Michael Coren pretty well sums up, in his column in the Toronto Sun, the quick negative reaction of many in the Canadian media to the prospect of a new all-news cable network in the general mold of Fox News. He points out, “Quebecor announces a new network and the usual hacks drown in cynicism and outrage.” And that pretty well sets the tone of his column.
“If it wasn’t for hockey and Coronation Street, the [CBC] corporation would largely collapse. It’s simply an illusion that Canadian television delivers what people want. It’s more that smug elitists assume they deliver what Canadians need. And what they need, it seems, is dull, intellectually bland and consistently left-of-centre.”
– Michael Coren
Coren doesn’t quite debunk the notion often seen and heard in the media that there won’t be a market for such a network in Canada. But he offers a reasonable counter-argument when he writes:
“Frankly I think there will be [a market], but we simply don’t know until it’s tried. What we do know is that there isn’t much of a market for what’s out there right now. Take a look at the audience figures for shows on CBC, CTV and Global and you’ll realize just how few people watch Canadian news and current affairs.”
I must say that I was taken aback by the vehemence of the reaction by some CBC and ex-CBC types like Don Newman, retired CBC host of the old political program, Politics. Newman has been really worked up at the prospect of the traditional progressive-leaning media getting some competition from the centre-right.
I agree with Coren when he writes, “People deserve choice and variety and it appears they’re going to get it. Hey lefty journalists, if you don’t like it, don’t watch.”
Long live freedom of speech.