Thursday, July 19, 2007

The media needs longer attention spans, and so do we

Lawrence Martin is bang-on in the Globe today, talking about the Afghan detainee document cover-up at DND and another disturbing DND story I hadn’t heard about, their monitoring of a Canadian anti-war activist, Steven Staples.

A pattern is emerging, said Martin. Too often both DND and the rest of the Harper government are using Access laws to cover-up wrongdoing and embarrassing information.

Writes Martin:

The government, it need be recalled, promised a new era of transparency and accountability. After Liberal malfeasance, it was elected, in at least some measure, for this very reason.

Some might wish to remind the generals and others of the pledge. And they need to be reminded more than once. In many cases, what happens is that officials wait for the media blow-over effect. They realize that, after a couple of days, journalists will move on to other fare. Stories such as Steven Staples being put under surveillance will be forgotten, and they will be off the hook.

The media's memory has to be longer. They can't allow it to happen.

He’s exactly right. I’d never even heard of the Staples case, and the detainee document story has gotten minimal play. The media have been too busy going ga-ga over Conrad Black, but that’s another rant.

Whatever happened to investigative journalism? To the analysis piece? To keeping the pressure on until there are answers? Until the media start picking-up the ball I think it’s up to us as bloggers to keep highlighting these issues, keep talking about them and keep the pressure up.

The fact that neither O’Connor, Harper or any other elected CPC member has even commented on the document classification issue is glaring, but it’s not surprising. Without the spotlight of QP to provide easy stories for a lazy press gallery, Deceivin’ Steven is hoping it will just go away and be forgotten by fall. And I like his odds, frankly.

We can’t let that happen.

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burlivespipe said...

Blog on until the fingertips are sore. Also, it's important that we encourage people to write their community newspapers, which are thirsty for letters and honest opinions, to keep asking questions. If MsM isn't going to do it, someone must prod them on...

Unknown said...

yes, blog on for sure, and counter the BS bloggers. In today's news (London Free Press) Chip Martin - Sun Media actuallly quotes "Conservative blogger Steve Janke" who is pushing the theory that David Pretlove was involved in "another Liberal scandal." For those familiar with Janke, he is the type of blogger who creates situations and has no respect for the truth, facts, or research.

I was pretty shocked that the press felt in this case that quoting a blogger (and a hack blogger at that) was a valid refrence, a credible source.

The article is: Rivals blast Liberals over riding cash scandal

We have been seeing more of this use of blogs and even facebook to push a political agenda and distort the truth, so while we might feel like discounting the more extreme types as idiots and not countering their lies, this article today shows we really need to take this seriously and keep typing away "until the fingertips are sore."