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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Confirm Your Own Beliefs

“If you want to know what’s going on in your country look outside it. If nothing else, it will Confirm your own beliefs and knowledge”.

Boy, those are some very powerful words that contain a lot of meaning.

These words were left as a comment by one of our devout readers recently. I beg the author’s forgiveness, but I just had to repeat them. I would also like to thank him for inspiring this article.

As the saying goes, truer words were never spoken.

The context of this statement was in reference to local media and the often biased way in which the political happenings of our country are portrayed on a daily basis. It’s a fact that any event can be spun to make the public think or feel a certain way about it. We see it all the time in the advertising world when a negative is spun into a positive.

“Orange juice NOT from concentrate, 40 cents a glass, orange juice FROM concentrate, 18 cents a glass. Now that’s hardly a fair comparison is it?” Here’s a news flash folks, FROM concentrate is not as good as the 40 cent juice.

Dodge, Chrysler. “If you can find a better car, buy it.” Well, there are lots of better cars out there. It’s not really that difficult to find one. Just about any Honda, Toyota or Nissan will do.

The point is, the corporate world recognized the value of spinning a tale a long time ago. Many of our politicians come from the corporate world. You make the connection.

Like every good ad man, every politician knows full well that perception is reality.

You can stop Canadian citizens from hopping a plane in St. John’s or Montreal if you tell the world they are a potential risk. You don’t have to tell anyone that this person may only be a risk to the political career of a particular MP because he is speaking out for constituents in that member’s riding. (Just an example of course, but I don’t doubt it will happen eventually and probably to someone just like me.)

Paul Martin can be the Finance Minister, in essence the Chief Financial Officer of Canada, for years while millions and millions of tax dollars are siphoned off to private interests in Quebec and into Liberal party coffers. None of that matters as long as he pleads his innocence in a nation wide address and lets an inquiry go ahead.

The CFO of Enron went to court. Paul Martin went to 24 Sussex Drive.

Who do we depend on for our information and “spin” when it comes to political reporting? For the most part we depend on CBC coverage. The CBC is known for covering everything from Parliament to foreign affairs, domestic issues and political conventions. Yes sir, the most comprehensive political coverage in the country. Never mind the fact that it’s funded by the federal government and by extension, the leading party of the day.

Where else do people turn? Well, there are always newspapers like the Globe and Mail or the National Post. Of course these almost always turn every story into a commentary on the way the two largest provinces in the country are affected rather than the impact on the entire country.

How about local stations? There might be some value in these, but most carry little or no national news items.

Add to this the fact that most newspaper and television media outlets are run by major corporations who tend to support one political party or another and you can see why the statement I led this article with rings so true: “If you want to know what’s going on in your country look outside it. If nothing else, it will confirm your own beliefs and knowledge”.

The comment which contained this gem suggested using the wonderful technology at our command today. Satellite, internet, short wave radio or any other means to see what people in other countries were saying about us. After all, what could the BBC, the London Times or for that matter even the Elbonian Tattler, have to gain from slanting Canadian news?

It’s something to think about.

It might also be a good exercise to step outside ourselves even within our individual provinces. From time to time news stories about local matters do hit the national or international services. Usually it’s in the form of a commentary rather than a straight story, but never the less it is often very interesting to see how we are viewed by the rest of the country and around the world.

We may not always like what we see when we look in the mirror. We may not always agree with what is said about us, but isn’t it better to hear what is perceived by many to be the truth than to simply accept what is being spoon fed to us by the mainstream media?

In the words of a Motown classic: “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

Inspired by Expatriat


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patriot said...

The previous comment was delete because it was promoting products and services. Someone continues to want to use the comments section for advertising.

I apologize to all of our readers and we will do everything we can to remove these offensive ads as soon as we become aware of them.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Nah let them be they will keep your blog in the top zones of the splash page ;)

Dang you got a way with words. Be my guest help yourself to any and all of my mussing whether they be of the wall or hitting home. It is only in unselfishness that we will all better our lot in life.

Just means more coverage by the common man without it being filtered by the media, spin doctors or Federal politicians.

Even the international news may be somewhat filtered because it used to all come from a common news wire. With the internet that strangle hold has all but vanished.

I used to have a boss that would always say one thing and do another.

I learned a valuable lesson there "Actions speak louder than words" IMHO. Just because something is said doesn't mean it is true, I am a bit stubborn so repeating it will only incease my resolve. Unless you can justify your comments.
EX "Canadian's don't want another election they want a minority government". Don't put words in my mouth or head for that matter. Angus Reid. Wanna be American border hugging trash.
Don't get me wrong I've trained with and exercised with Americans and I can say that I have more respect for Americans than I do Quebecers I've worked with both of them.

And Canada's actions of late seem to indicate that it's not us who wants to separate but rather Canada (Ontario, Quebec) who wants to separate from us. Be rid of a stone around their neck if you will. Or change the flag to evade taxes for Mr Martin.

Anonymous said...
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MrChills said...

Could not have said it better myself… Personally, I have always wondering if I walked into a restaurant and say myself sitting down with a group of friends, how would I perceive myself and would I like this person…

It is very true that the media is a very slanted outlet, more so in the USA but we are also brainwashed in Canada to think that everything is perfect here in our country. It is obvious that the political parties in power have a major influence on what is produced.

I am actually in Germany this week and it is amazing on the different coverage they provide here on the war in Iraq and other aspects of the circus that is the American Government. However, a lot of the news they produce is also slanted towards a political agenda on how the European Government would like for their people to view the Americans. It seems that there is not true information outlet that does not have a hidden agenda.

DAMN!!! You are getting spammed a lot here now...

NL-ExPatriate said...

Even Blogs could be considered slanted depending upon what the writer uses as a source.

The only way for an individual to form his own conclusions is to infrom himself by reading public documents without having it spoon fed to us.

For NL at this time that would require reading The Terms of Union for a start, if you feel we are being done an injustice in canfederation.

Maybe Aljezera? LOL But at the same time it would help us understand a little better muslim sentiments, and from where they are being spoon fed.

Averill Baker from the Advertiser seems to be very well informed on fisheries issues. Makes for a good read very informative.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MrChills said...

"For NL at this time that would require reading The Terms of Union for a start, if you feel we are being done an injustice in canfederation."

I actually found this link on your Blog a couple of days ago and have been falling asleep to it for the past couple of night... Not that it is putting me to sleep, it is a very good read and been informative thus far.

This should be a required reading for each and every person in Newfoundland and Canada!!!

Patriot said...

Again, I apologize for the spam comments comming into the sight. I am trying to delete these as much as possible but it is becoming a bit of a pain as you can well imagine.

I would hate to have to remove the anonymous comment option but it may come to this. If it does, you can still comment by selecting the "Other" option and providing a name of your choosing.


Patriot said...

I am trying the use of word verification on my comments section to determine if the spammer is doing it manually or automatically. If its the latter then hopefully this will stop him or her.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The Editor

NL-ExPatriate said...

I have seen an abreviated version somewhere just forget where. Maybe Myles knows where the abbreviated version? I too have been at it for a while. Same for the Royal commision report.


Verification code isn't a problem for me. I think I may do the same for mine.