Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Media distorts not reports

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Media distortion runs rampant today in all manner of issues and stories.  One need look no further than so-called Global Warming as an issue or the tasering of Robert Dziekanski as a story, to understand the power of the media and the truth distortion that occurs to fit their ideological concepts.

What concerns me most about this is that the role of the media is to inform and to shine light into the dark corners where those in power try to hide things.  Think Watergate and the yeoman’s job done by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  And those were certainly the lessons I learned as a green-as-grass puppy on the police desk in the newsroom of the now defunct Montreal Star studying in wide-eyed wonderment the methods of City Editor John Yorston or grizzled vet of the police desk Bob Taylor, or the oh-so-well connected Paul Dubois.

They didn’t make news or ‘spin’ news.  They reported it.  They were fair and balanced but they always worked to get the story and hold those responsible accountable for what they did.  They never created a story.  But they worked tirelessly to get the story. And they questioned everything.

Not so today I’m afraid. 

Newsrooms today are filled with reporters whose only source is a fax machine and don’t question the pablum being served up by the spin-meisters.  Look no further than the slack the mainstream media give the Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver.  The next time they are on the right side of an issue will be the first time yet they are given all sorts of credibility by the media as though every announcement about the horrible police is treated as though issued by Moses on the Mount.

Yet I know of incidents when a police officer was talking to a victim of a robbery trying to help when a Pivot activist thrust himself between the officer and the victim, pushing a “rights” card at him saying “you don’t have to talk to the cop.  Don’t say anything.”

Pivot are nothing more than another mouthpiece of the poverty industry in Vancouver, the almighty and self-serving ,’way over there left,’ and deserve no more attention than that. 

But I digress. 

The Braidwood Inquiry is costing taxpayers millions.  And for what?  Really, for what, to prove that the media relations strategy and procedures of the RCMP is fundamentally broken?  Duh!  Who didn’t know that?

The Force has always been a one-way stream for information, even for members within, information goes in and precious little ever comes back the other way.  Why should it surprise anyone that the RCMP tried to keep information under wraps in the Dziekanski case a secret even after they learned that their spokesman had given inaccurate information on the night it occurred?  Misinformation and bottlenecks on information flow has been a part of the RCMP culture since the March West. 

But really, what has that or any of the millions of dollars spent thus far got to do with the death of Dziekanski? 

Dziekanski was a drifter with little purpose or skills in life.  He was a three pack a day smoker and an alcoholic.  He had been somewhere in the area of 18 hours without a smoke or a drink when he landed in Vancouver and spent the next 10 or 12 hours wandering around YVR in confusion until he lost it. 

The pathologist in the case testified the Taser did not kill Dziekanski.  Even when he conceded he had not been told that the Taser had been fired five times on Dziekanski did he change his opinion on the cause of death.  So, why are we spending these millions of taxpayer dollars on the Braidwood enquiry and watching various mainstream media setting their hair on fire?  To learn that the media relations strategy of the RCMP is fundamentally flawed or that the Force is fiercely protective of information and won’t share with the public information that the public has a right to know?

It is.  Always has been.  Not likely to change.  Can we move on?

Leo Knight

primetimecrime@gmail.com

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Written by Leo Knight

May 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

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