In-Sights: R.I.P. Merv Adey

It’s a sad day today. I knew Merv had been seriously ill for some time. Four weeks ago, he was hoping that a series of new treatments would be successful and we planned to meet this month at his “humble digs.” Merv and I began communicating in 2011. His first message to me said: The ...

In-Sights: Behind the ostensible government

An item previously published, with  minor updates: I studied political science at university long, long ago. In those days, I was naive and idealistic and a member of the Liberal Party. Because I did not stay naive, I did not remain a Liberal. Yet, the theory of party politics makes sense. The system should enable ...

In-Sights: Overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks…

Hunter S. Thompson: As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. One ubiquitous messenger from the Legislative Press Gallery wrote a ...

Alberta Politics: The full-court press is now under way to get Canadians ship their tax dollars to right-wing ‘legacy’ media

PHOTOS: Canada’s newspaper publishers are finally getting a grip on how to deal with this new-fangled technology stuff, like that Internet thing. Just pick up the phone and get the federal government to give you money! Below: Postmedia columnist Andrew Coyne, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey, former Globe and CBC journalist Paul Adams, and Liberal Prime ...

The Canadian Progressive: Edward Snowden defends jailed NSA contractor Reality Winner

The unveiling prosecution of 25-year-old National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Reality Leigh Winner is “a fundamental threat to the free press,” says Edward Snowden. The post Edward Snowden defends jailed NSA contractor Reality Winner appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Politics: Media readers deserve the whole story about the sources reporters quote in public policy stories

PHOTOS: The question isn’t just whether Alberta’s students are getting the information they need, but whether media is giving the rest of us all the facts we require when we read news stories about education policy. Below: Former Edmonton Public Schools curriculum director Stuart Wachowicz, a frequent source used in columns by Edmonton Journal writer ...

Joe Fantauzzi: Desmond Cole, the Toronto Star and Another Existential Crisis for Professional Journalism

DISCLOSURE: I worked as a mainstream news reporter between 2003 and 2012. I see this as a two-fold issue; firstly, actions and secondly, words. I’ll consider both briefly and then elaborate on my concerns. Actions There is no point in rehashing here the now well-known details of what lead to Desmond Cole’s departure from the Toronto ...

The Canadian Progressive: How the everyday use of militaristic jargon makes us more combative

The language of warfare and violence dominates public discourse in the United States and around the world, even when war isn’t part of the conversation. Nan Levinson, a writer, teacher, and journalist covering civil and human rights, culture, and the military, discusses how the normalization of militaristic jargon is making us more combative and less ...

We Pivot: Stop Fact-Checking Christy Clark

We’ve learned a few things. But we need to pick up the pace of wisdom. As we pivot to a new world that is suffering from deeper entrenched tendencies of fascism and contempt for truth, we need to stop wasting … [Read more]

We Pivot: The Globe and Mail Just Punked the Leap Manifesto

You’ll notice in this graphic that as the Leap Manifesto linked to an anti-pipeline op-ed in the Globe and Mail in Facebook, the subhead brutally misrepresented the article. Either it was an error, sadly, or it was an intentional opposite … [Read more]

The Canadian Progressive: Julian Assange Statement on the US Presidential Election

In this statement issued on the eve of 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Julian Assange defends WikiLeaks’ publication of the DNC Leaks and the Clinton political campaign and Foundation email leaks (Podesta Emails). “The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks,” says Assange. The post Julian Assange Statement on the ...

We Pivot: My Canada Doesn’t Arrest Journalists

My Canada respects citizen and journalist free speech. My Canada respects the role of the media in enhancing democracy. My Canada does not cast a chill on political participation. But … [Read more]

Politics, Re-Spun: We Need to Prepare for Those Worse Than Trump

We can't just worry about Trump, but all those for whom he is paving the way. #Trump #TrumpTapes #SoftFascism #cdnpoli #bcpoli — Politics, Re-Spun (@PoliticsReSpun) October 8, 2016 It’s one thing to lower the bar, but with Trump, someone pulled out the jackhammer and has dug through the floor. But let’s not assume that Trump ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Very Small Victory

In a seemingly endless battle, even small victories deserve to be noted. And it is indeed a small victory on the climate-change front that The Star’s public editor, Kathy English, reports on in today’s edition. In dismissing a complaint against the Toronto Star’s publication of a New York Times report about repercussions of climate change ...

In-Sights: News from the echo chamber

Columnist Vaughn Palmer reports concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service about growing BC Hydro debt. The agency stated the obvious, which is that numerous capital projects are adding billions to the public utility’s debt and higher electricity rates or contributions from government are inevitable. Palmer repeats Moody’s judgement that Hydro’s financial metrics “are among the ...

In-Sights: News from the echo chamber

Columnist Vaughn Palmer reports concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service about growing BC Hydro debt. The agency stated the obvious, which is that numerous capital projects are adding billions to the public utility’s debt and higher electricity rates or contributions from government are inevitable. Palmer repeats Moody’s judgement that Hydro’s financial metrics “are among the ...

In-Sights: News from the echo chamber

Columnist Vaughn Palmer reports concerns expressed by Moody’s Investors Service about growing BC Hydro debt. The agency stated the obvious, which is that numerous capital projects are adding billions to the public utility’s debt and higher electricity rates or contributions from government are necessary. Palmer repeats Moody’s judgement that Hydro’s financial metrics “are among the ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a ...

Politics, Re-Spun: Permanent Delusion, Rex Murphy and Rob Ford

I can’t watch this. I can’t. Rex Murphy’s ode to Rob Ford includes this quote: “Mr. Ford was one of the most remarkable ordinary people Toronto has ever produced.” Here’s another perspective; you decide: To create and solidify their base, Ford and his backers used a strategy that has proven successful elsewhere. It is a ...

Alberta Politics: Unite-the-right poll results ring alarm bells and raise interesting questions, none of which are asked by the media

PHOTOS: A pollster asks a typical Albertan if she’d prefer to vote for a united Wildrose-PC Party … or the NDP. Actual Alberta pollsters and their subjects may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pollster Quito Maggi, Alberta Prosperity Fund and Advocacy Ltd. spokesperson Dave Rutherford, and Preston Manning, who needs no introduction around this ...

Politics and its Discontents: Democracy’s Lifeblood Is Slowing Draining Away

There are a number of blogs that I read on a regular basis. There is Owen with his superb synopses and wry, informed commentary. There is The Mound of Sound, whose deep research and informed commentary provide much-needed information on both domestic and international issues, helping us to better understand our troubled times. Another must-read ...

In-Sights: Distortions and half-truths but mostly outright lies

February 13, 2013, Premier Christy Clark announced: …the new British Columbia Prosperity Fund to ensure communities, First Nations and all British Columbians benefit from the development of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry… LNG development is poised to trigger approximately $1 trillion in cumulative GDP within British Columbia over the next 30 years and ...

In-Sights: Stenographic journalism

Writing in Salon, maverick journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized news reporting that follows the stenographic model. It involves repeating what people say without any effort to judge the truthfulness of statements or the facts of the situation under review. Here’s an example from this week: In Ahem, indeed, the preceding In-Sights article, a reader left this ...

Alberta Politics: You tell me, Dear Readers: Did I unfairly beat the Wildrose finance critic like a piñata?

PHOTO: Your blogger, at right, wearing the brand new string tie he just bought in Santa Fe, takes a whack at Derek Fildebrandt, the Wildrose Opposition’s finance critic. Actual Alberta politicians and political commentators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Derek Fildebrandt; Globe and Mail reporter Carrie Tait; the famous Globe headline ...

wRanter.com: Can we talk politics without lashon hara?

Over the course of the election campaign to this point, the Jewish community has seen repeated and sometimes flagrant violations of halachic and ethical prohibitions against lashon hara – wicked speech – and some of the 31 transgressions related to it, such as unnecessarily engendering controversy and division. But although negative politicking has become more ...