Blog by John Miller

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A fair question

September 16th, 2021


The most influential question of the federal election campaign was hardly noticed in the rest of Canada, but it certainly was in Quebec.

The question, asked by moderator Shachi Kurl at last Thursday’s English language election debate, was tough but fair. It reflected concerns of some racialized groups and others over controversial legislation passed by the Quebec National Assembly to re ...

We need answers

August 19th, 2021

Jack Morris, who helped pitch the Toronto Blue Jays to their first World Series title in 1993 and was recently inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, got in trouble this week and lost his job as a baseball TV analyst.

He mocked Shohei Ohtani, the major league home run leader, on air by using an exaggerated and stereotypical Japanese accent, saying pitchers needed to be “very, very careful” w ...

Shameful neglect

June 1st, 2021

You’re reading it here because you can’t read it anywhere else. Not one major newspaper or media outlet in Canada carried news that should have interested every one of us—Sunday’s press release from the head of the religious order that was responsible for burying 215 bodies of Indigenous children in unmarked graves at a former residential school.

Given the calls for accountability that are ...

Stop the bias

May 22nd, 2021

Several Canadian newspapers carried an Associated Press news story on the carnage in Gaza a week ago. It described the root cause of the conflict between Israel and Hamas this way: “The week of deadly violence, set off by a Hamas rocket Monday, came after weeks of mounting tensions and heavy-handed Israeli measures in contested Jerusalem.”

Such descriptions in news stories are often called ...

Greed, Inc.

February 3rd, 2021

Carl Sagan, the scientist, once identified what he called “one of the saddest lessons of history.” I think it applies in spades today to one of Canada’s largest and greediest employers of journalists, Bell Media.

“It is this,” Sagan said. “If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle … It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we ...

Unfit to print

December 20th, 2020

The story was sensational. A 25-year-old Canadian confessed to being radicalized by ISIS and recruited into travelling to Syria and actually performing executions for the terrorist organization, which he described in graphic detail.

Mainstream media jumped on the story, none harder than the New York Times, which used Shehroze Chaudhry’s confession as the centrepiece of a 12-part audio podcas ...

Rex Mouthful

October 25th, 2020

It’s becoming harder and harder to decide if Rex Murphy is slipping off into delusional self-parody, or just happens to be an ill-informed idiot.

The National Post columnist likes to spout strong views, and frequently poses as an expert in fields he has no experience in. Like racism. As an elderly white man, he has had no personal experience with it, so it was natural for him to write recent ...

Whose head rolls?

August 28th, 2020

Bruce Arthur, the Toronto Star’s marquee sports columnist, signed it. So did veteran, award-winning reporters Peter Edwards, Jennifer Yang, Jesse McLean, Katie Daubs and Wendy Gillis. Scott Colby signed in his position of editor of the Star’s opinion pages. And so did what looks like a multi-cultural majority  of the paper’s younger journalists.

They included team editors, digital producers, ...

Fraudulent martyrs

July 10th, 2020

Protesters in Portland, Oregon, tore down a statue of George Washington the other day. One honoring John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, was taken down by a vote of Victoria city council.

A growing anti-racism movement is about to force its owners to rename the Washington Redskins and perhaps the same fate will befall the Edmonton Eskimos.

Professors and academic administrators ...

Let's get it right

June 16th, 2020

How can Canadian news organizations recognize and cure systemic racism?

It’s hard work. But it’s work that needs to be done.

Prompted by Black Lives Matter protests and fueled by years of empty promises to make themselves more representative of society, some news organizations and schools of journalism are wrestling with demands for change.

Some, like the CBC, are hemorrhaging in public, w ...

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