Fox Shut Out of Canada Because of a Law Against Lying During Newscasts
News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, was hoping to open a propaganda branch in Canada — called “Sun News TV” (or “Fox North”). It was hoping its crony in Ottawa, winger Prime Minister Stephen Harper, would be successful in overturning a law prohibiting lying on broadcast news. (Imagine that. There is a law in Canada prohibiting lying during newscasts. How civilized.) But, thank goodness there is still some sanity in the world; they were wrong:
As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades – against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News – fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of the Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canadian regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right-wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.
Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast … any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right-wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987.
Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the US airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right-wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”
Something like this would never happen in the US because the people in Washington work for the corporations, not for the good of the country but, again, it’s nice to know sanity still exists somewhere in the world.
Now we wait to see if “Sun News TV” agrees not to lie, something I think it’s incapable of. Telling the truth isn’t part of its consciousness or its business model.
UPDATED 1-12-12 @6:47 p.m. ET: Thanks to all for the lively, well-informed and thought-provoking comments. I would like to say a few things: The person who put this post up is no longer with me. After reading some of what has been said here, I followed the links through and I believe this is where the (inaccurate) assertion that News Corp. owns Sun News came from:
The run-up to the licensing of Sun TV News spurred passionate debate about whether Canadians will embrace a news channel modelled on the successful Fox News Channel in the U.S.
Quebecor Media¹s chances of landing a license for the upstart cable channel were dealt a blow when it was revealed that Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and representatives of Quebecor Media had secretly lunched in New York City with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News president Roger Ailes.
That forced Peladeau to disavow any links between Sun TV News and Fox News, as critics claimed, or that Harper¹s conservative government had conspired to bring a Fox-style news channel to Canada.
A link to that article is contained in the post one goes to when one clicks on “they were wrong” in the first paragraph above. I apologize for not having noticed this error at the time this post went up and though, again, I did not compose it or post it, since this is my blog, it is my responsibility.
Second, there is this about Fox broadcasting in Canada now:
In 2003, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejected a Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA) application to bring Fox News to Canada because Fox News U.S. and Global Television were planning to create Fox News Canada, a combination of U.S. and Canadian news. However in 2004, after a Fox U.S. executive said there were no plans to create the combined channel, the CRTC approved an application to bring Fox News to Canada.
Fox News Channel is currently offered by Access Communications, Bell TV, Cogeco, Eastlink, Manitoba Telecom Services, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct and Telus TV. A notable exception is Vidéotron, Canada’s third largest cable company, which has not added Fox News Channel to its lineup.
I don’t know if the individual who put up this post was aware of the above information — I would say not — but though the article says an application was approved to bring Fox News to Canada, despite some quick research, I do not get the impression that Fox News has a channel broadcast from Canada, staffed with Canadians, aimed at Canadians. Far as I can tell, the Fox News seen in Canada is the Fox News produced out of New York City, and it is the same version we see here in the states. So, again, far as I can tell, Fox still hasn’t been granted permission to produce a separate, Canadian-centered news show in Canada.
So, I hope this addresses some of the very good points made on the comment thread. Again, this is my blog and I take full responsibility for the post but prior to today I had no idea it contained such major flaws, primarily the clear implication that News Corp. owns Sun News.
I am the only one posting here as of roughly seven months ago and I insofar as I believe propaganda spread by Fox and the U.S. corporate media is literally a threat to our democracy, I take facts and accuracy dead seriously and I apologize that the flaws in this post weren’t corrected immediately.
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