Our own little Faux

BOOM!  A few days ago it was as if someone had set off a stink bomb as the Canadian progressive blogosphere roiled and recoiled with revulsion and dry heaves at the prospect of a Canucki version of Fox News. Obviously, the purpose of this sinister new channel would be to poison the innocent minds of credulous Canadians too dumb to discern Truth (seemingly the exclusive preserve of the CBC) from the regurgitations of right-wing propagandists.   Do not adjust your set, but maybe adjust your tinfoil hat:

Quebec billionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau is attempting a major shakeup of television news in Canada, with plans to launch a 24-hour cable channel modelled on the right-leaning U.S. network Fox News.

And bloggers aren’t the only ones vexed about the idea of a Fox-style braaaaaahhhdcast:

The first time I met Kory Teneycke, he told me that Canada needed a Fox News channel of its own.

I impolitely told him what he could do with the idea and we didn’t speak again for four years.

Ouchie… you know an idea has gone over like the proverbial lead balloon when it’s met with four(4) years of stony silence.

But not from me.  It seems like a pretty simple concept:  if it’s a good idea and people want it, it will succeed.  If it’s not, it won’t.  And if people want it, who am I to say they shouldn’t have it if private enterprise will provide it?

Some are concerned about propaganda — Woohoo, all Stephen Harper all the time! (Zzzzzzz) — and its potentially negative effect on wider discourse.  Stateside, Fox has done more than its fair share to poison the political climate — some of its talking heads are so deranged that they’d be better off neutered and caged in a zoo for the Criminally Insane to serve as horrible warnings about the dangers of overmedication and untreated syphilis. But somehow I doubt that Fox’s stable of inveterate bullshitters and bawling madmen would be taken seriously here in Canada, or at least not for long.

And after all, we got the supposedly left-leaning Al-Jazeera, so why shouldn’t conservatives get Fox Lite if there’s enough of them to make it viable?  Let us Celebrate Diversity, even in broadcasting! (Or braaaaahhhcasting, whatever the case may be.)

43 Responses to “Our own little Faux”


  1. 1 apophaticattic Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I agree. Let the billionaire waste his money. It isn’t as if we don’t already get Faux news anyway from south of the border. I suspect Fox fans will remain loyal to Fox (which will always be more right wing than any Canuck spin-off would ever be) and his network will go the way of the National Post, but what do I know.

  2. 2 Cornelius T. Zen Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Good morrow, all!
    At last! A place for Charles Addled, er, I mean, Adler!
    Does this mean that CRTC will now stand for “Canadian Rednecks Take Control?”
    Just sayin’ – CTZen

  3. 3 Bruce Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:23 am

    What about CTV Newsnet? Does anybody watch it? Is it still on the air?

    I wish the dude luck, he’s really gonna need it.

  4. 4 Reality.Bites Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

    He’s looking for mandatory carriage on basic cable/satellite, which if he gets it means he succeeds whether anyone watches or not, because 8 million households will be paying for it every month.

    The TV business in Canada has little or nothing to do with what people want.

  5. 5 JJ Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

    apophaticattic – That’s the way I look at it… if they have the dough and they want to throw it into this thing, why not.

    I think it would be interesting to see who their lineup would be and how they’d stay interesting. Most of Canada’s conservative “superstars” tend to be “one-issue” types, ie. Levant. (If his performance on Evan Solomon’s show recently is any indication of what he’d be like as a news anchor, yikes. I can’t see many people being interested in watching that kind of train wreck over and over.)

  6. 6 JJ Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

    CTZen

    Does this mean that CRTC will now stand for “Canadian Rednecks Take Control?”

    😆 😆 😆

  7. 7 JJ Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Bruce – I think Newsnet is still on, although I haven’t watched any kind of TV for ages so I can’t be sure.

    I prefer the CBC all=news station for actual news, but for I might check out the Fox News North station for the entertainment value once in awhile. Seriously 😆

  8. 8 JJ Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

    RB

    He’s looking for mandatory carriage on basic cable/satellite, which if he gets it means he succeeds whether anyone watches or not, because 8 million households will be paying for it every month.

    I don’t know, RB… unless the price of basic cable increases because of this channel, it seems to me that it’s more of a “bonus” (or more accurately, “one more station that doesn’t get watched”, like Country Music TV). If cable subscribers aren’t paying extra for it, and taxpayers aren’t funding it, I have no beef with it.

  9. 9 Bleatmop Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I can’t think of anything better. Such a channel would provide endless political fodder.

    As an aside, I don’t think it could make us any more partisan that we already are in Canada. “Progressive” parties can’t agree on anything, non-the-less work with the conservatives or separatists.

  10. 10 JJ Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Bleatmop – That was my first reaction: imagine all the material 😆

  11. 11 Torontonian Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    A more careful reading of the Don Newman article
    would evince the information that Teneycke was
    still living in the west and working in Saskatchewan.

    Since Newman lived and worked in Ottawa, it would
    be natural that their paths wouldn’t intersect
    again until Korey started working for Harper
    in the PMO.

    Here’s the passage that elucidates:

    ” . . . Our unlikely meeting place was the federal Liberal party convention in Toronto in November 2003, where, amid waves of Grit acrimony, Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chrétien as party leader.

    I say unlikely because, while I had been at the convention all week as a reporter, Teneycke had just returned from Saskatchewan where he had been working for the right-wing Saskatchewan Party in its losing campaign against the then NDP government.

    A mutual friend brought him to the convention and made the introduction.

    Obviously we didn’t click.

    Kory Teneycke, newly-appointed vice-president of business development at Quebecor Media, leaves the National Press Building in Ottawa on Thursday June 10, 2010. Quebecor is hoping to start a 24-hour right-wing cable channel, which Teneycke is spearheading. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
    In 2008, Teneycke became Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications and during his time in that role, and since, I have found him professional and affable . . . “.
    ——–

    The four years of stony silence was because their separate
    professional paths would not intersect again during that time.
    ——

    If Peladeau wants to put up that sort of money for a Fox news-like channel, let him. Moreover, I want to see the CRTC stand up to any cabinet intervention and determine the nature of the licence. It shouldn’t be required carriage until it has EARNED that privilege.

    The religious channel CTS TV of 100 Huntley Street infamy wanted a required carriage licence and the CRTC turned them down.

    When we get our next non-Conservative prime minister, we’d better get a new and re-thought broadcast strategy. The
    current CRTC is a failure and licences should start to be
    revoked for failure to uphold CRTC policies and standards.

    Canadians deserve better. That’s also my reason for wanting
    a federal election very soon.

    Let’s get Harper out by year’s end.

  12. 12 Jasper Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “Let us Celebrate Diversity, even in broadcasting!”

    I wouldn’t take that chance, after all free speech is not allowed in communist leaning Canada. This could be condidered hate sppech. What if this network is as sucessful as Fox and blows everybody away in the ratings like Fox does? Oh no, Canadians are too sophisticated, they wouldn’t divert from liberal taking points would they?

  13. 13 Luna Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I dunno. I’d rather not have it in Canada. It’s insidious crap. I think they wouldn’t come on really hard, just like a slightly more right-wing CTV, and then they’d ramp it up slowly, bringing in the suckers more and more. At least, that’s how I’d do it. Propaganda is dangerous, and the less we have of it, the better.

    What really blows my mind, are the people who think that CBC news is to the left what Faux News is to the right. It’s not even in the same league, never mind the same class.

  14. 14 Reality.Bites Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Free speech most certainly IS allowed in Canada Jasper.

    That’s why I can tell you to blow me, dickwad.

  15. 15 ck Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve said this before; I’ll say it again. Most of today’s so-called mainstream media is slanted to the right. CanWest with Natty PO as its’ ring leader, half of G& M columnists and writers, Sun Media papers, CTV, Global TV, most of talk radio. CBC is in the center somewhere as is the Toronto Star (some argue completely left, but even if that were true; compared to how many con media outlets out there…). But that’s pretty much it in the way of non-Harpercon promoting media. We now need a Harpercon 24/7 infomercial channel?

    What about a Canadian version of MSNBC?

    Or better still, something completely non partisan and centered. Responsible media should never be right or left leaning and news shouldn’t be delivered with a slant the way Brian Lilley delivers his news with a right slant.

    Yes, we need programs and channels that don’t serve the Harpercon agenda.

  16. 16 Bleatmop Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I’d watch a Canadian version of MSNBC. Rachel Maddow’s mother is Canadian, so maybe she’s come on from time to time?

  17. 17 Shade Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Jasper

    I’d do some homework, pretty much every one of Americas allies could be described as Communist leaning based on your criteria. You know… like not letting their citizens go without medical treatment over a silly little thing like money.

    That’s neither here nor there on this topic though, your flawed understanding of hate speech is pretty silly too. How typical of you to get openly hostile when JJ made it clear she has no problem with them doing what they want.

    Me personally, I wouldn’t watch either of them. I mostly get my news from Good News Week, atleast it’s entertaining for the right reasons.

  18. 18 balbulican Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 2:57 am

    License them. Conservatism is a legitimate perspective, and lies are best debunked when you can hear them.

  19. 19 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Torontonian

    The four years of stony silence was because their separate
    professional paths would not intersect again during that time.

    Whoops, I forgot to add the “tongue-in-cheek” tag 😛

    It shouldn’t be required carriage until it has EARNED that privilege.

    I agree, although I don’t think it’s too much of a concern since I doubt the CRTC would give them mandatory carriage. We have enough news channels already.

  20. 20 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Jasper – Arf arf arf. Are you gonna bark all day little doggie?

  21. 21 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Luna – While I agree that propaganda can be dangerous, I wouldn’t worry too much about that aspect of things with Fox North — depending on the kind of license they get, the CRTC has rules about that kind of thing. A mandatory carriage, 24/7 Harper Propaganda Channel isn’t in the cards.

  22. 22 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    RB

    Free speech most certainly IS allowed in Canada Jasper.

    That’s why I can tell you to blow me, dickwad.

    😆 😆 😆

  23. 23 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:16 am

    ck – 24/7 HarperTV won’t be happening. CRTC regs would not allow it.

    What about a Canadian version of MSNBC?

    I think CBC’s got that covered.
    And even MSNBC isn’t 100% lefty-progressive — can you say PAT BUCHANAN?? 😯 And there’s Morning Joe, and a few other conservatives. I think Rex is the only wingnut on CBC, so arguably it’s more progressive than MSNBC.

  24. 24 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Bleatmop

    Rachel Maddow’s mother is Canadian

    Ah, that might explain some of Rachel’s wonderfulness.

    I might watch a Canadian version of MSNBC, but I doubt if the real MSNBC would let Rachel appear on it, unless it was a wholly owned subsidiary of MSNBC south.

  25. 25 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Shade

    How typical of you to get openly hostile when JJ made it clear she has no problem with them doing what they want.

    😆 Jasper will be okay, he just needs a walk and some fresh water in his bowl.

  26. 26 JJ Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 6:31 am

    balb

    License them. Conservatism is a legitimate perspective, and lies are best debunked when you can hear them.

    Absolutely right, I see no reason why they shouldn’t have a channel that reports from a rightward perspective if it turns the cranks of enough of them.

    At least we would no longer have to listen to the constant whining about “the liberal media”!

  27. 27 Calgal Monday, June 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I’m not sure filling the airways with vitriolic crap is a good thing. Is there no longer a desire and comittment to honest, balanced journalism? It seems a little twisted to license a one-perspective channel – on the basis of allowing free speech – that fully intends to limit free speech by disallowing other points of view.

  28. 28 Calgal Monday, June 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

    And one more thing. Peter Menzies, former puclisher of the Calgary Herald, was recently appointed to the CRTC. He is as far to the right as they come, a fundamentalist and of course, anti-choice. His idea of news was once publising on the third page under the banner “Top News”, a story about Mary Magdalene. This was the quality of news he brought to Calgary. I believe his appointment is a sign of the changes that we can expect to see in broadcasting, supported by the Harper government – more religion, more right wing gospel.

  29. 29 Torontonian Monday, June 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

    @Calgal

    Maybe it’s time for us to rethink the whole appointments
    matter. Here’s Harper handing out appointments that have
    more patronage in them than merit.

    The Queen, on the other hand, issues Royal Warrants
    “By Appointment to Her Majesty, the Queen, Official
    Suppliers of . . . . .”. Royal Warrant holders have
    goods and services that have been throughly vetted
    and approved.

    Would that we do the same thing to our appointments.

    After the next election, things will improve.

    ——

    There is a Ted Menzies MP from Alberta. I wonder
    if they’re related. Hmmmmm.

  30. 30 JJ Monday, June 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Calgal

    I’m not sure filling the airways with vitriolic crap is a good thing.

    Can’t say I disagree. But, as I said in my post, it’s unlikely that a Canadian version of Fox News would be anywhere near as spittle-flecked as the original… CRTC regs probably wouldn’t permit it, and Canada’s conservatives, many if not most of whom are actually pretty sane, wouldn’t be interested in it. (As much as far-right wingnutters like to think they represent all conservatives, they don’t. They’re just louder.)

    But I could be wrong. Hopefully some conservatives (sane ones, I mean) will weigh in… I’d be interested in hearing their take on this.

  31. 31 JJ Monday, June 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Calgal

    And one more thing. Peter Menzies, former puclisher of the Calgary Herald, was recently appointed to the CRTC.

    Why are they appointing a goofball like Menzies? Maybe the appointment was meant to offset all the ex-CBC geeks 😆

    Frankly, I am not too concerned about a dingbat like Menzies having much influence on overall policy for the time being — but I think you are right to point out that his appointment might be indicative of a trend. (OTOH, maybe somebody just owed him one.)

  32. 32 JJ Monday, June 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Torontonian

    There is a Ted Menzies MP from Alberta. I wonder
    if they’re related. Hmmmmm.

    If they are, it’s not immediate family: Ted Menzies was born in Alberta, Peter Menzies was born on Vancouver Island. They could be cousins or something like that — there are lots of ex-Albertans living here.

  33. 33 Reality.Bites Monday, June 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    JJ, virtually every newspaper in the country is right-wing. One more right-wing voice won’t stop that whine anymore than it has in the United States.

    You can’t encite people by making them feel like they’re in power.

  34. 34 JJ Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    RB – True enough. As long as there’s a CBC, there’ll always be a high-pitched whiiiiine emanating from the wingnut-o-sphere.

    As far as this channel goes, just from what I know about media and Canadian audiences, I can’t see it being a winning formula up here. (See National Post.) Conservatives and liberals alike generally want less biased news sources, not more.

    But, if someone wants to throw money into this venture, who am I to say they shouldn’t? It’s their money.

  35. 35 Reality.Bites Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    If they have their way it will be our money, not theirs, with a guaranteed revenue stream of $50 million a year before they sell an ad (based on a rate of 50 cents a month per subscriber)

  36. 36 SANE Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Bleatmop – That was my first reaction: imagine all the material

    … but, the flip side is that in order to get “the material”, Bleatmop and yourself will actually have to watch it. 😉

  37. 37 JJ Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    RB – That’s if they even get a mandatory carriage license, which I find hard to believe they would unless they can prove they’re some kind of specialty channel. If they do that, they’ll have other CRTC mandates to live up to, which might make it difficult to do what it is they want to do (report news from a wingnut perspective).

    I am actually curious to see what this station would look like. It couldn’t be an exact Fox clone because that formula wouldn’t work up here: Harper doesn’t have that kind of huge mindless base (yes, some of them are, but most are not).

    I think ultimately it will learn the same lesson Harper learned: in order to be popular in Canada you have to be centrist.

  38. 38 JJ Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    SANE

    but, the flip side is that in order to get “the material”, Bleatmop and yourself will actually have to watch it.

    It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it 😉

  39. 39 rev.paperboy Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 7:59 am

    “It couldn’t be an exact Fox clone because that formula wouldn’t work up here: Harper doesn’t have that kind of huge mindless base (yes, some of them are, but most are not).”

    Just keep telling yourself that JJ — “It can’t happen here” –and five years from now when Kate McMillan is reading out your home address on SunTV’s “Honky Night in Canada” and urging her flying monkeys to “teach that dirty liebrul blogger some manners” or some other euphemism she thinks will provide plausible deniability, just remember how good that free speech vs public good argument felt at the time.

    That sounds a lot harsher than I want it too, but if you want to know what a Fox News North channel is going to look like, imagine a television version of “Blogging Tories” with many of the same characters — d

  40. 40 rev.paperboy Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

    (cut off somehow)

    do you think it will be long before Kathy Shaide and Kate McMillan and Ezra Levant will be making handsome livings destroying any semblence of reasonable discourse?

  41. 41 JJ Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 10:47 am

    rev – I read your post at ProgBlogs, you make good points and I get what you’re saying. But until this channel gets public funding or causes cable rates to go up, I don’t have a problem with it.

    As for Kate reading my address on TV, what do I care? I’m heavily armed 😉

  42. 42 Torontonian Friday, June 18, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Today’s Toronto Sun has a column by Michael Coren on
    the subject of the new channel. Here is the link:

    http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/michael_coren/2010/06/18/14444906.html

    I won’t comment except to highlight an introductory phrase in
    the third paragraph.

    “Media in this country is about shaping — and not reflecting — public opinion. . . .

    ——

    I thought it was the other way round that media reflect
    what the people are saying. If the media shape public opinion, that’s one step short of propagandising the public.
    The Vatican does that in the guise of catechism.

    Unless, . . .they’re talking about CONSERVATIVE media shaping public opinion. That makes sense. All you need do is listen to talk radio.

    And I thought the likes of Radio Moscow were over. Silly me.

    Funny old world, innit?

  43. 43 Torontonian Friday, June 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    An addendum.

    There doesn’t seem to be any feature for adding comments to the Sun column by Coren. Maybe he doesn’t want to hear back
    from us. Neither did Moscow Radio, come to that.


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