There is a news story in today's TandT that is worth reading. There is an opinion column that is well worth reading. Most of the paper is, as usual, crap. But, this time there are a couple of items that, ordinarily, the Irving press would refuse to publish. What's going on?
The Irving press is usually stuffed with propaganda - praise for the events centre, for shale gas, pipelines - for anything the Irvings are in favour of. News stories of things they disapprove of - the environment, Dr. Cleary's report on shale gas - either don't get reported -or appear in stories so butchered that advocates of these things appear to be extremists.
When I complained to the Atlantic Press council about a sample of this, its response was the one I knew from experience that I would get. I had accused the TandT of heavy bias in its reporting. The response?
Well, said the council, they sometimes published a letter that disagreed with the paper's position. Therefore, it wasn't biased. Press councils don't exist to keep newspapers honest. They exist to cover up their dishonesty with doubletalk. One letter on the back page is enough to prove that issue after issue of propaganda is not bias. Right.
But today - well, you have to read Stever Malloy at the top of the op ed page. He is bang on about the nature of politics, business, and public attitudes in the province. I have never before seen a column like that in the TandT. You really do have to read this one. It's honest. It's informed. and it's clear. This is, without doubt, the column of the year. (But you can bet it's not going to get any awards.)
Then go to page A7, "Risks of shale gas outweigh benefits". Environment Professor Brad Walters delivers a powerful warning that the risks and costs of shale gas development are very real, indeed - and cannot be relieved, not even by what Mr. Alward calls "tough regulations". Reporter Alan Cochrane not only reports the story, but reports it honestly - very unlike the treatment of Dr. Cleary's speech. In other words, a professor who is actually in the field of environment studies is on the side of Dr. Cleary, not on the side of the kissups like Frank McKenna and a U de Moncton professor (who is NOT an expert on environment studies).
This is radical stuff for the TandT. What's happening?
I don't know. But the reality is there to be seen. Two items that normally would not have been permitted by the Irvings and their servile editors really have appeared. My guess?
The Irving press is covering its unattractive ass. Even by the standards of the generally biased Canadian journalism world, Brunswick News is a national disgrace. I certainly had enough editors tell me that before I moved here. That's why it has periodically been under investigation by the Senate, and always with blistering reports. Just as the Atlantic Council plays it, the TandT is planting the occasional honest report as evidence that it really is impartial.
There is also an excellent letter to the editor, ""Station billboard deemed sexist".
On A2, daily coverage of candidates in the Kent by-election continues, today with Susan Levi-Peters of the NDP. It's better than the coverage given to the Liberal and Conservative candidates - not because of the quality of the reporting, but because ms. Levi-Peters actually said something. She identified the major problem in her region; and she discussed it at some length.
In Newstoday, there's another story on the Koreas crisis. Like the others, the crisis is being caused by North Korea.It's simply assumed that it's the North Koreans. No news story I have ever seen has ever even hinted that might not be so. But think about it.
Which is the country which has troops, bombers, ships on somebody else's border to rehearse for an attack on that somebody else?
Which country has by far the world's large stock of nuclear weapons? And which one is using dummy nuclear bombs for its rehearsal?
Which is the country which has most to fear from the other?
Which is the country which for over a hundred years has had an ambition to dominate Asia to get control of its trade?
Which is the country which is now maintaining bases and concentrating its fleet in the Pacific for that reason of military domination?
Which is the country which, for sixty years has refused to sign a peace treaty to officially end the Korean war?
Which is the country that Martin Luther King described as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world." (Gee, Norbert. How come you've never used that quotation in your column?)
So why do all the news services report North Korea as the villain? Why isn't it possible that the villain is the nation that has been the most aggressive in the world ever since 1945?
That easy assumption that this must all be North Korea's fault is a good lesson in what brainwashing means.
Gee, ain't it terrible the way all these small and distant countries with no significant navies or air forces or industry are always bullying the USA?