Don Newman, retired CBC host of political program, Politics, was surprisingly and unattractively aggressive on a segment of Evan Solomon’s Power & Politics show with Kory Teneycke, vice president of Development of Quebecor Media. Newman and Solomon ganged up on Teneycke, demanding he assure them that Quebecor’s new all-news TV venture will be fair and balanced—just like the CBC.
What glasses, I wonder, does one have to wear to see the “balance” at the CBC?
Solomon managed to remain calm and asked reasonable questions, but Newman was nearly frothing at the mouth as he attacked any notion that a new cable news channel could have merit.
Quebecor Media’s proposed channel has not even received a license from the CRTC yet progressives like Don Newman are already going ape over it. Fox News in the United States is winning the ratings war in that country by providing a conservative perspective to political commentary (along with being darn good at it) and the Don Newmans of Canada are terrified a Canadian outfit might duplicate that success on this side of the border.
Recently, Newman wrote on the CBC News site, “In the U.S., Fox News has been hugely polarizing. It specializes in drive-by attacks and misrepresentations, and is positively Orwellian at times, claiming to be ‘fair and balanced’ while implying that its competitors aren’t.”
He also wrote, “Do they [Conservatives] really need a right-wing news channel urging them to be more rabid and stirring up the party’s hard-core base… .”
Do you get any sense that Newman is a fair and balanced commentator? Yet there he was talking over host Solomon and fellow panelist Teneycke to attack the mere threat of some healthy competition for the CBC News channel.
But I shouldn’t be too hard on the man. It must be terrifying for the old Liberal apologist to see an impending end to the strangle hold progressives have on Canadian cable news. No more softball questions for Liberal politicians, no more blowing-up-out-of-all-proportion stories contrived by the Liberal Party war room—remember “wafer gate?” No more Liberal, NDP, Bloc and show host ganging up on a single Conservative panelist. Ah, if only.
I hope the new channel comes about, and I hope it will be successful in filing the gaping void in Canada media. Then I won’t need to keep watching foreign (U.S.) channels for in-depth analysis of important news events.