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Sep 02 2010

Stop “Fox News North”

I have a bullhorn, and I’m going to use it.

Those of you who come here from Facebook have seen this already, but maybe didn’t sign it. Stephen Harper, I suppose growing weary of pretending not to be a right-wing ideologue, has decided to shed his sheep’s clothing and put political pressure on our CRTC commissioner to bring a Fox News-style channel here to Canada.

This is a petition to stop it. Please sign it.

A few people, some of whom are people whose opinions I greatly respect (although they differ sharply from my own), have pointed out to me that the media is already biased, and/or that my objection to a Fox-style channel is that I just don’t like conservatives. I feel the need at this point to clarify a few things:

1 – I don’t like conservativism (although I greatly enjoy the company of my few conservative friends – there are few in university science programs, which is my cohort). That’s emphatically not the source of my opposition. I’d be just as against this if it was a bunch of lying arch-Liberal finks (who I also detest).

2 – Even if I did buy that our current media outlets are biased, I fail to see how adding one that is explicitly and purposefully biased makes that situation better. An informed electorate is crucial to a healthy country. Adding another voice to the supposed pantheon of radical viewpoints doesn’t improve the situation at all – it makes people less informed. Fox News isn’t watched by those on the left to “get the other side of the argument”, it’s watched by those on the right to confirm their in-grained biases; the same can be said vice versa. The answer is to reduce the amount of bias in media outlets through careful surveillance, not to burn the whole house down because you spilled some wine on the carpet.

3 – Even if I did buy that adding another biased point of view (as all points of view will be) will somehow improve the lives of Canadians, Fox News is not simply another network. They lie, distort facts, invent facts when they can’t twist the ones that already exist, and are unrelentingly hypocritical in their stance on issues. They are unprincipled, they lack integrity, and they are poisoning the political and social discourse of the United States. Any station patterned after them will do the same thing, sending Canada down the road to destruction down which the United States is currently drunkenly weaving.

4 – Even if I did buy that a Fox News equivalent would be a good thing for the country, the Prime Minister has no business spearheading it, or shilling for it in any way. He certainly has no business forcing out the qualified head of the CRTC simply for standing up for media standards. All of this is to say nothing of the meetings that Mr. Harper has taken with Rupert Murdoch in order to make this a reality. It is a blatant political ploy designed to ensure that he has a channel that is completely uncritical of his policies that he can lavish his special attention and political influence upon, much the way that Bush/Cheney/Rove and the Republican Party has done with Fox News.

Personally, I like my country. I don’t want it to turn into the pathetic circus farce that is the current political reality of the United States, where a Harvard-educated constitutional scholar has to fight with a clueless, ignorant and feckless “hackey maam” from Wasilla to win the trust of the populace. Apparently Steven Harper will be much happier ruling over that country – I think we should be aiming to get better, not worse.

Sign the petition.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    R. J Black

    “An informed electorate is crucial to a healthy country”

    Using that statement alone paints Canadians as idiots, what other country in the world today allows public financing of separatists such as the Bloc whose purpose is the destruction of Canada.

    The electorate is informed, Canadians seem very nonchalant with this idea, and what you are advocating is censorship for good or bad so where do we draw the line?

    Regardless of the spin all political parties agendas in Canada is to divide and all are self serving, it is refreshing right or wrong that the conservatives are at the very least open an honest about it.

    Cheers

  2. 2
    Crommunist

    Australia, Sweden and Belgium. Also I reject your premise that saying an informed electorate is important paints anyone as an idiot.

    And considering that the last federal election had a record low for voter turnout, I’d say that the electorate is not so much “nonchalant” as “comatose”. Hence why a guy with 30% of the seats in Parliament can claim to speak for “the Canadian people.” Maybe this Fox this is ultimately good, since a few years of a Conservative majority will shake off some of the torpor of people who think that the kind of crazy shit happening down south won’t ever happen here.

    And yes, it is an admirable trait that the conservatives are very honest about how they plan to screw everything up. Doesn’t make me want to vote for them. And since Fox News is blatantly dishonest, I fail to see the relevance of that part of your comment.

  3. 3
    R. J Black

    Regardless of the slant, it will be refreshing to have an alternative “news” voice in the Canadian market.

    As the left has stated for two decades, if you do not like what is on turn it off.

    The channel will succeed or fail depending on viewership and advertisers, free market and all that stuff and that Canadians on the left are up in arms over this brings a smile to my face, it is about time Canada had a conservative network.

    That you disagree with a “FOX NEWS NORTH” is a typical Canadian response to anything American and your standard of living is directly related to the USA, Canada’s largest trading partner.

    Sport we live in a country where petitions mean nothing and the government right, left or centre will and can do as it pleases, the liberals and conservatives are all the same.

    Therefore, for the sake of a good old fight, go Fox North and let the spin begin!

  4. 4
    Crommunist

    I have little problem (not no problem, if I am being honest) with a conservative-slanted news organization. I have a big problem with one that is patterned on Fox News, which produces regular lies and fabrications with a political not an ideological spin. Fox News is “conservative” in the same way that Ken Ham is a “scientist.”

    I have, incidentally, known a number of people who have described themselves as conservative without being complete morons. Fox News, and its equivalent, is not catered to those people – it is about dragging the debate down to its lowest point to score cheap political points by obscuring meaningful argument. The fact that you think this is a good thing is depressing to me.

    I’m not going to bother with the tripe about me being anti-American, except to say that it’s completely untrue and unfounded; merely a speculation you’ve pulled out of the ether because your position lacks merit.

  5. 5
    Joanaroo

    Let those people who are Canadian conservative come down here and live in our wonderful country, totally bewildered by Fox News loving conservative GOP/Tea Party ideology candidates and their equally clueless electorate and let them live with the thought of people running for office like Delaware’s Christine “Mice people are alive/no masturbation/no abortion for rape victims or endangered mothers/abstenance-only” O’Donnell. Not to mention Fox News Glenn Elmer Gantry Beck and his call for a Christian Nation, while he and his ilk are racist, homophobic, fear-mongering bastards. As we watch this great nation sink higher into poverty. Want that? You can have it!

  6. 6
    R. J Black

    The conservatives in Canada are more like the democrats in The USA; I know I live the USA and work in Canada for half the year. The Fox network in America is nothing more than a republican sounding board and is neither fair nor balanced.

    The Sun TV channel proposed for Canada is not even on air and the left of this country feels threatened as most socialists do when others become disgusted with the direction of the country and liberal rule has caused more harm than good.

    Immigration in Canada is a prime example and the thousands of unaccounted “refuges” running around is a direct result of their policies. No one party is perfect but the opposing views of Canadians must not be censored by any government agency period, after all Aljazeera is broadcast in Canada and the liberals embrace this as diversity.

    What the left fears most in Canada, is the possibility that their liberal press machine will have an opposing voice and the message may resonate with undecided voters causing a majority conservative government. God forbid stricter law enforcement and less nanny state in our daily lives.

    I am sorry to inform you, we are not all equal, and that is a fact and the sooner we start teaching children in school that competition is a reality in the real world the better off the country will be.

    Sorry liberals, you can’t have it your way 24/7 365, there are more voices out there opposing your views and policy and they also deserved to be heard, you bellow for equality as long as it serves your purpose only.

  7. 7
    Crommunist

    I’ll be happy to see a conservative news source that operates under the same journalistic ethics as our current media outlets. That’s not what Fox News is. Any station that is patterned on them is not merely “another voice”, it is a concerted effort to score political points by muddying the water and providing hypocritical misinformation to advance a particular political agenda. Your first statement appears to corroborate this, and then you fly in the face of even your own argument.

    I am very aware of the fact that we are not equal. Your suggestion is that people are BORN unequal, and that those at the top deserve to be there by virtue of their own specialness. Genetic, sociological, and historical evidence all suggest that your position is incorrect. Evidence also suggests that the conservative views of law enforcement don’t do anything to deter or reduce crime rates. It’s not mysterious to me at all that conservatives wish to undermine the teaching of critical thinking and evidence appraisal in favour of so-called “common sense” approaches that are wrong more often than they are right.

    But then again, science is one of those dirty liberal commie enterprises anyway, right?

  8. 8
    Crommunist

    I am actually curious about your first sentence there. In what ways are Canadian conservatives similar to Democrats? Are you talking about their position on the ideological spectrum, or the specific positions they hold? I’m just not sure what you meant.

  9. 9
    Joanaroo

    Thank you, Crom! I was going to ask that too. By the way, I would welcome another news source here in the US, BUT one that is fair and balanced and not a sounding board for one party only. I would welcome a network with both views. As long as any stories are not fabrications or lies to turn the screws. Unfortunately Rupert gets public relations, hype and journalism confused. That’s why all 5 GOP 2012 likely presidential candidates are paid pundits on Fox News.

  10. 10
    Joanaroo

    And *We are not equal*? Maybe not as adults, but nice to tell kids that. Among kids that gets the remark *Ooh! He thinks his shit don’t stink!*

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