Best of Vancouver 2012 contributors' picks: Media
For the Georgia Straight’s 17th annual Best of Vancouver issue, our editorial team has spent months on the lookout for good deeds, weird urban details, and various howlers to highlight. Here’s our contributors’ picks for Best of Vancouver 2012.
Best source of forbidden knowledge
For 12 years, one of the most interesting amateur radio shows on the Internet has been coming, on a weekly basis, out of New Westminster. Black Op Radio is an indefatigable resource on what researcher Peter Dale Scott terms “indecorous” topics that range from CIA drug trafficking to the assassinations of the ’60s and beyond—in particular, that of JFK, which is where host Len Osanic’s interest began. In the ’90s, Osanic struck up a working friendship with the late L. Fletcher Prouty—aka “Mr. X” in director Oliver Stone’s JFK—and he began broadcasting from his Fiasco Bros. Recording Studios in April 2000. “Because I was well known for working with Fletcher Prouty, we always had people that were willing to be interviewed,” Osanic said of guests who have included Jesse Ventura, Marina Oswald, Mark Lane, Greg Palast, and Peter Phillips of Project Censored. For Osanic’s part, he calls himself “an interested citizen”, while the value of the commercial-free program is obvious to his 10,000 regular listeners. “I let my guests talk,” he says. In a nutshell, Osanic is the Nardwuar of deep political research.
Best left-wing alternative to mainstream morning radio
Media Mornings on Co-Op Radio is an ideal antidote for progressives who hate those damn traffic reports between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Often hosted by former COPE trustee Jane Bouey, the show keeps listeners up-to-date on the latest protests, labour actions, and shenanigans coming out of Vancouver City Hall, as well as imperialist outrages by the Harper government. It may not sound as polished as CBC, CKNW, or News 1130, but it makes up for that in substance. Check it out at 100.5 on the FM dial.
You’re guaranteed to hear things that will never crack the mainstream media.
Best helpful “news” story during an election campaign
The 2011 municipal election campaign was in full swing. Occupy Vancouver was occupying the headlines, and Suzanne Anton, the NPA’s mayoral candidate opposing Vision Vancouver’s incumbent, Gregor Robertson, was making political hay with the art-gallery demonstrators. Then, on the evening news on October 30, Global TV B.C. ran with an unattributed story that rats were overrunning the Occupy site. Now Anton had the spectre of diseased vermin to throw at the permissive Robertson, along with other public dangers such as drugs, fire, political enlightenment, and social justice. And Anton ran with it, as did the rest of Vancouver’s uncritical media. The trouble was, no one could find anyone who had actually seen a rat, not that this would be unusual in Vancouver. A Global staffer rebuffed the Straight in its inquiries, and CKNW told us they had just repeated what Global reported. What no one seemed to find newsworthy enough to report was that Anton’s campaign vice-chair (and NPA board member), Simon Jackson, was the son of Global TV assignment editor Clive Jackson. We are positive, though, that this was merely a coincidence.