Hook, Line and SinkerThe Tyee
is up. The new, David Beers driven, online publication wants to put a fresh spin into the rather dull Vancouver media scene. It is not going to get very far when its first media piece, written by AdBuster Associate Editor Deborah Campbell contains this bit of lefty looniness,
In the absence of a skeptical North American press, however, it was the international media which took up the task, including the BBC, the Guardian and the Arab network Al-Jazeera.
Now the good news is Campbell is, it seems from the context, quoting ex-Post Reporter Patricia Pearson. The bad news is it is pretty clear Campbell, and by implication The Tyee, endorses those views. Lest Ms. Campbell forget: the BBC ran, unedited, the remarks of the arch fabricator Andrew Gilligan which sexed up his interview with Dr. Kelly so much the poor man felt obliged to kill himself. And the BBC also ran Gilligan's story live from Baghdad in which he happily announced he was at the Baghdad airport and there were no signs of American troops. His own colleague who actually was at the airport and more or less surrounded by troops had to correct Gilligan's completely fictitious report. Fiction was no stranger to virtually all BBC reporting of the circumstances which lead up to the war in Iraq and the war itself.
The Guardian had a better war. In fact, with the lamentable lapse of publishing a 9/11 revisionist piece suggesting that Bush knew the attack was on its way and all the rest of the conspiracy rubbish and, of course, once in a while having a Drabble or a Pinter "I hate, I really hate, America" piece, and, well, Polly Toynbee having cramps every time the US or the Brits suggested that maybe removing Saddam Hussein was a good in itself, its coverage was fairly balanced.
Al-Jazeera? Balance does not mean repeating video loops of American or British troops being brutalized as POWs. It certainly does not mean having advance notice of bombing attacks and doing nothing or bragging about facilitating
(memri.org 11/11/03) such attacks.
These are certainly reasons to read beyond the remarkably banal reporting in the North American mainstream press; but intelligent opposition to the war, US foreign policy in general, Bush and all manner of other things American can be read in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Boston Globe and, frankly, CNN. All are available online.
The Post was for the war. It made no bones about that. And it was for the war for at least one reason which Pearson was unwilling to point out to her sponsors - Saddam was a bloody tyrant who terrorized his own people and invaded neighbouring states.
There were no lack of dissent merely because the Post supported the war and the reconstruction. Calling
for a return to a plurality of voices in what has become a one-note media chorus.
is simply bogus. The Toronto Star was solidly anti-war, the Globe and Mail waffled - even the Southam papers have taken a variety of positions.
There was considerable editorial support outside the Post for Canada's decision to ignore our closest friends' pleas to join them and forge a course towards the laudable goal of becoming Chirac's bitch. And there has been much self-congratulation at our cleverness as our softwood attracts tariffs and our hotels repel American tourists.
There is plenty to criticize about Canadian media; but holding Al Jazeera up as an example of a job well done suggests Campbell and Pearson are not the people to do it.