Thursday, March 8, 2012

As always, the media keeps it classy.

I really don't like the Huffington Post. I used to like it, because it was a good source of a lot of different kinds of news and non - news items from varied sources. Over the past while, though, it just seems like the Huff Post (and more so, Huff Post Canada) basically regurgitates stories from other news papers or websites without even bothering to re write. It's lazy journalism at best, especially in a time when so much of our mainstream media is homogeneous and owned by one corporation.

Today, the Huffington Post Canada Front Page really cemented my dislike:

Today, on International Women's Day of all days, they run a front page that demonizes a mother who has lost her child in the most horrifying of ways. They run Blatchford and Dimanno articles as though they are actual sources of news (they're comment pieces, which doesn't count), and sensationalize a day of testimony with a ridiculous headline like "Sins of the Mother".

Tori's Mom Bought Drugs at Home of Child's Killer!

Oxycontin Addiction!

It doesn't matter that the child was never introduced to either of the accused killers, or that testimony has showed her to be a content and happy child who was well taken care of. What matters is that her mother had a substance abuse issue which, according to the defense and to Dimanno and Blatchford, led to the circumstances which allowed her murder. The family moved to a cheaper house, a kilometer away from school, unlike their old home which was right across the street. Apparently, if you can't afford to live somewhere that you can see your child leave school and walk home you are a bad mother. Like, she spent all of her money on Oxycontin, so her child was murdered? That is just plain offensive. There are parents who sell their children for drugs. There are parents who put their children in dangerous situations to get drugs, do drugs, or sell them. Yes, this happens. But that is abuse, and if the defense is going to play this blame game then maybe they should back it up with a child abuse or neglect charge. You can't just insinuate that a mother is culpable for the death of her daughter and then be like "oh never mind." I hope that the jurors in this case ignore the character assassination and focus on the people who abducted this child. So, the murderer and rapist is less guilty because his victim's mom was addicted to Oxycontin? Is that the implication here? She didn't call the police right away when Tori didn't come home, so she is responsible? Guess what, a lot of people are very uncomfortable calling the police. Not to mention, when you do call the police they give you shit for not waiting longer before calling. It's really easy to sit behind a computer and judge the actions of someone else, especially a single mom. There probably isn't a group of people who are more easily stereotyped and demonized than single mothers--in fact, at one time, single mothers were the cause of every societal ill imaginable.

In 2010 there was a publication ban put on the details of this case and "reporters" like Rosie Dimanno went batshit crazy about it, but this is exactly why the judge saw fit to impose the ban in the first place. When anyone's life is under a microscope there will be scandalous details that come to light. There will always be bad things. I for one am glad that this family didn't have to endure these kinds of character attack all year because God knows that idiots like Blatchford and Dimanno have nothing better to do than blame a mother for the murder of her child to sell more newspapers, and the Huffington Post Canada has now proven that they are no better.

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