Friday, December 23, 2011

Dust-up on Sun News Network: Lilley cuts off Kinsella’s mic

Avideo posted at the BC Blue blog shows the dyed-in-the-wool Liberal Warren Kinsella and Sun News’ Byline host Brian Lilley having a verbal dust-up until Lilley asks that Kinsella’s microphone be cut off. Yes, really. They cut off Kinsella’s microphone.

I am a regular watcher of Sun News, though I find programs like The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News better than anything Sun News offers. I thought, however, that Sun News prided itself with bringing both sides of an argument to the table. The Byline show’s Webpage boasts, in part:

The Byline showcases irreverent journalist Brian Lilley as a cultural warrior, a connected journalist who is on the side of Canadians who value their individual freedoms and responsibilities over intrusive government. … Tune in for insight, opinion and long-overdue discussion of topics that matter to average Canadians.

Apparently the “insight” and “opinion” referred to is subject to the host’s censorship. Well, I suppose all TV shows reserve the right to censor when a guest becomes extremely unmanageable or says things that could cause legal problems for the network. Lilley’s censorship seemed not to have been prompted by anything like that, however. In fact, it was Lilley who seemed to be losing his cool. I thought Kinsella handled himself with restraint.

This episode reminds me of an interview I saw when Krista Erickson, another of Sun News’ hosts, rudely bullied a guest. I’ve also heard Erickson berate the CBC—not such a bad thing of itself—but she happily pocketed her paycheques from the CBC for several years. Hypocrisy, it seems, is alive and well at Sun News.

As I see it, if one hosts a show with guests, one needs to be sure one can take as much as one gives. Bullying guests or turning off their microphones doesn’t seem to fit the image Sun News seems to be trying to project.

Warren Kinsella doesn’t need me to defend him, but I believe he held the high ground on this one.

© 2011 Russell G. Campbell


  1. I actually think Brian Lilly did the right thing. It's one thing to give your opinion, but Kinsella's vulgar & crude language is more appropriate in a highschool locker room than on national TV.

  2. Bert,

    I guess I watched a different video--on the video of Lilley's show, there was no "vulgar & crude language" from either side. Where did you get this stuff? Give me a link to your video. Here's a link to mine:

  3. Russ, good post. A principled Conservative!

    Sadly, there are many like Bert that are partisan for it's own sake. No objectivity.

  4. Thanks for the kind words. Without revealing any confidences, I can tell you that no one at Sun News is going to cut of my mic (or anyone's) ever again. Ever.

    Merry Christmas,


  5. Yes,saw that video posted at another blog,and agree Lilley looked BAD. He simply wasn't as well prepared as Kinsella,and there is no excuse for that. He's the host,he should have been well prepped.

    He kept repeating that Kinsella had called him a liar,when Kinsella did no such thing.

    Lilley lost that debate and looked amateurish and vindictive in doing so.

  6. The host should have been better prepared for this one and could have managed the situation better. There was no reason to cut off the mike. I hope that he learns from it.

    As for Warren, he is generally very selective with what he calls facts. However, that is no excuse to cut off his mike. Sadly, the way in which Lilley handled this situation gained credibility for Warren at his expense.

    Yes, as conservatives we have to give fair play to all sides, even though we may not agree with them. That is a core value that sets us apart from Liberals.