Musings of a Canadian Slacker

Saturday, March 05, 2005
Kate over at Small Dead Animals has a note on Laurie Garrett's piece about how corporate ownership has corrupted journalism and journalists.

The problem fundamentally is the paradigm that commercial television introduced into journalism in the 1950s and 1960s: the idea that journalism, news, could be made to pay on a commercial basis. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with that..except that the way news was gathered and presented began to be shaped by television's need for spectacle, drama and sensation. As time has gone by, television has taken this to its logical extension..that only those events that have those elements get reported. And the trend has spread to other media: newspapers and the Internet in particular. Where do we go from here? The blogosphere vs. MSM paradigm gives us a partial answer, I think..that motivated and intelligent bloggers act as a sort of corrective to corporate media. Is that the only answer?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Maintiens Le Droit

Canada's Federal police force has suffered a rather horrendous loss in Alberta: 4 officers shot dead trying to serve a warrant against what turned out to be a marijuana grow-op. The irony is that they weren't initially there because it was a grow-op..they were just serving a warrant against one James Roszko..who is evidently something of a known lunatic in the area. One story had it that the RCMP hasn't suffered this kind of loss since 1885, by which I imagine they mean the battle of Duck Lake during the North West Rebellion. Sad business, all in all. But I'd still like to know what a "rapid fire auto carbine assault style rifle" is.

Addendum: Once again, the delightful Kate proves invaluable: the 'rapid fire auto carbine assault style rifle' turns out, apparently, to be the Heckler and Koch HK-91. Which is neither a carbine, nor automatic, nor 'assault style' whatever the hell that is supposed to mean. I understand it when media screws things up like weapons..but I'll be damned if I can understand it when our federal law enforcement agency can't avoid a twisted phrase like 'rapid fire auto carbine assault style rifle'. Incidentally, under the Canadian Firearms act the HK91 (semi auto) is a 12(5) Prohibited weapon..which means that one has to have a 12(5) Prohibited weapons note on one's Possession and Acquisition licence to own one...Mr. Roszko, having a criminal record, ought not to have had a PAL at all..and so owned this weapon illegally...