Editorials - Nov. 19, 2020
Canada loses a legend
Last week, the world mourned the loss of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. The tributes have continued to pour in, from the producers of the popular game show playing a poignant message during their first broadcast after his passing to Tweets by NASA recalling the role he played in recruiting a generation of astronauts. The carillon on Parliament Hill in Ottawa rang out the Jeopardy! theme song in his honour.
Trebek was a proud Canadian and although he eventually held dual citizenship, he remained an ambassador for his native Canada, even acting as an official Canada 150 Ambassador during our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2017. Since 2014, he has held a Guinness World Record for most episodes of a game show hosted by the same presenter (more than 8,200 at his passing). His legacy includes stars on both the Hollywood and Canadian Walk of Fame, six Emmys, an honorary doctorate and being named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
But perhaps his greatest achievement was his life-long commitment to making knowledge and intelligence celebrated, and doing it all with unflappable dignity and respect. Thank you, Alex Trebek. May we all strive for broad, general knowledge. – DS
Like an evil and delusional hermit crab of opportunity, moving from shell to shell looking for a new home and jettisoning anything or anyone that isn’t on-message, one-term President Donald Trump and his rabid supporters are turning their backs on two major platforms that, were it not for them, you could argue he wouldn’t be the president today.
Once Fox News, which has spent the last four years peddling Trump’s lies, began reporting the inevitability of Joe Biden’s presidential win (a hearty congratulations to Fox News, by the way, for presenting facts as facts), Trump and his supporters had no further use for the channel. They began Tweeting about leaving Fox News for two things called Newsmax and One America News (OAN), even as Trump sycophants Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham continue to pump his tires on the network. Trump then posted these Tweets, to shame Fox and turn his supporters on to a new source more “friendly” to their cause.
Speaking of Tweeting, it’s hard to think of a more crucial platform for Trump than Twitter. It was this social media network that allowed (and continues to allow) Trump to spread lies and attack his enemies, going directly to his millions of followers with baseless and easily discredited information. But now, under pressure from politicians and the public, social media platforms are taking more responsibility for what they help to spread (though they have a long, long way to go) and Twitter has been flagging Trump’s Tweets alleging widespread fraud and corruption as inaccurate. His supporters see this as a direct affront to them and Trump and they are moving en masse to something called Parler, a social network said to be popular with right-wing extremists for peddling conspiracy theories and antisemitism unfettered by fact-checking.
Trump’s two largest platforms for spreading lies and whipping his supporters up into rage-filled frenzies have now outlived their usefulness to him, so he’s turning his back and finding another way to get his lies out to those eager to believe them. Call it biting the hand that feeds you or failing to dance with the one that brought you, but Trump is moving on and he’s taking his millions of trusting supporters with him. – SL
All that’s fit to print
Between the COVID-19 pandemic that has recently surged in our area and across the country and the presidential election aftermath that is unfolding south of the border, it’s easy to forget there’s other news unfolding every day.
You’re proving right now, readers, that there’s always something worth checking out in The Citizen beyond the front page.
The same can be said of news that we get through other sources, though readers, viewers or surfers don’t always look past the big headlines. The Citizen’s editorial staff is often told that readers go directly to pages four and five, the editorial and opinion pages, when they receive their paper because they like to read those pages first, then get to the rest of the paper. It’s a good message because it means that people aren’t just looking at the biggest stories of the week, but also the columns, editorial pieces, stories and photos that maybe weren’t front-page news.
Everyone needs to continue to do that when news is watched on television or found online. Every story is important, otherwise it wouldn’t be covered, however, not every story can come first.
So make sure that when you watch the news, you watch it the whole way through. When you visit your news websites, check more than just the breaking news and, just like you’re doing now, keep reading everything you can in your local newspapers. Odds are everything in there is fit to print. – JDS