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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Thankfully, and to give her credit, it was however posted to the opinion section of the paper

The Vancouver Observer, and in particular Sandy Garossino, have / has sparked a little controversy recently.  For me it was an article she wrote entitled, “Taxes are for the little people - Withpermanent tax exemption, Christy Clark takes care of the beleaguered 1%.”  
For me, I found the story extremely slanted, and I believed it to be more of an opinion, or editorial piece, rather than a news story. Thankfully, and to give her credit, it was however posted to the opinion section of the paper. 
That said, in posting an opinion piece, one would expect that it should be accurate – I do not believe it was as it simply parroted the long held mantra of the BCTF that those in the private education system come from elitist families … private schools take away valuable resources from the public education system, and of course that it’s only the ‘little people’ that pay their fair share of taxes (more of a socialist opinion). 
All of these much trotted out comments, in my personal opinion, are wrong. Of course anyone who knows me, would understand that I was quick to dispute those comments. (insert laugh here). 
The latest disagreement I had with Sandy at the VO was over another piece she wrote with regards to Tim Horton’s caving in to an enviro group (SumOfUs), based in large part in the United States, that managed to get Tim Horton’s to cancel a contract they had with Enbridge to run soft promo’s ads on Timmy’s in house tv system.  An article by Vivian Krause, in the National Post correctly, again in my opinion identified them as the ‘same old tar sands campaigner’
Here is the exact quote, from Sandy’s opinion piece in the VO, that I took exception too:
“…as everybody in the country now knows, Alberta and Conservatives had a mass freakout over Tim Hortons' decision to decline screening Enbridge ads on its in-house TV screens …” 

Couple of things here … it wasn’t a ‘mass freakout’ … and it wasn’t just Conservatives upset.  It was every day Canadians, many of whom work in the Canadian energy industry, have family members in the industry, or who have jobs because of this vital part of Canada’s economy.  AND … they DID NOT decline they ads, they CANCELLED a contract Enbridge had in place with them. 

Twice I pointed this out to them … this is just one of them:
@VanObserver Please correct error. Tim Horton's didn't DECLINE ads, they CANCELLED the contracted airing of them #BoycottTims #cdnpoli 

No surprise to me, however no correction has yet to be made. So … what would you attribute as the reason for this?  I know what I attribute it to.  They want to pass off a slanted and incorrect editorial piece as fact, knowing full well it is NOT.  

So that led me to ask another question to them, and others, on Twitter: How can,why shud, @VanObserver B considered serious journalism when errors pointd out 2them by myself &others Rnot corrected 

What was the response to my query?  Here’s a few samples:
I'm guessing it's mostly because its coverage meets a lot of people's ideological priorities” …... serious journalism" usually tries to present both sides. VO represents only one side. Propaganda publication …... and here’s another ...… serious journalism? Absolute garbage 

Someone who has had an ongoing dispute with the Vancouver Observer is Vivian Krause.  On June 5th she wrote a piece entitled “VancouverObserver/National Observer: An Example of How They Operate” 

Respected Canadian journalist David Akin had this to say to Sandy Garassino of the Observer … I think @Garossino @VanObserver owes @FairQuestions some answers — and apologies. Sandy: What’s the hold-up?

Another individual asked … Have some class Sandy and do the right thing. Your specious claims have not borne fruit. Your move.

Earlier today I asked the following two questions:
1. Is it your expectation that a journalist, to the best of their ability, present an unbiased and fair accounting no matter what their opinion?
2. If they are unable to do so, should they instead do an 'opinion' piece clearly identified as such, and their editor should have someone else write the 'news' story.

One of the best responses I received was from Brian Wilson, and he said: 
I don't think most of the public knows what "unbiased" reporting is. They are so accustomed to having media do the thinking for them, and forming their thoughts for them, that if truly "unbiased" reporting presented itself, I doubt many would know what to do with it.  Most news articles ARE opinion pieces, and the editors are complicit in that. I'm personally sickened by most of the one-sided reporting done in this country
That was pretty hard hitting, and to be honest while I agree completely with the first part, and agree, at least in part, with the second part of what he had to say. I say this because in many of my personal dealings with the media, at least here in Kamloops, they do want to get a story to the public that is accurate. 

With that in mind here's a comment from Kent Simmonds, some one I've had the pleasure to work with in the past:
I've shot and edited news for 28 years, in those 28 years I've seen some great reporting and some not so great reporting.

Some " journalists " have an agenda that shapes their stories, I'm proud to say everyone in our shop (TV7)takes the job seriously and does their best to give both sides equal time in the stories we cover. I have seen examples of national reporters /anchors lying about events, Brian Williams NBC, Bill ORiey Fox News to name two.

I agree with Brian people should do their own homework regarding news that interests them, people should ask questions be they of news outlets or politicians or anyone else. I'm saddened at the amount of shit that gets ratings while real issues go largely unreported.

My difficulty with the media, in what is usually larger centres, is when they masquerade an opinion piece as news … when they deliberately mislead the public with erroneous facts … and when the will not make corrections when their stories are shown to have errors, because they would not back up the original assertions they have made. 
I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops, and what I’ve had to say is my opinion … based on observations, and direct dealing I have had.  Care to share any thoughts you have?


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