It’s a nice Sunday afternoon, I’m reading through the news. An insane image shows up of a man on fire on the front page of the Observer forty minutes ago with the headline “Flames at Ipperwash.”
The entirety of the news article was mostly about the situation twenty years ago, with only one sentence about the image and situation today:
The brother of a native protester shot dead by an OPP sniper 20 years ago was engulfed in flames Sunday during a dispute near here between natives marking the return of a disputed former federal military camp.
Of course there is no author attached to this piece of “news.” On Twitter, a past London Free Press journalist links to the piece (all owned by Sun Media). Her tweet is the following.
Peaceful march turns violent. Dudley George's brother on fire at Ipperwash. http://t.co/GJ1IpqIoHn
— Megan Stacey (@meganestacey) September 20, 2015
If I was to stop there I would be lead to believe that either Pierre George let himself on fire as a protest, or was attacked by a flamethrower by someone at the protest.
Witnesses say Pierre George was injured when he accidentally set himself ablaze while pouring gasoline on a fire that had been set by the protesters to get the attention of people marching to celebrate the return of Camp Ipperwash.
Sun Media and The Observer are guilty of baiting people into clicking on their news which is not news at all. It’s a sensationalized attempt to get a click – it offers a harmful and racist sentence to invoke fear and misinformed judgement of the situation. If Sun Media’s shoddy reporting with questionable ethics is continued to be allowed to call itself news then we are doing a disservice to us all, especially the First Nation’s communities that they are reporting on.