Thursday, January 20, 2005

Missing the Toronto Star

I lived in Toronto for 4 years, and while I don't miss living in that city much, there are two things I do miss:

1) my friends and family who live there
2) the Toronto Star

As far as newspapers go, the Star is the best in Canada. It's equivalent to - although not quite of the same quality as - the New York Times. I think one of the reasons that the paper is so good is that it remains independent; the Star has yet to be swallowed up by a mass-media conglomerate. Let's hope it remains independent.

Ottawa - where we now live - is a beatiful city, but the only daily papers we get here are the awful, horrible Ottawa Sun and the Ottawa Citizen (which, I swear, has an editorial guideline to - evey issue - print the word "terrorist" at least twice on the front page and above the fold).

As an interesting aside, here's a good page showing you who owns the Citizen (CanWest Global), and what else they own. Notice, also, that Global is affiliated with Fox, which is owned in part by ultra-right Aussie Rupert Murdoch. Anyway, all of Global's media outlets have a certain - ahem - editorial slant to them. And it's a particular slant that I find distasteful.

Back to the original point, this week Star writer Tim Harper (and others) is running a special 6 part series on Bush's America - who the people are that voted for him, what the issues are, the culture that defines today's republicans. Take this quote, from part 3, for example:

"...last week, a school board in tiny Dover, Pa., ordered its high-school science teachers to tell students Darwin's theory (of evolution) is not a fact. When they refused, administrators made the announcement. The case is headed to court."

Hard to believe that that sort of thing actually happens.

If you're interested, you can get to the series directly from here:

Part 1: The roots of right-think and the pressure on W. to deliver

P2: Natalism: Raising Republicans in small-town America

P3: Abstinence and creationism in America’s schools

P4: NASCAR culture: The centrality of sport in American life

P5: The conservative fight on the broadcast battlefront

P6: The inaugural: How Bush is expected to frame the future

I read Harper's weekly blog on the US election last fall, and I love his style. He's also a thorough researcher. If you've got the time to read, enjoy.


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