18 Jun 2016

Old Canadian media promote
Washington’s agenda word for word

An analysis of Canadian mainstream media’s reporting of U.S. President Obama’s visit to Vietnam recently was so biased that stories may as well have been written by the White House.

Just about all traditional media provided Washington’s pre-packaged message to the Canadian public:

The good guy Obama was in Hanoi to lift the U.S. arms embargo on Vietnam so it could defend itself against the aggressive Chinese, and do what the U.S. could to help the country modernize.  In return, the U.S., one of the worst violators of rights in the world, expects communist Vietnam to improve its human rights record.

Obama’s visit to Vietnam wasn’t an important story for Canadians but, nevertheless, it is a good example of how American interests dominate coverage that appears in our mainstream media.

The Toronto Star apparently was the only major Canadian news outlet to carry a substantial story clearly outlining China’s concerns over the implications of U.S. expanded relations with Vietnam.

The Winnipeg Free Press ran a story that briefly mentioned China’s concerns.

Major news companies covered only one point of view

However, the following news organizations reported the story the way Washington would like to have it: At CTV News Channel and CBC News Network hosts read just about the same story ad nauseam for hours.  The stories likely came from The Associated Press, which is strongly biased in favour of the United States.

In addition, CTV News Channel carried an interview with Donald Baker of the UBC Asia Studies Centre in which Baker presented only U.S. objectives.

A Global News reporter in Toronto voiced over a full report that laid out the U.S. point of view. From what I could see, CTV National News did a 30-second voice over, while CBC’s The National apparently didn’t cover the story.

The Globe and Mail reported the basic pro-U.S. story only on its website

The Ottawa Citizen and The Calgary Herald posted a clip of Obama’s speech on their websites, while The Edmonton Journal did not appear to cover the story.

As frequently happens at old media, three papers covered the lighter side of Obama’s visit. The Vancouver Sun, The Montreal Gazette, the and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reported on Obama’s pre-arranged $6 lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

Important views left out of stories

There was a lot more that could have been reported on the real self-interest objectives of Obama’s visit and the implications for countries in the Pacific region.

It would have been best if all stories could have been better balanced and covered the views of the U.S. and other players from the region.

Just as Obama was announcing the lifting of the arms embargo against Vietnam in Hanoi, China warned the U.S. President not to spark a fire in Asia. The China Daily bluntly stated that Obama’s move was meant to “curb the rise of China.”

The Chinese nationalist Global Times called Obama’s claim that the Vietnam move was not aimed at China “a very poor lie,” adding that it would exacerbate the “strategic antagonism between Washington and Beijing.” It said the U.S.is trying to knit three nets around China — in ideology, in security and in economy and trade — in an attempt to secure its dominance of the region.

Meanwhile, the Russian news service Sputnik quoted U.S. analyst and author Dan Lazare: “Just as the United States has sought to cordon Russia off in the West by ringing it with nearly a dozen hostile states extending from Georgia to the Baltics, “it is plainly intent on doing the same in the east by orchestrating an anti-Chinese alliance from Vietnam to Japan."

China and Russia are also concerned that the U.S. may be willing to sell deadly, sophisticated arms systems to Vietnam that the Russians have been refusing to sell them, at the request of China. Such sales would escalate militarization in the region. Vietnam may also spend millions to purchase U.S.-made drones.

Corporate media's failure to cover these stories in a more balanced way can be blamed only slightly on media cutbacks. Any and all of the Chinese and Russian stories referred to here were available to all Canadian media.

The way Canadian mainstream media covered the Vietnam visit is typical of how they report on practically all U.S. international adventures, whether it’s the While House effort to demonize Russia, U.S. interventions in the Middle East, or U.S. denying it is involved in helping overturn elected democracies in Latin America.

The international news coverage of publicly-owned CBC News is only slightly better. For the most part, it uses the same news sources used by corporate media.

Not surprising corporate media likes U.S. message

Considering who owns mainstream media in Canada, it’s not surprising there’s strong support for U.S. policies.  Big private media outlets are owned by corporations that also benefit greatly from doing business with the United States. Corporate owners are also ideologically aligned with the right-wing U.S. government. They wouldn’t want their newspapers, TV and radio stations to report stories that contradict U.S. foreign policy.

In addition, most editors know what’s expected of them. Many of them still have their minds set in the years of the Cold War: Ruskies and Chinamen are bad people. The thinking is that communists are out to destroy democracy, so what they say does not deserve to be covered.

The victim in all this is the Canadian public, which is denied learning about the views and positions taken by governments in much of the world. The biased coverage also encouraged people to support U.S. policies and think that there are no worthwhile alternative views.

Can old media be changed to provide a better balance of international news? No. This would require a total revolution occurring in mainstream media, and this isn’t going to happen. Canadians who want better and more balanced news should support the growth of independent media. The future of media exists on the Internet, and several news sites are working hard to provide a strong alternative to old, biased corporate media.

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  1. Thanks for writing this, Nick. A friend brought me some Asian papers after a flight, and the differences in coverage of foreign issues compared to local papers was quite pronounced!

  2. And of course the TPP is directly aimed at this same "surround China" objective. The insane idea that it will actually benefit Canada and is primarily a trade agreement is actively promoted by these same Canadian media sources.

  3. I'm posting this letter from Frances Deverell,

    Hi Nick,

    Isn't this happening because of the huge cutbacks in media resources, both at the
    CBC and in the private sector? Funding models are failing and media companies
    are merging. Less competition. Fewer reporters on the ground. Fewer points of view.

    Frances Deverell

    1. Hi Frances,

      A few years ago, perhaps three or four of the largest media companies in Canada had a handful of foreign correspondents based in key locations.

      Most of the time they would prepare mostly stories on regional or country topics of interest to Canada, and very seldom would follow a U.S. president.

      The correspondents never covered most US-interest stories from many areas of the world, so they took US-biased news, often from the worst of them all, Associated Press.

      Interestingly, the Globe, Star, CBC and CTV have staff reporters in the Middle East, and they seldom report objectively.

      Meanwhile, the other 100 newspapers, 300 ? radio stations and 75 ? TV stations still relied on what they received from news services and, as I say, it often comes from the Associated Press, which only tells the U.S. story.

      So that’s about it. Nick.

  4. In your article Nick you refer to Canada’s mainstream media as the “old Canadian media”; the “traditional media”; the “old
    media”; the “corporate media”; the “big private media”. You also mentioned the newswire “The Associated Press” and then obviously checked out the coverage on the Obama story in depth.

    What you didn’t do though, and it’s understandable to a certain degree, is delve further into who actually controls ALL of the mainstream media in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain and the EU countries. And when I say “ALL” I mean the most powerful and influential newswire agencies like Reuters and The Associated Press as well as the news outlets themselves.

    Both Reuters and The Associated Press newswires have been owned by the Jewish money cartel for a very long time. In the case of Reuters ownership was taken over back in the late 19th century.

    I’ve been publishing in what you refer to as the “independent media” (we, on the radical edge, refer to ourselves as the Alternative Media) for the past 18 years and prefer cutting to the chase when talking about media ownership and openly acknowledge the FACT that the Jewish power brokers not only control all of the msm but also the governments of every western nation along with the politicians who theoretically work for the people but in reality work for the Jewish “one world government” agenda and the Zionist state of Israel.

    Of course if you have the audacity to state these facts on your blog then you face the possibility of being put through the legal wringer like I have over the past decade and face false charges of “hate propaganda” against the Jews. Unfortunately that is the price one must pay in order to print the real truth when it comes to the whys and wherefores of our supposed msm and the fact that we normally get only Washington’s point of view on political and social issues. The USA is now fully under the control of the Zionist Jew cartel and all policies reflect the ideological perspective emanating forth from Tel Aviv.

    While you dance around the tail of the dragon in your article it’s still useful for those who may be (still) questioning what the hell is going on in the world and why we are still playing the old east vs west game. For those who’ve come to terms with the reality of who controls the msm articles such as these only reinforce the fact that too many otherwise good journalists are still in denial and fearful of stating the obvious.

    All the best.

    Arthur Topham

    1. I've managed to fight the One World Government with my comprehensive array of tinfoil hats.

  5. I believe opposing viewpoints can be found on the RT television channel.

    1. Yes, I watch RT Television, which is funded by the Russian government. People ask, But isn't it biased? Well it does not do investigative work about corruption surrounding Putin and his crowd. It tends to explain Russian positions re the new Cold War the Americans have initiated. Other than that, it makes very interesting programming. It reports on the underbelly and corruption in America - something you won't get from the US Nets or the CBC. It has strong, independent opinion programs on corruption and the gangsters in the financial world. Most interesting, Chris Hedges is now getting his own program on RT. American officials have talked about preventing RT from reaching U.S. audiences. Now with Hedges joining RT, that should really piss off the Americans.

  6. You're correct Unknown. But Russia is not part of the "western media". That's why they aren't fearful of those who constantly vilify their President and accuse Russia of all sorts of false crimes. Strange indeed given that Pravda, during the Soviet era, was just like our msm is today. I suppose they learned their lessons well. We're still too spoiled and brainwashed to realize what's coming down the tube.

  7. Topham, you're a discredit to the valid and much needed insight that Fillmore has provided here, please crawl back under the rock you emerged from!

  8. Another faceless, nameless troll with no backbone or integrity spewing forth the usual zio-venom. Hissss! Begone viper or else identify yourself and act like a man (or woman) rather than a troglodyte sayan.

  9. Actually this sort of anonymous troll behaviour is part of the media problem that Nick speaks of. When I was publishing my newspaper and when I wrote letters to editors of other papers there were no faceless, nameless blabbermouths to deal with, just real people with phone numbers and street addresses. But of course that was likely before BGC73.

  10. Mike Walsh the Irish journalist had a short article published yesterday on another independent site called the Renegade Tribune. Given the troll BGC73's shot in the dark I thought you and your readers might enjoy some real wit and criticism worthy of printing. "When Insults Had Style
    June 23, 2016 Mike Walsh
    Today the political jibes and satire are aimed at the bank accounts of crooked politicians. Not so long ago there was a richness of language sadly that is missing from today’s vocabulary. Journalists too could hold their own in any bout of verbal jousting.

    King’s toady Lord Sandwich acidly addressed the editor of The North Briton. “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of the pox.” John Wilkes, perhaps an anti-Semite, replied: “That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your politics or your mistress.” This exchange has wrongly been attributed to Gladstone and Disraeli.

    It was an era when people could communicate with considerable panache. Most will have smiled at the exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor who had said to him: “If you were my husband I would give you poison.”

    “If you were my wife I would take it,” the turncoat politician immediately replied. With the benefit of hindsight many will have wished the pair had married. Britain’s wartime unelected premier has taken credit for many celebrated jibes. Among the best examples are, “A modest little person with much to be modest about.”

    Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw detested Winston Churchill. Well aware that the object of his ire was better known for his cohorts than his friends, he wrote: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend, if you have one.” Winston replied, “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one.”

    Churchill was not so much a great orator as an unashamed plagiarist. Many of his comments in his ‘blood, soil, tears and sweat’ speeches were stolen from the dialogues of earlier ~ and often foreign statesmen. Many other jibes still erroneously credited to Churchill were amusing music hall audiences long before the old fraud was born.

    Insults that carried a venomous sting must include Clarence Darrow’s: “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”

    All writers have their critics. But, as Finnish composer Jean Sibelius surmised, “There has never been a monument to celebrate a critic’s life.”

    Journalist Ernest Hemingway had his share of critics. One of the best was William Faulkner’s summing up of the war correspondent’s writing style. “He has never been known to use a word that might send the reader to a dictionary.”

    One hapless author received a memo from Moses Hadas. “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I’ll waste no time reading it.”

    U.S President Abraham Lincoln was known for his sharp wit. “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” One of Lincoln’s remarks still carries weight because it applies to so many politicians today: “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

    Mark Twain, renowned for his sharp wit once said; “I didn’t attend the funeral but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

    Those in a poor relationship may take heart from Stephen Bishop’s remark: “I feel so miserable without you. It is almost like having you here.” Equally sardonic the opinion of Irvin S. Cobb: “I have just heard about his illness. Let us hope it is nothing trivial.” Attributed to Oscar Wilde is the remark, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

    After they go brings us neatly to the subject of the afterlife which prompted Jack E. Leonard to surmise; “There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.”

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