Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Things that piss me off

Now, I should warn you that this entry will focus on my irritation with "hard-hitting journalism" and "responsible editorials", particularly as aired on Global network, a division of CanWest Media.

I tend to avoid the 6:30 pm national broadcasts of Global news because I've long since been unable to swallow the sadistic manner of reporting. No news item gets aired without some form of sharp criticism, and I find that Kevin Newman's style of reporting, which means to come off as hard-hitting, comes off more as sharp editorials with some reporting thrown in.

Tonight, he led the newscast with some stupid comments about the Canadian Government being on vacation while the Asian disaster has unfolded (DUH--Many Western leaders are also on vacation due to the X-mas holidays--and this *after* he reports that most of the world is just now shaking off its disbelief and moving to assist the nations affected), then he criticizes the fact that only 1 Canadian plane-load of supplies has been sent to the region thus far (When will people ever accept that Canada's role in the world as Middle Power is not due to its military strength and resources, but rather to it's commitments to multilateralism?), followed by an even dumber comment about the fact that Canada's Rapid Response team DART has not been deployed (which was followed immediately with a report by a colleague who said that uncalled for aid usually just clogs up the airports and confuses matters in a disaster zone, so Canada only sends DART into places when a request has been made for its assistance). And yet no reporting on the outpouring of support and donations by Canadians themselves to various Aid Organizations who are much better prepared to respond in the region because of previous commitments.

Next, I move on to Edmonton's very own Jackass in residence, Bob Layton, who in his local news editorial, starts flaming the region for not having an early detection and warning system in place. Gee Bob, are *you* going to pay to install the system, maintain it, and pay the salaries of the highly specialized staff required to operate this system? Didn't think so. Yes, last year at a summit meeting, the leaders of the countries along the Indian Ocean rim talked about it, but then shot it down, and how many people could have been spared? Well, Politicians don't like to think of the possibilities of something like this happening, they are incredibly short-sighted and have ridiculously short memories, but are you going to be the person who says to the heads of developing states like Bangladesh, Burma(Myanmar), and Somalia, "hey look guys, we know you are too poor to afford some basic services for your populations, but would you mind using some of your small GNP/GDP earnings instead to split the really large bill with us?" The state has a duty to protect it's citizens and guests to the best of its abilities, but no government in the world can be prepared for what nature throws at us. Just ask Florida. Yeah Bob, things really are that simple.



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