WANT GOOD NEWS? ASK THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
When reporters of the Globe& Mail investigated Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, they were told that his brother Doug Ford and his logistics manager David Price had been partners in a hash dealing enterprise. Is that the kind of news you want to hear about your mayor? Of course not. To avoid such unpleasantness in future, skip the media and ask family friend Tara Sweeney instead. She tells us that the Fords are tough, fun-loving and welcoming folk (Globe 29 May). Now isn’t that nice?
Tara doesn’t mention the video in which the Mayor appears to be smoking crack or the photo in which he appears to be drinking with two men who were later caught in a shoot-out. One of them, Muhammad Khattak, survived. Were those guys involved in anything illegal? If you want to avoid bad news, ask Khattak’s mother. She’ll tell you that her son is a very innocent kid (Metro 28 May). I am hoping someone will ask the mother of the machete attacker in London – I bet he was a very innocent kid, too. Or else why did he stay behind and wait for the police to arrest him? If that’s not innocent, I don’t know what is.
Then there are the nasty reports about Ariel Castro. The media describe him as a man who kidnapped three women and kept them imprisoned on his property. You want to hear ugly stuff like that and spoil your day? No, you don’t. So let’s go and ask Castro’s former neighbour. Castro was a nice guy, he says. He would come around and say hi. Well, that clinches it! Castro said hi. Wasn’t that nice of him? (Toronto Star, 7 May)
I don’t know about former neighbours of Sohel Rana, the owner of the building that collapsed and led to the death of more than a thousand garment workers. None of his friends or relatives has come forward to say that Rana is a nice man, so Rana himself had to speak up and tell us that he is innocent. It was the fault of the owners of the garment factories in the building forcing the workers to get inside (dhakatribune.com).
There you go! If you don’t want to hear all that horrible stuff the media push on us, don’t ask reporters. They are the worst cynics. Go right to the source and ask the alleged culprit or his mom or his Facebook friends, and everything will turn out right.
You know what I personally think is really ugly? Rumours of Nigel Wright wanting to obstruct justice by writing Senator Duffy a hush-hush 90,000 Dollar cheque. So I’m warning you now. Don’t ask the media. Ask Wright’s boss, Prime Minister Harper. He tells us that Nigel did “what he felt was the right thing” (Metro 23 May). How nice of him! And in spite of that the media say harsh things about the Conservatives. Can you believe it?
But don’t despair. In future, we won’t have to deal with ugly business like that, because the police is working on preventing rather than uncovering crime. One way to do that is total surveillance. You have heard of Google’s new wizardry, Google Glass, a seamless and empowering device which allows us all to be paparazzi all the time. Isn’t that an exciting new development? But the media are already spoiling it for us by muttering darkly about loss of privacy. Don’t believe the media! Go to the source and ask Google exec Eric Schmidt. He will set you straight: If you don’t want anyone to know what you are doing, he says, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place (NYTimes May 26).
And if you don’t want to know about ugly things, don’t look for them in the first place.
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