A Toxic Presence
Originally posted on Half an Hour, March 31, 2010.
I'm not sure how to go about it just yet, but surely it is time to mount a campaign to put the toxic local newspaper in our little city out of business.
The Guardian has it right:
"In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge. Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often "cut" the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out."
As the result of a biased, addled and apparently self-serving campaign, the Times & Transcript has managed to convince City Council to get rid of the best police force in the country.
Not even counting the increased costs of a private police force (which needs buildings, cars, and pensions, all not considered when counting the cost of policing to the city) the change in policing will result in costs of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, to citizens in the form of increased crime, corruption, and increased insurance costs.
None of this matters to the Times & Transcript, or its owners the Irvings, which are much more concerned about salaries being kept "to Maritime levels" for various public services (and, of course, their own employees). That's why they never did publish my letter on the subject - or any letter supporting the RCMP - prior to the Council decision.
This is just one of a series of campaigns undertaken by the newspaper over the years to ensure that New Brunswick in general, and Moncton in particular, remain on the threshold of poverty. The newspaper is opposed to all forms of public services, constantly railing against expenses on things like the Firehall (which they felt should have vinyl siding and absolutely positively no art), the Dieppe swimming pool, and even Enterprise Greater Moncton.
Rather, the newspaper - which is almost entirely supported by car dealership advertising (not surprising given that it is owned by an oil company) - does constantly argue for wider (and straighter) roads, against crosswalks and bike lanes, against, indeed, anything that would deter its editors from racing their minivans wherever they please (they also love ATVers, and constantly make excuses for their destruction of trails and private property).
This has to end.
Because what seems to happen time and time again is that bits of New Brunswick - like the Moncton of today - seem poised to rise above being service stations and cheap labour for The One Big Company only to be dragged back into the mire.
The Times & Transcript is able to get away with this because it is basically the only local media in the city. This has to end. An alternative needs to be created. Something needs to be done.
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