Media expose local misdeeds, miss others
The Canadian media are doing a superb job covering and uncovering stories that are crucial to the functioning of a democratic society.
The Toronto Star has been brilliant following and exposing matters of local concern; none more so than the disgraceful mishandling by police of the G20 Summit in 2011. Had it not been for the Star’s dogged pursuit of the facts, the arrest of more than 1,000 protesters, whose rights were grossly violated, it would have been accepted as the police merely doing their duty to protect the city from hooligans and anarchists.
The paper also exposed a police operation that stops, questions and records personal information of a disproportionate number of young black men. The practice, called “carding”, exposed what the police casually call a necessary investigative tool but was exposed as more like racial profiling of young black men that in many cases created quasi-criminal records that have and will affect their long-term prospects in Canada.
It gets better with the coverage of the vulgar and mendacious Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his equally crude bully brother Coun. Doug Ford.
The city, regional, and national media have been impressive in the coverage of national politics. They have kept all levels of government’s feet to the fire, what with the Mike Duffy/Stephen Harper Senate scandal, the neutering of Statistics Canada, and the muzzling of government scientists after they claimed they were pressured by senior supervisors to approve drugs of questionable safety. This is but a small part of the sterling work of the Canadian media and proves that the members of the Fourth Estate understand their responsibilities and have shown they are quite capable of carrying them out.
How then do we explain the same media falling in line with most of the Western media and governments’ basic narratives to justify foreign wars that have brought enormous suffering to millions of people around the world?
Recall the bogus claims of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, aluminum tubes, etc., to justify what turned out to be the destruction of a country and thousands of its people. Our media presented all as fact, in print and on TV, with hardly a dissenting voice. Few questioned why our prime minister felt the need to lead the war party that brought murder and mayhem to Libya.
Now they tell us that Israel, a colonial power that displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the indigenous people, has a right to defend itself as it drops bombs on Gaza, whose people are resisting and have a legal and moral right to resist colonization and life in what is in effect a concentration camp administered by Israel.
Now we are told that Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely responsible for the civil war in Ukraine. Little or no context or coverage of the Russian position are presented; reports from western wire service, White House, EU and the Ukraine government’s opinions are aired as if they are gospel.
One would have thought that since they fell for the Iraq “weapons of mass destruction” ruse, that our media would be as vigilant as they’ve shown in covering local issues.
There is still time to get it right. We know you could because we know you know better. We’ll be watching.