rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

The Annals of Media Criminality: News of the World; Welcome home, Tubby!

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

The News of the World

Trust Rupert Murdoch, this decade's Great Spokesman for wolverine capitalism,* to come up with a "market based solution" to criminality!

Consider the case of the News of the World's hacks hacking into the cell-phone voice mail of British murder victims, Taliban victims and bombing victims, not to mention their lawyers. Caught red-handed, what did Murdoch and his influential minions do? Why they shut down the entire operation and fired all the people who had nothing to do with their crimes!

And if the threat of prosecution ever comes close to the ringleaders of this persistent pattern of criminality -- one of whom worked until recently in the British Conservative prime minister's office, and some of whom are members of Murdoch's bazillionaire clan -- count on it that even from this side of the Atlantic we'll be able to hear their anguished cries of "haven't we suffered enough?"

This brings the concept of collective punishment so perfectly to the world of capital and media that one wonders why they aren't teaching courses about it in Canadian business schools. Of course, maybe they are, and it's just that we poor working sluggos can't afford the tuition.

After all, it worked in international relations -- when attacked by Saudi Arabians from Germany, for example, George W. Bush sent the U.S. Marines into Iraq. And it worked in the auto industry -- when the bosses at General Motors marketed crappy cars, the masses called for the heads and the pensions of the poor schmucks who worked on the assembly line.

But this is even better, because the hapless journos of the World are being punished for the outright criminality of their bosses. Given that, one would think their punishment ought to be more severe than the mere loss of their livelihoods and pensions!

Thankfully, their bosses will be able to continue doing business under a different name, keep only the employees they like, further extend their media monopoly and continue to call the shots for the rest of us. God's in his heaven, and all's right with the World, as it were.

If only Lord Tubby had thought of that, he'd be a free man today -- although the National Post would be out of luck.

Speaking of his Lordship, was columnist Lawrence Martin having a sly little joke at our expense in the pages of the Globe and Mail this week when he argued that Stephen Harper and his neo-Con government should ignore Tubby Black's recent criminality south of the Medicine Line and welcome the disgraced non-citizen back to Canada?

After all, Martin wrote, "for our Conservative government, there should be no reluctance to open the doors. Lord Black has played such a significant role in the renaissance of the right in Canada that he is owed the party's gratitude."

Basically, Martin argued, Lord Black led the destruction of Canada's media as a cornerstone of democracy, helping through the creation of the National Pest to turn the once-useful institution into the far-right, monochromatic, dishonest, drivel-obsessed, hate-fuelled source of propaganda and piffle it has become today. (I'm paraphrasing.) This, in turn, he says, was a key factor in the success of neo-Con radicals like Harper, a sentiment with which sensible Canadians are forced to agree.

"You don't hear many prominent Conservatives defending Conrad Black today, but you have to wonder how much harder it would have been for their like to rise from the depths without him," Martin concluded, to a chorus of basso-profundo hear-hears.

Now, normally, because of longstanding practice in the Canadian newspaper industry, a piece like this would need a label across the top that says HUMOUR and a placeline out of Miami in order to be published, which is why Canadian comics have to go to Los Angeles if they want to crack jokes with words like "Diefenbaker" in them.

But this one seems to have slipped through the net. Unless, of course, Martin didn't intend to write something humorous, in which case we may have to concede he he's onto something.

This is why you can expect folk here in Edmonton to start agitating to roll out the welcome mat for Peter Pocklington. Sure, Peter Puck sent Wayne Gretzky packing to Comedy Central and gave Gainers weenies a name they could never live down, but by God he put this city on the map!

I mean, really, people, who else could have made us the world-class city we are today? After all, Calgary had already grabbed all the white hats!

Surely you'd agree that a fellow who did for Canadian labour relations and meat packing what Lord Black did for Canadian journalism should be given the same warm welcome home proposed by Martin, notwithstanding a recent spot of trouble?

Alas, while we're at it, we're going to need to decide who has to be punished for their crimes… Any suggestions?

This post also appears on David Climenhaga's blog, Alberta Diary.

* What it doesn't devour, it pisses on and destroys.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.