Saturday, 19 June 2010

Conservatives Attempt to Shift Canadian Culture

Canadians pride themselves on being different than Americans. To quote the first President Bush we are "a kinder gentler nation". President Bush was not talking about Canada but rather suggesting that Americans could become that way. That obviously has not happened and the United States continues to be a deeply divided country where there is little respect between Liberal and Conservative viewpoints. On American cable news television you can see the huge contrast between the liberal MSNBC and the conservative Fox News Network. In Canada, our Conservatives used to be "Progressive" and we had some that were called "Red Tories". That has changed and the Progressives and Reds lost their place in the Conservative Party after it was taken over by the Reform Party under the leadership of Stephen Harper. Canadian media, while sometimes accused of a liberal bias, reflected the mainstream of Canadian culture. Canadians are generally moderate, in the middle people. The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper has been in charge for a few years but still has only about one third support as it does run a minority Parliament contrary to the wishes of the 3 opposition parties who have never had the courage to vote together no confidence in the government. Since Harper came to power there has been one election which he himself called in a failed attempt to get the majority.

Now there is an attempt to establish a shift in the media with a proposed new right wing television network that appears to be modeled after the American Fox News. I am not suggesting that they have no right to express their views (with which I disagree) but I am saying we should not all be forced to pay for their programming. The channel is to take over the existing Sun TV (rerun channel) and turn it into Sun TV News starting January 2011. I oppose the application to make it a mandatory Tier 1 cable and satellite channel where everybody has to pay them a fee. Their application for CRTC approval is to make it a "must offer" but not a "must carry" channel. With that classification all cable companies would have to pay it a fee and be required to offer it to all subscribers nationally. Regardless of whether you choose to receive it you would be required to pay for it. It should be optional so that only those who want to watch it will pay for it. I started and encourage you to join my Facebook Group: Tell your cable company you don't want Sun TV

Where does this new attempt to shift Canadian culture originate and who is behind it. This is what I know:

It all started in 1971 When John Bassett shut down the moderately conservative Toronto Telegram newspaper, a perpetual money loser. Some of the employees headed by the right wing Peter Worthington went on to start the Toronto Sun, Toronto's first daily tabloid newspaper, whose publisher was Douglas Creighton. Barbara Amiel (who later became the wife of Conrad Black)succeeded Peter Worthington as Editor. It tried to be a Conservative populist newspaper. The Sun spread to other cities with its easy to read format, simplification of news, and Sunshine Girl photos. It was never known for the quality of news reporting. Early in my career as a lawyer I was involved in a successful lawsuit against the Sun for defamation. In that case the veteran Sun reporter, Robert Reguly, admitted that he completely made up the story.

In 1998 Quebecor, a right wing leaning media conglomerate owned by Pierre Karl Peladeau (son of company founder Pierre Peladeau) bought out the Sun Newspapers. They also owned TV stations and developed a format of low cost rerun programming which is called Sun TV. Now the plan is to convert Sun TV into Sun TV news a conservative biased television network headed by Kory Teneycke who until July 2009 was media director for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The format is to be news by day and opinion in the evening for what used to be called "Prime Time" (before the internet took over). This news channel, like most news channels, will be considered boring by most Canadians and get very few viewers. It is amazing how few people watch CBC Newsworld and CTV Newsnet in Canada and the same is true for the Fox News Network and MSNBC in the US.

What makes me angry is the attempt to force everyone to pay for biased news reporting. I have chosen not to buy the Toronto Sun newspaper for almost 40 years but now they are trying to force me and all other Canadians to pay for them to spout their nonsense. My views may be considered nonsense by them, but I would not try to force everyone to pay for Liberal or NDP TV no matter what name it is given. Our basic television service should include non-biased (to the extent possible) and certainly non-partisan news coverage with balanced opinion debates giving equal time to different points of view. Tell your cable company you don't want Sun TV.


WesternGrit said...

If the CRTC approves this license, they should also be forced to mandate a need for a TV News channel for the left (granting that most channels now serve the moderate "center"). There has to be a "bookend" to keep the Conservatives honest in this country...

Deno said...

I’ve been force to pay for CBC’s left wing swill through my taxes and cable bill for my entire adult life. The only way I could fight back against the CBC’s left wing propaganda is to program it off my PVR and today my teen age kids don’t even know what CBC is.

Sun News will not be supported by taxpayer’s dollars and it you don’t like what they say don’t watch the station but that not good enough for you. You seem to believe that only points of views that you agree with should make it on the airways.

Canada has always had millions of people with a right of centre point of view it is only now that we are beginning to take Canada back from the socialist hell its been in the last 50 years.


Tomm said...


Couldn't agree more.

I wish people with negative reactions to open news would really take a look at what they are suggesting.

It amounts to censorship. They are trying to block information and analysis that doesn't fit their world view.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Deno. As a western Canadian, CBC and CTV, for that matter, became irrelevant to me years ago.
Western Grit,--we already have a more than adequate "left-leaning" eastern media. I am tired of the Toronto group interpreting for me what I should think as a Canadian. When you consider the coverage that Geurgis-gate, Wafer-gate, Afghan-gate, abortion-gate, and every other "faux scandal" that the Canadian media tries to foist on us, ad nauseum, it is time for a change.
Even today, not one major outlet is covering the story that the Chinese President and the Prime Minister of India are arriving to secure agreements with Harper's gov't. for trade to boost the economies of all three gov'ts.
Also not publicized is the fact that Ignatieff (in spite of his "get back to work" after prorogation), is ranked 307th out of 308th for the WORST attendance and lack of votes in parliaments. Over 60% of Liberals missed at least 20 or more votes in this session. Perhaps Canadians need to know what a waste of their taxpayer dollars is going to MP's who fail to represent their constituents. But you're never going to hear this on CBC or CTV, are you?

Anonymous said...

I am lol'ing that you can actually say CBC isn't biased and mean it. It is a huge mouthpiece for the Libs, and the vast majority of people know it.

The CBC's Board of Directors gave 85% of their donations to the Liberal party. Examples on Youtube of their bias ABOUND, just do a simple search. It may not be possible to prove this bias beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is on certainly biased on the balance of probabilities. And no matter how many Fiberals try to pull the wool over Canadians' eyes, most of us intuitively know the truth.

Murray H. Miskin said...

The main argument for Sun TV being mandatorily funded is that the CBC is biased on the left or Liberal side. I disagree with that but if people feel that way they should work against the bias on CBC. The issue here is should the regulator (CRTC) intentionally require all subscribers to pay for a partisan, biased Conservative network. This is not an issue of equal time. It is a situation where two wrongs do not make a right.
Sorry Deno I will not publish your link to a Sun newspaper article even though it is written by a professor. I had already read it and the article has been fully promulgated already elsewhere.

Deno said...


It is your blog and your right to post or not post anything you want.

I'm glad you have read the article to see some of the bias of the CBC documented by academics.

When you say “The issue here is should the regulator (CRTC) intentionally require all subscribers to pay for a partisan, biased Conservative network”
You sure are showing your own biases, I’ve been force to pay for the CBC leftwing biases through my taxes and cable bill for more the 30 years of my adult life, where was your complaints about I as a Canadian with strong right of centre beliefs be shown on the CBC as a bigot or as a religious nut? The CBC mandate was to showcase Canada to all Canadians yet the millions of Canadians with right of centre point of views saw quite quickly that the CBC never show Canadians with strong right of centre beliefs in a good light if they talked about them at all. In CBC view of Canada all Canadians view government as good (as long as the Liberals are in power) and business as bad. People with strong right of centre points of view are simply un-Canadian.

I read blogs from conservatives, liberals and New Democrats so I get a good cross section of opinions and view on current events, I relish the day that I can get that from television news because right now there isn’t one in Canada.

BTW from my right of centre point of view Fox News in the US is by far the fairest news channel in the US. I’m sure that you with your left of centre view would completely disagree with me just like you don’t see CBC’s left of centre biases so from your perspective it’s ok that I am force to pay through my taxes and cable bill for the CBC because you see them as a fair and balanced news organization. Ask anyone with a strong right of centre point of view if they think the CBC is fair and balanced and you will virtually always get the answer “NO!”

As for working to get the CBC to change, since the people that run the CBC do not see their own biases they will never “fix” what they consider is not broken.

This is why virtually all conservatives want the CBC privatized because it is beyond “fixing”.


Murray H. Miskin said...

I am pleased to report that the CRTC has rejected the Sun News application for preferred status on cable and satellite and it will have to compete for viewers like everyone else. Bravo CRTC!

Anonymous said...

You sound Like a Liberal supporter so who do you vote for. A news station that supports a political party is not a true democratic news station and stoping one from free speach is a controled political meda news station yes or no

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