Friday, January 9, 2015

Should the CBC Show “Those” Pictures?

I just came across a bit that says some of the Harper Party MPs are speaking out about the CBC decision to not show the Charlie Hebdo pictures that are supposed to be the reason for the extremist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices on Wednesday.

Maybe they just don’t get it.  These pictures are offensive to some people.  There are a few that find them so offensive that it pushes them off their axis so far as to fire bomb buildings and kill people.

There are two things at play here.  Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press.  Freedom of expression allows me to write my blog and think that there are some Class A Idiots running around Ottawa who say “Yea” when Steve Harper says “Yea” and “Nay” when Steve Harper says “Nay”.

Freedom of the Press means that the news people should pursue and tell the news that they think is relevant to people without interference from elected people.  They answer to their editors, not you and not Steve Harper.

I totally agree with the stance that the CBC has taken.  The story is about the horrid killing of the 10 people inside the office of Charlie Hebdo and the 2 police officer assigned to protect them, not that they publish what a lot of people would consider trash. 

If pictures weren’t worth putting on the air last week, are they worth putting up today?

Maybe we should ask why the CBC isn’t showing the pictures from that magazine that caused an anti Semitism law suit?  Or how about showing the pictures that generated lawsuits from other religions? 

The CBC also decided not to show the one attacker walking up and killing the wounded police officer in cold blood after the attack on the office.  That too is an important part of the story.  Or do mere words suffice there?

We recently had the Magnotta trial here in Canada.  Should the CBC have shown the images and videos from that?  Do we need to see the cut up victim to show people that Magnotta should be in prison for a very long time?

The bottom line is that if you don’t like the CBC coverage of the story, watch another channel.  I don’t give a damn that “taxpayer money” helps fund the CBC.  The news is supposed to be impartial, the standards are set by the editorial staff at the CBC.  If enough people change the channel, CBC News will change its policy.

And if you think that it is so all fired important that your constituents see these pictures, maybe you should post them on your own damn site.  The party pays for it, and it won’t cost me a dime.  At least it had better not.

If you’re really interested in freedom of expression and freedom of the press, maybe you should be speaking out about other things….

How about the 7 year sentence of Mohamed Fahmy and two of his fellow Al Jazeera correspondents for covering the Muslim Brotherhood protests in Egypt?

How about the 10 year 1,000 lashes sentence for Raif Badawi for “insulting” Islam in his blog?

How about making all candidates show up for All Candidate Debates at election time?  At least the ones on your team…

And how about having Ministers stand and answer questions in Debate, in Oral Question Period, and live press gatherings instead of reciting PMO approved talking points?

Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo, mais il est mon frère.

C’est tout, Salute!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Has Tony Clement Twitter Blocked You Yet?

In the last while I’ve seen more and more people wondering why they have been Twitter blocked by Tony Clement.  Quite a few of them seem perplexed as to why Tony blocked them.

Well I was blocked by Tony ages ago, I didn’t even realize it for a while.  I didn’t stalk Tony, but if I saw him comment I sometimes replied.  I don’t agree with Tony on many things, I don’t expect him to agree with me. 


We live in a Democratic country.  Part of that means we should have the ability to exchange ideas, and disagree.  Just because we disagree on Twitter is no reason to block someone, I don’t even bother blocking trolls.

I ignore them.

If someone sends me a tweet that is not worth replying to, I don’t reply.  It’s that simple.  I have blocked a few on Twitter, most of them tried to send me to a corrupt website to try and steal my Twitter information or infect me with a virus, a few were trying to raise money for nonexistent causes.  I blocked and reported them.  Done.

What I think that Tony doesn’t get is that Twitter is a communication medium, a crappy one, but it is a means to getting your ideas out.  If you decide that you don’t want people seeing your thoughts and ideas it’s like you’d prefer to preach to the choir or to the “Amen corner”. It doesn’t help get your idea out, it just gives you a false sense that what you are saying is right. 

It’s a bit like the old saw, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”.

The other thing I don’t think Tony realizes is that if he is involved in a Twitter conversation with someone who I follow, I get to see snippets of that conversation.  If it interests me, I can just click to see the conversation and lo and behold I can see what Tony is typing!

Now for those of you thinking big deal, you can’t interact with Tony, that’s not why I reply to those tweets.  I’m sending my message to the others who are following the same conversation.  I’m not talking to the “Yay” people or the “Boo” people, I’m looking for the people in between, the ones that don’t drink anyone’s Kool-Aid.

So should you take it as a badge of honour that Tony blocked you?  I don’t really think so.  I think it’s sad that a Cabinet Minister doesn’t want to hear from his constituents and doesn’t want them to hear his message, he doesn’t want you to know what he thinks.

Maybe Tony failed civics or maybe he just forgot how government is supposed to work.  If one is named to a Cabinet position, one no longer represents the riding that elected him.  A Minister represents all of Canada, not just a small segment.  And in the same vein of MPs sending updates to their constituents, Tony should be communicating with us, all of us.

And he should be listening.  He doesn’t need to agree, but he should hear what people are saying.

I guess what I’m saying is that if Tony thinks this is going to shut me and other people up, he’s got another thing coming.  That, and if you’ve got something to say, say it.  Who cares if Tony sees it, other people will.



BTW I don’t mean Twitter is crappy, it’s just a bugger to try and get a point across in 140 characters or less, especially with long twitter handles like @canada_bearcat.  Cheers!

UPDATE:  I am no longer being blocked by Tony Clement.  Not only that, he's following me now... Welcome aboard,  Tony.