Thursday, June 24, 2010

CBC's G20 Coverage - Continued (Updated)

More protest stories from June 24th, Day 3 of CBC's coverage of the G20 Summit: It's nearing the end of the day in Toronto, but there's always room for more stories about protests and the intrepid CBC will be right there reporting it for them - er - you.

First Nations' G20 protest peaceful

Complete with a real Indian, Canada's own anarchist king, Jaggi Singh. All the usual Indian Industry talking points were raised during the First Nations part of the protest, but it was up to our cute little Jaggi, whose motto must be "never let a good protest go to waste", to provide the punchline.
"...Jaggi Singh from the group No One Is Illegal hinted that the peaceful protests may soon end.

Standing in front of the newly erected security fence, Singh said, "This [fence] is completely illegitimate and it deserves to be taken down."

He said the $1 billion in security and fences would not stop protesters "from attacking — and I use that word — from attacking the people who are responsible for enormous misery in the world."

Singh said the G20 leaders deserve to be confronted and the protest groups will be begin doing that on Friday."
Okay, we've got the Indians covered. We can hardly wait for more, can we CBC?

By the way, does anyone other than me think Mr. Singh's words are a might over the top, as in - like - incitement? But I guess nothing he's involved in is illegal. It's all those nasty governments that are the bad actors. I'm betting he can hardly wait for the handcuffs to go on, in order to prove it. (I wonder who covers his travel expenses and his bail?)

In fairness, Grandmother's Corpse does cover some other stories as well. There's one on the arrest of a man in possession of a crossbow and other weapons "not believed to be connected to the G20 summit". But heck, we'll put it under the G20 summit heading, anyway. The story is kind of a tear-jerker, being about a homeless man and his dog, so it was useful. We've got unions covered in a story about hotel workers walking out, we've got the frustrations of ordinary Torontonians - road closures and traffic snarl-ups - and even preparations by local hospitals in anticipation of having to treat protesters sprayed with tear gas.

There are pictures of protest art: An ice sculpted polar bear, which I am sure is supposed to symbolize the melting on the polar ice caps as it drips away in downtown Toronto, some 4,700 km south of the north pole. And cutesy costumed representatives from Oxfam, which I must admit is kinda funny. A whole new line for the Maple Leaf? Fig leaf, you had your day.  Time to move over. The Maple Leaf on a G-String is now the big rage.  Oh, and finally, there's an interactive map showing where the designated protest area is and the protester detention centre.

The CBC Protester Central. At your service.

In fairness, though, the CBC's website does feature a few interesting bits about the G8/G20 history and organization as well as some of the issues that may be discussed: maternal and child health, the membership and mandate of the G20, and economic policy. But all told, so far, coverage of those angles are pretty scarce.
===========Earlier entry starts here===========
For Thursday, June 24th, the first major headline of the day attempts to move on: G8/G20 leaders begin arriving

But wait, they have to remind their readers that:
a) "The estimated cost of security for the two events is expected to surpass $1 billion."
And, seems they just can't help it:
b)"In Ottawa, the Chinese president was greeted by rival groups of demonstrators as he arrived at Rideau Hall for a meeting with Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean.

Hundreds of Hu supporters, reportedly recruited from around the region by Chinese officials, lined Sussex Drive outside Jean's residence, waving flags and banging drums and cymbals.

Directly across the road, protesters connected to the Falun Gong spiritual movement raised banners decrying human rights abuses in China."
Hmmm. Well, at least we know the Falun Gong have something to protest about. But what about this one: Some protesters "reportedly Chinese officials...". CBC, have you ever thought to explore the "recruited" theme with any of the other protesters - you know, the spoiled middle class brats? Like, what and who is behind these organizations? Does their "message" stand up to scrutiny or is it skewed mightily by an ideology? Do they ever attempt to get their message out through other means - writing letters, visiting politicians to explain their issues? And especially, do the groups protesting have aims more lofty than simply protesting and rabble rousing and if so, what are they, and how do their protests ever help, if at all, to achieve any of those aims?

Let's take the poverty one, for example? Have we seen any direct evidence that would show organized mobbery leads to better funding for groups that work with the poor, never mind more money in the hands of the poor, or more to the point, more poor lifting themselves permanently out of poverty? Do these groups actually make a difference in the lives of the poor or are they only a band-ade on an perennial problem that has always been with us and cannot be fixed, in which case, why do their protests get so much attention from you media types?

Have we seen the CBC or any other media outlet or any of these protest groups ever explore the relationship between "protest culture" behaviour, especially at past heads of state or powerful international institutions' meetings, on the one hand, and the need for massive expenditure on security? Duh!! We know you're not into self examination but don't ya' think there might be a link, CBC?

Come on folks. These protests  serve only one purpose, and it's narcissism. The immature little groupies (some of whom may indeed be chronologically challenged, but still intellectually and emotionally immature) who show up to protest simply want to be able to say, "I was there when....and I was sooooo radical chic!"

It's sort of like actually making it to the Woodstock music festival was for my generation, except what they leave behind in their wake is even worse than acres and acres of garbage and a ruined landscape on some farmer's property. There's also a huge bill to pay by the rest of us more responsible types. Perhaps that bill should be deducted from whatever public funds these groups might receive, but I digress.

Here's a word for you to look up, CBC staffers: Enabling. You should stop it. Not next week. Now.

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