Magazine article The New American

Jellybeans, Tear Gas, & Transparency

Magazine article The New American

Jellybeans, Tear Gas, & Transparency

Article excerpt

If you missed the news coverage of the August 20-21 North American Leaders' Summit in Montebello, Canada, there's a fairly simple reason: there wasn't any coverage. Certainly nothing of any length or substance. While President Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met behind closed doors at Le Chateau Montebello resort with corporate and academic elites to advance the Security and Prosperity Partnership plan for political and economic merger of the three countries, the U.S. "prestige" media were busy with more important stories, such as NFL bad boy Michael Vick's dog-abuse charges and the umpteen-hundredth debauchery update on delinquent pop divas Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears. Gotta have round-the-clock coverage of those hot, earth-shaking stories!

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Now, if you were in Canada, the story was somewhat different. There, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit was very big news. The problem was that Canada's big media got it all wrong. Which isn't surprising, since, in this case, Canada's big media--like the U.S. big media--is in bed with the folks they're covering. Only a few select journalists were allowed inside the security perimeter of riot police, military, and Secret Service. And they seemed mostly content to regurgitate the press releases and talking points handed to them by the summiteers. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the press corps were relegated to the area outside the street barricades, where the only stories were the antics of the loony left protesters, and the tear-gas response from the police. This is what the SPP advocates really mean when they speak of "transparency" and their commitment to "openness and accountability"!

So, you have the situation where Prime Minister Harper dismisses genuine concerns about the threats posed by the SPP agenda to national sovereignty and independence with an offhand satirical remark, and virtually all of the media mavens echo his ludicrous comment as though it is the final, unanswerable response to opponents of the SPP.

"Is the sovereignty of Canada going to fall apart if we standardize the jelly beans? Maybe Mr. Dion thinks so," Mr. Harper said, referring to Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion's opposition to the SPP. "But I don't think so." Yes, folks, you needn't worry; you needn't listen to all the wild warnings of the SPP naysayers. These summits aren't about anything more serious than jellybeans! …

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