An Equal Opportunity Media Critic
You know what they say in the paper:
- "The Windsor Star corrects all errors of fact as soon as possible after they are identified. The Star also publishes clarifications of information that could have been misunderstood or misinterpreted. If you know of an error, please call 255-5743 at any time."
I even gave them the correct information from Dave Wake of MTO to make it easy for them:
- "We do not know the cost of a tunnel at this time. The figure quoted in the Windsor Star is an estimated baseline cost of at-grade construction."
Still no correction that I have seen.
However, I did not want the Star to think I was just being negative to them. It's CKLW's turn now.
I heard a commentary by Rob Shervill, the Assistant News Director/Morning News Anchor of CKLW the other day that was so one-sided that I could not believe it. Obviously, he had read a newspaper article or two and might even had read my BLOG about the Lansing hearings and the Report of the consultants retained by the Ambassador Bridge. I wondered, though, if he actually had read the Report that he was so negative about.
In the ninety seconds, his language certainly let everyone know his position. "Moroun's mega-million dollar monopoly," "fire-power of two paid consultants," "infrastructure Armageddon," and the topper "How stupid do they think we are?"
After listening to Rob, I think I should ask the question: how stupid does Rob think his listeners are. Perhaps we can have CKLW do an AM 800 News Poll question. I'll help you, dear reader, complete the survey after I let you read some of his comments and make a few remarks about them:
- The Bridge Co. owner feels "ignored" since DRIC has ruled out twinning the Ambassador Bridge. Actually, he should be pretty happy about it. He is no longer tied to a process that is being attacked for not working properly. The Bridge Co is outside of it and probably should never have been part of it since it is an existing crossing.
He can now demand that the Province and Federal Governments do what is required by starting to spend the $300 million BIF money to fix the road to the existing border crossing, the Ambassador Bridge! That is what the money is for: improvements to an existing crossing.
While DRIC dithers, he can do what he has to do to protect his business and keep the border functioning properly. If Rob can get Eddie to agree rather than threaten litigation, then we might even get more than a few Windsorites working too to reduce our jobless rate, the highest in Canada.
- Rob said that DRIC seems to be leading to a crossing near Sandwich across from Delray. Wow, shall I assume that Rob must agree with that solution since he did not argue against it. Is he supporting the destruction of a community on each side of the river to get a new border crossing where he says DRIC is leading us! Is this one of the environmentally friendly options that Rob talked about later on in his commentary?
- Rob claims the new bridge would take away from the Bridge Co.'s monopoly. Of course Rob did not explain how a new bridge and infrastructure costing billions would be able to compete against the Bridge Co. and charge tolls that will take away trucks but that is a small matter.
As for the "monopoly" charge, had he read the Bi-national materials, he will know that they have shown it not to be true.
- Kwame's claim that there was no need for a third crossing "failed to fly." Errr Rob, why do you think there are hearings in Lansing now......that is an issue that has to be dealt with amongst others by the Legislators in Michigan. At least Kwame had the guts to question the spending of billions of taxpayer dollars. The Michigan Legislators are asking the same question too unlike the politicians on our side who seem to be prepared to spend taxpayer billions as they "respect the process" and keep it "meticulous."
- The hired consulatants are trying to convince taxpayers that a publicly-funded bridge would take up money that could be spent on crumbling roads in Michigan. I guess Rob did not read that part of their Report that stated that "The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has identified $40 billion in transportation needs for the region in the next 25 years."
- Rob says that the consultants claim that only the Bridge Co. can ensure a smooth flow of traffic. Well, they have not done too badly so far. It was the Bridge Co. that claimed that Customs was the problem at the border. For the expenditure of a few million dollars of their money to build a few Customs booths which Customs is now staffing, they were proved right when they ended truck back-ups on Huron Church Road.
It was an agency of the US Government, not the consultants, who said that "Crossing times at Detroit's Ambassador Bridge port-of-entry, as noted above, were markedly different from others in the sample. Despite the bridge's dramatically higher volume of traffic, generally shorter crossing times were achieved."
- Rob goes on and on about toxic fumes, truck noise, belching air brakes and pedestrians dodging trucks that go through amber and red lights. Uhhhh, Rob, it is not the function of the Bridge Co. to build a road to the border. That is Governments' job--you know the Mayor and the Senior Levels, remember.
- Rob claimed that there are more environmentally friendly options than the Ambassador Bridge's plan. I do wish he had set those options out and for that matter told us what he thinks the Ambassador Bridge's plan is. If he had done so, then we all could have known the big secret too.
- Finally, Rob delivered the coup de grace---there is no shortage of people who are highly suspect of the Bridge Co.'s motives. Oh my...Rob revealed the truth. Well not actually. He ended without telling us the motives. We dare not ask since then we are not part of the "no shortage" group and who does not want to be part of the in-crowd!
In my BLOG yesterday about the Star, I concluded by saying:
- "...the only alternative right now is for the other media in town to play a proper role in...providing real analysis of what is taking place in this City. After all, they... should be helping us understand what is going on."
Was I wrong?