Thursday, July 17, 2014

Only the news the Toronto Star wants you to know

No one challenges the right of a publication to print what it wishes, that is to publish only what it wants its readers to know. It becomes offensive when the publication poses as being open to all reasonable viewpoints. Instances of selective reporting by the Toronto Star:

In 2006, a survey by the Toronto District School Board indicated that the bullying of gay students was not even on the radar of complaints. The Star did not mention it. 

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The Star believes all races should be represented in public bodies in proportion to their numbers. The Star disagrees with Martin Luther King Jr whose dream it was that people would "not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their content of their character." The paper did not publish my letter advocating ability as the only necessary quality. 

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The Star made no mention of the death of Heather Robinson. It was she who waged a successful legal campaign against certain media, including the Toronto Star, seeking compensation for artists whose work was used by the Star and others without permission or compensation. Nor did the Star report the results this multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit.

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The issue is Liberal Party Justin Trudeau's banning of pro-life candidates. My plea for democracy:

Justine Trudeau disappoints (No choice but pro-choice, Trudeau tells candidates, May 8). Polls consistently show that most Canadians favour at least some control over access to abortion (Angus Read January 2010, Harris-Decima March 2010, Ipsos Reid, July 2012).  The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that with certain conditions an abortion law might be constitutional and not in violation of human rights legislation. Justice Bertha Wilson found the state has "a perfectly valid legislative objective" in seeking to protect the fetus. The fetus has a DNA distinct from that of the mother indicating a different life, to some a different person. There is no law dealing with attacks against womanhood by gender-selection abortions or the rights of still-born babies. The issue is hardly "settled" as Trudeau contends. All this deserves debate, especially in Parliament. It is undemocratic for the Liberal leader to snuff out debate of this important topic among would-be candidates.

On May 20, the Star ran an opinion piece which flies in the face of the truth. The writer, Ottawa professor Paul Saurette, denied, or was unaware of, the results of polls mentioned above. My May 21 letter to the Star:

Re Pro-choice advocates should welcome new abortion debate, May 20: The writers claim that "polls consistently" support abortion, but offer no proof. On the contrary, polls consistently show that a majority of Canadians favour at least some control over access to abortion. Here are three of them:  Angus Reid January 2012, Harris-Decima March 2010, Ipsos Reid July 2012. 

A 2012 Angus Reid poll found that 60 percent of Canadians (66 percent women to 54 percent men) believe a law should be enacted on sex-selection abortions. An Environics poll in 2011 found that 92% of Canadians thought sex selection abortions should be illegal in Canada. In an Ipsos Reid of June 12, 2014, 75 per cent disagreed with Trudeau's refusing admission into the Liberal Party of pro-life candidates. 

This too did not appear in the Toronto Star.

An e-mail to Professor Saurette remains unanswered.