09.01.2010 03:38 PM

From the deepest Annex

This is totally absurd. Honestly.

For the love of God: the new network hasn’t even broadcast 60 seconds of content, and it’s already generating historically humongous levels of hysteria, histrionics and hyper-ventilating (I love alliterations, guilty as charged, etc.). Get a grip, Maggie!

Among other things, I have never seen a media launch generate so much useful, and free, P.R. Never.

Right about now, I can picture Kory Teneycke grinning, can’t you?


  1. Paul R. Martin says:

    Ms Atwood has never been known for accurate reporting and analysis. She is a writer of fiction after all.

    • Cath says:

      “She is a writer of fiction after all”……and still at it. Agree Warren that thanks to this kind of free PR the flocks waiting to the new network will grow out of curiosity if nothing else…but, they might just come back for more if they like what they see and read.
      Hope you leave Maine before Earl hits.

    • Ted says:

      She’s off on this one, and has been on many, but to say both that she “has never been known for accurate reporting and analysis” and she is only a fiction writer seems to indicate you seeing her name is as far as you go in reading any of her material.

      • Cath says:

        So show us an example of Atwood’s accurate reporting and analysis of political facts and let’s have a boo at what you’re talking about because if Atwood’s changed her venue to political summary reporting it’s news to many.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Agreed. Talk about preaching to the choir of the already “converted”. We’re not talking Canadian political realignment here.

    Woe is me is not exactly appropriate. Right-wing zealots are due for a dose of major disappointment.

  3. Scott says:

    It’s terrific news for Fox North. Average people are now thinking: “Hey, this is something to watch!”

  4. Northbaytrapper says:

    Where do I sign up?

  5. allegra fortissima says:

    Maggie’s statements are probably just “Wilderness Tips”. Besides, what do you expect from our national “Lady Oracle”?

  6. Steve T says:

    Uh, Maggie, can you say “irony”? You are a writer, and you are trying to muzzle free speech? What exactly is the perceived harm you see in this new TV network? That it might express views you disagree with?

    • Namesake says:

      Well, there’s “free” speech, and then there’s: “unwillingly-subsidized-by-all-cable-subscribers-once-the-CRTC’s-board-is-gerrymandered-to-comply-with-the-political-masters-who-want-to-make-that-channel-an-extension-of-their-party’s-hyper-partisan-and-divisive-messaging.”

      I don’t see any contradiction in her opposing the latter while still cherishing the former.

      That’s what the actual petition* was about: their objecting to sacking another independent civil servant impeding their agenda, and not wanting them to pressure the CRTC into bending the rules to give them a ‘must carry status.’

      It’s just the person debating her — David Akin — who spun it differently, and — hello! — he’s a self-interested employee of QMI.

      You’re all piling on the wrong rabbit, here.

      * http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_fox_news_canada/?cl=716944315&v=7018

      • Steve T says:

        You mean “must carry” status like the CBC, APTN, and the like? And those networks don’t have a political agenda? Sorry, I know it’s not PC to critique APTN, and it’s tantamount to treason to critique the CBC, but if this is the argument of Atwood et al, then it merits discussion.

        Face it – this is about the ruling media class, which is largely left-wing, feeling threatened by a possibly right-wing counterpart invading their turf. If that weren’t the case, why would we have the constant references to “Fox News North”? If the new channel was something that the lefties favoured, the concern about sacking a civil servant would be non-existent. There has been plenty of arm-twisting to give other channels must-carry status, and I don’t remember this group coming to the defense of the CRTC in those cases.

        • Ted says:

          Don’t know about APTN but CBC, even if you want to pretend it is as biased as you claim, definitely does not have a political agenda. Very clearly, it has no preference between any of the parties and has given ooodles and ooodles of free soft media coverage to Harper. The leading pundits all lean conservative (Allan Gregg was former Chief of Staff/Chief Pollster for the Cons, Coyne, O’Leary, Lang, Rex). Have you ever seen an interview of Harper by Mansbridge? The two apparently really don’t like each other but you would never know it from the softballs Mansbridge throws or the guided tour of the Parliamentary Library with Harper or the gushing over playing a Beatles tune at a black-tie affair.

          I have no problem with Sun Media putting a TV channel together and the petition is offensive and dumb. But it is called “Fox News North” because it is being set up by the Conservatives and they carry their politics right out there on their sleeve with a deliberate and public conservative leaning.

          The CRTC declared a moratorium on “must carry” licenses long ago, lasting until 2012 I believe. Long before Sun TV came along. But they think they deserve special treatment and special treatment and the resulting corporate subsidy. How conservative!

          We should not be concerned about SunTV. We should however be very concerned about a political party using government and the power of government to set up its own TV channel. Kory was one of the most senior advisors in the PMO. The direct involvment of Harper in trying to set up a conservative newschannel in secret meetings with US/Australian conservative media people. And now possibly direct intervention by cabinet to provide it with a fast track to subsidies and special treatment over other applications and channels.

          In many ways, calling it Fox News North is misleading.

          In reality, this is Pravda we’re talking about.

          • Rick T. says:

            Two things:

            One: The left is really paranoid over this yet to be network. What are you afraid of?

            Two: Thank the stars that Atwood is no tin charge of anything.

          • Scott M. says:

            Lots of people are working on incorrect information.

            “Must Carry” does NOT mean “must pay for” or “must have available”. It means every BDU (cable company, satellite operator) must OFFER the channel to their customers. They can’t choose to not have it in their lineup.

            HOWEVER, you do NOT need to pay for it. You can buy it seperately, or as a part of a package (eg. the digital “News” package). This is NOT this same as analogue basic coverage, where everyone gets the Weather Network in basic and a part of everyone’s fees pay for it.

            I’ll admit, it’s confusing, as all CRTC things are. But everyone’s working on the wrong information.

            The CRTC turned down “Category 1” status. Having Category 1 status means that all companies must carry the channel and must pay a fixed rate based on the number of customers who choose to subscribe either standalone or as part of a package. In return they have to promise at least 50% cancon.

            The channel has now applied for “Category 2” status. They’ll get it, as almost all applications for Cat 2 are given the nod. They don’t have cancon requirements, but they have to negotiate with the cablecos and satellite companies individually to set rates.

            It is truly a shame that people are approaching this with the wrong understanding of what it all means, though I do blame in part the CRTC and their very confusing regulations.

  7. JStanton says:

    Firstly, it need be said that the nabobs criticizing Ms. Atwood have insufficient intellectual capacity to carry her bags. They have not even bothered to read her words; rather, in some knee-jerk fashion, all they have available to them is bilious nonsense – because she is their intellectual or artistic better?… because they hate their mothers? All that we really know of them and their intellectually challenged ilk is that Mr. Teneycke has them in his sights, and is grinning from ear to ear because of how much money they are going to make for him.

    Ms. Atwood criticized not the existence of an odious broadcast channel that preys upon the frightened, the infantile, the intellectually weak and the psychotic, but the fact that Mr. Harper, the Canadian Prime minister, is apparently its champion, and willing to usurp due process and the common good in order to achieve his aims.

    We have broadcasting policy in Canada that has been shaped over a generation to serve the common good – not the limitless avarice of scions of broadcasting families, or the demagoguery of political misanthropes, but you and me, wherever we live in this country, with its multiplicity of special, regionally based needs.

    Neither I, nor apparently Ms. Atwood, is questioning the right of Mr. Peladeau to do business the way he sees fit – as long as its within the law, and as long as he has achieved regulatory approval on a level playing field.

    While I regret the lies, hate and fear that are the inevitable outcome of Mr. Peladeau’s venture, and the degradation of our social fabric that it will engender, I recognize that there is a business opportunity here that he has a right to exploit – there are unfortunates to be fleeced.

    One thing is clear – if Mr. Harper wins the next election handily, Mr. Peladeau will have his way. It may mean the gutting of the CRTC, but it’s inevitability is certain.

    And, beyond that, there is but one final champion of the “public good” – the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. It will be interesting to see what happens when Mr. Peladeau shrugs off the consensual standards of his competitors, and goes his own way.

  8. Doug says:

    The most charitable thing I could say about Atwood’s statements today is that they are highly premature. She’s complaining about political interference that hasn’t happened yet. If – if! – Harper overrules the CRTC and gives SUNTV privileged access, then we’ve got an issue. Until then we just have the excitable Ms. Atwood (so ill-informed she didn’t realize that the name of the channel she was publicly condemning *wasn’t* Fox News North) and thousands of others signing a petition against a private business. Sheesh.

    • smelter rat says:

      I think the point of the petition is to prevent the “if’ from happening at all. I.E. you can’t unring a bell.

    • Scott M. says:

      Category 1 status (what SUNNews wanted and was denied) is not particularly privileged. It does *not* mean you will get it forced on you as you do CBC News Network. It means that the cablecos and satellite companies must have it in their lineup of available channels, but you don’t pay for it unless you subscribe to it or to a package that includes it.

      Other Category 1 so-called “privileged” channels you probably don’t have nor pay for: bold, BookTelevision, Discovery Health, documentary, FashionTelevisionChannel, G4 Canada, ichannel, IFC, MTV2, Mystery TV, One: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel, OUTtv, The Biography Channel, The Cave, travel + escape, addikTV, Argent, RIS.

      Do you feel these channels are especially “privileged”

      • Namesake says:

        Oh. Thanks for that; I’d just been seeing it was ‘a license to print money,’ and a tax on all us basic cable subscribers etc.

        No, wait, scratch that, KoryCo. & the PMO’s taught me what to do in situations like this:

        Stop trying to confuse us with minutiae! What are you, a…hiss… ‘expert’ or something? Damned elitist! We shouldn’t believe anything you say: the Twitterverse says differently.

        Whew; no need to change my mind or recant.

  9. Scott says:

    Globe seems obsessed with this ‘potential’ new network. Is CTV scared with Lloyd retiring or what?

    Just let them Fox North be…give them their own rope. Do you really think a network showcasing Sun columnists will catch a long term audience.


  10. Raymond says:

    Can’t help but think she looks like PET in drag.

  11. Michael Reintjes says:

    Well Warren…I think Stanton just called you stupid…..Hows maine?

  12. kyliep says:

    Love Ms. Atwood but I can’t think of any good coming of this advocacy. No matter if her real concern is the process and not the content, it will surely be spun as such, with years of admirable work with organizations like PEN suddenly called into question by those who want this type of station. She didn’t sign a petition titled, “Stop Harper’s meddling” but one titled, “Stop ‘x’ station from getting a license”. Is it naive of me to hope that the truly execrable opinions and commentary put out by networks like Fox are rejected in the marketplace of ideas rather than by a government body?

  13. allegra fortissima says:

    I guess I’ll take the short bus to the ESL classroom today, Mr. Stanton.

    Or start reading Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter. Or Gabrielle Roy, The Tin Flute.

    Most likely the latter.

    TV? Hardly ever watch…

  14. Namesake says:

    Grrr. To see why some are so bothered by KoryTV, let’s take a step back to see how this ‘story’ (about what a hypocritical out of touch bully Atwood allegedly is) broke, as a textbook illustration of Kory’s & the PMO’s on-going MO.

    Was Ms. Atwood instrumental in setting up the petition? No.

    Did she set up a press conference to help launch it or give it more publicity post-launch? No.

    She just happened to Twitter on her own (what, Twit page?) page on Tuesday that she’d signed on to it (probably because someone sent het the chain letter email that it’s using to propogate itself).

    And who knows how far along the thing was at that point? I don’t know / can’t find when it started.

    But then the con-bot minions spotted that (presumably there are some ‘bot search engines for that), and alerted the lieutenants Stephen Taylor & David Akin to that (hey! someone famous has mentioned it!), and those two engaged her in a Twit exchange… and promptly leaked that to the Tory/Kory friendly media:

    to both CTV & the Globe’s Jane Taber simultaneously who both dutifully carried it: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Entertainment/20100901/atwood-suntv-100901/

    In other words, rather than either just ignore the thrust of the growing mass of concerned citizens’ complaint (the perceived political interference in the broadcast licensing process) or deal it head on when it became public, they:

    singled out a specific individual they believed they could pin a charge of hypocrisy and/or stir up more of their “anti-elites” narrative on to, um, change the channel, and try to deflect the criticism before it gained any more traction.

    I.e., another ad hominem, their stock in trade.

    And the sheeple all start lining up to bray.

    Ah, well: at least it’s backfired, to an extent: apparently, the project’s plan was to alert the media to their groundswell once they reached the 100,000 signatories mark, and it was only at
    37,000 yesterday, but now it’s 44,809 and counting.

    • Namesake says:

      Huh? That doesn’t even make sense; where’s the hypocrisy in that?

      (I guess if all you Harpercrites have is that hammer, that’s why you try to nail everything with that label).

      First, it’s far from evident that Atwood or most of the signatories until the new Sun article came out even knew that this came from outside the country.

      Second, this isn’t a “pro-Canada” movement, it’s a “pro-keeping-the-independent-civil-service-free-from-political-interference” movement.

      Third, there’s nothing amiss in benefitting from the intervention of an American group who’s appalled at the Fox-ification of political discourse & the dumbing down of their country who wants to help their friendly neighbours to the North blunt the similar influence of one of the worst developments in their country. Think of it as their engagin in a bit of Foreign Aid, like sending vaccination drugs or condoms, and the petitioners recognizing the wisdom of availing themselves of that.

      Fourth, the rich person idenitifed as being behind that Avaaz group is George Soros, who’s been involved in pro-democracy work all over the world through his various foundations, including in Russia. That gives _more_credence to this concern that the gov’t is trying to set up a state-subsidized propaganda organ masquerading as an independent network, not less.

      The harpocrisy is in hearing the usually invariably fawning USA-lovers (to the point of spending billions on untendered jet contracts so as not to offend them) suddenly try to denigrate American influences…. in service of, um, a Quebec company?!

    • Philip says:

      Exactly that. The Reform Party’s ad hominem attacks and anti-“fancy book learning” rants are getting a little long in the tooth now. I’m sure we’ll be treated to more of the same this fall. Swell.

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