ELIZABETH JOHNS’ “YELLOW JOURNALISM” DEMONIZES ONKWEHONWE!
MNN. Jan. 25, 2007. Elizabeth Johns suddenly came on the scene in Cornwall Ontario. She is 21 years old, a recent Ryerson Journalism graduate still wet behind the ears. In no time at all, she has become a front page banner reporter for the Cornwall Standard Freeholder. She writes sensational stories, and we do mean ‘stories. The main plot and theme of these imaginative presentations focus on discrediting the Mohawks, Cornwall’s neighbor across the river.
Young Miss Johns has presented what she called “objective fact” but in fact was a biased opinion on just about every story that trickles off her computer. Most are unsubstantiated rumors, innuendos and charges. She must have gotten “A” in “yellow journalism” 340 at Ryerson.
She wrote about the two young cousins from Cornwall Island who had been murdered by two “hit men” sent in by the Bikers. These men were caught. A sensational story appeared starting on the front page giving extensive information on the leads, evidence and police reports. This eventually led the defense to declare that their clients could not get a fair trial in Cornwall or anywhere. They might get off scott free! Whose agenda does this serve? How did this sweet looking girl get ahold of police files that should have remained confidential to protect the integrity of the justice system?
The Cornwall Standard Freehold has come to be known as the editor?s mouthpiece. It publishes only the facts that the editor thinks are fit to print, rather than a full account that would be fair to everyone.
This L’il Miss Poison spread the story of a Mohawk lawyer on the front page with a photo. He had been falsely charged with sexual harassment. The story was written in a way that effectively destroyed the man’s reputation and tried to ruin his business, with the editor’s approval, of course. She stuck her knife into him and took slices off him. She did not double and triple check her sources or read between the lines of what she was told by the band council. They wanted to get rid of him and made up the charges that they thought would stick, but did not. So what’s she going to do about it now?
Her story was highly destructive and almost ruined his life. For all the harm done, this “cracked” reporter didn’t even bother to attend his trial. When the case finally got heard, he won, but at what cost? The result was acknowledged on the front page. It was too little too late. The damage was already done. Can he be given back those five years of hell on earth?
This young lady’s initiatives don’t stop here. She also wrote a disparaging story about the daughter of an Akwesasne activist who has been constantly harassed at the border at a port that is right in the middle of the community. She finally brought complaints against them before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. The story tore that young girl up and questioned her integrity. Did little Miss Muffet report on the appeal to the Human Rights Commission? We don’t think so.
Who benefits from all this demonization of the Mohawks? One theory is that there is a fight between the Ontario Provincial Police with the local Cornwall Police over control of the city. It sounds like a turf war by street gangs. But these are the cops!! How are they protecting the citizens? We all know that newspapers depend on the police for tips on their stories and so they maintain a close relationship.
It started in April of 2006 when the New York Times came to Akwesasne to do a story on one of our business people. They got all kinds of information that could only come from police sources. The entire story was engineered for one purpose. The Mohawks have to be neutralized. Our spokespeople have to be discredited.
There is an attempt to stymie the position of the Mohawks as defenders of Onkwehonwe rights. In the 1920?s Paul K. Diabo, an iron worker, working in the U.S. brought a case to stop the colonial governments from stopping us from going into the U.S. to live and work. It went to the Supreme Court of the United States. It established that all Indians have a right to cross into the U.S. without hindrance because we are the original people of Turtle Island. We have continued our yearly demonstration of this right to cross this imaginary line at Niagara Falls.
For the conglomerates that are trying to run the world, multinational corporations, banks and the governments they control must neutralize all their opposition. The New York Times is one of their major mouthpieces. That’s why the yellow journalism started there. And the rest are following in hot pursuit.
Many reports on Onkwehonwe have been inaccurate or biased and the public has little means of verifying what was written. The newspaper wields a lot of political power. Little Miss Intrepid and the Freeholder often exploit their position with regard to the Onkwehonwe by putting out flamboyant and irresponsible approaches to news. The Freeholder has taken a lead in presenting distorted stories, sensationalism and misleading images for the sole purpose of boosting newspaper sales. Or could they be supporting another agenda? One of the agendas could possibly be the purported removal of the Mohawks from Akwesasne, a strategic area.
Because of the internet, newspapers are losing circulation, advertisers and money. Yellow journalism appears to be making a big comeback in this climate. Johns appears to be willing to produce this kind of journalism of fabricating a story to fit someone’s agenda.
Something’s missing in this kid’s education. Her editor and Ryerson should both be ashamed. She’s only 21 and she’s already destroyed the reputations of so many people.