Will rant for food
So my grand life plan got a big ol' kick in the nuts last week. Apparently the powers that be have deemed me unsatisfactory to educate our nation's young people and I won't be a Gee Gee next year. That being said, if you know anybody who is looking to hire a cyncial pundit who just wants to rant on the state of the world, I'm on the market. And sorry for last Wednesday and the whole no-posting thing. I had a nice rant all ready to go, but the fine folks who host megalomedia decided not to let me log in that morning for reasons I'll never know. But rest assured, my hell weeks are behind me and you can count on Monday-Thursday postery from here on out. And away we go. Wha? Pope's dead? In case you missed the news, Pope John Paul II passed away Saturday. In a bold display not seen since last week's "Happy Birthday to Us" segment, the Citizen dropped its above-the-banner teasers and dedicated A1 entirely to the Pope in both its Sunday and Monday editions. Then proceeded to dedicate its entire A section and a special pullout section Sunday and A1-A9 and much of the City section today to his passing. The Post, while slightly more reserved in coverage, does get an honourable mention for numbering their pullout section JP1- JP8. It's really interesting to compare the types of stories too, it seems that everyone except the Citizen is at least willing to admit that there are some people who weren't impressed with the Pope's reign and that there are some divisions among the Cardinals about which direction the church should go now. I suppose that, as a (admittedly lapsed) Catholic, I should be concerned that these other papers suggest there is human involvement in selecting the next pope - doesn't God tell the Cardinals who to suggest? - the media watcher in me has to wonder what the Citizen is hoping to gain. Honouring someone's memory is one thing, but it is disingenuous to suggest that he was universally loved and made no controversial moves. But Bush said . . . In the interest of repeating myself and making this post longer than need be, I'd ask you all now to scroll down and read Lebanese-Syrian Relations 101 as posted last week. I'll wait. Got it? Cool. So it turns out that now the Syrian government has committed to a deadline for pulling out and has even agreed to let a UN team watch. You know, all those things that Bush was asking for but said would never happen? Take a guess who missed the story. I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with fratuitious foverage of fope's feath. That's right, the Citizen! While they did manage to cover the debate over what to give Charles and Camilla, they took a pass on what could be the most significant development in the Syria-Lebanon spat since the protests that dominated front pages just a few short weeks ago. For jimminy's sake, even the Sun papers got this one, where is the sense of responsibility here? They missed the story when Syrian troops started pulling out, begrudgingly noted that troops were pulling out in a series of small briefs on minor developments, then take a pass on the announcement of a deadline. Even the Post got this one. What did the Citizen choose to run instead? "Teens believe oral sex less risky, study finds" (A11) "Down with diets, some experts say" (A12) "1 killed, 3 injured in sword attack [in Germany]" (A16) Do as I say, not as I do There's been a lot of coverage lately, including some in today's Globe and Mail on the EU's push to resume selling arms to China. Understandably, this has some people a little antsy. But where the hell do senior U.S. officials get the idea that they have any sort of moral high ground to lecture the EU? The U.S. just inked a deal to sell fighter jets to India and Pakistan, two countries constantly on the brink of war. Not to mention their historical tendency to arm groups such as al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein's forces and various despotic regimes in Central America. Guess how many journalists have pointed this out to them? None that I've seen. Now I know journalists are busy, so I've created a short list of questions that they can copy and paste to their Blackberries until the next time they're at a press conference where a U.S. official condemns the EU: "How can you criticize the EU for selling arms to China when you have so recently sold fighter planes to India and Pakistan?" "Do you see any hypocrisy in that answer?" "What's it like to live in your own bubble of skewed morality?" "Do you cry a lot?" The EU probably shouldn't sell weapons to China, but the U.S. has pretty much pissed away its right to criticize. Fortunately for U.S. officials, nobody seems too interested in calling their shit.