Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: June 15, 2020

Rex Murphy’s opinions column rankles newspaper’s own staff

Murphy’s June 1st column states that “we are not a racist country, though to say so may shock some.” To this, he adds: ”Do we not have welcoming immigration policies? Are our largest cities not a great montage of people from every corner of the world, of every colour and creed? Do we not, both in private and public, celebrate Canada’s multicultural nature? Do our schools not press the ideas of tolerance and acceptance toward all peoples and all faiths from kindergarten through high school? Is it not a doctrine of Canadian civic life that to end any trace of discrimination or racism is a cardinal rationale for the very existence of modern Canada?”

The Post now calls his assertion that Canada is not a racist country “indefensible” and the day following Financial Post journalist Vanmala Subramaniam wrote a rebuttal to Murphy’s piece, called “Before you declare Canada is not a racist country, do your homework”.

From her column: “Beyond being factually wrong, propagating the notion that Canada is no longer racist is dangerous and damaging because it only serves to reassure white people and white-dominated systems in this country that their work is done, that they can revert back to a state of comfort knowing that their corporate boards are dotted with a token number of visible minorities and their employees are apparently free of racist ideals thanks to rounds of diversity training.

“These efforts, for the most part, do not actually work in truly upending racist institutions in this country. They are mere platitudes.” –– Vice and National Post

Bell Media pulls Jessica Mulroney series after Black influencer says she threatened her career

Bell Media pulled Jessica Mulroney’s reality series I Do, Redo off the air Thursday after the celebrity stylist was accused by Sasha Exeter of threatening the Toronto lifestyle influencer’s career and trying to “silence a Black woman” during the anti-Black racism movement.

In a post on her Instagram story Thursday, Mulroney said she respected CTV’s decision and has decided to step away from her professional engagements at this time to reflect, learn and focus on her family.

Hallmark social media post sparks backlash over lack of diversity in its Vancouver productions

A social media post by the Hallmark Channel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement has triggered a growing backlash from members of Vancouver’s film industry.

Many are calling the message “hypocritical” amidst allegations the company’s productions suffer from a lack of diversity. –– John Hua, Global News

Anti-racism protests bringing real change

In Toronto, there has been a petition to rename Dundas Street, which is named after Henry Dundas, an 18th-century politician who delayed Britain’s abolition of slavery by 15 years. It has reignited controversial conversations around bringing down statues and renaming institutions of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, who commissioned residential schools, responsible for the cultural genocide of Indigenous people in Canada.

Among others, the name of Ryerson University, named after Egerton Ryerson, also influential in the creation of Canada’s residential schools’ system, has been called into question. –– Meera Estrada, Global News

Selling eyeballs in Now and The Georgia Straight

In a letter to Media Central shareholders, the new owner of the alt-weeklies states that it is eliminating a focus on venues and arts and instead “driving a focus on health, education, finance and esports”. The idea it would seem is to match brands and content with advertorials and bin the clarion call of social justice that once made these alternative voices, well...alternative voices.

Cineplex sale abandoned by suitor

International movie theatre chain Cineworld PLC says its deal to buy Cineplex Inc. for $2.8 billion is off, claiming that "certain breaches" of the contract were made by the Canadian company.

But Cineplex fired back late Friday, insisting the allegations of wrongdoing are false and vowing to see Cineworld in court in a battle over damages. –– The Canadian Press

Tucker Carlson ad boycott causes headaches for Fox News

The top-rated 8 pm weekday show bills its host as “the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group think” – but many see him as a zealot with a cause and advertisers are finding it difficult to match their brand with his message. For now, many advertisers are content to place ads in different time slots and Tucker continues to have the backing and support of Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch.

Corporate media is focusing on racism at last — but ducking economic injustice

News media habitually tiptoe around deadly realities of economic oppression that are hidden in plain sight — so normalized that they're apt to seem perversely natural. Meanwhile, government is routinely portrayed as inherently hamstrung, lacking in funds and unable to cope. But from city halls and state legislatures to corridors of power in Washington, the priorities that hold sway are largely imposed by leverage from big corporations and the wealthy who want their financial interests protected.

"When we say #DefundPolice," Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., tweeted days ago, "what we mean is people are dying and we need to invest in people's livelihoods instead. Example: Detroit spent $294 million on police last year, and $9 million on health. This is systemic oppression in numbers." –– Norman Solomon, Salon

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