Sunday, November 7, 2010

St.Catharines Standard reporter promotes attacks on priests

Grant Lafleche wrote in "Why do we entertain this wackiness?" (St.Catharines Standard, Nov.6, 2010):

"The great American columnist H.L. Mencken once wrote that the truth "is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes."

A wise man that Mencken. Our preference for retreat into mendacity is on display everywhere. And this month's offering is, ah, more mendacious than most.

I'm talking about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who posted a clip of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 movie The Circus on YouTube, claiming he has spotted a time traveller!

The clips shows a rather heavy-set woman walking along with her hand to her ear. This is taken by Clarke to be a cellphone, meaning the woman must be from the future. Dun dun dunnn!

Now some, in serious and sober tones in lengthy Internet debates, have tried to debunk this by pointing out that it can't be a cellphone our rotund lady is carrying because there were no cell towers in 1928.

Yes, my lovelies, THAT'S the problem with this idea. No cell towers. The whole Back to the Future deal? No worries there. A cellphone with no towers? That's the looney part.

To borrow from Mary Walsh, if you think this idea is something to be taken seriously on any level whatsoever, you are so dense that light will actually bend around you. (Physics joke. Ask Stephen Hawking if you don't get it.)

This isn't clever or entertaining. It's just stupid. And it burns. Most unfortunately, this sort of nonsense is given a degree of credibility by my profession. One newspaper called it a "time travel mystery."

Yah, it's a mystery if we redefine the word to mean: "Mindless commonplace thing we arbitrarily assign meaning to out of a catastrophic sense of boredom. Also see: golf."

Look, it's not a time traveller. She doesn't have a pimped out Delorean or a cellphone. A brain is an awful thing to waste folks.

We reporters are, I am sorry to say, often far too credulous. It happens all the time. You know, someone thinks they see Jesus in their cheese toast and instead of saying "yah, that's nuts" and putting it aside, reporters actually take it seriously.

"Is this just an odd pattern in cheese or the face of the sky god? No one can say for sure?," is the common refrain.

Can't say for sure? Listen, coo-coo for Cocopuffs, it's melted cheese and bread, not a gateway to the divine!

It happens with a whole list of nutty things: UFO sightings, intelligent design, Bigfoot, the St. Catharines mayor's race ... the list goes on and on. And they get treated as though they aren't totally insane because there exists this idea that there are two sides to every story.

Poppycock. Sure, in a debate over taxes or defence spending there will be multiple, relevant views. But ask yourself, does a homeopath have a relevant view on cancer treatment? Does the Taliban have a view on physics that we should consider seriously? Should we call on an astrologer when writing a story about the latest findings from the Hubble telescope?

(You can argue with me about this and say the answer is yes, but you'd be wrong.)

Sometimes there isn't another side. Sometimes evidence, facts and that little thing called reality speaks for itself and we don't need to take seriously, even for a moment, a malcontent in search of attention claiming he has found a time traveller.

In the end, I find myself in agreement with the Irish comic Dara O'Briain who said, "Right now I would take homeopaths and I'd put them in a big sack with psychics, astrologers and priests. And I'd close the top of the sack with string, and I'd hit them all with sticks. And I really wouldn't be bothered who got the worst of it."

So if you will excuse me, I have to go shopping for a burlap sack and hunk of lumber and a ticket to Ireland."


Put 'em in a big burlap sack and hit them with sticks: you read it correctly. The St.Catharines Standard's premier reporter, Grant Lafleche, has no problem with the kidnapping, attacking, and assaulting of priests, among a number of other perceived 'enemies'. Why - he'd also join in.

This is nice to know, isn't it?

Why did St.Catharines Standard publisher Judith P. Bullis, and editor Andrea Kriluck, entertain and publish Lafleche's hate-filled rant?
- see also here.
- see also here
- see also John Robbins article in Bullet News,  July 9, 2015 regarding Lafleche's intolerance and bigotry

1 comment:

R.Bobak said...

oh, yeah, Ole Grant Rant la Flesh went nutso again in his Mar.18, 2013 St.Catharines Standard column, with vile attacks aimed at the new Pope.
The next day, Mar.19, 2013, the St.Catharines Standard actually had to print a tepid 'apology' (which they called a "clarification") stating that the quotes which their employee Grant LaFleche had eagerly used in his column to slime the Pope were non-verifiable.
Yep - editors Erica Bajer and big boss Wendy Metcalfe just didn't bother checking their "award-winning" reporter/stenographer/l'il Hitchens-Lite Lafleche's sources, before printing his rant!
The Standard only 'apologized' for "any misunderstanding" - but, anyone reading Lafleche's ravings could not help BUT understand exactly what Gotcha Grant peddles. Grant's graduated from having wet dreams about hitting priests with lumber, to providing fairy-tale fake-quotes in his stories. Looks like another Duranty in the making.