A Response to Eye Magazine’s Media Column

RE. Gregory Boyd Bell
(Media column- Eye Magazine, Oct, 26,2000.)
By Davis Mirza

It’s refreshing to hear a reporter from a corporately- owed ‘alternative’ weekly find Tooker Gomberg’s green platform “admirable” yet troublesome, when in the same breathe, the reporter deems it “irrelevant to the majority of voters.”

What gives, Gregory Bell?

So Tooker’s “impressive record as an environmental activist ” scores points with the reporter but not enough to detail in depth (hello, comparative analysis 101?) against Mayor Mel’s shoddy record .(supporter of corporate garbage schemes and all things big and boisterous like smoggy/ noisey Indy spectacles ) Bell’s “Hogtown Dilemma’ summary makes no mention at all of those city councilors reeling with political egg in their faces after supporting Mel’s doomed billion dollar garbage scheme – who are presently scrambling for their political lives to look ‘GREEN’ instead of yellow, now that the progressives at city hall have got the upper hand and are confident city council will swing LEFT in November- read councilor Rob (“What native land claim?”) Davis’ recent campaign leaflet announcing his new found ‘green’ conscience.

The lack of accountability and arrogance at city hall has added fuel to the ‘debate’ fire with Torontonians shaking their collective heads in disgust- “Incinerators?!- what the hell were they thinking?”Our eye “MEDIA’ reporter could dig a little deeper and expose the ‘elite’ power circle of corporate lobbyists and monied interests who cast an ominous shadow over democratic proceedings in council chambers- witness councilor Doug Holiday’s inopportune glad-handing of Adam’s Mine owner, Gord McGuinty during the garbage debate.( city hall’s anti- lobby bylaws were not enforced) Instead, eye readers are spoon fed paragraphs about the fringe ‘nut’ factor and claims that a mayoralty debate would be a “farce.” So,yet again,the managers of the propaganda system (Torstar-owners of eye magazine) delegitimize political debate and those dissidents and critics who try to expose its dirty laundry.( Gomberg et al)

By the way,the propaganda system includes not just how issues are framed in news stories but how they are presented as entertainment- that huge area of the media that’s simply devoted to diverting people from issues of concern and making them more stupid and passive. Don’t be fooled eye readership, your far more intelligent than Gregory Boyd Bell and the editors at eye magazine would have you believe.Homelessness and tenant’s rights,child poverty,the environment, police accountability, and the growing gap between rich and poor are major election issues that deserve spirited debate and coverage in this city – what are you waiting for eye magazine??

Sponsor mayoralty debates across Toronto and watch the fireworks fly.American dissident Noam Chomsky writes in ‘ Secrets, Lies and Democracy’ – ” … a democratic communication system would be one that involves large-scale public participation, and that reflects both public interests and real values like truth, integrity and discovery.” Let the electorate decipher the intelligible ideas from the unintelligible ones – the sincere candidate from the insincere one – the articulate political analysis from the inarticulate one in this election campaign…or are we doomed to debate the merits of Playstation 1 vs Playstation 2 in the next ‘Media’ column as Mel fiddles while Toronto burns – send in the clowns Mr. Bell.

Sincerely, Davis Mirza.