Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to bury Gaza

I've been reading newspapers long enough to know that the biggest stories go on the front page. Or at least the story that the editors deem to be the biggest.

For a whole lot of reasons, the Gaza story is by far the most important at the moment. Sure, global warming could bake us to a crisp, but not this week. MH17 is a plane crash that killed three hundred people. That deserves to be front page news, for a day or two, maybe a little longer if there are peripheral elements to the story, such as when that plane is shot down by a missile.

I was therefore perturbed when, as I was perusing the front page of Canada's newspaper of record yesterday morning, I couldn't find Gaza. Instead, five days after the event, MH17 remains the top story.

Except it's not so much about MH17 anymore; it's all about what Putin will do next, which could be anything from shooting down another civilian airliner to annexing Lithuania or Poland or the rest of Ukraine, apparently. Other stories deemed worthy of the front page are the Duffy Drama, a Chinese guy in BC charged with spying for China, and a court ruling about Canadians' legal rights to portage a canoe.

But no front page news about Gaza.

I'm leafing through the paper... mayor dies of wasp sting... car gets stolen... Rob Ford...

Pages 6 and 7 are entirely given over to anti-Putin propaganda presented as an insiders report on the imaginary Donetsk People's Republic.

Still no Gaza news.

On page 8 I was shocked to learn that big-talkin' John Baird wants Europe to take a tougher line toward Moscow.

Finally, on page 9, I encounter a Gaza story; "Hamas shows resilience despite shelling."

Hmm... that's not a good sign. Globe editors with an admiring headline for Hamas? Things must be going worse than we realize in Netanyahu's "Operation Over the Cliff."

OK, no wonder they buried it on page 9.

So today I pick up my paper, and guess what the top story is? Putin! Oh for f@cks sakes! And once again two pages of anti-Putin propaganda on pages 6 and 7!

First glimpse of Gaza-related news comes on page 8, where I learn that Ottawa has not yet formally banned flights to Israel but Air Canada is cancelling them anyway.

They're probably anti-Semites.

The editorial board at The Globe and Mail, on the other hand, should know better than to bury the biggest story in the world deep in their newspaper.

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