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.