Tory government using publicity agency to create, distribute news

The Conservative government has been using a publicity agency to create and distribute government-approved news items to community newspapers, television and radio stations.

The federal government has a standing offer — worth up to $1.25 million annually — with News Canada Ltd., which provides content free and without copyright to editors through its website.

The articles must be credited to News Canada, but there is usually nothing in the so-called news articles or television and radio scripts that would explicitly let readers or viewers know it is sponsored content.

The Star’s Alex Boutilier reported earlier this week the Conservative government has signed or amended nearly $500 million in advertising contracts over the past five years, but the federal public works department said in an emailed response to questions that this will not come from the advertising budget.

“These are editorial services, not paid advertising,” said the email from media relations at Public Works, where no one was available for an interview Friday.

[…]

The federal government says it is about educating Canadians.

New democrat MP Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay), ethics critic for his party, sees it differently.

“We have a news service offering cash-strapped newspapers free content and it doesn’t tell the reader that this is from the Conservative propaganda machine,” Angus said in a telephone interview Friday.

“At least if it’s a press release, we know where it comes from, but there is a subversion of public trust when they go this route.”

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“ like women have lower pay, are disproportionately victims of rape, are dismissed as “being on their periods” when emotional, called hysterical, irrational, discriminated against in fields of science and math and men”

False, false, trivial, and false.

Is this what feminists actually believe?

Outdated, unresearched propaganda?

Are these “problems” just a scapegoat to go “ew boys are icky, I’m oppressed” and try to push female supremacy?

I promise that this is my last socio-political post today; however I had to share 1 final ones based on some of the #propaganda memes, #politicalfingerpointing, #insisitivity, and #devisiveness encountered in the past 20 hours amid the most recent tragedy.
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“You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. These two ideas are NOT mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards.” - #JonStewart
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If you do not like an ENTIRE force individuals of light (who of which many are patrolling other districts to provide for their families this holiday season, plus the majority in #NYC are minority) that #ProtectAndServe our streets daily because of a few bad apples and broken policies, please do me a favor and unfollow me!
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We can only begin to embrace the painful #truth of #reality as a collective majority to propel the #humanity and #change we seek when we reject the blissful ignorance of illusion.
#TakeTheRedPill AllLivesMatter
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#NYPD #BlueLine #prayersforpeace #prayersforhumanity #stayawake #dontvoluntarilybeblind #dontfuelthefire #givethisworldgoodenergy (at Phoenix Aficionado Inc.)

"Because they don’t teach the truth about the world, schools have to rely on beating students over the head with propaganda about democracy. If schools were, in reality, democratic, there would be no need to bombard students with platitudes about democracy. They would simply act and behave democratically, and we know this does not happen. The more there is a need to talk about the ideals of democracy, the less democratic the system usually is." .. (Noam Chomsky)

Refusing to Take Sides, NPR Takes Sides With Torture Deniers

Dec. 12 2014

National Public Radio, following the lead of the Washington Post (FAIR Blog, 12/9/14) (and in contrast to the New York TimesFAIR Blog, 8/8/14), tries to avoid applying the word “torture” in its own voice to the tortures described in the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report. Here’s host Robert Siegel (All Things Considered, 12/9/14):

In the years after 9/11, the CIA conducted harsh interrogations, more brutal and widespread than many realized. And worse, those interrogations did not produce any intelligence that we could use in any significant way to fight terrorism. Those are the conclusions of a report partially released today by the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Reactions to what’s known as the torture report show a country divided.

NPR correspondent Tamara Keith went on to refer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein discussing “a CIA program that used techniques she says amounted to torture.” In her own words, Keith reports that “the CIA program of secret overseas detentions and so-called enhanced interrogation methods began shortly after the September 11 attacks.”

Soon enough, “so-called” becomes just what they’re called. Says Keith: “The key finding: These enhanced interrogation methods didn’t make America safer.” When a critic of the report, CIA director John Brennan, is introduced, NPR describes the torture whose benefits he touts as “these interrogations.”

This is a longstanding practice of NPR's. The network's then-ombud Alicia Shepard made it clear back in 2009 (6/21/09): “NPR decided to not use the term ‘torture’ to describe techniques such as waterboarding but instead uses ‘harsh interrogation tactics,’” she reported:

The problem is that the word torture is loaded with political and social implications for several reasons, including the fact that torture is illegal under US law and international treaties the United States has signed.

Yes–that’s why whether or not what the US did to prisoners was torture or not is a vitally important question for journalists to answer. But NPR thinks it can find a way not to answer it. Said Shepard:

I recognize that it’s frustrating for some listeners to have NPR not use the word torture to describe certain practices that seem barbaric. But the role of a news organization is not to choose sides in this or any debate. People have different definitions of torture and different feelings about what constitutes torture.

Now, if there’s a debate between people who think that waterboarding, forcing people to stand on broken legs, sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, being shackled to a wall for 17 days, hypothermia to the point of death, “rectal rehydration and feeding,” etc. are what are generally and traditionally referred to as torture, and people who don’t think those things should be called torture, and you choose not to call them torture–you haven’t avoided taking a side. It’s pretty obvious which side you’ve taken, isn’t it?

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