Just The Facts, Ma’am

Ray van der Woning

Well, with all the hooplah surrounding the freakshow at Toronto’s Pearson Airport yesterday it was both refreshing and illuminating to watch how Canadian journalism handled the event.

Essentially, for most of the day, we saw live feeds of the President of the GTAA suffer the barrage of reporters’ questions, and deal only in fact. He refused to speculate one iota on ‘probable cause’, relegating that to the TSB.

Even on the news at six, the news casts were pretty sedate, and the few experts they spoke to were equally succinct.

Contrast this to the Exited State Of America, where if this had happened at any US airport, the T-word would have been uttered immediately, and CNN’s Myles O’Brien would have given us all a heart-felt play-by-play of the sheer gut-wrenching terror felt by each and every one of those 309 passengers. Aaron Brown would have had legions of ‘experts’ regale us with every possible scenario under the sun and the sombre music and big cartoony graphics would have played in the background.

Nancy pointed out that one wonk on Canadian TV suggested the smell of jet fuel was eerily similar to the smell on the streets of NYC on 9/11. She observed, quite correctly, that the smell is also exactly the same as any daily drive past Pearson Airport on a muggy day in August.

And yet, if this were an American television news event, the Twin Towers would have fallen a dozen times a minute in an endless re-run that would have seemed like a bad thrill ride that just wouldn’t end.

Evidently CNN rushed the story to air and had early on reported that it was a Lufthansa aircraft that crashed. That’s some fact-checking.

CNN: Credibility Not Needed.

Told you we weren’t done.

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