Thursday, January 07, 2010

Down the Canwest Rabbit Hole

Yesterday’s Canwest story about supposedly missing ammonium nitrate in the lower mainland was short on details and high on irrelevant fear mongering.  I think it was rushed out. Or maybe a night cleaner got on someone’s computer.

Four quick paragraphs to remind you who to fear and loathe:
VANCOUVER — Up to two tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives, has gone missing on its way from Alberta to North Vancouver, the Vancouver Province has learned.
Kinder Morgan, a pipeline and energy storing company, was transporting a huge amount of the chemical compound in one-tonne cubes, but two cubes did not make it to their final destination in North Vancouver.

Ammonium nitrate has been used by the Taliban in Afghanistan to make explosives.

Col. Mark Lee, who heads NATO's effort to stop bomb-makers in southern Afghanistan, was recently quoted in the New York Times saying, "You can turn a bag of ammonium nitrate into a bomb in a matter of hours."
Around the same time the Globe & Mail wrote the same story except they included more facts.  The main fact was that the RCMP and the company believed the missing chemicals to be a clerical error. The RCMP believed they had no probable grounds to believe the stuff was missing, and certainly no reason to suspect a terrorist plot.

Canwest quickly re-wrote their story after the clerical error clarification and over-wrote, with the same URL, the original story quoted above.. Down the memory hole.

It’s not that I trust the RCMP in particular, I just think if I were a journalist I would be skeptical and lean to the clerical error explanation in the absence of any proof whatsoever of a theft or a plot.

But Canwest wasn’t done humping my leg. In the final story they couldn’t resist throwing in a pointless reference to the Oklahoma City bombing. So now in return I get to throw in a pointless reference to white hyper-patriotic opus day Catholics.

We know how dangerous ammonium nitrate is, and the thought of a few tonnes going missing made me very nervous. Especially when you consider that there has been sporadic bombings of oil and gas facilities in Alberta and B.C.  It may or may not be helpful to point out that the so called En Cana bomber is likely a rural land owner, demographically likely to be a Harper voter. (Zing)

I must stop reading these people’s junk.  My left eye has been twitching for two days. Please recommend this post

No comments: