To the editor:
In the last federal election, voter-turnout at 58.8-percent was the lowest in history. Only one-in-five first-time-eligible voters even bothered; a recent survey reports only fifteen-percent of Canadians even follow federal politics.
The media—television, radio and newspapers—is the culprit. Deregulation has allowed our once diverse and independent media to merge into near monopolies—as BCE (Bell) buys CTV. Your government has entrusted the crucial task of keeping the public informed to the greed and goodwill of a handful of businessmen.
We’re becoming like the US—“the most entertained but least informed people on the planet.” Here the media is politics. That’s why General Electric—one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers—buys NBC. Not because they feel obliged to inform the public, but to win elections. Media owners have already demonstrated they could elect—then re-elect—a moron as their president.
US media have so confused its audience, eighty-percent still believe the deception of the Iraq invasion—which killed over one-million, men, women and children.
Canadians are a little better off because of our publicly owned CBC—and its mandate for truth and balance. Their great work has been hamstrung by partisan appointments and budget slashes. Senior Harper people have hinted of “getting out of the broadcast business” by outright selling the CBC.
“In the public interest” is the reason the Harper-appointed CRTC granted Sun TV News, aka “Fox News North,” a license. This station is owned by media giant Quebecor, who operate some 54 newspapers, 18 TV stations, film studios and more, nationwide—including the Harper propaganda tabloid disguised as a newspaper: Calgary Sun.
And not surprising, the Quebecor chairman, according to Wikipedia, is former PM Brian (Airbus) Mulroney. And the “Fox News North” station-manager is Harper’s former communications director Kory Teneycke.
Mainstream camera-crews were suspiciously “not there” when Harper storm-troopers attacked the democratic rights and dignities of Canadians at Toronto’s G20. This brutality—reported online by independent media and civilians with camera-phones—is still being suppressed by corporate media. See for yourself, watch the Fifth Estate documentary: “You Should Have Stayed At Home,” (online at cbc.ca/fifth/).
Before the four-hundred channel universe—when folks still talked to their neighbours—voter turnout hovered around seventy-five percent. We were better entertained and more informed. Get informed; cancelling your TV subscription.