Saturday, July 28, 2007

Freedom of the Press, How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways...
The North Shore News, Georgia Straight, Victoria Street News, Island Tides, and several other weekly and monthly presses. But I don't love the Canadian daily news. Their owners and editorialists are philosophically embedded deep in the heart of Texas, far away from the needs of the Canadian people.
Privatize, privatize, privatize, that is their US and Canadian mantra. Hoping to suck up as much public money for private partnership ventures as possible. But the irony is that it is only a free press and the electronic media that can stand between us and them. It is the Internet that is stepping up to the plate, with local websites such as the Tyee, and other international ones. Citizens are increasingly looking there for clues as to what is actually happening in the world. And in spite of having to shovel back tons of implicit sex talk and images on the Internet, that men can't seem to get enough of (whenever large electronic systems, such as banking systems, crash I always suspect that some new sex toy or sex video has hit the market), the hard news (pardon the expression) still has a way of filtering through. When Campbell suggests that BC women and children should take to the woods with guns to try to kill what's left of our wild animals, because the men seem to be losing their appetite for it, we can turn to Google for a reality check. Are there any precedents that teaching children to kill animals for fun is a good thing? What percentage of mothers agree with this?
And when Mr. Falcon, Minister of Transportation suggests we should adopt China's methods of dealing with environmental protesters, that is, to simply move protesters out of the way, without any pretense of due legal process, Mr. Falcon is upping the bar for the Campbell government's contempt for citizens and the environment. And while the China policy may seem like a good method to Mr. Falcon for nullifying protesters, I wonder if Mr. Falcon would agree with the China policy of dealing with public officials who tell blatant lies to their people, or steal, or accept bribes.
These Chinese public officials are simply executed. If we suddenly adopted that same China policy in BC today, I wonder how many of Mr. Campbell's cabinet and ministers and officials would be left standing tomorrow. There might be a rash of openings to be filled. But whatever, at least we are not Mexico, where the drug lords have begun to kill reporters. Not yet anyways. But if we don't protect freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, with all our might, we will lose them entirely. And we won't like what takes their place. Not one bit.
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:10 AM

    I didn't know that Falcon was praising China for taking care of protesters and dissidents. Your parallel between the way they treat guilty politicians ovear there is very apt. And Sam Sullivan is determined to get rid of the Falun Gong protesters to avoid embarrasment at the Olympics. "Every government is run by liars, and nothing they say should be believed." I.F. Stone said that. You're of the age where you know who I.F. Stone was. Too bad many younger people do not know.
    Anyway, courage!
    We shall overcome!
    Free Betty!