Link of the Day: “The Agenda with Steve Paikin”

TVO, for those of you who don’t know it, is a provincial public television station that has adopted to the new media landscape and become “Ontario’s public educational media organization.” The Agenda with Steve Paikin is one of its leading programs, not to mention one of the best current affairs shows on television.

If you follow Steve Paikin on Twitter, then you may already know why I’m linking to the show this morning. Apparently, there was some unrest in the Esplanade last night, and Paikin was on hand to witness what he called “police brutality” against a journalist claiming to work for the Guardian. Twitter monologues are rather difficult to link to, but thankfully OpenFile has reprinted the whole thing on one page. If you want to read the report straight from the source, it starts here and ends here.

This is one person’s account of events, of course – but when that person is Steve Paikin, people take notice and word gets around. It’s not the best news that could have emerged from the G20, and there are many reasons why I hate to be the one to bring it to you. But by now, I’m not nearly the first; if you hadn’t heard about Paikin’s report from me, then you would have heard it about it from someone else soon enough.

What’s notable about Paikin’s account is the tenor of it. Paikin is passionate, but he’s reasoned and fair. The questions he asks may be difficult, but they’re also informed and not unwarranted. Compare this report, for example, to some of the more emotional and/or less informed criticisms of the police that you may have read yesterday.

On the other hand, do like Justin Stayshyn – a fellow who I’ll tell you more about in a future post – and compare Paikin to a journalist like Maclean’s editor Andrew Coyne. Just a few hours prior to Paikin’s report, Coyne asked if we could all stop calling “them” protesters, because “they’re not protesting anything, any of them, including the ‘peaceful’ ones.” Those aren’t exactly the words of a man with an even-handed take on the issues.

At any rate, there’s bound to be more to come about this incident – along with many events and non-events alike – as the G20 continues to unfold. Stay tuned to the more reasoned and moderate reports if you can, and if you’re anywhere near the protests, do stay safe.

Posted in Link of the Day