I'm back to the real world, more less, but surprised the Tand T had no story on my bout of flu. It's a quite vicious one. I mean, they had a whole page of people smiling and holding giant cheques. A shot of me bravely sitting up in bid wouldn't have broken the bank.
The Idle No More movement seems to have lost any interest it ever had for The Times and Transcript. It didn't even mention that there will be a march on Jan.9 from Champlain Mall to City Hall in support of the movement. If you want news on that, better to google The Moncton Fress Press - La Presse Libre de Moncton.
The TandT does have a First Nations story about how native leaders and city leaders are getting together on a project on p. A6. Unfortunately, it gives no clear idea what the project is, what it's supposed to accomplish, or even precisely what problem it's addressing. I notice, though, the headline carries the word Partnership with a capital "P". In New Brunswick, that commonly means government/private ripoff scheme which is not even going to attempt to look at the roots of the problems.
There is no reference at all to the Idle No More movement in this story - a pretty strong indicator that this initiative is an attempt to muffle it. That's the nice thing about owning all the newspapers in a province.
There is a prominent story on p. C6 on Idle No More. But it doesn't tell us any more than the other two that were published. Nor does it give any idea of the extent of the movement. Nor is there any indication of exactly what conditions on reserves have sparked this protest.
There is a new columnist for the oped page on Fridays. He is Steve Malloy who also "authors" movie reviews. (Will somebody tell the editors of this wretched paper that "author" is a noun; it is not a verb. He is the author of a column. But he does not author it; he writes it. Somebody should also tell this writer and the editorial writer for today that "parameter" does not mean what they think it does. There's a job for you, Norbert, raise the literacy of journalism at the TandT.)
Malloy begins his first column well with the story of a photographer who took pictures of a man being pushed in front of a train when he could, instead, have saved him. That sort of journalism was unethical. Agreed.
Then he leaped to the conclusion that this has all been caused by social media like mobile phones with cameras, Facebook, etc. Anyone with any knowledge should know that this sort of journalism was going on at least decades before there was a facebook or a cellphone.
Then there are several paragraphs of pure drivel about how journalism requires years of training and honing the craft - and how reporters work to strict codes of ethics and impartiality.
Look, I have taught journalism ethics; and I can assure you that thirty years ago there wasn't even a definition of what those ethics were. I have worked in print,radio and TV, private and public. And the only organization I knew that took ethics at all seriously was CBC.
The news media, far from having standards of any sort, are awash in prejudice, lying, manipulation, half-truths, ignorance. They are also whores for the owners.. There is a whole library of books on this. I would give Mr. Malloy a list of the books - but anyone who can write for the TandT and not know what it is would not be able to understand a book.
Then he tells us that the Orwellian world of today - of police surveillance, of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment (as in the US), of torture are the result of social media. Puh-leaze. What are you talking about? Did social media invent spy drones? Did it authorize unwarranted search of people's private lives? Was it social media that just signed a bill to keep Guantanamo open for political prisoners? Did social media give President Obama the power (recently confirmed by US courts) to order the assassination of American citizens without trial and without even giving a reason?
On the contrary, it's only through social media that we learn that. Most of the regular news media never published the story of the court's decision. just like it never published the story of the slaughter of 300.000 Guatemalans.
This world that we see forming today also existed in Hitler's Germany, Mao's China, Stalin's USSR, and the Tsar's Russia. That was long before social media. Indeed, social media is the only counter we have to the police state that faces us.
It's early days yet. There may be subjects Mr. Malloy can do a creditable job on. But this, lord love a duck, is not one of them.
The other op ed piece is an excellent one by David Suzuki -though I think he is an optimist.
Alec Bruce's column carries a touch of fear if you push it just a step further. It's about the artificial voices which can now be created to answer questions on the phone. What inventions like this do are to wipe out millions of jobs around the world. That would be fine if it meant more leisure, more time for study...But usually it doesn't. Usually, it means cheaper labour costs and higher profits for corporations - but widespread poverty for others. Just as free trade, for example, led to the export of jobs from the US. The result was not leisure or better lives. It did mean high profits for corporations. But it has also meant massive poverty in the US with "real" unemployment close to 25%.
Capitalism, uncontrolled, is a great producer of wealth, but the worst distributor of it ever known..
Save the editorial for bedtime. It's better than a sleeping pill....everything is okay...everyone is happy...it's all very beautif...