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Thursday, May 26, 2005

STOP THE PRESSES!

Why is it whenever international media mentions Canada, the Canadian press pops a massive erection and starts pumping out coverage and spewing it all over A1? The New York Times "Canadian correspondent" wrote a column/analysis that suggested maybe, just maybe, Canada isn't as virtuous and wonderful as we like to think it is. He cited the sponsorship scandal, some lacklustre environmental performances, the monopolistic dairy marketing board, our poor treatment of Native peoples and the Euro-centric nature of our business world. Citizen A1: "N.Y. Times lampoons 'righteous' Canada" Toronto Sun Page 3: "NY TIMES BEFOULS OUR VIRTURE" The National Post at least goes with the slightly-more accurate "New York Times takes swipe at Martin's professed commitment to Canadian values" over a much shorter story buried on A6. Do yourself a favour, go to Google News, search for "New York Times Canada" and read the first bit of the article (Google gives you a nice back door around the subscription-based news sites). Does that seem like the befoulment of our virtue? A lampooning of our righteous nature? No, it seems like a reasonably well-sourced assesment of the Liberal image of Canada as a beacon of justice for the world. The Canadian media has to stop perpetuating this Canadian insecurity. To this day the "Mr. Dithers" moniker is tossed about, all because The Economist used it in February. When that same magazine called Canada cool, it was front page news for weeks. Who cares? That a U.S. newspaper ran an analysis of Canadian values should not be front page news. Not when there are far more important things to discuss. Is it interesting? Sure, it makes for a good read. Maybe some papers should have picked it up in syndication and ran it in their comment pages. But to make a news story out of it? Grow up. I hate to say 'I told you so,' but . . . Yesterday Justice Gomery said he didn't have the evidence to back up claims made in the media about the amount of money funnelled into Liberal coffers, despite suggestions that the forensic study backed up Brault's claims. Now where have I read that before? CBC Radio yesterday indicated that Gomery took a shot at the media for overplaying the forensic report, but that little barb didn't make it into today's coverage. The Star led with Mr. Gomery's general comments about a lack of evidence, while the Globe and Post buried the contradiction to their own coverage deep under yesterday's other testimony. So the average Canadian will probably go on believing that the forensic report (not an audit, it's important to recognize) backed Brault's claims, despite the report's authors saying they didn't have enough evidence to go on and despite Mr. Gomery correcting the media and playing down the impact of the report. That's some fine responsibility. We're waiting for your appology, Mr. Rumsfeld So. The FBI has reports dating back to 2002 of allegations of desecration of the Koran by U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. They were just declassified. Now, who remembers when the Pentagon said there were "no credible and specific allegations" of Koran desecration? I do! I do! Let's give the Pentagon and Mr. Rumsfeld the ultimate benefit of the doubt and say they didn't know the FBI had these allegations. Fine. But in the light of this recent evidence, shouldn't they retract their statement? And as for all the Canadian papers who latched on to the White House spin, shouldn't they maybe "pull a Newsweek" and retract their comments too? The coverage today goes on to say that federal officials have denied these allegations in the past. Okay fair. But all Newsweek did was say that U.S. officials had uncovered allegations of Koran desecration. And they did.

6 Comments:

  • Please tell me you're joking and someone did not just use the phrase "befouls our virtue."

    Please.

    By Anonymous tkob, at 6:43 AM  

  • i'm gonna sit here calmly in front of my computer and wait for the news that BushCo concedes, 'oh yea, that Newsweek story was right after all.'

    really. i'll park my 'fridge, bed, and chamber pot right beside me. it'll be awesome, like a grade school sleepover.

    which is to say: who wants to bet that i'll publically confess to being a stupid, dirty, smelly bastard long before i hear the White House admit to anything of the sort?

    By Anonymous morgan rooney, at 7:53 AM  

  • Isikoff reported that an upcoming military report would substantiate accusations that a Koran was flushed by a soldier. He was wrong.

    The FBI memo recently released contains an ACCUSATION by a detainee of a soldier flushing a Koran. That detainee retracted his accusation on the 14th.

    A recent press conference details all the incidents of abuse of the Koran that were reported since the prison was established. If you read Newsweeks detailed followup, or watched the military press conference, then you know that the only Koran that was flushed was flushed when a detainee tore pages out of his Koran and stopped up his toilet in protest.

    A selection of other Koran abuses? Knocking it off its pouch onto a bed, placing it on a televison, not picking it up with 2 hands, standing over it menacingly? Look at what you wrote above and then tell me who needs to apologize.

    And far be it for you to actually follow the numerous fake Koran desecrations that air often in the Arab media, and the fake Koran desecration tactic written about in the Al Qaeda training manual.

    Unbelievable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:30 PM  

  • Hopefully this isn't too late, but since Anonymous speaks Arabic I was hoping for a translated like to a fake Koran desecration story and the translation of that part of the Al-Qaeda training manual. That would be a great story. Unless you're full of shit.

    By Blogger The Shotgun Solution, at 6:24 AM  

  • Apparently this post got picked up by the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz in his "Media Notes" column. I'm listed among the "left-wing and moderate" bloggers who picked up on this story (it was ignored by most of the U.S. papers too, go figure).

    So, I'm assumimg "Anonymous" was one of the many U.S.-based hits I got from Kurtz's mention. Either way, it's always nice when people put their name to their comments, especially ones that attack me, but whatever, I'll respond.

    The Newsweek article, to the best of my recollection, said that an upcoming report by the U.S. Southern Command was expected to include the alleged Koran desecration. The source later said he could no longer be sure that the Koran allegation was in the investigation.

    It's all here in a Washington Post article. Given that the Post's parent company owns Newsweek, I'd take their word on what happened as much as I'd take anyone's.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/15/AR2005051500605.html

    And yes, the FBI report's allegation was retracted. But there are many others that haven't been.

    I admit, when I said in the original post that "all Newsweek did was say that U.S. officials had uncovered allegations of Koran desecration," I was a little off. And for that, I'm sorry. I'm not too big to admit when I've made a mistake.

    My problem is that this whole situation is NOT cut and dry. Newsweek admitted that they may have erred too far to one side, but their critics and detractors refuse to admit that the possibility of Koran desecration exists.

    And THAT is irresposible.

    By Blogger Joe Boughner, at 11:22 AM  

  • Oh, and the Kurtz column is here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100587.html

    By Blogger Joe Boughner, at 11:23 AM  

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