Grumble grumble grumble

Hi all. Good news and bad news. First of all, I will be posting a special friday edition of megalomedia tomorrow, so tune in for that. The bad news is that I’m in a really foul mood this morning and I have a feeling today’s post will be less coherent and more curse-ridden than normal. Consider yourself warned.

Sudan update
None. Still nobody. We’re sending 31 troops and nobody cares. But people are betting on who the next Pope will be, so that’s important.

Conflict of whatnow?
There’s a Senate committee looking at media ownership policy in Canada. Has been for awhile. About 200 people have appeared before it. But yesterday, the president of CanWest appeared, so, of course, CanWest reported on it.
National Post A8, a news report on what the guy who runs the company that runs the paper had to say about how papers should be run. What the fuck is this about? How can they even pretend to be able to report on his comments objectively? It would be one thing if they had been covering this thing from day one, but they haven’t.
His testimony was frustrating enough, you should all read what he had to say, but seriously, reporting on it in the Post? (oh, and the Gazette).
I know a lot of you reading this are probably not at all surprised, I sure as hell wasn’t, but why aren’t we engraged? Why do we chuckle then move on? Half the people reading this are fucking journalists, who’ll shake their heads at the story then go back to sending clipping packages to CanWest papers in the hopes of getting a job.
Fuck it, it’s a disgrace. This is the sort of shit that drove me from journalism in the first place, nobody even cares about trying to be objective anymnre.

Hait. . . oh man Joe, shut up about Haiti
Allan Rock, our man at the UN, is in Haiti with a whole UN posse checking up on how the peacekeepers are doing. I’m gonna assume the answer is “not particularly well,” what with all the illegal U.S.-supplied guns everywhere. This story was in the Gazette and Toronto Sun only, it’ll be interesting to see which papers report on his findings.

Where for art though, logic?
The great Dallaire debate has been raging in the letters section of the Post ever since they printed that absured, offensive waste-of-space of a column on Dallaire in Rwanda earlier this week.
Letters against Dallaire take one of two forms: a) Dallaire was a bad general because he followed direct orders and b) Dallaire was a bad general because the Canadian Forces put priority on language above talent.
Look, Dallaire was a good general because he followed orders, that’s what good generals do. His failing as a general was that he felt bad about the piles of dead black people and decided rather than continue drinking and trying to kill himself, he’d tell the fucking story and try to shake the Western world out of its selfish bubble of intolerance. If he’d never spoken up, he’d have been the perfect general, just doing what he was told. Watch Downfall to see more generals who followed orders and stayed quiet about it.
As for the French thing, I have no idea. If the Forces do have a French quota that must be filled before merit, that’s stupid. But Dallaire is well-liked by his troops and colleagues, and RWANDA IS A FORMER BELGIAN COLONY. BELGIANS SPEAK FRENCH. For fuck’s sake, his French was an asset in dealing with some of the lingering vestiges of colonial authority that caused the fucking problem in the first place.

Last but not least, check out the airline security story on the front page of the Financial Post section. The U.S. wants to start screening all passengers who fly through U.S. air space, even if they don’t land in the U.S. So, if you hop on a flight to Vancouver from Ottawa, you’ll be vetted by the U.S. if this passes.


  1. The Post loves to report on its owners, though. This is nothing new. I can remember in October 2002, they transcribed and published a speech by Izzy Asper about how every news organization on earth is biased against Israel (except his own, of course) and a Gazette reporter wrote a story about it. With no other sources. So in effect, the speech got twice as much play.

    Not only that, but in paraphrasing Asper’s comments the reporter corrected some of the factual mistakes he made (most egregiously, Asper’s misinterpretation of what the Balfour Declaration said).

    I still don’t see why we should care what the Aspers think about anything, especially journalism. They’re businessmen, not journalists.

  2. I have nothing constructive to say other than “where for” should be “wherefore.”

    Also, I’m surprised there was no mention of the cover of the post “‘Campaign’ Begins”

  3. Your comments about CanWest are justified, Joe. That committee coverage was bullshit. But don’t think for a second that they’re the only ones who print self-serving stories… The Globe and the Star do it too. So I guess that means any journalism student who is sending clipping packages to ANY major media outlet should feel ashamed of themselves?? Hardly. The only way to change the way things are done is to get involved.

  4. Yea, that’s what I was talking about when I said less coherent. I didn’t mean to imply that my j-skool friends should be ashamed of working as journalists. The shame was for the whole damn system. I really hope that people just entering the field can make a difference, I really do. I’ve lost that faith, but I’m glad others haven’t.

    And I know the other papers do it too, it pisses me off just as much when they do it.

  5. Oh, and I almost laughed (but not quite) when the CanWest executive said the new forms of media are threatening media outlets because they fracture revenue so that everyone gets a bit of money but no one gets enough to stabilize… and yet I can walk to the nearest street corner here in Ottawa and read the CanWest-owned Citizen, CanWest-owned Post, CanWest-owned Dose or the 33% CanWest-owned Metro. Yeah the money’s really being spread around on that one. It’s being spread around from an office on the first floor of a building in Winnipeg to the office on the third floor of the same building.

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