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Is Silence Golden?

By Joan Janzen

You never know what will be created when someone is armed with a sewing machine. I remember when my mother would sew everything from curtains to clothing. Back then it was more economical to sew household items and kids clothing, and every last scrap of fabric was put to use. Which helps to explain an old photo of myself at about eight years, standing in front of those homemade floral curtains, wearing a dress made of the exact same fabric. You couldn’t tell the difference between my new dress and the new curtains; they both looked the same.

Recently a young journalism student pointed out how most media outlets appear the same. He was attending a “Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy Conference”, where a panel was available to answer questions. The young man, decked out in a suit and tie, confidently stepped forward, to ask his question.

“My name is Christopher Phillips. I’m a first year Journalism student,” he said. “My question is for Mr. Brian Stelter. You’ve all spoken extensively about Fox News being a purveyor of disinformation, but CNN is right up there with them. They had the Russian collusion hoax; they had the Sandman hoax. They smeared Justice Kavanaugh as a rapist, and they also smeared Rittenhouse. They smeared Nick Sandman as a white supremacist, and yet they dismissed the Hunter Biden Laptop affair as pure Russian disinformation. With mainstream corporation journalists becoming little more than apologists, and cheerleaders for the regime, is it time to finally declare that the tenant of journalistic ethics is dead or no longer operative? All the mistakes of the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, seem to magically all go in one direction. Are we expected to believe that is is all just random coincidence?”

It was a great question from a bright and inquisitive young man. It was also an excellent opportunity for the panel to admit that the media could do better. They could have acknowledged the examples the student gave were clear cut instances where they should have been more transparent. They could have even used this as an opportunity to apologize for their mistakes, but what did they do?

Brian Stelter laughed nervously and quipped, “Sorry, it’s time for lunch!” It was clearly meant to deflect attention from the student’s question. Brian Stelter is an anchor, and chief media correspondent for CNN. He continued to say, “I think you’re describing a different channel than the one I watch. That’s a popular right wing narrative.” This was yet another popular response, to label any queries as right wing, dismissing them yet again.

However Stelter wasn’t done speaking. He shared the instance when a Fox News correspondent was wounded in Ukraine and the CNN news crew stopped what they were doing and tried to help get the body out, and find the dead crew members. Although this was the correct response for the CNN news crew, it was also the expected response when there are wounded people on the ground. It was also irrelevant to the young man’s question, and yet another effort to dismiss it.

Another college student stepped forward to pose a question. “I’m Daniel Smith. I’m a first year student at the University of Chicago,” he said. “Referring to Hunter Biden, do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed the laptop as Russian disinformation? What can you learn from that, and ensure that what we label is truly disinformation and not reality?”

Miss Applebaum, a journalist, responded, noting that Hunter Biden’s laptop was truly irrelevant. And so the questions were swiftly dismissed rather than answered, and they conveniently ran out of time for more.

Legacy media is dependent upon advertising revenue from big business and corporations, who play a significant role in controlling information. Pharmaceuticals also donate 75 percent of their advertising revenue. Does this help to explain some of their news coverage?

Why does legacy media give huge publicity to some stories, while it is completely silent on others? There’s an old expression that says “silence is golden”, but is it? Former MP, Brian Peckford lives in Vancouver, and noted there are thousands of people holding rallies every weekend at the legislative buildings at Victoria city.

“One weekend they had 13,000 people. Victoria city itself is only about 100,000 people,” Peckford said. What’s even more amazing is that no one in the rest of Canada hears about it. “Broadcast media and print media don’t carry it. You have to find it on alternate media,” he explained.

It looks like silence may not be golden after all, and the need for young journalists to continue to ask questions is greater than ever. A quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind. He helped Jews flee Germany in WWII, and was killed as a result. He said, “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

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