Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Feared? Happy is more like it

There are reasons why, among Canadian daily newspapers, that I read the National Post almost exclusively. It has a stable of terrific columnists, it calls a spade a spade - or more particularly, a terrorist a terrorist (not militant or freedom fighter or rebel or any of that other bullshit), it has a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour (if such a thing is possible for a newspaper) and its editorial slant is slightly to the right of centre which in Canada is virtually unheard of.
So, I start every day by plugging in the kettle for my coffee and opening my front door to pick up my Post. Except Sundays when, unfortunately, they don't print and I always feel like I've missed something.

Sadly, the person who delivers my paper doesn't quite understand the importance of the Post in my daily routine and occasionally decides instead to burden me with either the Vancouver Sun or the Vancouver Province. All three are owned by the same company but three more different papers would be hard to find. The Post is a broadsheet, heavy on the political analysis and world news. The Sun is a left-wing rag heavy on local news that I don't care all that much about and the Province is a tabloid piece of crap best used at the bottom of our guinea pig cage (actually, I would never soil her cage with it).

This morning, I got up. It was dark. I was tired. There was five centimetres of snow on the ground which meant battling the atrocious Vancouver drivers in weather which makes them even more atrocious. And, sitting on my front step: a copy of the Province.

I cursed. I looked again. I cursed some more. No Post.

So, I opened the Province. I got to page A20 (which took about 48 seconds based on fully reading each page). And, there, I saw this headline: "Canadians feared killed" over a story about US bombing raids in Somalia.

Of course, I immediately thought, "uh-oh, the Americans dropped a bomb on some Canadian aid workers or NGO employees" or something to that effect.

Nope. Apparently, the Canadians "feared killed" would be, in fact, terrorist shitheads blasted out of their pyjamas at some al-Qaida training camp. And, beyond that, there was absolutely ZERO evidence offered whatsoever in the story that any Canadians at all - terrorists or not - have been killed. The headline was based solely on a comment by Ethiopian PM Meles Zanawi the day before that "Canadians have been among suspected terrorists killed or taken prisoner."

Well, la-de-dah. I don't know who's running the headline generator over at the Province these days but they're not doing their job. Even if Canadians had been killed, if they were in the service of al-Qaida or another islamist terrorist group at the time, "feared" is hardly the word to use. "Terrorist fucks with Canadian passports sent to hell" would be a much better header.

Maybe I'll read it in the Post tomorrow, if I'm lucky.

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