Heroes absent from 2013 headlines - Macleans.ca

Heroes absent from 2013 headlines

Tease the day: Cynicism wins the day as new year begins

AP/Susan Walsh

Only four years ago, amidst a deepening economic crisis, America turned to a hero when President Obama took office. What a difference a few years makes. Cynicism runs rampant in this morning’s papers. If we remember the first week of 2013 for “fiscal cliff” deliberations and Idle No More demonstrations, it won’t be for the optimism inspired by either story. The papers are bereft of heroes these days, replaced mostly by scoundrels to be mocked or shamed. Few are cheering for anybody; most cheer against somebody.

Barack Obama, John Boehner, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are the four men reviled most openly, and not even along partisan lines—but as a clump representing the worst of Washington ineptitude. Theresa Spence, who’s doubtless admired by many for undertaking her hunger strike that’s in its fourth week, receives little hero treatment in today’s papers. Her critics’ voices are growing, and even her fans hate the prime minister as much as they love her. Victoria Island is no epicentre of optimism. What a fabulous start to 2013.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with students in Newtown, Connecticut starting school for the new year. The National Post fronts John Ivison’s column suggesting the window for rational debate about Aboriginal issues is closing quickly. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten’s plan to impose contracts on striking school teachers. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the rising death toll in Syria—a new UN estimate is 60,000—thanks to ongoing internal conflict. iPolitics fronts Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s advice to the hunger-striking Theresa Spence. CBC.ca leads with charges filed against five Indian men in connection with the death of a 23-year-old woman who was raped on a bus. National Newswatch showcases Chantal Hebert’s column in the Toronto Star claiming the Idle No More movement could eventually become a challenge for the Harper government.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Carbon tax. A poll commissioned by Environment Canada last year suggested a carbon tax would be unpopular with Canadians, including 43% who strongly disagree with the measure. 2. Tusk smugglers. A pair of Canadians are facing 28 charges in connection with the illegal export of narwhal tusks—the valuable appendages attached to the endangered species.
3. Gun trade. Just before the massacre in Newtown, CT, the Canadian government authorized the export of assault weapons to the violence-plagued country of Colombia. 4. Coins. A former economist with the Bank of Canada is one of several prominent voices calling for the elimination of the nickel from general circulation in Canada.

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