Stars and stinkers: How the media covers the F-35
Readers of PeaceQuest are no stranger to the typically dreadful reporting of military issues by Canada’s media. Of course there are stellar examples of excellent reporting, but there are some real stinkers, too.
For instance, my email Inbox lit-up on January 11 just minutes after CBC Radio aired an unbalanced interview with three guests who all agreed with the government’s purchase of the controversial F-35 fighter jet. Informed listeners were outraged that such a respected program, The Current, would try to pull a fast-one on listeners.
But now one of our favourite reporters, David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen, has launched a new column in Scott Taylor’s Esprit de Corps Magazine.
Under the website’s menu item labelled “Media Watch,” you’ll find Pugliese’s issue Number 1 of “Counterspin: Defence Media Watch.”
In his column, example follows example of reporters using experts who misrepresent the truth about multi-billion dollar contracts like warships and the F-35, only for it to be revealed these experts are in the pockets of corporations like Lockheed Martin that profit handsomely from the gold-plated weapons.
“[The reporter] did not inform his readers Shimooka’s organization had previously received money from F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin,” writes David Pugliese (pictured)
For example, the Canadian Press’ Lee Berthiaume quoted “F-35 expert Richard Shimooka of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute” and former RCAF commander retired lieutenant-general André Deschamps who praised the F-35. “Berthiaume did not inform his readers Shimooka’s organization had previously received money from F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin,” writes David Pugliese.
Pugliese has built his career by pursuing the highest standard of reporting, earning him several National Newspaper awards and most recently, the Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom.
This is a column we will be watching closely. Congrats to David Pugliese and Esprit de Corps Publisher Scott Taylor for launching this important new feature for readers.
- Read “COUNTERSPIN: DEFENCE MEDIA WATCH (30-1)” by David Pugliese, published by Esprit de Corps on January 31, 2023