Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec. 3: The Moncton Times and the CBC

CBC Moncton has a news website. Just  google to find it. On any day, compare the news it has to that in the The Moncton Times and Transcript. There's a reason why Google news takes items of Moncton news from the CBC every day - but almost never from the Irving Press.

Today, for example, the CBC tells us that proposed property tax cuts in this province will be of benefit mainly to big businesses like potash mines, shopping malls. The biggest winner will be - wait for it - Mr. Irving. Yessirree, an $800,000 tax cut for Irving - a Christmas gift from all of us.  And that's surely generous considering that we also have to come up with enough to cover a record and growing deficit (not to mention a hundred million dollar hockey rink for which we will have to purchase contaminated land which we will then have to pay to clean up.) And I would also dearly love to know exactly who owns that land.

There's also the story that the government plans to cancel a successful police programme, a specialized unit to fight organized crime. The St. John police chief voiced strong objections to the cut. But the TandT paid him no never mind. After all, it's not as if the chief's name were Irving.

I mentioned CBC in particular because it's the one that Norbert cannot mention without foaming at the mouth. There is something bizarre about a man who writes columns, often dreadfully uninformed and ranting ones, for such a dreadful newspaper - while criticizing another news service that is superior by light-years.

Here are two, big stories that went right over the heads of the entire reporting and editorial staffs of the Irving press. I mean, all they had to do was to google CBC Moncton news to get it. But, from what I've seen, the editors of the TandT don't follow any news medium. They are actually and profoundly ignorant of what the news is around the world, in Canada, and even in Moncton.
Extremely dangerous situations are developing in the middle east and Africa. There is chaos in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and with huge changes developing in Lebanon, Israel, Palestine... These are part of fundamental changes for the whole world - including us. In fact,(and as de Adder's cartoon shows) Canada is already publicly committed to war on the side of Israel no matter who starts the war or for what reason.

Why is our federal government doing so? Religious principles? Compassion?  Nah. Neither of the above. They are doing it so the Conservatives can continue to enjoy the vote of those evangelicals who dance with joy at the prospect of a world that will be destroyed with a war beginning in the Holy Land. They dance because then Jesus will come, and they shall be carried up in naked innocence to sit on clouds where they can watch the rest of us suffering from attacks by scorpions before being cast down into the eternal flames of hell.

So enjoy the cold while you can.

And so much for the Nov. 11 chatter about how our soldiers died so we could have freedoms and rights - like the right to decide for ourselves when and where and why we should fight future wars.
The editors of The Times and Transcript appear to be ignorant of all this. Their choice for the big, world story?  It's a huge story on pp. C1 and C9, led by a large photo. "Shania Twain knocks their socks off in Vegas."
Craig Babstock, editor-at-large, has a column on how news gets around on social media these days - and it's even sillier and shallower than that description suggests. Allen Abel has his usual nothing - this time about how to say Merry Christmas in Washington.
The editorial is a cute piece of propaganda - again, it's the sort of manipulation that is, I'm quite sure, beyond the feeble grasp of any staff writer at the TandT. Posing as a story about the CN building at 1234 Main, it turns into a hymn  of praise for the grandeur and sweep of Moncton's history and future, written in a style usually reserved for the rise of Rome. The real message, the kicker in a story supposedly about the CN "glass tower", is in the last half of the last sentence.

"....citizens anxiously await new developments toward an events centre."

Yes. Anxious indeed. Public washrooms across the city have been jammed for weeks, and with long and fidgeting lines outside them.

The spirit of Dr. Goebbels, chief of propaganda for the Third Reich,  lives on. And seems to be earning great contracts for the communications company that employs him to write more sophisticated propaganda than editors of the TandT can manage.

Another BIG story is that the TandT discovered an 1879 copy The Daily Times. Big deal. University libraries are full of old copies of newspaper, many a lot older than 1879. They are quite different from current ones. And, in fact, that is part of what I will be talking about at the current events meeting tomorrow, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Moncton Library. The huge changes came in the 1890s and early 1900s, changes that made it possible for newspapers to become effective devices for propaganda and mind control. Developments that should have made for a more effective democracy have, in fact, done enormous damage to democracy.
Two pages of Section A, pages 8 and 9, stand out as extraordinarily effective pages of reporting and editing . Look at each photo. It's important. It creates a feeling I cannot describe. So I won't try to. Look at those two pages. And make sure you look at each photo. Really look.

Other than that and Alec Bruce's column and de Adder's cartoon, there is no point to reading this paper.
Oh, but there is every reason to attend the current events group on Tuesday (tomorrow) Dec. 4, at the Moncton Library, 7 p.m..

Come along, and see if your favourite TandT staff writer is there.

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