Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Where is BC Rail news? BC Mary felt obliged to ask ...
Each day, Vancouver Sun has a little video. Just press the button and (after the advertising) our old friend, Kirk LaPointe comes onstage, prepared to tell us the hot news awaiting us in the next edition of B.C.'s flagship newspaper, The Vancouver Sun. And so today -- after the first day of the BC Rail trial in which a certain Ian Munro testified -- I sought comfort because it isn't good, to feel shunned ... is it? So I wrote to the Managing Editor of our flagship newspaper, editing out all unkind thoughts, as follows:
4 May 2010
I watched your video and I did check back this morning, hoping to see what Vancouver Sun has to say about Day #1 (yesterday) of the BC Rail trial.
Can you -- without using the words "publication ban" -- explain why there's absolutely nothing about a case of such importance that it will hear evidence from the CEOs of North America's three biggest railways and half of the BC Cabinet of the day?
Could you tell me Vancouver Sun's plan for coverage of the Basi-Virk trial, a.k.a. The BC Rail Case? There were 11 lawyers in the BC Supreme Courtroom ... and 8 citizens in the public gallery. Could you tell me, for example, if one of the 8 was a Vancouver Sun reporter?
The Legislature Raids
Now ... if I haven't broken a law or hurt Kirk's feelings again ... I look forward to his response. But it makes me think back fondly to the recently-published book, "My Paper Chase" by Harold Evans, the legendary British editor who fearlessly challenged certain public issues, risked everything when he knew he was correct. Of his many newspaper campaigns, the most dramatic was his dogged determination which eventually succeeded in exposing the tragedy of the Thalidemide babies ... pills prescribed to pregnant women to ease morning sickness ... which caused their babies to be born without arms, without legs ... and it was a tremendous newspaper battle to get the pharmaceutical company as well as every level of government to put a stop to Thalidemide. Harry Evans, editor, did much more than that in the public interest, so I can imagine him sinking his teeth into the BC Rail issues ... what do you think ... would it be unkind to send the Harold Evans book to our Kirk LaPointe? Would Kirk grasp it with joy, race through it, read it again, and then declare himself the Champion of a Free, Investigative Press in which -- when people pay $1. for each edition - will discover important stuff which can improve their lives and prevent tragedies? Hmmm.
You know, the school where editors and journalists learn how to turn public opinion.
I'm curious - has his covered the controversy about the Tori Stafford publication ban? Because he's much more likely to allow that controversy - in distant Ontario - into his paper, than admit that there's anything of interest going on right under everybody's nose in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
When the time comes for the truly big media to open this can of worms wide open - The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Manchester Guardian and the other UK papers - the Sun will be playing catch-up as well as damage control.
But I wonder - wiil Torstar do any better with covering BC politics. Or are they, too, more interested in the lurid details of child abductions than they are with corrupt politicians? Will Torstar let the Canadian public - and not just the BC public - known about the outright theft of public property and its placing in the hands of partisan backers, with grease all along the way for those involved (including, probably, privately, also the editors of compliant media...)??
Asper tried to eat Conrad Black alive.....kind of makes me wish we could get Conrad Black to criticize the Asper Empire for collaborating with top-level slease in British Columbia.
The shit will hit the fan if testimony affects the price of CN stock, and the rail industry is thereby significantly impacted, and potentially the larger market as well. Violation of international trade agreements by the in-house sale are also likely to get some examination (the Competition Bureau's looking the other way will also be of issue). There will be nowhere to hide from the international media when the time comes. And that goes for BC publishers and editors who've played along......