THIS PAST WEEKEND, Trump arrived in Kamloops, and it was an ugly scene. Using the words made famous by former U.S. president Donald Trump, one or more vandals spray painted “FAKE NEWS” and splattered paint on a Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) news vehicle while it was parked in a downtown parking lot on Sunday evening, April 4.
It wouldn’t have mattered which news agency the vandals had chosen, it was an outrageous thing to do. The vandals are untruthful. And a cowardly thing as well.
As a start, after years of being a politician, and from other activities I’m involved in, I know that across the board, the local print and broadcast media is open to interviewing almost anyone. If there is a story, every media outlet is looking to cover it.
The vandals were cowards. If they had wanted to show their faces, and state their case of why the CBC, or news outlets in general, were fake news, there would have been Kamloops media types ready to cover the story. But they hid in the night, and vandalized instead.
The vandals were untruthful. Not agreeing with stated facts does not make a news report fake news. Not agreeing with a news agency’s opinion pieces does not make an editorial fake either.
Over the years, I’ve heard criticisms from others in Kamloops of all the major news agencies. This news agency is too leftwing. That one is too rightwing. That reporter is biased this way. That reporter is biased that way.
I would agree that each news agency tends to approach stories from a specific perspective. But that does not make their reporting fake. In fact, I would say we are lucky to have a variety of perspectives and opinions, which allows us to get a well-rounded view of what’s happening.
The vandals are outrageous because as much as anything, news reporters are doing what all of us are doing in these COVID times. They are showing up and doing their job, often in trying situations. Threatening them with vandalism is outrageous.
I’m not the one who has to go the scene of a multi-vehicle fatality and report what happened. You don’t have to sit through days of harrowing testimony of a sexual assault trial.
We all benefit from reporters sifting through reams of data to make sense of COVID, and of asking tough questions of politicians of what’s happening in extended care homes, schools and ICU wards.
COVID has taken over the news, and maybe that was the fake news these vandals were protesting against. We’re all tired of hearing about COVID every day. But that doesn’t make it fake.
We’re all tired of another day of COVID stories. But thank goodness for the news agencies. They save us all a huge amount of time by informing us on the most important issues such as vaccines, school exposures and travel restrictions.
If legitimate news agencies are fake news, then where should we get our news? Facebook and other social media sites have unlimited amounts of information. But it is posted without any verification of its authenticity or accountability.
In Kamloops, we are very lucky to have so many great news reporters working in print, broadcast, and online media over this last year of COVID. The cowards who vandalized the CBC vehicle should have as much courage to show their faces and back up their claims.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.