Dear A News,
Your decision to change from “A Channel” to simply “A” was dumb. What a dumb name. But until now, I’ve kept my mouth shut. Canceling the A Morning show was devastating as I found it to be the only news-like program worth watching on your stupidly named broadcast station. Playing the 11 o’clock news on loop was a boring choice, but I’ve kept quiet and watched it an average of 2.5 times every morning even for the combined 30 minutes of sports, which I have no interest in now that basketball is done, without saying a word. But on Monday you played a repeat of the Friday night news, which included a story about a canada goose couple who have made a home/nest on a meridian in the parking lot of a big box mall, and I absolutely cannot be silent about the poor journalistic standards present in this story.
The canada goose is a noble creature all too often misjudged and ignored due to abundance and prevalence (and the pushy way they move in on the bread thrown to ducks). But they are resilient, intelligent, nurturing animals who have been among the few that have learned to live within the persistent sprawl of Southwestern Ontario. The particular geese you reported on proved this; when they returned to their wetland homeland so inconsiderately and baselessly converted to the ultimate symbol of capitalist folly – the big box mall- they made themselves a home on the last bit of dirt they could find. What tenacity! And what did you do? You made fun of them.
Sure you cannot help the content of your vox pop – a young woman commenting on how mean the daddy goose is for doing what comes naturally and protecting his nesting wife and their eggs against SUVs and slacked-jawed looky-loos – but your reporter could have concentrated on the real story. The story about how city planners, zoning granters, money-hungry building developers, and mindless consumers of fair London have all unknowingly conspired to deprive baby geese of a suitable home. How wetlands have been traded for ill-conceived suburban sprawl and wasteful pedestrian-un-friendly shopping compounds (that do away with resource splitting and intelligent urban design). And, when you did report on the loss of wetlands you framed the loss only as a cumulative destruction across Ontario over the past century and a half without noting how heightened this loss has become in the last decade in London. You lamented how this loss has impacted the flooding of the city of London, inconveniencing people, without noting at all the devastation to non-human beings.
And then, you signed the piece off with “maybe they just want attention.”
Well, frankly, attention must be payed! But not to floods causing mild annoyance to people or the fact that *big surprise* male geese are aggressive when protecting their young. But to the fact that Canadian geese now have to risk being run over and losing their young under your brand new all-season tires because the only place left to nest in the region where they remember being raised is outside the La Vie En Rose outlet store (which doesn’t even carry underwear for women over a size 12).
I’d take a thousand geese shitting on my lawn to another WalMart in my backyard/wetlands any day.
**i’ve been asked to note that t. brought this my attention first, before i saw it. so…noted**