Monday, May 11, 2009

Stop the presses! Quite literally. Stop the endless BS in the Canadian press about Harper's "trust me" policy

Below is the text from Obama’s speech to the White House Correspondent’s dinner, this past Saturday evening. Even at times when he is making a joke,, Barack Obama is able to cite the higher calling of journalism. Whereas here in Canada, insofar as its coverage of the income trusts matter is concerned, the press’s higher calling of journalism is itself, a joke. Why is it that Obama can call upon US journalists’ “commitment” and their essential role holding “accountable” those who “serve at the pleasure of the American people” and help elected officials “do a better job”?

Are Canadians not demanding of their elected officials to do a better job. Who in the Canadian media apart from Diane Francis and William Stanbury and an intermittent and smattering of occasional one off articles by others have sought to hold the government to account on the incokme trust matter? Which Editors apart from Kate Malloy of the Hill Times or Rob Granatstein of the Sun Newspapers have allowed the truth to be uncovered and revealed for what it is? Where is Canada’s punlic broadcaster, the CBC on this issue? Peter Mansbridge? Don Newman? Rex Murphy? This issue is why we fund a public broadcaster, because this income trust issue is one in which the corporately owned and highly concentrated public sector media chains are in a position of enormous commercial conflict.

Meanwhile the enormlous economic cost to our country of the enormously economically self destructive income trust policy goes unreported and those who serve at the pleasure of the Canadian public go unaccountable..........and re-elected into office to serve their masters on Bay Street with a litany of policies that are adverse to Canadians’ interests.....income trust double taxation of RRSPs, the ushering in of a two tiered pension system, foreign takeovers that are highly subsidized by Canadian taxpayer dollars, wholesale destrction of Canadians’ life savings based on utter falsehoods, the bailout of ABCP, the HST.

The list goes on. There’s nothing to see here folks, just move along. That seems to be the motto of the Canadian press when it comes to matters that are adverse to their owners narrow and gross self interests. Is this why you became journalists? To become purveyors of BS and patent falsehoods, or to make Canada a better country? I await your printed words and journalistic deeds

Text of Obama speech to White House Correspondents' dinner, May 9, 2009:

I just -- I want to end by saying a few words about the men and women in this room whose job it is to inform the public and pursue the truth. You know, we meet tonight at a moment of extraordinary challenge for this nation and for the world, but it's also a time of real hardship for the field of journalism. And like so many other businesses in this global age, you've seen sweeping changes and technology and communications that lead to a sense of uncertainty and anxiety about what the future will hold.

Across the country, there are extraordinary, hardworking journalists who have lost their jobs in recent days, recent weeks, recent months. And I know that each newspaper and media outlet is wrestling with how to respond to these changes, and some are struggling simply to stay open. And it won't be easy. Not every ending will be a happy one.

But it's also true that your ultimate success as an industry is essential to the success of our democracy. It's what makes this thing work. You know, Thomas Jefferson once said that if he had the choice between a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, he would not hesitate to choose the latter.

Clearly, Thomas Jefferson never had cable news to contend with -- (laughter) -- but his central point remains: A government without newspapers, a government without a tough and vibrant media of all sorts, is not an option for the United States of America. (Applause.)

So I may not -- I may not agree with everything you write or report. I may even complain, or more likely Gibbs will complain, from time to time about how you do your jobs, but I do so with the knowledge that when you are at your best, then you help me be at my best. You help all of us who serve at the pleasure of the American people do our jobs better by holding us accountable, by demanding honesty, by preventing us from taking shortcuts and falling into easy political games that people are so desperately weary of.

And that kind of reporting is worth preserving -- not just for your sake, but for the public's. We count on you to help us make sense of a complex world and tell the stories of our lives the way they happen, and we look for you for truth, even if it's always an approximation, even if -- (laughter.)

This is a season of renewal and reinvention. That is what government must learn to do, that's what businesses must learn to do, and that's what journalism is in the process of doing. And when I look out at this room and think about the dedicated men and women whose questions I've answered over the last few years, I know that for all the challenges this industry faces, it's not short on talent or creativity or passion or commitment. It's not short of young people who are eager to break news or the not-so-young who still manage to ask the tough ones time and time again. These qualities alone will not solve all your problems, but they certainly prove that the problems are worth solving. And that is a good place as any to begin.

So I offer you my thanks, I offer you my support, and I look forward to working with you and answering to you and the American people as we seek a more perfect union in the months and years ahead.

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

Unfortunately our Laurel & Hardy style of financial journalism does not compare to the Woodward & Berstein style in the US.

In the US those guys live to uncover the crap.

Here in Canada the journalists are controlled by the CRAP.

Until this situation changes , we are doomed to a media of mediocrity & compliance with very little to show for the effort.

So , it is no wonder that guys like Harper & Flaherty can say "trust me" in response to our calls for an investigation into the Tax Fairness Plan as the media is more than willing to bend over & cough.

Dr Mike Popovich

PS---We would even settle for a Geraldo Rivera if we could find one.