It lives

NPOur fiendish Socialized Health Care Death Panel was unsuccessful in putting the National Post to sleep — though in a chronic vegetative state, it remains on life support:

An Ontario judge has allowed insolvent media giant Canwest Global Communications to shuffle the money-losing National Post into a group alongside its other daily papers, which Canwest has said is the best hope of saving the daily newspaper from going under.

Judge Sarah Pepall, who is presiding over hearings into Canwest’s restructuring, on Friday allowed the company to move the National Post into the Canwest Limited Partnership – which is not among divisions of the company currently operating under creditor protection.

A lawyer for Canwest had told court earlier Friday that not only would the move allow the National Post to keep operating, it is essential to a successful restructuring of the whole company.

The NatPo might be a brainless right-wing rag, but still, I’m never happy to see a media source shut down and jobs lost no matter how scurrilous and slanted the content.   And although I’m sure that content had something to do with the NP’s failing fortunes, the “invisible hand” doesn’t ask to see your party affiliation before it gives you the finger — newspapers as a medium have been taking a beating lately.

That said, I do think it’s a little funny that, rather than let the invisible hand do it’s thing, Canwest is basically forcing its more successful products to prop up the  needy, cash-strapped NatPo —  isn’t that socialism? 😯

24 Responses to “It lives”


  1. 1 Bruce Friday, October 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Damn, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to bother to cancel that subscription.

  2. 2 Calgal Friday, October 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I take your point about not wishing death on any newspaper these days, however I do remember doing my happy dance the day Alberta Report went under. Ditto Western Standard.

  3. 3 CK Friday, October 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    No, it’s not a good thing these days, especially when so many media types these days are losing their jobs. The radio station where my husband (no, not another gasbag; he’s a technical producer; he keeps the asses on the air) works just cut 8 people in the past few months; while some of the hosts who got the axe were pompous, arrogant, annoying and of course, Harpercon friendly; they didn’t deserve to get cut the way they did.

    I also heard that there was an offer to buy the NAT post sometime last year by a more left-leaning group: apparently, Asper or his people said no dice. Someone who prefers to let go of his workers to an uncertain future rather than sell it to someone he doesn’t agree with does not get my sympathy, however.

  4. 4 Shade Friday, October 30, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    CK

    While I have no love for the right wing. Think of it this way if it was a leftie who decided not to sell it to the right wing on the grounds of not agreeing with them, would you still say that?

    I can see why he wouldn’t personally, not that it makes the decision a right one.

  5. 5 Rev.paperboy Friday, October 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    this means the National Toast gets to drag the rest of the chain of half-way decent papers – Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Province, Ottawa Citizen et al – down with them. Crap, the rabies will spread now.

  6. 6 Bruce Friday, October 30, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I remember when the Post started, they spent a fortune seeking and hiring an Art Director from England, the guy knew he was dealing with idealistic snobs and ripped them off.

    They didn’t want to appear too American (go figure), so they wouldn’t hire from New York. They had to hire from England instead, because it was felt by Conrad and his little band of merry men at the time that nobody in Canada was up to the job.

    The whole thing was based on the traditional English broadsheet newspaper system because it was felt this little backward colony needed some lessons in sophistication. You can imagine how well that went over in the Canadian design community.

  7. 7 hemmingforddogblog Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Rev Paperboy: The Montreal Gazette has not been half-way decent in years…sorry. Their website is written by someone in an ESL class.

    I was sort of hoping that the NationalToast would go out of business if only to stop giving Lord Tubby and RalphAlexanderAdrianBob an outlet for their right wing nonsense…oh, well…

  8. 8 Alison S Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Hemmingorddogblog: I agree with your comments about the Montreal Gazette. It’s useful for the obits, comics and movie listings. With luck, the Nat Post will bankrupt the lot and they will have no option but to sell to someone more moderate (and maybe local). The Harper government could then face some honest criticism and maybe wake up the Canadian public to what has actually been going on.

  9. 9 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 10:44 am

    What, nobody’s happy the Natty Po will be hanging in for awhile? Come on, there’s so much great snark bait in the editorials.

    I for one am glad to see it survive, if only for that reason.

  10. 10 Bleatmop Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 11:04 am

    The loss of print media is a serious threat to our democracy, especially since it is one of the few places that long form journalism exists anymore. Too bad they practice journalism at the natpo much like how fox news practices it.

  11. 11 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Shade

    Think of it this way if it was a leftie who decided not to sell it to the right wing on the grounds of not agreeing with them, would you still say that?

    That about nails how I feel.

    I don’t agree with the NP’s editorial POV, but I like to read it sometimes anyway (if only to point and laugh). The editorials can be an absolute riot (except for Colby Cosh who seems like a pretty reasonable guy, IMO).

    The NatPo wouldn’t be the first place I’d go for “hard news”, but since there are more reputable sources for it, I don’t see why a brainless hard-right rag like the NP shouldn’t exist if there’s a market for it. Just for the entertainment value if nothing else!

  12. 12 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Bleatmop

    Too bad they practice journalism at the natpo much like how fox news practices it.

    They’re getting there, but I don’t think they’ve hit bottom yet. — ie. I’ve seen many NP editorials criticizing Obama that didn’t infer that he was a usurper, born in Kenya, or even a Marxist 😆 Who knows, maybe they will clean up their act and bring a little balance into their editorial slant now that it’s clear that their present incarnation isn’t a winning formula.

    IMO, the more information sources we have, the better, no matter how slanted some of them might be. I give people the benefit of doubt to discern if what they’re reading is bullshit (although looking southward at the frenzy that Fox has managed to work its viewers into, one might wonder about this).

  13. 13 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Bruce

    The whole thing was based on the traditional English broadsheet newspaper system because it was felt this little backward colony needed some lessons in sophistication. You can imagine how well that went over in the Canadian design community.

    That’s Lord Tubby’s influence. What a snob!!!

    It’s funny, since it went into the red, the NP has been cutting all kinds of corners I guess, but the first one I noticed was the size of the paper. It went from traditional broadsheet size, which is about, what, 10 columns x 300 lines? to a weird smaller size, still 10 col, but with skinnier columns it looks almost the width of a tabloid (yet still 300 lines deep!).

    So, while it’s not a tabloid yet, it’s on its way.

  14. 14 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Calgal – I have to admit I smirked a little when the Standard bit the dust 😉

  15. 15 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    CK

    I also heard that there was an offer to buy the NAT post sometime last year by a more left-leaning group: apparently, Asper or his people said no dice.

    I wonder who that was. I read somewhere that W. Kinsella was thinking about getting a consortium of Libs together to buy it — maybe that was who you heard about? If that’s the case, I can see why he wouldn’t sell 😆

    Funny though, his dad was a liberal, he’d probably be rolling in his grave to find out what the NP turned into.

  16. 16 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Rev – Good work. National Toast 😆

  17. 17 JJ Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Alison S

    With luck, the Nat Post will bankrupt the lot and they will have no option but to sell to someone more moderate

    It would be nice, but I doubt it would ever happen. There’ll always be some rich wingnut willing to buy them.

  18. 18 Cornelius T.Zen Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    Whilst reading the aforementioned rag, I was struck by the usual plays on such names as: The Grope and Flail, The Mop and Pail, The Natural Pest, The Nominal Ghost, and of course, the national chain of The Stun papers.
    Frank Magazine — now there was journalism! CTZen

  19. 19 Bruce Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Don’t get me started on column widths.

    I haven’t placed an ad in the Star in years so I can’t remember the specs, but somehow they took it upon themselves to re-define what a column is. Basically they went to a narrower format and decided that what counts as a single column in any other paper in world is a double column in the Star.

    Sure, they charge less per column, but you still end up paying more and production people have to deal with their freaky math. Because of it, if you’re doing a national campaign, it means you always have to produce a special version just for the Star to fit their goddamn specs.

    And if you don’t, they have a policy of altering material as they see fit, and they do it without telling you. We’ve sued them over it, they altered a full-page ad I did — to their specs no less — for the Ontario Teacher’s Union, they botched it completely and made the client, Teachers of all people, look like idiots.

    When it comes to papers, I don’t play favourites, in fact, the Post has taken any old crap I gave them and ran it, they don’t give a shit as long as they get paid. I’ve spent time on the phone with just about every newspaper ad rep or production person in the country, but I never got a call from the post. That made me worry too.

    Rant mode off.

  20. 20 RossK Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I fear the Rev is right….

    This flimsiest of life-lines for the NaPo actually dooms all the other deckchairs on the (not-so) Magnificent AsperSons Titanic.

    .

  21. 21 Holly Stick Monday, November 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Cornelius, some of the nicknames may have been started by Richard J. Needham, a columnist for what he often called the Mope and Wail, Goat and Snail, Goad and Flail, etc., etc. He wrote many very funny columns which were collected in several books. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_J._Needham

  22. 22 JJ Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Bruce – Ha! I hear ya. I can remember when a column was a column, all pretty much the same size, and the only difference was whether there were 6 of them or 10 of them. Then suddenly it seemed like every paper had different mechanical specs.

    No wonder production people are all alcoholics (at least all the ones that I’ve ever known).

  23. 23 JJ Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    RossK – That would be unfortunate if true, because I think the Vancouver Sun is still a decent paper — if it goes under I’ll actually have to buy the New York Times to get the New York Times crossword puzzle 😛

  24. 24 JJ Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Holly – Richard Needham was a hoot. Another great one gone, with nobody to fill the gap. (Same with Molly Ivins, Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Vonnegut and a thousand other irreplaceable writers… sigh.)


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