Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quebecor Readies "Fox News North"

Apparently we can soon expect to have a new channel available to Canadians that will promote a right wing agenda, similar to what Fox News does in the USA.



If this is going to happen, I certainly hope they do not descend to the depths that Fox News in the USA has, which is a level of journalism barely above infomercials and grocery store tabloids. I'm not sure that type of TV would attract the huge audience in Canada that it has in the USA. After all, only about 35% of Canadians vote conservative. But that could gradually increase I suppose, if this channel caught on.

For the last 12 years we have had the right wing newspaper equivalent, the "National Post". It has never been able to make money, and has softened its hard line right wing stance over the years, as ownership changed and new owners tried to turn a profit and build market share.

I read an opinion piece in the National Post just this morning that gives a great idea of what we can look forward to on TV if this deal goes ahead.

It's called "Destroy the Liberal party--for its own good" by Jonathan Kay, who writes many columns for the National Post.

The article itself is based on an idea that is not so bad, to destroy the Liberal Party. I could even get behind that idea if it was promoted as a way to oust the conservatives and return to a government that values the environment and peace. But there is a whiny tone to the article, extreme rhetoric, and the lack of any  substantial ideas.

I guess that when your stated goal is to push one point of view, it is very hard to focus on a search for the truth.  Although propaganda can sometimes be good, the the lowest common denominator of all propaganda end up in finding scapegoats to blame for our real or imaginary misfortunes, and to falling back on war as a means of recruiting people to a sponsor's cause.

Other than pure greed, one of the most basic conservative ideas is that liberals are ruining the the country, and eliminating them will benefit the "good people". This article fits right in with that theme, in the destroying the Liberal Party is assumed to pave the way for an unchallenged reign of the Conservatives. My own assumption would be that it would actually strengthen and improve the NDP and Green parties, and the Conservatives could be defeated.

But from the look of some of the passages in this article, this is low brow conservative propaganda.

"The Liberals could run a monkey draped with a Liberal sash, apparently, and he would get the Grafstein vote, too -- so long as the monkey endorsed monkey bilingualism and monkey equalization."

"This Liberal fetish for quasi-religious self-veneration has been around so long in this country that we have lost track of how weird it is."

"The most common is the one about the Liberals being "the party of Laurier" -- as if the party affiliation of someone who's been dead for a century should have the slightest bearing on how anyone today should vote."

"the selection of Michael Ignatieff -- a nominal Canadian who hadn't lived in this country since 1978, the era of the Bee Gees and Grease-- was an act of stunning arrogance that would be unimaginable for any other major Western political party."

"young Liberals already internalize their party's trademark self-regard as God's Chosen Party"

"just make sure that, at the end of the day, something called the "Liberal party" no longer exists as a vessel for vapid self-hagiography."

Well there is the mix of propaganda you can expect from "Fox North", if they are anything like Fox News or National Post. And of course references to the CBC and CTV as the delusional left wing  "Mainstream media" while "Fox North" will be the only "fair and balanced" network. (if they can get permission from Fox to use the trademarked term)

The strange but original argument about liberals who think they should rule because they are the party of Laurier. I never heard that one before, although I have heard many other straw man arguments..

Fancy words to make you think this is intelligent stuff - I didn't even bother to look up self-hagiography.

Reference to the arrogance of the Liberals, even though they are no longer in power. Usually the ruling party is the one accused of arrogance, but I guess name-calling habits are hard to break. Actually, not just arrogance, it was "Stunning" arrogance.

Another thing about hard core propaganda that gets on my nerves is the trick of turning reality upside down. (also calling black white, and white is black. War is peace, etc.) In this article, it is inferred that the Liberals are religious fanatics. The liberals are apparently "a quasi-religion" and "God's chosen party". Closer to the truth is that the Liberals believe in freedom of religion, while it is the Conservatives under Harper are quietly supported by religious conservatives, who are one step away from wanting to join the USA and Israel in a holy war against Muslims.  In the USA, Evangelical support for the conservatives is out in the open, but in Canada it is kept quiet as we are nowhere near ready for a theocracy yet.

Our country, Canada, used to be admired around the world for peace and tolerance. Not just under the Liberals, but under the Progressive Conservatives, too. Under the new [non progressive] Conservatives we are starting to be seen as the last holdouts of the Bush era. With our own Fox North, if it broadcasts in the tone of Jonathan Kay's article, that negative world perception of Canada could become permanent.



  1. There are many reasons why I am proud to live in the USA but Fox News is not one of them. Unfortunately there are way to many folks out there that depend on one news source for their information. In the military I used to say that "Depending on one source for ones intelligence information is paramount to ignorance beyond recognition." The problem with the people who are fox junkies is they lack independent thought and the fox cloud of half truths turn their brains to green mush. I guess the same can be said for some who only watch CNN. I try to cross reference my news sources by listening to many media outlets. To be honest at times I have been so disheartened that I often don't watch the news. It's not that I do not care, its that I feel so bloody helpless. To better times, Cheers.

  2. Hagiography is simply (predominantly Roman Catholic) writing about the lives of the saints.

    There is implicit in its (derogatory) usage an accusation that those writings are somewhat lacking in historical accuracy.

    'Self-hagiography' of course is an oxymoron. As are many of the other arguments we hear from the rabid 'right.'

    'Demagoguery' (or demagogy) is defined as, 'a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist, populist or religious themes.'

    Which is nothing new under the sun - that strategy has worked for millennia, including for such notable exponents of the art as Adolph Hilter.

    What I find discouraging is that our educational system has failed to such a degree that people are not capable of applying critical thinking to such vital aspects of communal life as the selection of our leaders, and are willing to allow themselves to be persuaded by these crass appeals to their 'prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations.'

    On the other hand, I do find it somewhat encouraging that almost 80% of the Canadian electorate is not prepared to vote for the (regressive) Conservatives. I can only hope that such new irrational right-wing offerings do not significantly change that.