03.29.2011 02:33 PM

The boss speaks on Sun TV, and me

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: it’s going to be controversial. It’s going to be populist. It’s going to be fun.

It is not going to be ideological. Or “Fox News North.”


  1. Namesake says:

    So, who’s this “vigour” you’ll be debating with? (Or, what colour pill will you be taking to do that? better not be blue!)

  2. Don’t you think that by focussing on populism that Lavoie is by definition steering his creation in the direction of “Fox News North”?

    Populism rather than realism is, after all, Fox News’ real forte, and Fox has ably proved there is plenty of money, and power, to be gained by pursuing that genre.

  3. >>Just because the media is scandalized by something doesn’t mean it’s a scandal to the rest of the population.<< I heartily agree. It will be nice to have a different take on the news, so I look forward to tuning in.

  4. fritz says:

    I really want you to be right about it not being ideological but I just don’t believe it’s the way it will turn out. I’ll be happy if proved wrong.

  5. Blues Clair says:

    “It’s going to be fun.”

    Um, Monsiuer Lavoie sure looks like he’s having ball

  6. I won’t be watching Faux News North.

    • Patrick says:

      I’d bet 95% of the people who rail against Fox News haver never even viewed a nanosecond of it. Four out of the remaining five per cent watched just long enough to find a shred of Obama criticism to shout “AHA…I knew it” and never watched again.

  7. JStanton says:

    I don’t believe Pierre-Karl Peladeau has a “social mission” in mind for Sun, but he does have a business strategy that uses tactics which target a specific demographic for very narrow messaging. This messaging mirrors and appeals to their basest impulses – fear, hate and carnality. It’s like constantly giving candy to a baby; they love, can’t get enough of it, and keep coming back for more.

    A fruitful business model indeed, but is it ethical?


    • The Doctor says:

      Carnality? What’s the matter with that? And appealing to carnality is unethical? You sound like Charles McVety, which is kind of ironic, IMO.

  8. Nikki sharpe says:

    The way the left has lost their collective shit over SunTV News even before it started broadcasting has been embarrassing. They’ve given Warren’s boss more free publicity then they could ever hope for.

    • The Doctor says:

      Yeah, I guess you can argue that they’ve helped characterize Sun TV as some sort of evil forbidden fruit, which would certainly make people curious to see what all the fuss is about.

  9. Derek Pearce says:

    He certainly sang the praises of Fox News in that interview. I’ll reserve judgement until the broadcasts commence, but it sounds to me like they may very well pull the stunt of protesting “we are not ideological” while being the very same.

    • The Doctor says:

      And so WK is there for . . . window dressing? Plausible deniability?

      Personally, I think Sun TV is going primarily for entertainment value, i.e., enhanced entertainment value in the delivery of current events and especially politics. Because talk radio has perfected that in a right-wing format, and for the most part the left hasn’t seemed to figure out how to make left-wing content entertaining to the masses, I imagine Sun TV will have a populist rightward slant for the most part. But look at why they hired WK — I think it’s because Warren gets the fact that to make people notice and listen to you, you have to be a bit outrageous, memorable and entertaining. Stock Day and the toy dinosaur, that sort of thing. Rick Mercer is probably another example — he’s a charter member of rabble.ca, after all.

      Bottom line, though, is that if Sun TV felt that a left-leaning person would help them gain viewers and sell advertising, I don’t think they’d care, they’d put them on air.

      I think it’s a bit different with Fox, just because Rupert Murdoch and ESPECIALLY Roger Ailes are SO overtly political. Peledau has his leanings, but he’s just not in the same category as Murdoch and Ailes.

  10. fritz says:

    Gord: Chris Wallace runs a pretty good show although he can be a bit whiny at times. Brit Hume left ‘fair and balanced behind a long time ago. He has been delivering Republican talking points, masquerading as comment for years. In fact O’Reilly, although a pompous ass most of the time, is actually a fairer interviewer. Once you get past Shep Smith and a few reporters your only debating degrees of right wing bias. In fact how most stories are defined is often directed from above; as shown in recently released Bill Sammon memos.
    What we will have to watch for here is not the primetime political talk shows; which will be what we expect; pro conservitive talk radio on TV. The thing that will define the new network is how dayside defines stories with a political connection. Will there be lots of stories on crime and punishment, illegal immigration, Muslims, high taxes, the gun registry etc. We’ll see.

    • The Doctor says:

      I note that Lavoie specifically mentions illegal immigration in the interview. Note that he’s framing it as a matter of populism and a story which he sees as underreported. He’s certainly correct that in America, the actual estimate number of illegal immigrants is a number that’s thrown around a lot in public policy and political debate, and in Canada, it’s not, really. The only time that illegal immigration usually becomes a “hot” issue here is when one of those human smuggling ships comes prominently ashore.

      It’s true that some refugee and immigration advocates will think that, if stories are run focusing on, e.g., the estimated overall number of illegal immigrants in Canada and their “cost” to taxpayers, that is ipso facto racist and “anti-immigrant”. Lavoie seems to be explicity taking issue with that assumption, saying it should be fair game for public policy-oriented programming. Lavoie is, I think, arguing that we shouldn’t be afraid to at least air and debate such issues. To me, I think it depends on how actual stories are presented, whether it’s inflammatory and sensationalist or more balanced.

      • fritz says:

        I doubt that the Sun News Channel, or whatever it’s called, will be as skilled at propaganda as FNC but there easy ways to spot the signs of bias.
        Fox makes up stories out of whole cloth; eg the New Black Panthers controversy.
        They also alter the meaning of phases; eg the ‘public option’ became ‘government run health insurance’ or ‘climate change’ was always to be mentioned with the proviso that the data it was based on was a subject of debate. There are public memos, from the EP’s, to the staff stating these instructions.
        Up here I expect it will take the form of multiple stories on subjects like the evils of a coalition or documentaries on the sponsorship scandal but watch for small things like always calling the Ignatieff Iggy and the NDP the ‘dippers’ or ‘socialist party’ On Fox it’s always the Democrat Party never the Democratic Party. Small but telling.

  11. Seems like a lot of people want to squelsh Sun TV. Don`t you have channel changers?

    • Namesake says:

      like you, you mean? right on cue

    • fritz says:

      Opinion TV is a very big issue in the US; whether right – FNC, left – MSNBC or center – CNN. I don’t think there is any doubt that Sun TV will have a mostly conservative/CPC POV despite any statements to the contrary. I also think it will do very well both in ratings and financially just as FNC does in the US.
      My hope is that someday there will be a version of MSNBC up here to give we liberals a channel to have our views expressed.

  12. JH says:

    I think WK is there because most commentators on the left are boringly dreary and devoted to endless reams of verbiage delivered in an oh so self-righteous manner. Look at some of the long-windedness on here to prove a point. Jaysus! WK is certainly not any of that. After all, is there some rule against being an entertaining left of center commentator?
    As for media bias – surely no one is going to argue that programs like P&P along with the CBC’s Parliament Hill gang do not have left of center leanings? The same goes for the likes of CTV’s Taber and Oliver etc.
    I mean I don’t really care since I watch ’em all, but c’mon. u5ayHopefully at least Faux News North will be entertaining.

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