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The Crumbling Mainstream Press and Media In Canada. Part Two. “The Globe(alization) and Mail”.
By Robin Mathews, Vancouver, April 2014
Newspapers and conventional media are losing readers, listeners, and viewers simply because people use personal electronic devices of many kinds. For convenience.
Newspapers and conventional media must, it is true, face and deal with the new “social media, etc.” – which add an exciting dimension to communication and publication. But the established communication sources are losing ground for quite another reason – which they will not whisper about in the dark or admit is even a vague possibility. In short, they are the (owned) servants of big corporate capital, and they serve it … first, last, and always. They not only serve the One Per Cent. They are the One Per Cent.
And so they don’t give you the news. They give you Corporate Propaganda. That doesn’t mean they tell you daily what Goldman Sachs or RBC or Telus or CGI or the Stephen Harper goons tell them to pass along to you. They simply shape news to back those kinds of Corporate giants and their friends… and they don’t report facts that might shake your support for globalized corporate rule. In Canada, the Stephen Harper Conservative organization speaks for globalized corporate rule: it is protected by the Mainstream Press and Media.
The Globe and Mail’s “Public Editor” (Are there ‘Private’ Editors?) Sylvia Stead admits her paper supports Stephen Harper (Mar. 29 14 F8, “Why endorsing Harper doesn’t mean not criticizing him.”) She is proud that the Globe and Mail’s “editorial page published an unprecedented five-part series calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill the Fair Elections Act” because (her claim) of its devastating anti-democratic force. She brags, as if to do once what it should be doing all the time is a major achievement.
She does NOT write that if the bill remains and is pushed through, the Globe and Mail will abandon its support for Stephen Harper and his “Conservatives,” declare the need for a change of government and – if suitable – back one of the Opposition parties. (“Come, Come!” Ms. Stead might say, “Be serious. We’re paid to say we believe in democracy, but not if it means rejecting globalization, the corporate agenda, the new fascism, and … Stephen Harper.”)
To show how the chatter from Ms. Stead should be on the entertainment page, she points out how great, bold journalists in Toronto have “made repeated efforts, including a running scrum, to extract an answer from Mayor Rob Ford about newly released court documents.”
Canadians have looked and looked and looked for Globe and Mail reporters to follow Stephen Harper (in a running scrum?) to extract answers from him about: the F35 fighter; the (admitted) guilt of his Party in Election Fraud; the relation of Conservative Senators to that fraud; the suppression of scientific research in Canada and the killing of environmental law and oversight; the alleged PMO activated Robocall Fraud in 2013; Saskatchewan electoral boundaries; his relation to Nigel Wright and the possible criminal implications of their relation … and … and … and. All in vain.
The Globe and Mail doesn’t even seriously inform Canadians of Harper and PMO secrecy, of his refusal to hold open press conferences, his purposeful suppression of information that belongs to the public. The Globe and Mail (as a public information source) should declare open and unending war against a prime minister and party who – daily – do everything they can to prevent Canadians from being informed about government in Canada – working, in effect, to destroy democracy in Canada. The Globe and Mail, one might say, colludes … by its repeated and continuing failures. (That might be the statement summing up the whole Mainstream Press and Media in Canada.)
That’s why more and more Canadians go around them all – ignore them, all of them – to get real information from somewhere else.
As if to prove the point, the same Globe and Mail issue has a page-and-a-half spread on Goldman Sachs, featuring Gary Cohn, No. 2 in the Goldman Sachs hierarchy (pp. B4, B5). Titled “Goldman Opens Up”, the article features a large photo of Cohn, laughing like a PNE clown. Between Rod Erman (writer), Cohn, and editors, the Globe and Mail gives less information about Goldman Sachs than a person could squeeze from a drunken PNE clown at the end of his shift. Something to laugh about….
Among almost all serious commentators about the financial crash and burn of 2008, Goldman Sachs is fingered as one of the most destructive. The Globe and Mail article tells a reader … nothing, but that Mr. Cohn made $12.5 (U.S.) million in 2012. (The fact that payoffs are still so high tells it all. Little has changed in that corrupt world.)
The article builds around the allegation that the 2008 crash wasn’t good for Goldman Sachs … and how it has had to refurbish its image. Nothing is said about WHY that is necessary. Nothing is said about its participation in the economic collapse of Greece or other international and national depredations. Not a word is said about what Goldman Sachs is alleged to have done to contribute to the crash and to the loss of savings and security of millions of people. Not a detail or a piece of information is given about the huge con-game of creating (in layman’s terms) fake investments that melted like snow in hot sun when fairly examined.
All we get is: “We have reduced the lab where we used to have all these people creating and engineering these things”. (REDUCED the lab?) Taking care not to explain clearly that operations like Goldman Sachs (in layman’s terms) loaned money that didn’t exist and sold “securities” without traceable records… and on … and on, the reader is simply told “that banks [must] reduce the use of borrowed money, the key in ‘levering up’ returns.”
In short, someone who doesn’t know the lingo and needs clear information is told nothing that matters about Goldman Sachs – which Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has called a “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
Maybe we can stop there. Readers get almost no information about Goldman Sachs in what looks like an elaborate page-and-a half “infomercial” for the corporation by the Globe and Mail. But if readers google Matt Taibbi and the new ‘The Intercept’ blog site, they can find in-depth, serious examination of the gigantic and multi-facetted con-jobs engaged in by the vampire squid community … people we might call “the globalizers.” Readers WON’T get that kind of information from The Globe and Mail.
Let’s shine a little light on The Globe and
Mail working in a local scene. British Columbia.
In that same Globe and Mail issue, apparently investigative journalists Justine Hunter and Ian Bailey look at politicians and entitlement. (S1, S4) To show the virtues of a “good guy,” the journalists focus on present B.C. minister of finance Mike de Jong and his personal push to cut expenses, to drive a twenty-year old car, to refuse VIP transport, and to urge such virtue upon others. All that is reported in order to show up those others who appear to swill at the public trough … and have been exposed lately… and who seem to emit the faint odor of corruption … which, apparently Mike de Jong is free of.
Except …except … there’s Mike de Jong and the BC Rail Scandal. What is never said and has never been approached by anyone at the Globe and Mail is that the (‘lily-pure and independent’) Special (Crown) Prosecutor – (appointed in 2003) in the 14-year saga of the BC Rail Scandal investigation, pre-trial, and trial – was illegitimately in the position. Appointed under the Attorney Generalship of Geoff Plant, his partner and colleague for seven years, that Special Prosecutor had also been partner and colleague of the Deputy Attorney General (Allan Seckel) for eleven years. Buddies, you might say.
The Special Prosecutor’s illegitimacy means that everything done toward, and including, the BC Rail Scandal court case from his appointment in 2003 is invalid … and worse. The Attorney General of B.C. was fully informed more than once of the violation … and did nothing … refused even to answer correspondence.
Which is where Mike de Jong comes in. After becoming Attorney General around the time of the revelation about the illegitimate Special Prosecutor, he decided – not to act on the irrefutable information but to have a review of the appointment process of Special Prosecutors. He wanted a swift, efficient review by UBC vice president Stephen Owen. Apparently … apparently, the review had nothing whatever to do with the gigantically important violation in the case of the BC Rail Scandal trial about which the Attorney General of B.C. had been fully informed.
The Report by Stephen Owen never mentions the BC Rail Scandal Special Prosecutor appointment. The Report is a pumped up whitewash of the process. The Special Prosecution appointment process, readers are led to conclude, was made in heaven and the name of each appointee is delivered to the Attorney General by an angel with golden wings. So much for Mike de Jong. (Don’t Globe and Mail writers do ANY research?)
The two Globe and Mail columnists on the story during the four-year long BC Rail Scandal pre-trial and trial (known also as the Basi, Virk, and Basi trial) were (award-winning) Gary Mason and Mark Hume. They were in the courtroom frequently. When the Special Prosecutor’s illegitimate appointment was reported upon, the blog world lit up with the information. The Mainstream Press and Media refused to touch it, to investigate the facts, to do … anything. Gary Mason and Mark Hume never published a word.
Sylvia Stead, Public Editor, Globe and Mail, writes: “the role of the media in a democracy [is]: to think, to challenge, to question, to include the facts and not just to accept what is said. And to do it regardless of which party or leader is in power.” The Globe and Mail, demonstrably, does not do what Sylvia Stead says it must do in a democracy. Serious Canadians, then, should ignore (and more and more do) the organ of sleazy corporate propaganda called the Globe and Mail.
Canadians, more and more, seek information from almost any other source than Canada’s Mainstream Press and Media, and, especially, from any source other than their flagship institution, called – we all know – Canada’s National Newspaper, The Globe and Mail.
Read Part One, "The Crumbling Mainstream Press and Media in Canada." Part One. Looking at Andrew Coyne.
Return to Robin Matthews' Page
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