Centre of the Continent

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The Sun News Network–Can They Complain Any More?

Sadly, the answer is probably yes.

The latest whining  over the CBC getting exclusive broadcasting rights to the Parliament Hill Canada Day celebrations. The reality is, the CBC is the most logical choice to broadcast party on the hill. They are the network that is available to most Canadians absolutely free. No other network has the reach that the CBC has. Sun News isn’t even on every major digital supplier. The fact is, the Sun Network could have bid for the rights but chose not to. It suits their mandate to not try and then claim that the CBC has an unfair advantage. Just like CTV has an unfair advantage because of Bell’s ownership of them and ExpressVu. Let’s get our facts straight on that controversy – Bell did not say they wouldn’t carry Sun, they just chose not to pay what QMI wanted to charge.

This, my Sun News friends, is what is called a free-market economy. Exactly what your columnists and commentators beg for day in and day out. Apparently unless it doesn’t work out in your favour. Al Jazeer is paid for and Bell chose to pay what Al Jazeer asked. If they don’t want to pay your price, who are you to ask the CRTC intervene? Day one of your broadcast, I listened to your very own Ezra Levant scream at the top of his free speech, free market, keep the CRTC out of my TV choices lungs. The government has no business regulating what should be a free market. Ezra has been strangely silent on the topic lately.

Say what you want about the CBC, they are a successful player in the Canadian media landscape. There is always room for improvement and exactly what and how that looks can be debated but they seem to have found a balance between expressing a Canadian identity and remaining commercially viable. CTV / TSN won the rights for the Olympics for the foreseeable future and they did it bidding against the publically funded CBC. The story is the same for the Canadian Football. Oh, I’m sorry, that’s Bell again and their unfair advantage. The advantage being that they are actually successful.

And seriously, stop calling the CBC a “state broadcaster”. State broadcasters are those that are solely there to promote the state’s agenda. The CBC clearly is not such an entity. CBC’s reporters were regularly frustrated with the Harper government’s conduct during the election. In fact the news organization that seemed to have a Conservative slant to it was the Sun News Network. This included some questionable inside information and a former Conservative advisor on the executive payroll. Be careful when you throw that state moniker around, you never know where it might end up sticking.

Sun is a latecomer to the playing field and that is the real disadvantage they face. Asper tried to build a third national network and we know how that has finally ended up. Added to that is an utter lack of intelligent content. Commentators without sleeves are acceptable. Commentators without apparent skill or knowledge are not. Krista Ericson likes to say that she has finally found a place that “lets her be her”. Well the CBC was happy to let Krista go – her first trip to Ottawa with the “state broadcaster” she felt it was kosher to feed questions to the opposition. This is the kind of talent that Sun felt fit their model – at best, inexperienced and sloppy. She continues to show that ignorance daily. To the Sun family that ignorance is referred to as “taking a side”. The only side they normally end up on is that of the lowest common denominator.

I was honestly hoping for some genuine debate when Sun came on the scene. Unfortunately, there has been little to argue save Sun’s attacks on the established media that amount to little more then whining because they don’t get their way. Sun is just the new bully on the playground that no one wants to play with.