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The death of a newspaper

I have never been the biggest fan of the Ottawa Citizen. Ever. Preaching, self-righteous columnists like David Warren turned me off the paper years ago. Their coverage is usually biased, overtly partisan and sometimes poorly written.

However. And it is a big “however”. Those are my opinions, and I am entitled to them. Others think differently and that is how it should be. A healthy democracy needs all opinions to be aired and discussed. Newspapers have traditionally performed that function and usually very well.

That is why losing another newspaper like the Ottawa Citizen is a tragedy. With each passing of an Ottawa Citizen or a Sun or any other paper, a little bit of our democracy is eroded.

There are some talented people named in the Tweet below. I have had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Chianello on a couple of occasions and she and her work is top-shelf. Same goes for Andrew Potter. They are both talented individuals who will land safely somewhere. And I wish them the best.

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Maybe it is time for another one of these?

Why is this happening? Like Warren Kinsella, I am not buying all of the B.S. excuses that Godfrey et al are spewing.

What does it mean? Well, it means Paul Godfrey doesn’t give a sweet shit about Canadian journalism, for starters. That much should be clear to everyone, by now. All that he cares about, seems, is fattening the accounts of U.S. hedge funds, and giving himself big bonuses as amazing people like the ones above are shown the door. –

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Maybe I’m wrong, and there really IS a God!

At least, this news is tantamount to divine intervention in my books!!!

Fox News North does NOT have to be offered on basic cable… a victory for those Canadians everywhere with IQs higher than the length of Pierre Polievre’s nose, in centimetres.

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Cool online daily… worth looking at…

Thanks to The Tyee for this:

In case you have yet to discover The Tyee, it is a high quality independent online daily. Usually full of insightful and progressive scribbles, it is a pleasure to read. Check it out sometime…

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The Sixth Estate

I have run across this blog before and had intended on mentioning in a post… but other things got in the way, as I recall.

If you are looking for some well-written and thought-out views on Canadian politics – with a particular slant toward Canada’s media and the interface with the political levels – then this is a good place to check out on a regular basis.

Here’s a sample:

Stephen Harper’s campaign director, Guy Giorno, is giving a speech at the Economic Club of Canada on the subject of how they won the election and how “Harper is now poised to become one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers.” While it may well happen, I’d say it’s a trifle optimistic. He’s only halfway to cracking the top five, at which point he’ll be in fine company — two of the most corrupt prime ministers in our nation’s history and a third who is the only other one to date to try to shut down Parliament improperly. (Unlike Harper, King failed.) He’ll also be the first person in the top five who is neither a Grit nor a Tory. The current Conservative Party are not Tories. They are Reformers.

Reads like something the ol’ Trashmeister would say… but better-written, IMHO. And most of the posts are not long-winded essays that mine tend to be from time to time. Short. Snappy. And frequent. Nice.

Here is the link – plus I’ll be adding it to my blogroll over there in the right sidebar ————————————>

Enjoy!

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NATO slaps restrictions on Canadian media in Kandahar

I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised to see this headline, eh?

According to the Mothercorp, journalists have far less access to the world outside of their bases.

Grit  Denis Coderre said that “The media is not the enemy and this is a form of censorship — and it is unacceptable,”  “There is a public interest to know what’s going on in the field.” and he is correct. The idea of having journalists directly in the field during a conflict is to have the ability to provide unimpeded and unfiltered information to the Canadian people – the ones who are “funding” the mission.

And whose sons and daughters are dying for it.

This decision by NATO (note – this is not a Harper Directive – though I don’t see them making a big fuss about it… nasty media!) goes against this principle and pressure should be brought upon the organization to lift some of the restrictions.

Since coming into force in March, journalists even have to be escorted to and from the bathroom, for frick sake!

The new U.S. security team at Kandahar Airfield stopped issuing International Security Assistance Force accreditation to journalists in late February. Instead it gives them temporary base visitor passes, which restrict movements and require them to be closely monitored.

The reporters are also compelled to forfeit their passports to the military for the duration of their stay.

Even stranger still, U.S. journalists are not covered by these restrictions. “Some of the new rules do not apply to American journalists because the measures would violate their rights under the U.S. constitution.”

This is insane. Harper get Canada the the hell out of this stupid war. Guess Canadians are good enough to die there, just not good enough to know what’s actually going on.

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Back to the Citizen – one more chance.

This past weekend, a young guy came to my door selling introductory subscriptions to the Ottawa Citizen. It was a good deal and I’m not committed for more than a few months at a rate of a few bucks per week.  So, I said yes to give it another chance.

I did previously have a subscription and kept it for several years till one day I decided that the rag wasn’t good enough to line my green compost bin!

And I wonder how long it will take me to reach this same decision. Every now and again, I am reminded why, a couple of years back, I cancelled my subscription to the Ottawa Citizen.

At the time, I was angry at and tired of the editorial board’s über-Christian, David Warren and his constant rantings about his born-again-ness and how Christians were fighting along the side of Dubya for morality, the free market and the American way… all being interchangeable in the mind of “Father” Warren.
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It’s not that I mind a good theological debate. My views on the subject are pretty well-defined and have been honed over the years. I grew up in a decidedly non-Christian household that to a large degree shaped how I think today. Later in my teens, I performed a thorough and critical examination of the world’s major religions to see if I had missed something and that perhaps I could find a path that would enhance and complete my life experience.
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Nope – what I found was a good basis upon which to launch many arguments against religiosity and for secularism. And I remain of the same mind to this day.

It’s also not that I think that having a system of religious beliefs is a bad thing at all. Indeed, if it gets you though life and it’s many pitfalls, by all means – believe! But don’t impose your system on me or my kids. And DEFINITELY do not make me subsidise religious institutions… although taxpayers most sickeningly do so. Witness the tax-free status of churches and the utterly wasteful duplication in Ontario’s Catholic / secular school boards!
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Nevertheless, a system of spiritual beliefs works for some. I am reminded of my favourite episode of the West Wing where President Bartlett, after his lifelong assistant and confidante is killed in a car accident, stands in a church wailing in Latin against the absurdity of the death and how a righteous and kind god could ever allow such a tragedy. In the end, though, he finds strength in his beliefs and this helps him through the loss.
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However, I digress.

My point is this: The Ottawa Typo-Master is a private enterprise that is free to write as they wish within certain parameters of decency and acceptable behaviour. But they go overboard when opening and unashamedly advance their evangelical Christian beliefs in the guise of “reporting”.  Their flagrant support for the Conservative Reform party is one issue – after all, they are not the only rag to do this – but issues of spirituality and the touting of one weltanschunng over another is completely out of order in our diverse, and yes, highly secular country.  The other side of an issue should always be addressed by a major Canadian newspaper in the name of balanced reporting and addressed not just as an afterthought but in a thorough and fair manner. There are atheists, humanist and agnostics in their readership who couldn’t care less about the Pope’s views on abortions.

Truth be told, I have been buying the Saturday paper for the New York Times crossword – cheaper than buying the New York Times.

So we’ll go with this for a while and see how fast it takes me to tire of the evangelising!

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