The one in which Joe is enraged

Before we get this bad boy rolling, I’ve got to get something off my chest. My good buddy Dan hit on this when there was a story about a lesbian high school student who was banned from her grad class photo for wearing a tux. Now we have something similiar in our own backyard.
A 15-year-old girl from Franco-Ouest catholic high school in Nepean is going to be suspended if she shows up next week because *GASP* she has a piereced nose and tongue.
Evidently, the school has decided to start enforcing their dress code in March.
The story is here.
This is insane. Teachers and parents spend countless hours telling kids that it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be an individual. Then they pull this shit?
Pascal Lajoie, the school’s chief administrator, admits that “instead of having a degree of tolerance this year, we have less.”
Why, exactly? Does the tiny little nose stud pose a threat to student safety? Does her tongue piercing inhibit her ability to learn?
Kids aren’t dumb. They aren’t going to buy your bullshit lines promoting individuality when one of their own sits at home because her nose is pierced.
You want to ban something? Ban Cosmo and their unrealistic images of “beauty.” Ban all those Hollywood insider magazines that elevate celebrities to godlike status. Ban things that can really hurt.
Lajoie, you’re a disgrace to teaching. And if Megalomedia readers agree, say so.

But we sent them a Senator!
Damn it, Toronto Star, why you gotta fuck with our innocence! The Star reported that the UN announced 180,000 people have died in Darfur in the last 18 months.180,000 people. One newspaper.
Oh, sorry, that’s only the ones who died of illness and malnutrition. The UN won’t even try to count those killed in the genocide.
Why isn’t this all over the papers? Why is the media turning a blind eye to this? It can’t even be dismissed as “some lefty” group trying to sell the world on the crisis. It’s the freakin’ UN!
180,000 people dead of illness and malnutrion.
One newspaper.
And an A16 brief to boot.

Remember that whole fake newscast thing?
The Gazette has a great little report today. It turns out that while Congress wants the government to stop making fake news reports for television news broadcasts, White House lawyers still want to make them. “They can be a cost-effective means to distribute information through local news outlets, and their use by private and public entities has been widespread since the early 1990s, including by numerous federal agencies.”
So that makes it okay, you see.
The lack of coverage of this in Canada has been shameful, but I guess we should count our blessings. Man I hate Bush.

Lebanon… We’re not still on THAT are we?
There was another rally in Lebanon yesterday. Even bigger than the last. It was anti-Syria, so it good some good coverage. A1 in the Globe, lead story in the world section of the Post (complete with big photo), same deal in the Citizen. Not much to add, just underlines how unbalanced the coverage of the whole mess has been.

Oh, but on that fun note, David Frum has another gem today. In a column on the new U.S. undersecretary for public diplomacy (that such a post exists cracks me up), he mentions the rally: “When Lebanese patriots bring hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators into the streets to demand that Syria free their country, they are sending a message that not even al-Jazeera can pervert.”
That’s David Frum of the National Post. Your source for balanced coverage of Lebanese protests. Where was that pro-Syrian rally again. . . oh right.
Of course, Frum also opens by citing his own book, clearly he has his finger on the pulse.

Libel, what’s libel?
Check out the Citizen’s coverage of the triple murder in Ottawa. They’ve convicted the guy. I won’t bother listing the examples, but they’re just pissing all over Canadian libel law.

China gettin’ freakay
Maisonneuve’s media watch picked up on the lack of coverage of China yesterday, but I was on other tangents so I’ll mention it today. Over the weekend, China approved going to war to prevent Taiwan from gaining independence. Why that didn’t get much play, I’ll never understand.

And today, the Citizen reported that the Dalai Lama said he wants Tibet to be part of China, but he wants their culture and religion respected. I can only assume that China took control of his brain, but shouldn’t that be in other papers? Doesn’t that seem like a radical departure for Mr. Lama?

Okay, I was going to go on a tangent about the use of the term “expert” in stories, but I’m spent from the piercing story. But take a look at how liberally that term is applied these days. I’m sure another rant is forthcoming.


  1. As bad as the Citizen’s coverage of the triple murder was, it wasn’t as bad as last night’s CBC Ottawa piece about it. The announcer said something to the effect of “murdering one’s parents is rare, and the most common reason is mental illness.” They then got a doctor at the Royal Ottawa to comment about violent schizophrenia, the imputation being that the accused is schizophrenic. It’s like they were diagnosing him in absentia.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Sun has played it much more responsibly than everyone else. All they reported was that Daniel Maxheleau was allegedly heard to be ranting to the police about “implants” and a nonexistent son. They didn’t call him crazy. They didn’t consult medical experts to give hypothetical opinions about Maxheleau’s state of mind.

    As far as I know, neither the police nor any accredited psychologist has confirmed that Maxheleau had schizophrenia. It’s irresponsible for the media to imply that he’s crazy, yet the CBC (and now CP, CTV and others) are doing just that.

  2. Klaus and I had a talk with Dave Tait about the entire affair. We all agreed that the government should push forward a cost-saving measure: eliminate the entire criminal justice system (which costs many billions of dollars) and just let the media tell us who’s guilty or innocent.

    Fucking hell. It was utterly brutal. The Ottawa Citizen said the guy was being held and charged for the deaths of his family members.

    Not even “in” the deaths, which is a grammatical convention that media outlets use like “allegedly” to pretend they’re not libelling people. They used the word “for.”

    Fucking hell.

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