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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

An orgy of observations

Whew, put a good night's sleep in this kid and he finds all kinds of stuff to write about. Let's start where everyone in Canada is starting today. The Grewal Tapes. First, the links you need: The transcripts and tapes are here. The Globe's coverage is pretty good, so check it out here. Okay, first of all, I just want to say that this whole thing is pretty sickening. While it's unclear if Paul Martin knew about any offers made to Grewal, it's pretty damn clear that his senior aide and a cabinet minister did. People wonder why "young people" are so cynical about politics? Look no further than this story. Now, as for coverage, both the Globe and Post bumped their lead columnists to A1 for this bad boy - always a sign of a big story. I have to say that John Ibbitson in the Globe hits it pretty much on the head. Nobody looks good in this. Counter that with Andrew Coyne in the Post, who paints it entirely as a Liberal scandal, and you see why people sometimes have a hard time taking the Post seriously. Sure, every paper is going to have an editorial bias, but to stick to the party line even in the face of this kind of blatant, self-interested political gamesmanship is pretty unreal. Priorities, priorities, priorities The Ottawa Citizen runs a hard-hitting expose on the anti-nipple sentiment that plagues society. From Desperate Housewives digitally airbrushing out Teri Hatcher's nipple to Victoria Secret's new nipple-hiding bra, why are we so obsessed with obfuscating our minor protrusions? It's a lovely story, right down to the gigantic picutre of Pamela Anderson that accompanies it. For the record, a second Doctors Without Borders official was arrested in Sudan for publishing a report that hightlighted the systemic rape of women in Darfur. You can read it here, but not here. The Citizen had more important things to report on. And speaking of priorities The Post didn't report on that Arar Inquiry today. That's hardly new, they only ran two articles on the inquiry in the month of May. The Citizen and Globe have passed that mark just this week. I wonder why the Post wouldn't want to cover an inquiry that uncovers more and more flaws in Canada's anti-terrorism legislation? What's worse, no coverage or shitty coverage? The on-again, off-again coverage of the Ipperwash Inquiry by the Globe is getting really frustrating. Yesterday, they reported that OPP tapes from the day Dudley George was shot accused the Native protesters of firing first. The story did a good job of noting that there has never been any evidence of Natives shooting unearthed at all, but it still led with the news of the day, that OPP tapes accusing the Natives of shooting first were played at the inquiry. Today, the news is that OPP officials admitted to circulating a false report about what led to the shooting. At the time, OPP officials said protesters threatened police vehicles with a baseball bat, something that was absolutely false. The man in charge of the entire OPP operation wasn't told it was made up until years later. Globe? Nothing. Hmm, if the OPP officers on scene were willing to lie about being threatened with bats, and no evidence exists that Native protesters ever fired a shot, doesn't that maybe call into question the allegations that the Natives opened fire first? At the very least, shouldn't all the details be reported on? Unlike the Gomery Inquiry, Ipperwash isn't being covered by a fleet of CanWest reporters, so it's hard to find really thorough, exhaustive coverage to point you all to. The Star requires registration for their site, but check out the inquiry's website for transcripts and the like. New Kid on the Block I was reading through a really right-wing piece in the Post's Issues and Ideas section this morning, wondering who the hell had written it. It was entitled "Don't call Guantanamo a gulag" and suggested, among other things, that the "terrorists" there should count themselves lucky because "under normal wartime practices, these enemy combatants would already have been lined up against the nearest wall and shot." It went on to declare that "while there may exist a few incidents of serious abuse, merely having people pose for pictures in undignified positions isn't a severe form of 'torture.'" Fair point, if that was the unflattering pictures were the only allegations. I'm more concerned about the sleep deprivation, forced homo-eroticism and the use of snarling dogs to terrify people. But whatever. I assumed I was reading some U.S. right-wing publication's editorial, as the Post often uses the I&I section to reprint things like that, but nope, this was the debut of the Post's newest columnist - Rachel Marsden. For fans of Fox News, Marsden is the Canadian correspondent on the O'Reilly Factor, that should tell you what you need to know. She's also been called Canada's Ann Coulter, if that helps. I'm really glad to see that a Canadian paper has adopted the U.S. tactic of having columnists push the Bush Administration's party line. But maybe I'm being too critical. Maybe it's just a coincidence that her column came out the same day as this story. And finally. . . Several CanWest papers run Tim Naumetz's story about opponents of same-sex marriage fax-jamming Liberal MPs with anti-gay-marriage messages - essentially tying up their fax lines. The MPs are upset and want the speaker to investigate, but Tory Jason Kenney says that Canadians have a right to political expression. Interesting. . . I don't have a fax machine myself, but any Megalomedia readers who do may want to consider sending Kenney a few hundred faxes thanking him for his support for political expression. His contact info is here.

6 Comments:

  • For the record, neither the National nor CTV Newsnet ran stories on the Arar inqiry either - particularly odd considering the witness du jour was John Manley, who said pretty much that when he was negotiating the cross-border agreement human rights wasn't really on the radar screen, as opposed to keeping the border open so people had jobs.

    BTW, Joe, since I know you abhor blogs, you probably won't see my take on (I'm beating mainstream media to the punch here) Grewalgate unless I shove it in your face.

    Go here and click on the clickable thing.

    Let's do lunch. Call me at the office (the one where I work for free, not the other one).

    By Anonymous tkob, at 7:36 AM  

  • hey! MediaScout didn't send me your post from yesterday. WTF?

    By Anonymous morgan rooney, at 9:45 AM  

  • Yea, apparently if you send them critical comments they knock you off the list.

    Kidding, of course. Actually, someone at fark.com linked to a blog entry called "Weird Al saved my life" on the maisonneuve website, crashed them down flat in mid-mailout.

    By Blogger Joe Boughner, at 10:26 AM  

  • ah, i see.

    i was getting worried for a minute there, because i DID send them a (rather facetious) comment and was almost starting to regret it.

    almost. i gots to be me, after all.

    By Anonymous morgan rooney, at 11:07 AM  

  • Joe, that L.A. Times article you linked to is gold, if only for this quote:

    "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations by — people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

    The word is dissemble, Mr. President. And strictly speaking, it means to disguise something rather than to lie about something. FYI.

    By Anonymous Phronetic Man, at 11:38 AM  

  • Anyone who wants to know more about Rachel Marsden's background should read this.

    http://thestar.blogs.com/azerb/2005/05/postit_notes.html

    The Toronto Star's media columnist has a blog now, and wrote a little bit about Marsden's "real" background as opposed to what you'll read about her on her own website. Interesting stuff, and scary that the Post would hire someone like this to waste 30 column inches twice a week.

    By Blogger Ma$e, at 1:00 PM  

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