Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17: sometimes, it's hard to know what to say...

In my early days of TV, I knew a producer at the station who was sent to cover a strike. When he got there, nothing was happening. The strkers were sitting around quietly, having coffee, chatting..... This was not going to make exciting television. So the producer stirred them, got them to make some signs, then march around on street holding up their signs.

He was fired the next day. No ethical journalist fakes news. Some people would excuse the producer. I mean, he didn't simply create a strike out of nothing. There really was a strike on. All he did was to pep it up for twenty seconds of TV time.

Maybe. But it doesn't matter. A serious and ethical journalist reports the news. He or she does not tamper with it. And that takes us to last Saturday's editorial in the TandT.

If you will read my blog for June 16, you will find a comment from a reader at the bottom. It says the protesters at rte 126 who blocked fracking trucks were NOT wearing masks. I - being a lousy journalist - had not picked up on that. So I took another look at the video of the protest. Not a mask in sight.

Then I re-read Saturday's editorial. Yes. It said they were masked. The editorialist was not just biased. The editorialist was lying. If there were a scrap of journalistic integrity in that whole, wretched Irving press, any - from the copy boys to the publisher - the person who wrote that editorial would now be out of town (perhaps looking for a new job with Fox News or a scandal mag.)

But no such thing will happen. The Irving press does nothing but lie and trivialize.

But this is worse that just a lie. The reference to masks was there for a reason. It was to stir up hatred of protesters - and fear. It was to provoke violence. It was to ensure that any violence that might happen will be blamed by the public on the protesters. It suggests pretty strongly that SWN and the Irving press want violence as the easiest way to ram their project through. And if the protesters won't start violence, well, it's always possible to arrange things to look as if they did - just like that TV producer who got strikers to get up and march around looking militant.
To my astonishment, the TandT had not even a mention of the big story that holders of offshore bank accounts (some of them) have been named  - and lots of those named are Canadian. The Irving Press must have been the only newspaper in Canada not to report this today.

In fairness, though, they needed the space for two big stories on buying Highfield Square to build an events centre.

Both stories are written by Brent Mazerolle which, I suspect, is not a conincidence. Mazerolle (who describes himself as a communicatons specialist (hired propagandist), writes two stories that say nothing we didn't already know about the "events" centre. More interestingly, he says not a word about there being any opposition to it.

Well, gee. If there's no opposition, why is this taking so long to decide?

He also doesn't mention how this all started. The original proposal was to build a hockey stadium. That would have been very nice for the owner of the hockey team who would get a brand new facility at taxpayers' expense and who, by pure coincidence, is related to owner and management of Irving press.

The idea of calling it an events centre and then building up all sorts of wild imaginings of what an events centre would do came only after it was obvious that an overpriced hockey rink was not going to fly with the public.

Lord, this town has one, seedy government which exists only to feed a lot of greedy hogs at the trough.

And Brent Mazerolle's "news" stories on today's front page are pure propaganda to keep us stuffing the hogs.
For another sampled of biased reporting,  this time in international news, check out today's story  on Syria on the first page of News Today.

As a special bonus, it features starements by Harper so idiotic that even he must know he's lying.

The tone of the article, sometimes by implicaton, sometimes by quoting only the "right" people, is that Assad of Syria is a brutal monster, and the we have to help the freedom-livng "rebels" to get rid of him and establish a democracy. There is not to mention that major supporters of the struggle for democracy are the dictators of the two most intolerant dictatorships in the world, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

I'm sure Assad is not a nice guy. But he almost certainly has more popular support than the "rebels" do. For openers, the "rebel" forces are largely made up of people who aren't Syrian. Large numbers are hired mercenaries from as far away as South America. More are Moslems, many members of or connected to Al Quaeda and other groups that this paper usually calls extremist and terrorist.

There is not the slightest chance of a democracy emerging out of this. In fact, the "rebels" are so divided against each other that there is not the slightest chance of forming a government of any sort. And the US knows that.

The US is committed to nothing but war for the foreseeable future to establish mlitary dominance so that American business can enjoy world dominance. The purpose of the war in Syria is to destroy Syria as a functioning country. The result has been to plunge the whole region into a chaos that could well draw in Russia and China.

And if you think this is exciting, just wait until the US hits what is likely to be its next target - Pakistan - a Pakistan which has nuclear missiles. (Actually, if Israel gets its way, the US will try to mop up Lebanon, Palestine and Iran before going on to Pakistan.)

And it's not going to work. US foreign policy is controlled by big business. That's why it has been such a series of disasters - starting with a war with Iraq because of WMDs that weren't there, a war with Afghanistan for no clear reason that has been hugely expensive with no clear gain of any sort....
Business men should stick to business, and get their noses out of things they nothing nothing about - like foreign policy, education, government budgeting, etc.

Harper accuses Russia of beinig out of step with the rest of the G8. Well, duh, that might be because  seven of the eight just happen to the US puppets.

And he babbles about establishing democracy though he knows well this is absurd. And, he says, "Putin is supporting Assad's thugs". Yes. And he and Obama et al are supporting Moslem terrorist thugs - but Harper hasn't noticed that. He says he opposed extremist elements like terrorists.

Gee, Steve, haven't you noticed that "terrorist" and "extremist" elements are the leading force fighting against Assad?

Oh, yeah - and Harper  says we have to support the "rebels" in their fight for democracy. And then he says, we will not follow the US lead in supplying the rebels with weapons.

Huh? He supports the side that is fighting for democracy - but he won't cooperate with the US and Britain and France in supplying them with help????

Of course, he won't. Even he has figured out that, as in Afghanistan, such help would suck us into a major war -and this time with unguessable consequences.

The news article mentions that the US has proof Assad has used Sarin gas. It does not mention that UN inspectors say no such proof exists. (The US also "had proof"c that Iraq had WMDs.)

This biased reporting is from prestigious The Canadian Press. But when it comes to foeign reporting, there are very, very few news services you can trust. And The Canadian Press isn't one of them.
The editorial is the predictable kiss up to Robert Irving and his Economic Leadership Council. It admits that Irving said nothing in his first speech. But he talked about 'winning', so the TandT is confident. I mean, he could have given a speech about the importance of losing.

In summary, the editorial says " Elected leaders should work closely with new Economic Leadership Council". Benito Mussoliini could not have said it better. That is precisely what his fascist movement was all about. All we need now are catchy armbands, and some kind of raised arm salute.
Norbert's column is hopeleslly ignorant of its topic. Worse, it's gutless. In all his columns about our budget deficit, he has not once mentioned the role of big business in creating that debt. Andh he is ready to call for sacrifices from the poor and the middle class. But, obviously, we must not disturb the very rich in any way.

Norbert, this is contemptible.
I hate Alec Bruce and Steve Malloy.
Bruce writes about the importantce of walking, and walking quickly, and lots for physical, emotional and intellectual health. Malloy talks about calories.

We didn't have a car until I was 16. Every day, I walked a very long way to school, no matter what the weather or the state of my health. Our family entertainment was to go for long walks, hours long, in the evenings. Even after we got a car, my father rarely drove me anywhere. It was simply unthinkable. I walked over Britain from Scotalnd to Wales to Dover carrying a pack that weighed forty-five pounds (Much of that due to a massive volume of The Oxford Book of
English Verse).

Then - I got a car, developed a taste for restaurants, deep fried egg rolls, French fries...and the rest is history. I don't need Bruce and Malloy to rub their newly disccovered virtues in my (flabby) face.

The columns are good. But written with no consideration for my feelings.
In letters to the editor, Brian Gallant, leader of the Liberal party, has one that pretends to be impartial on the fossil fuel issue, but really says nothing but "kiss-kiss" to the oil industry.

There are two, good letters on shale gas.

The site above was sent to me by a reader who said you must all see it. I hear. and I obey.

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