Sleeping next to a terrified, hypocritical elephant
So the U.S. is trying, once again, to ban flag burning. Read about it here. It's not the first time they've tried, but it's the first time there's been the necessary Republican control of both House and Senate, and the rampant patriotism to make it go. I doubt that I have to point out the blatant hypocrisy here - the freedom loving U.S. curtailing free expression, but I was surprised that so few papers picked up the story. AP put it on their wire, which in today's Canadian media climate makes it a choice candidate for the international sections. Yet neither the Globe nor the Post ran it. Oh well, for shits and giggles, check out this site. National Post News Services or Reuters Lite? The Post finally picked up on the allegations that China has spies in Canada monitoring Falun Gong practitioners. Sort of. They actually refer to Canada casually in the eighth paragraph or a story on the whistleblower's concerns that he could be sent back to China. Actually, for an article from "National Post News Services" it sure has an Australian focus. Almost as though it was a direct copy of a Reuters story, with a token paragraph on Canada tossed in for good measure. This is the first time the National Post reported on this story at all. Shouldn't they have provided a little more context? This is the latest example in a weird trend in the CanWest papers. You'll see a lot of stories attributed to the National Post News Service or CanWest News Service, but really, they're wire stories with a line changed. It's an attempt to disguise the fact that they do little to no actual international reportage, and it's misleading and dishonest. Agent Orange Update The Globe finally ran a story on Agent Orange, in advance of today's meeting at Gagetown. Well, CP ran a story and the Globe grabbed it. Still nothing from the Post, Star or Citizen. In defence of the wires This site dedicates a great deal of time to criticizing wire services. That's a bit unfair. Reuters, Agence France-Presse and AP/CP do a really good job of filling the gap in international reportage. Often, the actual wire stories are well researched and well written, and it's the individual papers that chop up the copy. So when I piss all over the wires, understand that it's the reliance on them I'm against, not the actual work they do. Today, I want to give some mad props to an AP story for a wonderful little dig at Condi Rice. Check out the story here. I love the fourth paragraph, it's a perfect little subtle jab at Rice. " Rice did not elaborate on how the war in Iraq might affect terror groups in other parts of the world." It seems almost like editorializing, but it's rooted in fact and answers a question that a reader would (or at least should) have after reading that quote. Well done, AP. Bushies love tossing out rhetoric like that, we need more reporters to start calling them on their shit. And finally. . . The Star fronted another Guantanmo story today, this even more troubling than the others, in my humble opinion. It turns out doctors who treat the prisoners (sorry, evil doers) are required / encouraged to pass on medical information to the interrogators. The Star article requires a subscription, but a similar report is here. Fuck doctor-patient privilege, we need to know if Mohammed al-Jihad over there has a bum knee we can lean on when we're "interviewing" him. I'm hoping that the Star was just the first off the blocks with this, and that the rest of the papers grab it tomorrow. This is a serious revelation, and the more play it gets, the better.