want's to break the union (any union), then bring in a privately-owned system run by somebody's friend.

There's a bigger story on the right side of the page about how Moncton City council is going ahead on plans to build an events center a.k.a. hockey rink. But we have yet to read a word about how this fits in to the great plan for city development over the next couple of generations. As Mayor Leblanc says, the 'events centre' is for fifty years and more.  Quite so. But what is the proposed appearance of the city over those years?

Will we still be using automobile transportation? (Get real). How will people get to this 'events' centre? After all, this same edition of the paper reports that we don't have the faintest idea what we are going to do about mass transit (see the editorial). Are we going to encourage people to live within walking distance of this centre? If so, why are we encouraging so much urban sprawl and suburbanization, especially of our schools?

In fact, exactly what is this great plan for the future of Moncton? Why hasn't the city (and or) the TandT told us. This would be a huge story so we might have to sacrifice some regular news - like which minor player in an old TV show that few living people ever saw turned 87 today. But it would be fascinating if we could know what the great plan is so we could know why we're building a new high school 8 K out of the city centre, and why we're going into generations of debt to build an events centre on contaminated land. We might also like to know more about the fancy restaurants that will spring up on the other side of Main St. Will they be sitting on contaminated land? Or will we have a law forbidding land contamination to go across Main Street to where the restaurants are?

The city council has told us close to nothng about the great plan - and the TandT hasn't asked. Nobody on council or at the TandT even took the obvious step of asking about the contamination. And we still have no estimate of the cost of decontamination. Nor is it at all clear why we are to pay millions for land that is contaminated. Shouldn't that make it cheaper?

And doesn't the law requite that owners of contaminated land pay to clean it up? (I think it does. But the Minister of what is left of the environment has so far declined t answer my questions about it.) And if the owners are required to pay for the cleanup, why weren't they forced to a long time ago?

Isn't is possible that the owners of contaminated land have broken the law by not cleaning it, and are now 'inducing' city council to pay full price PLUS cleanup for land that they should have cleaned.

Now I think of it, how did any city or province ever approve of the building of a shopping centre, including a large, grocery store, on polluted land?

We're getting ripped off. Big time.

The whole paper is like that - trivia masquerading as news, big news barely mentioned, news stories (like the one on the events centre) that have none of the essential information in them.

Page 2 has an item YOU need to know. There is a ten year old boy who just loves to go deer hunting with his father.

The NewsToday section has nothing that you haven't heard on radio or TV - yesterday.

Your Business has a typical story about the former cabinet minister that Stephen Harper most trusts on economic matters, Jim Prentice. He says that Canada must build its future on more and more oil exports to Asia. (Oil exports mean more carbon emissions. More carbon emissions mean faster climate change. Climate change is predicted to kill a  hundred million people over the next twenty years, and an increasing number after that. Good thinking, Mr. Prentice. That could provide steady jobs until, of course, everybody dies.)

Jim Prentice was Conservative minister of industry AND environment. No conflict of interest there.

Brian Gallant, our new Liberal leader, gets a whole column for his inspiring message that "Change in political culture needed". What follows is a whole column of pure bafflegab that says nothing at all.

Oh, and the last page of NewsToday has Obama telling Gaza it must stop firing rockets - and it must stop before Israel does because it is wrong to attack people who have not attacked you. (There is no mention that Obama has been killing people in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen for years, killing an  unknown number of innocent people in thousands of drone attacks.)

Norbert is Norbert. He is simply incapable of writing without showing all his prejudices. I quite agree that that Justin Trudeau lacks substance in anything he has said so far. But, unlike Norbert, I cannot see that Harper has done well. On the contrary, he has been actively destructive, particularly of democracy.
And, of course, Norbert hints than Justin is the product of a CBC plot. Great column, Norbert. Now go back to looking for lint in your bellybutton.

Very solid columns by Alec Bruce and Gwynne Dyer are all that save this paper.

Otherwise, today's issue, like most, proves that the purpose of the TandT is to feed people trivia, to keep them ignorant of what the news is, and to spread propaganda pleasing to the ownership.

University of NB has a journalism school. Does it really train people to go into this sewer we call the Irving press? Does it sent them there for job experience? If it is a journalism school of any ethics, how can it be silent about the disgraceful level of journalism that dominates this province?

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention that the city is looking for a developer for said contaminated land (that will be masquerading as a "events center", but in reality a hockey rink). The main requirement(s) being: that the project comes in both late, and over budget (like everything else the city touches).