Last week the Vancouver Observer published a scare story criticising the Harper government’s extensive spying on anti-oilsands groups. The writer explained that the “federal government” (wait, I thought it was Harper?) has been “vigorously spying” on anti oil sands activists and organizations across the country. Adding some fuel to the fire, they also hinted at a financial scandal claiming that the government is “subsidizing the energy industry in underwriting their costs”.
Like most claims of government spying, the story quickly went viral and was widely shared through social media. As public interest began to ignite the Observer published a follow-up story– this time quoting politicians including Green Party leader Elizabeth May, NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen. The article claimed that “politicians, environmentalists and First Nations alike are infuriated”.
While there’s a genuine reason to be infuriated over this story one would be misguided (in this case) to direct their anger towards the government. Because like their editor Linda Solomon, (intentionally or not) the Observer’s coverage of this story has been deceptive. The reality of this story appears to be more sinister than the Observer implies- only, it’s the politicians, journalists, and activists we need to be concerned about- they’re enabling a monster.