Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Global TV featured infamous hate monger speaking for a phantom group

REPLAY, from August 2010, worth reading again to consider if the situation has improved or degraded in the last three years. Providing a platform for Paul Fromm and his hater friends was inexcusable but I'd say, with exceptions like Jas Johal, the trend has continued downward.

The most effective critic of news media in British Columbia's today is Harvey Oberfeld. He has particular qualifications since he spent his career in print and broadcast journalism. Indeed, for many years, he was a key participant in the team that made BCTV an unquestioned leader among local television news providers throughout North America.

That group may never be matched again. Clearly, quality started in the Boardroom where Chairman Frank Griffiths had a reputation for allowing professional managers to manage with budgets sufficient to meet the highest professional standards. Ray Peters was one of the suits who understood that product quality mattered every moment the BCTV News logo went on screen.  That meant money for skilled people behind the scenes, most with names unknown to the public, as well as for a crew of experienced reporters who had freedom and time to develop stories.

When I was a UBC student, I had good fortune to know Keith Bradbury. He was then completing a law degree but fairly soon after graduation was drawn to broadcasting. BCTV didn't hire Keith for good looks; he was bright, well educated, experienced in journalism and savvy about politics, including events happening behind closed doors. Cameron Bell was the News Director then and, after a time, the duo of Bradbury and Bell were seen as the brains behind a highly respected and profitable news room employing close to 100 people.

Time moved on; so did the owners. Following the death of Frank Griffiths, new management began to squeeze mercilessly. No one cared about product quality or long term goals, the guiding aim was enhancement of shareholder value in the here and now. Of course, those rising values gave dim-witted corporate speculators the idea that upward trends were inevitable. Pay too much for an asset? Time will cure all, just tell the beancounters to squeeze harder.

That is the scenario that led to British Columbia losing the finest local TV news operation in the country to have it replaced by a sad semi-professional operation using the name Global TV News. Today's news provider sees its primary role is delivery of weather forecasts, hockey highlights and stealth advertising.

Harv Oberfeld made important points in Truth a Casualty of Inexperienced Reporters, including this:
The downside though [of young, enthusiastic new reporters] is that almost none of them have the historical knowledge of most of the subjects they cover; they seldom get any time to research their subjects before being sent off to cover a press conference or happening; and their questionning skills are underdevoloped, to put it mildly.
If you want to see a perfect example confirming Oberfeld's diagnosis, look for Global's report on a "citizen's demonstration" opposed to allowing 490 Southeast Asian refugees, including about 50 children, to land in Canada. Spokesperson for the Canada First Immigration Reform Committee was Paul Fromm, an inveterate committee former who wants non-white and third-world immigration stopped. No mention was made of Fromm's past associations or that this sad collection of protesting relics numbered precisely seven.

We can assume that the pretty faces reporting for Global TV don't know that Paul Fromm's involvement with the radical racist right dates back over 40 years and includes contacts with the most reprehensible bigots exposed in Canada. Fromm has been kicked out of legitimate political movements for his agenda, the last time by Preston Manning. How the hell does Global TV give a platform to a tiny hate group with absolutely no context for their prattle?

Global routinely ignores real stories involving, for example, incidents of government corruption and dishonesty but gives camera time to an infamous hate monger representing a non-existent citizen's movement. Here is a screen capture showing the contemptible crew that led Global's report on the Asian refugees.  This is news?

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  1. I am appalled by the fear and hate mongering going on here. We are a country peopled by immigration. I thought we collectively believed in the right of all peoples to human rights and dignity. Aren't we?

    We need to ask ourselves who are we, really? Steve Harper warns us before he was first elected, "You won't recognise Canada when I get through with it". Ominous words indeed. I think we need to be extremely vigilent right now about the use of the word terrorist, it is being slipped into language by politicians at an alarming rate. How long before we are the labeled terrorists? The prisons will be built, and the HarperCons are going to have to fill them up or face embarrassment and we all know how Stevie reacts to embarrassment!

  2. Very, very perceptive piece! I did not see the piece on Fromm, but as soon as I saw the name, my alarm bells went off. And you,re right,
    Norm. It makes my case perfectly ..we are paying a big price for news management's penchant over the past decade for doing more with less ... hiring so many young, inexperienced reporter wannabes ... great for traffic accidents and weather stories, but who too often have no historic knowledge about anything else they are sent to cover ..and no time to research it

  3. Thanks Harv. I wish other retired news people would stand up and speak out the way you do. It is not merely to celebrate pride in the work done by an earlier generation. No, a completely free, independent, capable press (press in the broadest terms) is essential to democracy.

    Vital guarantors of democracy are public education and a wise, unfettered press.

  4. "Vital guarantors of democracy are public education and a wise, unfettered press"

    So it should come as no surprise that in the drift towards fascism ala Campbell, Harper and the Palin forces to the south (especially during the Cheney/Bush the Lesser years) that public education is under attack: with the US "No Corporation Left Behind" in the US and the Campbell attack on Public Education through underfunding in B.C. while giving alternative "private" "choices" unprecedented taxpayer support.

    For decades succesive governments have de-regulated media to the point of almost total corporate control there, allowing only the preferred message of vested interests, of those who can afford their own media, to be disseminated widely.

    With Rupurt Mudorch controlling the news and the Texas Board of Education controlling textbooks far beyond Texas, why worry be happy! And oh yeah - evolution is a Fringe Theory - research should be done in the Bible, not sedimentary strata. If you want the real goods, talk to "Stockboy" Day and enjoy his heartwarming stories about his great grand-daddy and his pet dinosaur walking to the one room schoolhouse together. Perhaps when Stevie becomes King, Prince Doris will tug at our heartstrings with a docudrama about "A Boy and his Dinosaur!"

  5. kootcoot makes an excellent point about deregulation and corporate control of media. The Internet remains relatively free but only for now.

    \The money boys have already designed a plan (Google and Verizon, first up) to tier the Internet so that tolls would stand between the content provider and the consumer. According to the Financial Post:
    In exchange for payment or some other mutually beneficial considerations, Verizon would give special priority to sites like Google.com and YouTube, making them run faster than competitors like Yahoo.com.

    According to Media Minutes:
    The Google-Verizon proposal for a "policy framework" for broadband management would kill Net Neutrality, hurt consumers, and strip the FCC of any authority over the Internet.

  6. The internet originally was developed and built with public money (DARPA) and today the corporations milking it for profit only upgrade the infrastructure under duress.

    Perhaps it will be a two-tiered internet - and maybe that won't be bad. I'm already tired of the "deposit money constantly" world of "apps" "iphones" websites overloaded with bloated data intensive content and demanding state of the art computer resources on the consumer and and an endlessly open wallet for access and content.

    It would be almost impossible to completely ban or block actual geeks and those interested in sharing information, especially plain text, or HTML (plain text with formatting options) even it they are obliged to use a lower tier, underground infrastructure.

    I mean, I really don't want to know what everybody in the world is having for lunch via facebook or twitter and my lunch is nobody's business.

    As long as the net is available for scientific, educational and social (not Twitter and facebook - but political ideas)let the fools pay for their toys - try to block real geeks and the providers will find themselves taken down and inconvienced on a daily basis.

    After all the purpose of the original DARPA project was a fail-safe communication web with built in redundancy.............as time goes by, it can't help be become more redundant and thats without the introduction of completely new technology (or existing technology that hasn't been implemented).

    The big pipes controlled by the big corps today, could become obsolete and redundant anytime in the future - maybe I'll figure out how to bounce my packets wirelessly off the moon - or my grand son will.........

  7. I find it interesting that this story has a "Racist" bent to it. The protest involving Paul Fromm was small indeed. Why Global would cover it is beyond me however, where are "All" of the journalists when it comes to the Racist Policies of Quebec? French only? Specific requirements for immigrants to Quebec? Special status for Quebec Born individuals compared to other Canadian Born individuals. There was also a committee that went around the Province of Quebec that had to do with Quebec Superiority, I forget the name of it. That turned out to have racists elements to it.
    There is also a Nation, I shall not name, who is requiring any new Citizens to pledge that that nation is a ">>>>>>" Nation. Fill in a religious name in the blanks. Talk about a story of racism and aparthied that has not been reported in the mainstream media.

  8. Thanks Norm for the reprise! The problems remain; the critics are very few; so it all passes with little notice ...except in their sinking ratings. Hard to believe when I was a BCTV we regularly drew 600,000 a night to the Newshour: now I hear it's only about 390,000 ...despite the growth in our population. Regards, ho

  9. Well the CBC goes to Kash Heed on matters on policing. That makes me wonder what on earth are they thinking at CBC?

  10. We all may be being a bit harsh here! Do we forget so soon the hard hitting interviews of candidates by Squire Barnes!!
    History was made by Global that day. Shame on us for expecting more than that!

  11. It's gotten so bad that I've stopped watching Global News altogether.

    For 35 years my TV was tuned to channel 11 (or channel 211 on HD)...but the quality of reporting and the refusal to do any significant investigative reporting (especially on the dozens of scandals involving the BC Liberal government) has caused me to seek the majority of my news from digital sources and tune into CTV whenever I choose to watch the boob tube.

    Reporters in their early 20's should be honing their craft in a small community for a couple of years, not trying to masquerade as a seasoned reporter in the a major market. It does a huge disservice to the viewing public, and the worst part is....HARDLY ANYONE CARES!!!

  12. @kootcoot and Norm, my Tyee username appeared on a Global comments page when I voted on a comment, so I assume that if I commented on Global my Tyee username would also appear.

    Disqus moderates at least the Tyee, Global, and the CBC. For whatever reason, my old pre-Disqus CBC username has remained the same.

    Our private information, and thoughts are owned by Disqus. This troubles me. July Morning


  13. Regardging; AnonymousAugust 7, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    DISQUS Privacy Policy

    Disqus reserves the right, but has no obligation, to monitor the User Content you post on the Service. We reserve the right to remove any such information or material for any reason or no reason, including without limitation if in our sole opinion such information or material violates, or may violate, any applicable law or our Terms of Service, or to protect or defend our rights or property or those of any third party. Disqus also reserves the right to remove information upon the request of any third party.

    Earlier today I posted two comments to websites using the DISQUS commenting system, the largest such system in use (by their own admission). In both cases I was immediately jumped on by posters hurling insults at me. In the case of the comment I made about fracking, I received comments like...

    Likewise, my comment about how it was not Snowden but the NSA that had damaged the United States by violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, was also immediately responded to with ridicule and abuse.

    The rapidity with which the shills piled on to defend fracking and the NSA precludes a word-of-mouth response, and I suspect that DISQUS does indeed monitor comments and send alerts to interested corporations and government agencies to try to control the online discussion. Where does DISQUS get their funding? hey do not charge websites for using their service, nor do they have ads. But they are hiring right now, so the revenue must come from someplace.

    1. More likely that DISQUS facilitates the shills who are paid by various economic interests. The BC Liberals employ a platoon of people to participate in social media in ways favourable to the party. So do commercial operations and industry groups, particularly the community minded folks in oil and gas.

      Note the part of DISQUS T.O.S. that allows them to remove any comment that THEY consider damaging to THEIR rights and property. So, if you had posted your comment here using DISQUS, they could remove it because drawing attention to objectionable elements of their terms of service discredits the company and thereby reduces its goodwill, something that is "property."

  14. Regarding not regardging, sorry for the mis-spell...

  15. Anon. 10:04, sometimes our brains move faster than our fingers, and we should be thankful for that!

    Shame on the Tyee for enabling Disqus. I won't be commenting there any longer.

    I think it's wise to give the CBC a wide-berth as well. Comments add an important dimension to a story--wonder what would happen if we all turned our backs on the Disqus shadow-machine and it's equivalents?

    July Morning.

  16. Disqus = censorship?


    July Morning



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