Media bailout veiled in secrecy despite promises of transparency
The Canada Revenue Agency has gone quiet on the $595 million media bailout despite earlier promises of transparency according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
Media organizations are demanding that the government immediately offer subsidies and payroll rebates to make good on the promises written in the Liberal 2019 omnibus bill.
Watchdog organization Freedom House released a new report this week warning that several of the nation’s largest news publications—the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, to name a few—are serving as propaganda outlets for the Chinese government.
The report, titled “Beijing’s Global Megaphone” states that the Chinese Communist Party has employed the use of state-owned news organizations like China Daily to promote the country’s policies through U.S.-based publications through the periodic inclusion of a “paid news-like advertising supplement” from Chinese state proxy, China Daily, called China Watch. It’s called native advertising, and the content is designed to give the reader the false impression that the articles they’re reading local content from these newspapers.
Freedom House reports that similar advertorials have also been published in newspapers elsewhere in the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and India. It’s a global effort to make China look good, curtailing perhaps the negative press over its treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
While some of the content is paid for, others are provided free of charge to their media partners from Chinese state news agencies like Xinhua and China News Service, operating with a model similar to Reuters and the Associated Press—but with news biased in favour of the Chinese regime. According to the report, which borrows from a November 2018 investigation by the Financial Times, the news provided by these agencies is nominally reprinted for the Chinese diaspora in at least 200 supposedly independent Chinese-language publications. Readers are given the impression that the content is native to nominally independent publications but is repackaged propaganda by the Chinese government.
The nation has, for a long time, “sought to influence public debate and media coverage about China outside the country, particularly among Chinese-speaking communities.” Freedom House states that the complexity of the tactics used by the Chinese are new, and combines the country’s official diplomatic efforts with subversive activities that undermine not only the sovereignty of the nations they target, but severely affect independent media. After all, no one wants to buy fake news.
Curiously, the report found that “Russian-style social media disinformation campaigns,” which were blown out of proportion by the Democrats following the 2016 election, have been attributed to China-based perpetrators. The perpetrators of these campaigns are referred to as the “50 Cent Army” by Hong Kong protesters and pro-democracy activists who deal with fake pro-China social media accounts.
The impact of China’s attempt to manipulate the narrative through social media and news publications cannot be understated. Beijing’s control of the free press effectively cedes the information infrastructure of targeted countries to the Chinese with little to no pushback. Other arms of the Chinese government—notably their tech giants like Huawei—are working in tandem with their propagandists to acquire contracts to build 5G networks and other telecoms infrastructure in countries as far as the Faroe Islands.
Furthermore, China’s propaganda extends well beyond promoting China as a tourist destination or simply downplaying the horrors in Xinjiang. According to Freedom House’s findings, the propaganda also presents China as a model for other countries. “[T]hey are taking concrete steps to encourage emulation through trainings for foreign personnel and technology transfers to foreign state-owned media outlets.”
All these efforts allow China to heavily influence local politics to its benefit, earning both government contracts and control over the local infrastructure as well as allowing Beijing to meddle directly in internal political debates and even elections.
Should democracy hope to survive the 21st century, much needs to be done to curtail China’s influence not just in North America, but worldwide, where other sovereign nations remain vulnerable to the Chinese hegemony. If left unchecked, China will—sooner or later—take over the world, and the next time you’ll hear from us is through a letter written on toilet paper in a Chinese prison cell.
The Democratic debates took that place in Iowa saw a heavy moderator bias against Bernie Sanders, prompting many Democrat voters to trend #CNNisTrash and #NeverWarren.
A few days ago, “sources” told CNN that Bernie expressed doubt to Elizabeth Warren on whether a woman can win the Presidency.
Bernie Sanders called the allegations “ludicrous,” saying “it’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened.”
He added, “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
But Warren’s campaign refused to respond.
Elizabeth Warren later said confirmed that Bernie had told her this, but refused to go into details.
This spar between a socialist and a seemingly-progressive candidate was weaponized by CNN when during the debates on January 14th.
Moderators asked Bernie whether he said a woman couldn’t win. He, again, denied it and added that, in fact, he had asked Elizabeth Warren to run against Hillary Clinton and he only ran because Warren refused.
The moderators, then, asked him the same question again. He denied these allegations again.
However, then the moderators went on to asked Elizabeth Warren if she “agrees with Bernie’s claim that a woman can’t win”, to which Bernie and the audience laughed.
Elizabeth Warren responded with, “I disagree” and changed the topic.
But that wasn’t all. CNN also spent a major portion of the debate on whether US troops should stay in the Middle-East. Bernie Sanders was the only one who said they should be pulled out.
However, when it came to the question of healthcare, the moderators kept asking Bernie “how he was going to pay for it.”
If the bias against Bernie Sanders couldn’t be more clear, CNN framed questions and headlines with an explicit anti-Bernie tone.
Many on the left and right were furious at the utter lack of objectivity from CNN, causing a spike in the hashtag #CNNisTrash.
At the end of the debate, Bernie reached out to Elizabeth Warren for a handshake, which she explicitly refused. Hence, Bernie supporters also began trending the #NeverWarren hashtag.
On Google, CNN promoted explicitly promoted Warren to undermine Bernie.
Many in other mainstream media outlets such as MSNBC and the Hill, were also confused by this explicit anti-Bernie bias by CNN.
The federal government wants to introduce an immigration program in order to let certain cities and areas bring in new immigrants by taking local labour demands into account.
In the electoral campaign the Trudeau government said that they would be introducing the system. The person Prime Minister Trudeau designated for the job is Marco Mendico, a new immigration minister.
The goal of the program is to put some of the decision making abilities in the hands of local communities based on their needs. Trudeau’s mandate letter noted that there will be more than 5,000 spaces created by implementing the new program.
According to CBC, Mendico said that the program helps “to draw on local experiences, expertise, capacities to understand where are the labour shortages, where are the economic opportunities and how that information can help us select individuals who wish to come to Canada to ply their trade, to fulfil their opportunity.”
The current ratio of workers to retirees in Canada is 4:1 according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). By 2035 that ratio is expected to drop to 2:1.
In the past ten years about three quarters of the population growth in Canada has been due to immigration. The IRCC projects that by 2031, this number will rise to 80 percent.
Similar programs have been put forward to bring newcomers into rural areas and Atlantic Canada to fill job positions.
Leah Nord, who works for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as director of workforce strategies and inclusive growth, noted that there are labour gaps throughout the country. She added that close to 500,000 job positions are not being filled.
Many immigrants end up in Canada’s major cities and this program is meant to bring and keep skilled workers in smaller communities.
Nord told CBC, “One of the greatest ways to ensure immigration integration is a success is to have a job, to have labour market integration,” she added. “And that comes from the employer, from the chambers, from the business point of view. Having them involved in the beginning and making them those liaisons is key to success.”
She explained that a lot of immigrants will be able to “hit the ground running” by having job opportunities when they arrive.
Chief economist of The Conference Board of Canada, Pedro Antunes, mentioned that with ageing populations, immigrants will play a critical role in the labour market in Canada.
Antunes said, “The economic migrants play a big, big role … in helping us grow our workforce at a time when, if not for immigration, we’d actually be seeing a decline in the number of workers in Canada.”
According to the Conference Board, by 2030, the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age will be over nine million.
Mendicino’s mandate letter also says “This continues our modest and responsible increases to immigration, with a focus on welcoming highly skilled people who can help build a stronger Canada.”
Mendico is planning to review outcomes based on data and will be working directly with Canada’s provinces and territories.
Media, and people in general, have a tendency to make everything seem like a doomsday scenario. This could be for a number of reasons.
Perhaps, as humans, we have a tendency to see the negative while ignoring progress. This is certainly the case with many social justice movements, which seem to refuse to acknowledge the large strides made in the past few decades.
While of course things are not perfect, and there are still things to be improved on, a lot has gotten really good, really fast.
According to Reason Editor-in-Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward, it’s human’s tendency to ignore the good that has gotten us to this point: but it’s time to stop and smell the roses.
“If you are a caveman who hears a little rustling in the weeds, and you say, ‘Oh, it’s probably fine,’ the other guy who says, ‘It’s probably a tiger,’ that’s the guy who lives. That guy was our ancestors.”
But the strides made are not just notable, they are life changing, says Mangu-Ward.
In the book Progress: Ten Reasons To Look Forward to the Future, Swedish writer Johan Norberg explains how the past decade has been the most prosperous in human history. Norberg, who also wrote the book In Defense of Global Capitalism, notes that in the 2010s, 28 percent of the current overall wealth was created in that decade, that extreme poverty was halved, and that child mortality was reduced by a third.
On top of that, countries criminalizing same sex acts decreased from 40 percent to 27 percent, countries with laws protecting women jumped from 53 percent to 78 percent, the death rate from pollution went down 19 percent, and the number of “not-free” countries decreased from 34 percent to 26 percent.
There are, of course, notable challenges ahead. Depression has been on a creeping increase for years now, with the LA Times reporting that there’s been an over 50 percent increase in unhappiness.
“On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 represents ‘not too happy’ and 3 means “very happy,” Americans on average give themselves a 2.18 — just a hair above “pretty happy.” That’s a significant decline from the nation’s peak happiness, as measured by the survey, of the early 1990s.
The change is driven by the number of people who say they’re not too happy: 13 percent in 2018 compared with 8 percent in 1990. That’s a more than 50 percent increase in unhappy people.
Other recent research confirms this trend. The latest World Happiness Report, released this week, finds that a separate measure of overall life satisfaction fell by six percent in the United States between 2007 and 2018,” the Times reports.
Addiction is another major problem, which continues to skyrocket, with the number of Americans being diagnosed with opioid addiction breaking records year after year, with a notable spike in 2016, climbing by 493 percent with some drugs.
On top of this, the privacy of the average American has all but disappeared. In an article by Forbes titled “Privacy is completely and utterly dead, and we killed it,” author Jacon Morgan highlights how mega-monopoly tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple have gathered data on individuals that completely removes any form of autonomy.
All of this doesn’t even acknowledge that artificial intelligence is set to replace 40 percent of jobs within the next couple of decades. So who knows whether things are better or worse. Perhaps it boils down to whether you’re a glass half-full, glass half-empty type of person.