Saturday, September 20, 2008


Christie Blatchford wishes everyone would just shut the hell up about AgMin Gerry Ritz's appalling remarks about the listeriosis deaths:
"He wasn't speaking publicly. He was at work ... He was having what he assumed was a private discussion."
Besides, she explains, "It was perfectly normal human behaviour", just like the newsroom she once worked in that "had a pool guessing the date Terry [Fox] would die."
Well, she's Blatchford, isn't she?

RossK at The Gazetteer has his own concerns about all this concentration on Ritz's "death jokes".
In "Are The Media Dropping The Ball To Follow The Shiny Ritz?" , he notes that media attention on the jokes and who leaked them obscures the more important original question of

"who was involved in crafting changes to CFIA policy that led to the removal of government inspectors from meat processing plants after Nov 2007?"
"It is the identity of the person or persons who made that public health policy decision regarding self-regulation, not the identity of the person or persons who squealed on a Minister"
that is important here, says Ross.

Well, exactly.
Ross put the question to hard-working Hill reporter David Akin, whose response raises a whole load of other important issues about the difficulty reporters face in posing any questions to Harper at all. Or anyone else the PMO doesn't want them to talk to.

My take on the unfortunate media concentration on the "jokes" goes like this : People like Blatchford will remember some off-colour remark they made at work and how they didn't get fired for it so why should Ritz?
End of listeriosis issue. End of accountability for 18 deaths. Next.
Till the next Ritzeriosis privatization disaster.


thwap said...

The reason Belchford said such a thing is because she's actually quite stupid.

West End Bob said...

Where is the outrage from the Canadian electorate in situations like this? The corporate MSM in the States has failed the public for years. I fear the dumbing-down of the masses is making it's way across the 49th much too quickly . . . .

Anonymous said...

This is a common tactic by the media for protecting right wing policy. When a right wing policy decision causes a disaster (as they inevitably do) and that disaster can not be readily ignored or blamed on someone else, they go after the politician over something largely irrelevant and ridiculous. I mean, sure, the guy is an asshole, but as you point out, that pales in comparison to the fact that the policies he implemented are responsible for 18 deaths, which can be swept readily under the rug.

This tactic crops up again and again. Of course, if this were the US, we would never have heard about the jokes, and would instead be hearing nonstop commentary about how evil it is that the dirty liberal scum in the media are trying to use this unavoidable tragedy for their partisan political purposes. So, we get our intelligence insulted only about two thirds as badly, by my calculations. Yay, Canada!

Cathie from Canada said...

I wonder what Blatchford would have said if any government minister made jokes about Canadians dying in Afghanistan? Of course, she actually knows some of these Canadian soldiers, so I have a feeling she wouldn't be so forgiving.

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