Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fear Not ; Freedom of the Press Alive and Unfettered in Ontario

Yesterday I stumbled across a blatant example of left-wing propaganda in Kitchener's The Record, "Tories march to wrong drum by following U.S. lead" by columnist Frank Etherington.

Now Frank is well known in this area for his extremely anti-Conservative tirades, but this one is particularly offensive - insulting not only Tories, but our soldiers as well. This piece is way too long and nauseating to reproduce in it's entirety (and likely against copyright rules), so I'll offer a few of the more disgusting tidbits:

"To protect their self-serving butts from unfriendly voter fire, federal Tories are censoring the media by banning journalists from gut-wrenching military ceremonies where dead soldiers come home in flag-draped coffins..." He then accuses Harper of emulating George W. Bush. Wow, that was an original thought, Frank! Never heard that one before.

He then refers to Harper's media ban at repatriation ceremonies as "a disrespectful slap in the face for all Canadians including the grieving families of dead or maimed soldiers." Etherington contends that the move had everything to do with political optics and nothing to do with family privacy.

Next he accuses Harper of "exploiting those who risk injury or death every day", when Harper visited Kandahar to support the troops. Etherington complains of "countless nauseating news clips where he guzzled root beer and rubbed shoulders with soldiers like Dinning."

Now here is the clincher. As you read this quote, imagine yourself to be the parent of a young man who just gave up his life in a country where terrorist cells had been flourishing, religious freedom had been all but non-existent, and women had been regarded as little more than mere chattels rather than human beings:

"...I hope Canadians appreciate that, because little will be achieved in Afghanistan, Harper should quickly bring soldiers home. The mission is hopeless and the casualty cost is already too high."

You can vent your fury by writing to Mr. Etherington at fetherington@therecord.com or write a Letter to the Editor at letters@therecord.com.

Note: If writing the Record, please include your full name, address and daytime phone number for verification purposes. They will only print your name and city.

As always, I welcome your comments on this site. If you can find something here to defend, I would be very interested in hearing from you. Is Frank Etherington accurately reflecting anyone else's opinion in Canada?


Derik Foulem said...

I do think that the conservatives made the decision not for the families but for political reasons. I do think it's a form of media censorship.

I don't think that we should bring our troops back home. The tone in which he makes that statemenent makes me think that Mr. Frank Etherington longs to go back to the peace and love ways of the 60's. It exhibits a very limited understanding of the international climate. Mr. Etherington (would he be living in the states) would probably also be proning a US withdrawal from Iraq no matter the consequences of leaving the country to fend for itself in the current climate.

Mary said...

As usual the main stream media completely misreads the average citizen. Mr. Etherington still thinks that because he is a journalist that what he writes the average person takes it as gospel and nods their heads in approval, and stumbles along blindly. They forget that we think and act and when we see something printed that we don't agree with we will shut up and stay muted. But with the advent of the blogsites we can now see that the average citizen is no longer muted but has a loud voice to express their concern when the MSM is off track and nasty. So my hat is off to you true blue keep on being the voice in the wilderness, we hear you and applaud you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Mary! I appreciate the encouragement.

Derik - Even though we disagree on politics, I'm glad you are on board with the cause. I don't even think the Dippers are against our mission in Kandahar.

Frank Etherington may have attempted to support the troops in his own twisted way, but in fact he has abandoned them by denouncing their efforts as meaningless and the deaths as senseless.

theodore said...

Joanne, although the new harper govt may please you, please remember that the media fires at whomever is in power. conservatives are in power so infrequently that their opaque skins crack and burn under the bright light of public scrutiny.in other words, get used to frequent criticisms of mr. harper. not many buy into the leftist media bias theory that conservatives bray on about. the MSM took it very easy on harper last election and helped get him elected. the toronto sun is relentless in it's criticism of anything that even whispers centrist or anywhere left thereof.in fact, you have admitted your admiration for the paper. the only time i've heard you complain about the sun's perspective has been when it has (infrequently) criticised harper. to be credible, it is necessary to be objective and not simply partisan for it's own sake.

PGP said...

Your quite right Joanne to bring to our attention the likes of Etherington.
He is a relic of the age journalistic propogandists who's only purpose is to promote ideology.
I promote honesty and I promote conservative values...but of course I do not do this under the false pretense of being a journalist.Nor do I claim to represent anyones POV but my own.
I'll send a letter the the Record...

Zac said...

My comments pretty much mirror Derick's. I do think the ban is for political reasons (which almost got my head chopped off in the other post) but I in no way support bringing the troops home or diminishing the amazing success they have had on the ground.

Also, unlike most Libs, I will congratulate Harper on visiting the troops in Afghanistan. Most world leaders don't have the balls to do something like that.

And just for some Tory gratification...I will also congratulate Harper on calling an inquiry into the Air India Bombing.

But Etherington is probably just mad because he can't get hired at a major daily. Not to knock you local paper or anything...hey I have the Hamilton Spectator to deal with. Talk about small town cheap. Anyhow, small minded journalistic hack at a second rate local daily.

Derik Foulem said...

One thing I'd like to add though is that it's important to know why we're in Afghanistan to realise that our troops will probably be needed there for a good 25 to 30 years and that ultimatly force will not fix Afghanistan and Iraq although a solution can't be implemented without it.

I also think that Canada should debate how we can help rebuilding Iraq.

Zac said...

Good point Derik,

As I do think that we should committ manpower to the reconstruction effort in Iraq, I cringe at the thought of actually sending troops there.

But then I think that we will need protection for those who do send so we will need some military. We have all seen how private contractors have been treated in the past.

It should be debated though...Iraq is a whole new ball game.

vicki said...

I would like to ask derik and zac to explain how the decision for media to stay back at Trenton was 'political'
I see it as 'Canadian policy'...not Conservative policy.

Zac said...

Since I have almost been beheaded on the last four or five posts, I'm not sure if you want to hear it...

Mine and Derik's opinions are not too popular 'round here.

If you want you can check out the other posts, me and Derik's arguments are laid out throughout them.

molarmauler said...

My take on the re-pat ban.

We're going to take casualties and soldiers are going to die. On a scale we are not used to seeing given the nature of the mission.

In the interests of a blanket policy that errs on the side of caution for the families involved, it's better to keep the media a 'safe' distance. If families choose to allow media to the funerals, it's not the governments business.
It is the government's business to ensure that families who want privacy are not pressured by the media or other families who are at the tarmac.

It simply allows the government to take a hands-off role in the re-patriation process and de-politicizes it once and for all(once the initial furor subsides).

It's fair to say the Cons don't want a circus they are always micromanaging. The new rules do not hamper the Canadian Burial Corporation from broadcasting what they want to.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - Thanks for agreeing to write in. People need to see some perspective. This is a University town, and young minds are far too impressionable. Although you and I can clearly see the problem when MSM uses a public platform to spread dangerous ideology, there are others that don't see the difference.

In this stand against terror, all parties are united. Mr. Etherington is clearly in the wrong.

Chuckercanuck said...

I ain't writing this loon!

Hey, was Bill Clinton following George W. Bush's lead when he banned the media from re-patriation of fallen soldiers?

Oh, wait, the practice is older than W's presidency. Go figure. That's a nasty fact that doesn't compute. So let's ignore it.

And the root beer crap? Yes, Harper was saying to the journalists: "ignore the mission and the military, just take shots of me and my root beer. Call me fat, if you want."

Mary said...

Zac is right, I too congratulate the PM for the inquiry into the Air India bombing!

Zac said...

...long overdue in my books

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac - Your comments and Derik's are greatly appreciated. I think you both have something of substance to offer. Neither of you are trolls. We are all on board about this mission and support of the troops.

MM- "Canadian Burial Corporation" Brilliant!

CC - Your comments ring true with me. However, if we all just dismiss the 'loons' then they will be leading the flight of the Canadian lemmings.

Chuckercanuck said...

good point joanne!