Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 28: propaganda, cheap sensationalism and plain old trivia

Section D for June 28,has five - count them. five - full pages of pictures of grad dance couples. Apart from their parents, is it possible that anybody gives a damn?

Yes, it is possible for a province that has been been brainwashed by generations of lazy, commercial journalism practiced by unprincipled and, seemingly, untrained journalists.

They're still playing up the stunning courage shown by Moncton through its recent police shooting, and still marvelling at the incredible resilience which shows that Moncton "will rise again". This is really the cheapest sort of sensationalist journalism.

Yes, there was some worry about the shootings. There was, for good reason, sympathy, for those who were killed. But Moncton was never in danger of collapse. Nor has it shown remarkable strength in its reaction. Moncton Strong? London suffered years of bombing with tens of thousands killed. And no-one ever doubted it would recover. Nor were there headlines of "London Strong" or "London will rise again." Perhaps our reporters should spend a few weeks in Damascus or Iraq to see what these terms mean.

There was, certainly, reason for concern, sympathy, help. But it was all cheapened by the sensationalism of the Irving press. Meanwhile, it asked none of the questions that a press should ask. Why were police armed only with pistols sent to deal with a man who had a rifle? Was there at least one rifle available to the police? Why wasn't it made available? Whose decision was it to keep a police force so lightly armed? We are now told they are getting better equipment. That's nice. What is the equipment? (It's not as if we have reason to trust whoever makes these decisions.) What do we know of gun clubs in this region? How did the killer establish the contacts to get an illegal gun?
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So far, there has been no story about the horror that Detroit has become - thanks to those wonderful free trade deals.Much of the city is decay with not only houses but office towers left vacant. Those left in the city are dominated by the very poor - and by the masses of criminals who are the products of a collapsing society. That's what happens when you get rid of nasty unions that force honest billionaires to go somewhere else to make a decent day's pay for a billionaire.

But an alert city has taken a step to restore decency in Detroit. It has cut off water for all those who are too poor to pay their water bills. No water for laundry or drinking, or personal cleanliness. No water to flush toilets.

Well, that should certainly get Detroit humming again.
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Curiously,the Irving press seems to show little interest in dramatic changes at the CBC.

Let's start with Harper. He detests any public enterprise. He particularly detests the CBC because it is far the best news outlet in Canada; and it asks the awkward questions that the Irving press avoids so it can have more space for photos of high school graduates. So Harper has piece by piece been killing it with budget cuts.

The president of the CBC was no help. His announcement was mostly bafflegab. Most importantly, he showed no sense whatever that CBC was founded for people - to serve human needs.  (Canadians, New Brunswickers in particuar, need to learn that government is about people first of all - not about budgets, or get rich quick schemes. It's about people and human needs.)

The CBC is not a business. A hospital is not a business  (or shouldn't be) and it should not be run like one. Being a parent is not a business. (I have it on good authority that the family is not a business. According to one of our leading politicians, the role of a mother is to change diapers, and the role of a father to teach leadership - presumably just to the boys because girls don't need it for their role.)

The CBC was founded to put Canadians in touch with each other, to spread an awareness of what Canada is and how it got that way, to prevent us from being overwhelmed by the American sense of values, and by the American bias of news services.

To do so meant the use of documentaries and drama. It meant to encourage Canadian writers, musicians and actors. It meant putting together the biggest, and far the best, news service Canada (indeed, in North America.)

It is not at all clear how the president of the CBC intends to do that - or if he intends to do that. His statement was largely about improving CBC as a business operation. And it's not a business operation.

We have to learn that the first priority of government is not to save money. The first priority of government is to serve our needs. You prefer to live in a country in which the first priority is to make money? No problem. Just go live in Guatemala or Haiti or Congo. You'll love it. Human needs don't matter a damn.
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I'm glad to see that the Irving press is keeping up with the newest propaganda line on Ukraine.

Because of its small circle of ownership, it's easy to impose an official line in just about all commercial news media. An Alqaeda mercenary fighting in Syria is a "rebel". Nice word, rebel. But if he attacks westerners, he's a "terrorist". Very naughty. So far, it he's fighting in Iraq, he's a "militant". Kind of a neutral word.

Americans who kill millions are doing it do defend democracy. Yes, they torture. But only to get useful information. How that is different from why Hitler tortured isn't clear.

The latest propaganda buzz is one I saw this week in Googlenews. But, sure enough, it's popping up even in the Truthful Times and Transcript.  It seems the Ukrainian crisis was caused because Russia blocked a Ukrainian attempt to join the European Union.

Right. then, that his explanation was even noticed at the start. No. It was caused with Russia invaded Crimea. But that's not true either.

The Ukrainian government turned down EU membership because Russia offered it a better deal. The crisis came later, when American money and, probably, undercover agents,    equipped and organized mobs to stage a coup against the Ukrainian government. Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state (and close friend of Project for the New American Century) even took credit and gave the cost of the operation.

The coup was illegal. It was contrary to the charter of the UN. But Obama immediately recognized the new government. (He does not, though, recognize the government of Syria though it clearly has majority support, with the 'rebels' heavily dependent on foreign mercenaries, foreign money, and foreign weapons - with the word foreign mostly meaning Saudi Arabia and the US.

In the middle east, the game is to divide countries internally so as to weaken them, and to encourage sectarian srife.

In Ukraine? The US wants to push for a war in hopes that Putin might be forced to accept terms of US dominance of the Russian economy. Failing that? Well, the US probably cannot fight a conventional war against Russia; so remember - the mutual deterrent no longer exists. So, relying on its anti-missile defences, the US would probably open with a first strike.

And what would happen after that is anybody's guess.

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Friday's editorial columns are no thrill. There are three, pro-shale gas columns  (including the editorial).Then there's a column from a Fraser Institute propagandist which pretends to be about improving medicare, but is actually about privatizing it.

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