Rant: R-a-n-t. . . rant

Shhh. . . if we all talk very quietly, perhaps the Gomery reporters will stay asleep.
That’s right, today’s front pages are all but deviod of sponsorship coverage and I gotta say, I forgot what this was like. Not since JPII passed on in Rome has there been so many A1s without election talk. Conclaves of cardinals, immigration reform, OHL playoffs, inter-provincial migration. . . such a smorgasboard of stories to choose from.

Weekend update
Okay, I admit, I tend to take a pass on the papers on the weekend. Fuck it, I need some time to play PS2 and not wallow in my own rage. But walking to the pub for a hearty Saturday breakfast I had to stop and pay tribute to the Citizen’s front page. A1, above the fold, full coverage of the CanWest spelling bee. I have it on good authority that there were two additional pages of coverage inside too, and today’s Post dedicates A2 to the story as well. Ain’t nothin’ like some naval gazing goodness on a Monday morn.

The award for most misleading cover teaser goes to. . .
The National Post for its wonderful photo of two Hamas (?) militants in menacing ski masks and the tease “Among us: Canada a base for ‘virtually all’ terror groups. Excerpt, A15.” Wow, you read that and you’d think the photo was taken in Canada (it likely wasn’t) and that terrorists were found in Canada (they weren’t).
See, it’s a teaser to excerpts from Post reporter Stewart Bell’s new book on how Canada is soft on terrorism. That’s what the cryptic “excerpt” refers to.
The book excerpts are bad enough, misleading and fear-monger-a-tastic, but this cover teaser is just nuts. It’s blatantly sensationalistic and designed to play on natural fears. You can’t tease to something in the A section and suggest that Canada is a base for every terrorist group in Canada without context. Putting “excerpt” does not provide context. This sort of bullshit is dangerous and it undermines the credibility of the paper.

Come on, it’s not like they exert influence over global economy policy or anything
Two big stories came out from the World Bank this morning. They released a report that said almost 11 million children in poor countries die each year before the age of five, most from causes that are preventable in wealthier countries. They also concluded meetings with the IMF on debt relief for poor countries without a deal or a plan.
These stories were missed in almost every major daily. The preventable disease report appeared in heavy-hitters like the Ottawa Sun, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Kitchener-Waterloo Record and Regina Leader-Post, but the Post, Globe and Toronto Star took a pass. The debt relief story was buried as part of a broader IMF story in the Globe and ran as full stories in the Toronto Sun and Winnipeg Sun. Two CanWest papers, the StarPhoenix and Victoria Times Colonist ran the story too, but under misleading headlines trumpeting the fact that world leaders agreed debt relief would be nice and burying the fact that no deal was reached.
How do papers miss stories like this? Debt relief has been a buzz story as of late, it even has the rockstar appeal thanks to Bono. These are two significant stories about the worsening plight of the world’s poor, shouldn’t we care?
Oh right, poor people tend to be brown, never mind. Man, I’m stoked for the Post interview with Suzanne Somers tomorrow.

If I can get off the beaten track for a second
I normally don’t comment too much on Toronto Sun stuff, mostly because their trivial, sensationalistic “news” coverage focuses on stabbings in Toronto and the like. But columnist Connie Woodcock’s blatant hypocrisy is worthy of mention as it points to a frustrating trend.
Woodcock rants about the lack of morals in society, leading with her concern about the unhealthy image of beauty put forward by the likes of Britney Spears.
This is in the paper that gives us the Sunshine girl every day.
Listen Connie, if you want to be taken seriously, stop accepting a SunMedia paycheque.
Columnists often pull shit like this, taking the moral highground on issues that their employers are the most guilty of undermining. I’ve ranted on stuff like this before and taken a pass on many other examples.
It could be argued that they are trying to change the system from the inside, but I don’t buy that anymore. It’s been going on too long with no results. It’s tokenism at best and dangerous hypocrisy at worst.
If Woodcock really wants to take a stand, resign. The way the media wars are working these days, I’m sure a competitor would snatch her up and make the whole debacle into A1 material. It would be awful navel-gazery, but at least she’d have the chance to make her point.

That’s all for today, tune in tomorrow for the return of ElectionMania ’05 and GomeryFest. I sure hope no other genocides take place this week, A1 is already reserved for the latest polling numbers.

1 comment

  1. I can’t help but be a dick and point spelling error of “naval gazing” in the spelling bee section.

    The ironing is delicious.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *