I'm more and more of the mind that the primary job of the news media is to find stupid, insignificant shit and make it into a big deal. Because it's totally irrelevant and worthy of being ignored, it puts them in good stead to be the first to "break" an important story. They can thus market themselves as "cutting edge" or some other bullshit as a way to sell advertising space and subscriptions.
Take this story in all the major Canadian dailies that NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair mused that, since Obama hasn't produced any photos of bin Laden's body, they probably don't exist. Now, tell me, in the scheme of conspiracy theories - that 9/11 was an inside job, that the US military has UFOs at area 51, that Obama wasn't born in the US and is a secret African socialist Islamic agent bent on destroying the Christian and free enterprise character of the United States of America - does this rate even a mention? Seriously, this is the kind of thing you say when you're out with your buddies having a beer or sitting with your family at a holiday dinner:
Uncle Barry: "If he had the photos, they'd be all over CNN. Come on, they blasted pics of Saddam Hussein's bullet-ridden bodies all over the place."
Aunt Sue: "He doesn't want to get people even more riled up by suggesting disrespect for the dead. You don't want to give terrorists another excuse to blow things up."
Uncle Barry: "Hmmm. Maybe. Pass the gravy?"
And that would be the end of that.
The real issue, I'm convinced is the deeper point that he makes: did the US break international law by going into a private home in a non-belligerent country with the intention to shoot-to-kill bin Laden regardless of whether he was armed or not. Did they kill an unarmed man? Frankly, the NDP's official response that "we are happy the U.S. tracked down Osama bin Laden” is worse than pathetic. How about - hey, the USA and its allies, including Stephen Warpig Harper have used bin Laden for the last ten years as an excuse to justify killing hundreds of thousands of people in several countries stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Chinese border. How about, Harper - and before him the Liberals - have used the war on terror to justify taking away our civil rights and spending tens of billions of dollars on a war in Afghanistan that has done nothing but kill innocents and prop up warlords and heroin kingpin and now they're about to spend tens of billions of dollars on stupid, over-priced fighter jets. After all that blood and treasure wasted to stop the evil Osama bin Laden why isn't it unreasonable to ask when the wars and defense spending justified by the hunt against bin Laden and the - mostly disrupted and demoralized - al Qaeda will be ended. Why isn't it reasonable to expect the country supposedly fighting to defend international law and respect for human rights, the USA, actually follow international law and not abrogate the most basic law that permits one the right to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial? Or is that right only reserved for westerners who agree with the likes of Bush, Obama and Harper? It is deeply disappointing that the NDP lacks the spine to take on something so basic, obvious and cost-free - Canadians are morons, we can figure out hypocrisy and double-standards.
Conspiracy theory: NDP deputy leader Mulcair doubts U.S. has bin Laden photos - thestar.com