Sunday, August 21, 2005

One Last Bit on The GG Designate

The Globe and Mail has published what might be the only reasonably objective review of the Governer General Designate Michaelle Jean and her husband.

The article is a bit lengthy, but manages to touch on what is known about Mme. Jean, and the controversy swirling around her. For a change, there is relatively little editorializing in the article. (Let's hear it for a newspaper actually doing journalism instead of engaging in partisan politics!)

More or less, I come away from reading this article feeling that there is precious little reason to believe that there is any real substance to the objections raised against Mme. Jean. Most of the objections seem to center around whether she is sympathetic to Quebec Separatism, and whether she associates with former FLQ members.

Journalists across this country need to step back from what they've written in the last few weeks, and ask themselves if they are allowing partisan influences to make rumour news. I would note that in the media, the loudest outcry has come from the western Canadian Sun newspapers, and the Asper-controlled CanWest-Global group.

The media can legitimately question what is going on in our nation, but a degree of moderation is needed. Ask intelligent questions, but let's not continue to slime people for rumour. Dig, find facts, and reveal them - in proper context. (For example, a 15 year old video of someone only speaks to that person 15 years ago - in order for that piece to be truly relevant, you should be looking for corroboration that is more recent. Otherwise, you have merely dug up a historical artifact devoid of meaning in the current context.

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