02.13.2015 08:31 AM

Dear Sun News Network folks

I was on Twitter, past midnight, reading some of the things people were saying about the network’s demise. There was a lot of gloating and awful stuff being said.

I slept for four hours, then got up to watch the network disappear. They showed a promo for Pat Bolland’s show, and then that was it. The screen in my bedroom went black at exactly 5 a.m. I stared at it for a while, and tried to formulate what I wanted to say.

It’s not you who I want to say it to, former Sun News Network folks. It’s to those people on Twitter, last night and this morning, the ones who were gleefully celebrating the end of Sun News.

They’re celebrating, I guess, because they disagreed with the opinions that were found on Sun News. They didn’t like conservative opinions being broadcast, so they think it’s funny that 200 people have lost their jobs. I find that completely insane, for two reasons.

Firstly, folks, I disagreed with those conservatives, too. Plenty. On sex ed, on CBC, on abortion, on niqabs, on social programs, on climate change, on Islam, on gay marriage, on Liberals and liberals, on just about anything you can imagine: I would regularly appear on Sun News Network to argue with those conservatives, face-to-face, on-camera. I would argue, aggressively, against the conservative point of view.

And, over almost four years, a funny thing happened: they kept inviting me back. They asked me to come on much more than my day job would permit, in fact. And they were professional and courteous and fair to me. Only once did they try and shut me down – here – but multiple Sun folks called me afterwards to apologize, and to say that it would never happen again. It didn’t.

That’s the first thing: if you disagree with someone’s opinion, debate them. Present evidence. Argue with facts. Be passionate. Because that’s what Sun News Network gave me an opportunity to do, over and over, for four years.

Here’s the second thing: in case you haven’t noticed, our traditional news media are dying.

There are all kinds of reasons for that: the Internet, Google and Facebook and Craigslist, bad business decisions, whatever. We can debate the causes ad nauseum. But the fact is that the media, as we knew it, is disappearing.

Bloggers and social media mavens will celebrate the mainstream media’s demise, too. But they shouldn’t. Because bloggers and tweeters don’t generate actual news – they just comment on it. They offer opinions on someone else’s work. Someone else’s journalism.

When that journalism disappears, mark my words: our democracy will be diminished, and possibly even in peril. I’m not exaggerating. There is nothing that keeps the powerful in check – not Question Period, not a public opinion poll, not even the police – as effectively as journalists do. I’ve worked on both sides, and I know, I’ve seen it: every time a newspaper dies – every time a TV network dies – the powerful grow more so. You may think that’s okay, but I sure don’t. They are not always benign in the way they exercise power.

Anyway. Those are the two things I wanted to say, this bitterly-cold Friday the Thirteenth: if you disagree with someone, debate them. Don’t let out a cheer when they lose their job, and their ability to pay the rent and feed their kids. Because one day, in this economy, you’re probably going to lose your job, too. And it would be pretty shitty for someone to find that funny, on that day, wouldn’t it?

Remember this, too: every news reporter – every news editor, every news producer, every news technician – is a crucial part of a flourishing democracy. And when we lose them, our democracy loses. The Sun News Network ones, too.

And I guess there’s a third thing I wanted to say: Kory – and Matt and Dennis and others – put together an actual national news network, and they had some good folks there. I may have vociferously disagreed with the opinions they expressed – and you may have, too – but I am so, so sorry that they have lost their jobs, at 5 a.m. this morning. I will miss many of them.

So, don’t celebrate them losing their jobs. Don’t be indifferent to the effect it will have on our democracy. Because if you do, you’re just being an asshole.

Anyway. Back to work. I’m lucky to still have a job – and if you’ve got one, you should be, too.




  1. Louis says:

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying Mr. Kinsella.
    But you mention yourself that bloggers and commentators don’t generate actual ‘news’. That might have been the problem with Sun News: if only it had covered a bit more news (or had the means and resources to do so). Send a camera and a reporter to cover whatever Conservative-leaning event is happening. Nothing wrong with that.
    Sun News sure disagreed with the NDP and the Liberals. And that’s fine. But is the answer to this disagreement to go on the air and wear an orange wig and mock the NDP when their leader just died ? Is the answer to a disagreement with the Liberals to slander Justin Trudeau’s mother and twist facts (in the kissing bride piece) ? You loose credibility with these stunts.
    I guess it was in the approach: going way too far in trying to attract viewers, with stunts (cutting down the tree, the Krista Ericksson interview).
    Canadians could use another Conservative channel. I agree.
    But couldn’t it cover the… you know… news and events?

    • Warren says:

      Not when their budget was being squeezed by CRTC bureaucrats seeking favour with the guy they thought was going to be the next Prime Minister.

      • Louis says:

        CRTC decision didn’t help. But I heard Sun News as in about 5.1 million households, and yet was only attracting around 8,000 to 10,000 viewers.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Available to 5.1 million viewers, but how many only if they paid the extra $3 like I had to? How many even knew it was available for the extra $3? And on how many channels was it hidden away in an obscure corner where surfing wouldn’t even trip over it?

          Right. The knives from all the usual suspects were out for them right from the get-go.

          • CRBG says:

            Till only last month, I, myself, didn’t discover I had to pay an extra $3.00 to get two channels: SNN and FOX I refused to pay it because I hate my rising cable bill. I’ve been with cable for 15 years paying the highest cable package available and didn’t even know that I had to pay more to get conservative channels until I asked about them. The only FOX channel I get is a minor sports station out of Detroit, but it’s not the actual FOX news network, so it doesn’t count. It is not a coincidence that both SUN and FOX are targetted by CRTC. CRTC’s decision was definitely a form of bias and suppression because it targetted only right-leaning news outlets. I resent that CRTC is attempting to guide Canadian opinions. Something must be done about it.

          • Al in Cranbrook says:

            And you are entirely correct: Fox News is a $3 add on here, too.

            And did the cable provider ever advertise, via the infinite numbers of promotional emails we get, that either channel was available for an extra fee? Right. Me neither.

            Funny how that works, eh? I’m sure it’s purely coincidental, irrelevant, just a mere oversight.

        • Ann Harris says:

          This whole CRTC thing reeks of corruption, and political interference. Canadian society is becoming more and more unethical and immoral. So sad. For those of us who have lived through much more ethical and moral times (a few decades ago), it’s very hard to see society headed in this downward spiral. We’ve traded “the common good” for the “all about me”.

      • Carol says:

        How were the Sun “stunts” any different than those by the CBC in the name of their brand of left wing comedy. Some CBC show (Marg del a hunte or whatever?) who dressed up as an iron maiden and who regularly accosted conservatives like the TO mayor at his home. Shame on all of you hypocrites.
        My family also paid the $3 to enjoy the politically incorrect perspectives and opinions.

        • Ann Harris says:

          WELL SAID!

        • Robyn Lawson says:

          The main difference between the two options you offered is: one claimed to be a comedy show, not a news reporting station. The comedy show wasn’t claiming opinion as fact, which the Sun News did. One was honest reflection, the other was a propaganda machine for the CPC.

          • James Duvall says:

            So being a propaganda machine for the NDP (the CBC) is ok? Why is it that Conservative Journalists are automatically propaganda machines for the CPC?

          • Robyn Lawson says:

            @James Well, let me ask you – is calling Trudeau Sr. a slut while announcing that his son was a cheap photobomber at a wedding he was invited to participate in, while promoting the party platform of the CPC, your idea of a non-propaganda machine? Seems far less balanced than one might reasonably expect from a tv broadcast claiming to be news reporting. Even LeRant had to admit, he was not a journalist. The truth is, most Canadians do not desire that sort of broadcasting.

          • Kevin Stott says:

            What about the Canadians that do want this sort of broadcasting? Do they not deserve to watch show that reflect their point of view? Liberals are very tolerant people, until you express an opinion that differs from theirs, then they want you gone and forgotten.

        • scot urquhart says:

          The difference, Ann — is that the CBC clearly presented This Hour has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report and similar shows, as comedies. In no way was there any suggestion that these were actual, serious, credible “News” shows. Too often, unfortunately, Sun TV seemed to take the opposite tack — presenting what was purported to be serious news, in a bellicose fashion that called to mind slap-stick comedy. It diminished their credibility and status, as a legitimate broadcast news organization and was, I believe, beneath them. More often than not, I did not agree with the editorial positions taken by Sun News, and in fact I work for a competitor. But I agree with Warren Kinsella that there is no joy whatsoever, in celebrating the demise of a competitive news voice in today’s marketplace. Now, more than ever, we need every serious journalist that we can get in this country. If no one watches, if no one challenges, if no one exposes, the machinations of those in power, regardless of political stripe, Democracy in a very large and real sense, is diminished. ( The same scrutiny, by the way, needs to be applied to any powerful group or organization; be it politics, business, religion, technology, science, environment or social advocacy. ) So yes, I am sorry to see Sun TV go — I only wish they’d tried less to be provocative, and more to be a thoughtful, measured voice for conservative views.

          • Donnie (et al), this is a comment that I’ve seen over and over again, seemingly everywhere. Where, exactly, did SNN present an opinion as news? I’m not too sure I’ve seen that, and I’ve watched a lot of that network obviously. If it’s an opinion show, like one hosted by Ezra, Brian, or the Bishop then it’s sold and announced as one, if it’s hard news then it’s sold as something with that kind of label, something like “Hard News”. The political bent comes from those who are paid to provide that, like Warren. The hard news is provided by actual reporters reporting the news, the same as CTV, CBC, or Global, just with a SUN microphone instead of something taxpayers paid 75 thousand dollars for. As a former reporter I know what to look for, and I can tell you that I’ve seen at least as much bias from the CBC so called “news” reporters as those working for Sun. Why don’t we see people complaining about the bias from all those ridiculous Neil McDonald pieces on CBC? Why is that for some reason everyone “gets” that McDonald is expressing an opinion but when Ezra says it it’s “biased reporting”? Then there’s the news direction, or the decisions made by the various “news” services regarding what get’s reported on, and how. Care to explain to me how the CBC isn’t biased when they lead with Robocalls more than 400 times when it was a Conservative scandal but when it turns out to be a Liberal behind it it’s buried in the regional news, and even then it’s only there for a few hours? Please, I really mean this, give me an explanation how a network is not “biased” and yet that happens? I say the bias is in the viewers, like you. You don’t see reality, you only see what you want and simply deny any suggestion of reality that doesn’t agree with your pre-concieved ideas. No different from the infamous Dennis Dales, only a matter of degree. Or…prove me wrong. Show me how the CBC isn’t biased despite the example I gave you, and how the opinion pieces on Sun were biased when they (for some reason) weren’t supposed to be.

        • Christo says:

          The CBC never aired a racist segment targeting a whole people. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/25/bernie-m-farber-et-al-hating-the-jew-hating-the-gypsy/

          That’s the difference!

    • Carol says:

      How were the Sun “stunts” any different than those by the CBC in the name of their brand of left wing comedy. Some CBC show (Marg del a hunte or whatever?) who dressed up as an iron maiden and who regularly accosted conservatives like the TO mayor at his home. Shame on all of you hypocrites.

      • Anne says:

        You’re comparing a comedy show on a network that carries entertainment as well as information to stunts on a network that has “News” in its very name? One of these things is not like the other…

      • Robin says:

        In 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis when several US citizens were being held by the new regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, I was recovering from surgery at a hospital. One day I went into the television and ready room in my ward to watch the evening news. There were two elderly gentlemen in the room.

        After a news segment about the Iranian hostage situation which included an image of Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the elderly gentlemen said to the other: “You know it’s all a hoax. He doesn’t exist; it’s an actor posing as the Ayatollah.” The other gentleman nodded in agreement. What; how preposterous?

        Then, I remembered reading something that had posed this theory. After they left, I sifted through the magazines on the various side and coffee tables in the room. Finally, I found it. On the cover of a glossy news magazine was full-page photo of the Ayatollah Khomeini with the title: “It’s hoax!” – The National Lampoon.

        This is why Sun News Network was dangerous. People will believe without question what is printed or broadcast on what appears to be a responsible source of news. We are better off without it. Sun News Network was one long stunt.

        However, I will miss watching Warren Kinsella joust with Brian Lilley since it often provided me with ideas with which to retort the “Brian Lilleys” in my world.

    • Ann says:

      “But couldn’t it cover the… you know… news and events?”

      The point being that, first of all, SNN DID cover the news and events; the IMPORTANT news and events, not the usual MSM typical, “Johnny fell down crossing the street and nearly got hit by a car” kind of news or “Toronto city council are arguing over, guess what?……subways again” kind of news or “what some celebrity wore to the Emmy’s” kind of news. All the stories on the MSM have value of course but they don’t cover, in depth, those serious National or worldly issues that so much affect Canada. Hense, our general public have become what’s commonly known as “low information voters” and that’s a serious threat to democracy.

      How anyone can say SNN stories are boring or unmeaningful is beyond me. Those who watch SNN and eke out bits of smut while missing the real story are petty, no mind idiots wasting their time on that kind of activity. I’m sitting here watching past programs that I tape every day, morning to night and haven’t caught up on and I’m in tears. Not much makes me cry but, injustice will do it every time. The injustice of those leftists who refuse to listen to the other point of view (I didn’t say…listen to the other side….because “the other side” is too divisive).

      Warren, while I mostly disagreed with your ideals, I always respected your degree of fairness and willingness to debate. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I will miss you as much as all my other “friends” on SNN. Thanks for this article.

      – See more at: http://warrenkinsella.com/2015/02/dear-sun-news-network-folks/?replytocom=245168#respond

  2. Ty says:

    Debate on ideas is great. Liked Coren, you, Lilley, and Akin.

    Becoming obsessed with one political figure’s personal life to the point of calling for his excommunication and implying that he basically thinks he has a right to sexual conquest because of his parents isn’t. Referring to opponents non-ironically as “enemies of freedom” isn’t. Actually slandering a people to the point of nearly getting the AG involved (a neigh impossible task) isn’t. Giving the Fords an hour of free broadcasting time at the height of a crisis to lie their faces off isn’t.

    Watched NB’s election this summer. Akin was great, Lilley was fun, I was enjoying it. Then someone mentioned PR and they let one of the hacks go on for 5 minutes slamming any idea of it, while nobody thought, “maybe a viewer should hear the other side. or at least hear talk about the election”

    Half of Sun News wanted a debate on ideas. Half of Sun News was the Sun comment section with flashier graphics. Really wish the first half

  3. Rita Beswick says:

    I disagreed with you a lot too, but always, always you were fair to Sun News too, and as an avid watcher, I just want to say thank you for explaining it so well.

  4. Joe Archibald says:

    I agree, but I hope the outcome is some thoughtful, determined folks will see this as chance to learn from some of the issues that led to SNN’s demise and try again. My hope is we see an even stronger need for a truly unbiased , news based network that recognizes the need for a strong media and someone capitalizes on that position.

    That’s my hope but I won’t bet my kids university fund on it.

  5. Matt says:

    SO, Iwhat happens to the SNN’s CRTC licence?

    Moses Znaimer was in talks to buy SNN. Now that they have gone off the air, can he buy the licence and relaunch a channel for less money than it would have cost to buy SNN?

  6. Richard Fromm says:

    Very well put, Warren. This is a sad day for the debate and discourse of ideas. Democracies are served best with healthy debates and differing opinions, not just through discourse via the state media.

  7. ZannaJoy says:

    Very well said. We need all minds searching, to find the truth.

  8. Mike Adamson says:

    I agree with you on democracy and media and future prospects but am I out of line if I say that the market has spoken?

    • Warren says:

      If the market really “spoke,” CBC wouldn’t fucking exist past this afternoon. Get real.

      • Lance says:

        This is a great statement, and so true. I’ll bet you get quoted on it in the days to come. I’m sure you’ll receive some fire because of it, LOL

        I especially loved your words about disagreeing with your opponents, but always maintaining respect and decorum – a swordly salute; chivalrous, temperate, and gallant. I’ve been guilty of being over-partisan on, sadly, too many occasions. Thanks for being an example. 🙂

      • Kim says:

        EXACTLY! Thank you Warren – I do not always agree your opinion but you are right – if you don’t agree with someone – debate them – don’t try to shout over them or just try to pretend that the other person did not say something. Sun News got screwed by the CRTC and the only reason CBC did not have the same fate is because they are subsidized by the tax payers.

      • steve gordon says:

        too true

      • Darren says:

        Had the CBC/CTV organizations and their supporters been smart they would have backed SNN’s bid for Must Carry status. It would have made it more difficult for SNN to criticize the CBC for “feeding from the trough” that they were now feeding from. And had SNN still gone under with Must Carry status, they really would have had only themselves to blame. But the CBC/CTV and their supporters didn’t act smart.
        Don’t be surprised to see a renewed backlash against government funding of the CBC because of this. Don’t be surprised to see a renewed push to have the CBC go to a subscriber funding model, like HBO or Netflix and a renewed push to eliminate the notion of Must Carry. Neither option would be good news for the CBC.
        It won’t be painted as anti-CBC, however. That wouldn’t play well in Eastern Canada. Nope, it will be under the banner of customer choice. Let the customer choose for themselves what they want to watch and pay for. Let the market determine what survives. That plays well everywhere, especially in an election year.
        Today is bad news for both SNN supporters and CBC supporters.

        • Tridus says:

          Had Sun News kept their OTA license and wanted to be must carry in basic without a carriage fee (like CBC and CTV are), that would have had a much higher chance of success. They wanted to be must carry AND have Bell and Rogers pay them for every single cable subscriber in Canada.

          Quite a lot of people were opposed to that, for obvious “I don’t want my bill to go up for yet another channel I don’t want” reasons. That was the whole flaw in the plan. The CRTC realized that mandatory basic channels suck and said they were going to stop licensing more of them. Quebecor then went and tried to get one licensed anyway.

          It’s worth remembering that BDUs like Rogers don’t pay to carry OTA channels. They don’t pay CTV for CTV itself. They do pay CTV for CTV News Net, but CTV News Net is not must carry. Neither is CBC News Network, outside of Quebec (in English Canada, certain french channels are must carry, and in Quebec, CBC News Network is must carry for English residents). It was in the past, but that ended several years ago.

          It’s always been pretty absurdly hypocritical to rail against mean old CBC’s funding and praising the free market while simultaneously asking big government to force private business and cable customers to buy your product even if they don’t want it. Just as it was hypocritical for CBC to try and get carriage fees out of Rogers for their OTA feed and campaigning against Sun News’ mandatory application while getting all that government money.

          What we really needed was a-la-carte channel selection where people just decide what channels they want and pay for those, without bundles or half the channels being in basic (and disadvantaging the other half which are not). Maybe that’ll happen one day, but it’s too late for Sun News.

          • BarryT says:

            Why are American channels in the must carry area and yet Canadian channels aren’t? It is all about the CRTC kowtowing to the progressives and not caring about Canadians or honesty.

          • Tridus says:

            There are no American must carry channels mandated by the CRTC. American channels in basic are there because Rogers, Bell, and co decided to put them there. That’s the market in action. It’s odd that so many people complain about this when it comes to Sun News and yet have no idea what the rules actually are.

            The fun fact is that back when Sun TV was an OTA broadcast channel, they benefitted from being must carry in their own market. Quebecor pulled the transmitter and went to being a specialty channel, thus losing that must carry provision. They then whined at how mean the CRTC was being to them, when it was their own fault.

      • Tridus says:

        Stephen Harper has had what, eight years to stop funding CBC? He never quite gets around to it.

        Conservatives who don’t like CBC have nobody but their party leader to blame for its continued taxpayer funding.

        • Tridus says:

          Agreed. Personally, I want Ottawa to put out a firm vision of what CBC should do, and then fund it appropriately to do that. Whatever it happens to be.

          This throw money at it with no direction thing that we’ve been doing since the Chretien days just leads to CBC English flailing around trying to figure out what it’s supposed to do, which isn’t a good way to use tax dollars. If we’re going to fund it, lets get value for that funding.

      • Ken says:

        Excellent response, Mr. Kinsella.

      • DonnaM says:

        Here here! Warren, at ~1b tax dollars per year, and finite control over what is said and not, I could not have said it better. Cheers to you!

  9. Peter says:

    There is a sizeable constituency on the left who believe the correct response to a lot of conservative opinions is to, if not silence them, define them as beyond the pale of civilized discourse and unacceptable in the public square. I’m not without sympathy in some cases–Levant’s more frothing jeremiads come to mind–, but the worrisome trend is that this impulse seems to be growing. The worst is in the enchanted kingdom of academia, but there are lots of other folks who are happy to haul out Hitler analogies, or pap psychobabble or “micro-aggressions” or whatever to diagnose rather than analyse. Just look at how many people seem unable to engage in any debate on Harper without lurching into hyperbole about secret agendas or the “destruction of democracy” and suggesting anyone who defends anything he does is personally complicit. To these people, conservatism isn’t another perspective competing with theirs, it’s a bad dream where history went off the rails and will only recover its mission on some future glorious day when the clouds disperse and the sun shines again. Or perhaps a better analogy is a virus. For these people, the demise of Sun TV isn’t a blow to democratic debate, it’s a triumph of public health.

    • The Left says:

      Seriously, Peter I let you babble all the time but at one point I just have to go to bed.

      You need to stop confusing freedom of expression with some perceived obligation to listen.

      • Justin says:

        Spoken like a true ignoramus. Left, why is it you believe that only the opinions of Liberals are the only ones that must be heard?

  10. Richard Besserer says:

    It’s a weird morning when you and Kathy Shaidle agree on something, though I suppose both of you are mourning Sun News right now.

    In a surprisingly perspicacious column at PJ Media, she points this out:

    “Conservative commenters at various blogs accidentally provide a clue [to SNN’s demise]:

    Many admit to not owning a TV anyhow, or being unprepared to pay the extra cable charges required to watch Sun as part of “specialty” packages.

    Which is a shame. It’s funny how people can always find money and time for what’s really important to them.

    After whining for generations about the lack of conservative/libertarian TV programming, not enough Canadians were willing to cough up a few dollars a month to watch it.”


    In other words, SNN died because people refused to pay those 200 people for their work.

    All I’d add is that they’re not the only media outlet in the same boat. Not by a long shot.

    You know what? I read the NY Times, FT and Globe pretty regularly. I think I’ll subscribe to their websites this lunchtime.

  11. bdh says:

    i might have been very wrong about you mr. kinsella., and while i disagree with your politics, i will remember this for some time…


  12. Allyson says:

    Hi Warren,

    It’s a nice thought but do you honestly think that people with extreme views are interested in listening, reason and debate? The only thing they do is shut down the other person’s voice using whatever bullying techniques are at their disposal.

    I have seen this in my religious relatives, I have seen it in the way Steven Harper avoids press questions, I have seen it on the Sun News Network.

    I am not against checks and balance in journalism, but the SNN did not prove to be palatable to Canadians and for that I am greatly relieved. Perhaps an alternative can be found but before then, I will only be thankful that Fox North is off the air.

    • Jaime says:

      Your comment is spot on!

      • terence quinn says:

        Plus 2…I agree as well

        • Eileen McRae says:

          SNN was “palatable” to a lot more Canadians than you think! There are Canadians “out there” who have the necessary critical listening and reasoning skills to “winnow out the chaff from the wheat”. I am one of those. I viewed SNN because they provided an alternative view to the “chaff” spooned up by the mainstream media. Did I always agree with viewpoints shared? No, but at least I had the opportunity of listening to those viewpoints and opinions.

  13. Geoff says:

    Well said, Warren. I’m with Peter. Many liberals are more interested in censorship than debate these days.

    • JH says:

      Right on! You see a number of them here every day viciously attacking folks sitting on the fence, as well as the outright Tory & Dipper supporters. Same goes for the Conservatives and the NDP uber-partisan crowd. What they don’t realize is that the nuttiness really prevents many undecided voters from participating in any way. Many of them just to say the hell with it all and take a pass, especially come election day.

  14. Leanna Villella says:

    Dear Mr. Kinsella

    This coming from a Conservative. Thank you! Some of the best debates were with you arguing the lefts position on political issues and I for one benefited a great deal from your fair, honest and educated approach to the issues. I will miss Sun News and I feel for each and every one of the dedicated journalists and staff members and their families. I know they will land on their feet but for today, I am thanking them for providing us with both sides of the issues. This is something that I do not see on any other news station and Mr. Kinsella you were a huge part of making that possible. You have class!


  15. Lynn says:

    Spot on, Warren. Instead of reasoned debate these days there is a tendency to just hurl rocks at the opponent hoping that you can just eliminate them. That might be a good strategy when trying to win a war, but in a civilized society we all lose something when we do not consider the opinions of those who may be opposed to our own position. Reducing things to a simple pick a side and defend the position, eliminate the enemy, seems to be a rather simplistic way to live in a complex world.

  16. Colin says:

    I can celebrate SNN going away while at the same time feeling bad for people losing their jobs. Need to remember that a lot of things we don’t like create jobs — war, hurricanes, etc., all create jobs, but we’re glad when they aren’t around. I’m glad SNN is gone.

  17. AutoGuy says:

    Mr. Kinsella, thank you very much from one of those conservative types who generally disagrees with you. Your take on this unfortunate occurence has proven that real journalism isn’t dead. You are now someone I will read and respect.
    For those who are celebrating the demise of Sun News, consider this; Liberal ideals didn’t win today. Totalitarianism did.

  18. Jason says:

    As someone on the conservative side of things, I enjoyed certain things about SNN – including, but not limited to, the fact that they had left-leaning folks like you and Lisa on the network.

    There were a lot of things that “even” me, as a conservative, didn’t like – I am all for humour, even sharp humour at times, but often it seemed like there was more clowning around than hard-hitting going on there. With the exception of folks like David Aiken, Pat Boland and Michael Coren, I just couldn’t get into watching it on a regular basis. But that’s me.

    What got me, as it did you, is some of the gloating about how a network went down and people lost their jobs. Of course, some of the folks on my side of the political street act the same way when the CBC takes a hit to its budget, not remembering that real lives are often involved. It’s wrong when either side does it, to that degree. I don’t begrudge someone saying “SNN/CBC is not for me because it’s too rightwing/leftwing”, and I’m not suggesting that left-of-centre folks have to wear sackcloth and ashes, any more than I am saying right-of-centre folks need to become CBC lovers. But if both sides can avoid the sort of grave-tapdancing that they would find offensive if and when their own “side” takes a hit, that would be great.

  19. Nope says:

    I’m a former Sun employee with a lot of friends affected by this. That said, I think your post is b.s. A straw man. You’re conflating “glee that the network is gone” with “relish that people are unemployed.” Those two things can be mutually exclusive. And they are.

    I am happy that this near-worthless, sensationalist voice that contributed almost nothing to the media landscape is gone. I am happy that bigoted, disingenuous blowhards like Michael Coren and Ezra Levant now have a much-reduced platform. I am happy that a station that proudly employed non-journalists in ostensibly journalistic roles is no longer spewing amateurish coverage. I am happy that a “news” website literally riddled with typos and grammatical errors no longer exists to spread misinformation to the unaware. I am happy that this shamelessly biased station won’t keep parroting Harper campaign slogans with ads in my Facebook feed.

    That said, I still sympathize with my friends, who are hardworking and dedicated people (you have to be to survive that awful place), and now have the stigma of “Sun TV” on their resume. Likewise, I’ve seen many online voices expressing the same sentiment: “I feel for the employees, but glad Sun is gone.”

    I take no joy in fellow journalists and friends losing their jobs. But I can still be happy that Sun News is dead. Good on you for giving Sun a fair shake. However, you go too far by ascribing this mean-spirited attitude to its detractors.

    • John says:

      Wow, Nope. Did you have a moral problem accepting that paycheque?

      • Nope says:

        Eventually, yes. At the beginning, I was disgusted with how many liberal and media voices like Magaret Atwood and Heather Mallick were calling for the pre-emptive censorship of he network and I was prepared to give it a fair shake. I was excited to be part of something that said it would be different. But as it devolved into a sensationalist pseudo-news echo chamber and I literally heard people say “how will we spin this?” in the newsroom, I began looking for another job.

        And it wasn’t easy. The industry is a dumpster fire these days, and having “Sun TV” on your resume doesn’t help.

    • Robyn Lawson says:

      I think you hit the conflation nail on the head. Good job.

    • Robin says:

      Nope, thank you for your personal insight. It’s unfortunate that Sun News Network didn’t invest more on air time and resource to present thoughtful debates with well-educated and articulate panellists representing a spectrum of viewpoints from right to left. Instead, the channel became an extended version of CNN’s Crossfire whose “journalistic” contribution to political debate was challenged by Jon Stewart not long before CNN wisely cancelled the show.


      If there were elements of Sun News Network that did provide some value to public discourse on politics, it is possible that other networks will pick up those segments; however, it is unlikely, and that is the true test of the value any portion of Sun News Network provided.

      If the technicians at Sun News Network are members of the IATSE union then they should be able to find more work in a reasonable time; if not, it may be more difficult as victims of a network that didn’t protect their technical staff by hiring them through a union.

      Frankly, I always viewed Sun News Network as a vehicle for the Conservative Party of Canada to circumvent federal laws governing political party financing since the Sun News Network consistently parroted whatever campaign slogan or political spin emerged from the CPC Permanent War Room in Nepean, a satellite office for the PMO. Sun News Network provided corporations with a means to contribute financially to this communications strategy.

      It is unfortunate that up to 200 people will lose their jobs; however, in the name of God, they must have known it was a tenuous employment situation, if not, they were no more aware of the real world around them than most of the on-air personalities.

      As Jon Stewart said about Crossfire: “Stop. You’re hurting America.” For Canada, the hurting has stopped. It’s a good thing, too.

  20. Marcus says:

    Everybody reasonable obviously regrets some 200 people are out of work. Hopefully, most of them will land on their feet. A couple of important points, though, which you gloss over or outright ignore in lamenting the network’s demise:

    a) Sun News was not an enemy of the powerful, at least at the Federal level. It was their pliable mouthpiece. The presence of a few token centrist counter-voices doesn’t change the fact that the network relentlessly advanced, protected and defended whatever conservative policy or strategic political interest they were told to.

    b) This strategic link to the Harper Tories and Provincial conservative parties was so pronounced, in fact, that integration between the Sun News room and C/conservative war rooms was employed as a strategic, coordinated political weapon to hurt progressive candidates and further Tory electoral interests in several jurisdictions, and nationally. The discredited Layton massage parlour story. The Trudeau “Albertans” thing. The Sudbury ITO leak. All these were examples where Sun sat on a story – sometimes of extremely dubious nature factually – and then released in a way and at an hour designed to strategically advance the contending conservative interest in specific electoral theatres. There’s a lot you can call this, but “standing up to the powerful,” with respect, isn’t it. I get that leaks to friendly media are as old as democracy itself, but the degree and uniformity of collusion in the conservative electoral interest in this case is without modern precedent in Canada.

    c) Several Sun News personalities routinely crossed the line into offensive, racist, homophobic, bigoted right wing hatred, not reasonably appreciable as mere edgy comment journalism. So many examples of this they can’t meaningfully be summarized in a single comment, but: the Gypsies thing? Come on. Overt, misogynistic sexual innuendo against executive of companies trying to adopt better environmental practices? Calling the mothers of political leaders “sluts?” The network’s conduct and standards often wouldn’t even pass the new policy you rightly warned haters of on this blog days ago.

    d) Frequent conspiracy theories driven by ideological blindness so profound it obscures even the most tenuous link to reality. This was most powerfully epitomized by the Lilley “gun seizure” story. The cops acted reasonably to secure weapons which weren’t stored correctly, returning them immediately to their legal owners once the crisis ended. This was conflated into a leftist conspiracy against gun owners. Fittingly, it was Sun’s last rant.

    I actually lament Sun’s demise, as I feel its core objective of shaking up a complacent, insular and compliant media landscape in this country is both necessary and noble. The real tragedy of Sun News is that if they’d broadened the tent, relaxed their hyper-partisan instincts and offered a more balanced product, they might just have survived.

    Good luck to all facing tough times as a result of their sad, but perhaps inevitable end.

    • Lyndon Dunkley says:

      If Sun TV and the Conservatives were so intertwined, why didn’t Harper just walk down to the CRTC and demand a must-carry license and better channel? Surely the fascist Conservative government has a Goebbels within that would have recognized the necessity of such a move?

      • terence quinn says:

        Pealed recently had dinner at 24 Sussex dr. trying to convince the PM to give SNN a lifeline. Harper is behind in the polls, where he will remain, and a subsidy to a Quebec based news organization run by a separatist would not fit the profile of his base. In the words Harper has no guts.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Lyndon……Fascist….Goebels…..really?? Perhaps you would be more at home over at the Rabble site.

        • Lyndon Dunkley says:

          Liz, this site had an article two weeks ago where half the comments argued Harper and his government were fascist. I was simply pointing out the logical inconsistency – why such a “fascist” government wouldn’t support its own supposed “propaganda” news network.

          If Harper is 10% the vindictive prick some believe him to be, then my guess is he woke up yesterday and said “that’s what you get for trying to take my seat 15 years ago”.

          • Herb Wiseman says:

            The answer as to why Harper wouldn’t support the fox news network is simple. It spoke to his base which he already has in his back pocket. He is interested in 50 Shades of the grey on the right wing and Sun/Fox news does not resonate with them — the numbers prove it. To get elected in our FPTP system he needs to tap into the other grey right wingers who are not as right wing as the Sun/Fox.

    • Alvin says:

      Well put… SNN would have done much better if it understood marketing and news… Make a valid news point with valid reports and make a valid news spoof with valid comedic spoofiness. The reason Jon Stewart is successful is because he is a master at taking legitimate stories and making fun at how the story is told. In many ways this comedian is a far better news man than the professional news man because of his integrity and his sense of humour. NO ONE with any intelligence would take Ezra as a reliable news man, but if they made Ezra a comedy like “This hour has 22 minutes”, he would be more successful and if done properly he would be taken more seriously as a news person as well. He just screwed himself and the only people that would believe him as an actual news person would be the ignorant who aren’t actually interested in the news.

  21. David says:

    I concur with this; at the end of the day 200 people just lost their jobs. You don’t see people celebrating the closing of a plant or store, even if you don’t purchase their products.

    They had a rocky start but I think were coming into their own recently. I always felt they had a more effective online presence than cable presence. And they also had debates, which I really don’t see on the other channels. I’m getting a little tired of panels where people, ostensibly with different political viewpoints, spend the entire time nodding and agreeing with each other. I’m not sure that does us a service when there are so many real debates Canadians are having with each other, as reflected in their political choices and the makeup of Parliament and legislatures across the country.

    I promised myself I’d never write on your blog but this is the second time I couldn’t resist. You’ve said something twice now that evidences good character. Ha!

  22. Bob says:

    I think that’s only the second time I’ve agreed with you Warren, but very well said Sir. Regardless of ones political persuasion they should read these words and reflect on them for even just a minute.

  23. AutoGuy says:

    Nope, it looks like you missed the point. You disagree with what Sun said, that is pretty clear. That doesn’t mean that what they said was wrong. The DEBATE is the point. That is why I respect Mr. Kinsella, because he isn’t afraid to engage in that debate. You celebrate the fact that the debate is over.
    Do you believe that the debate was won? Truly won? My personal take on the debate is that it is far from over.
    To remove that debate puts our democracy at risk. Another point that Mr. Kinsella gets, and that you don’t.
    You don’t have to agree. You can throw epithets, too. But you should never stop debating.

    • Nope says:

      AutoGuy, what are you talking about? your post accusing me of missing the point ironically misses the point of my own post. And it misses it by such a wide margin I almost honestly think you mean to reply to someone else. To recap:

      Warren: “gloating over Sun News’s demise = celebrating the loss of 200 jobs.”

      Me: “That is nonsense. They are not the same thing. There are many other reasons to be pleased that Sun is gone and it is disingenuous to suggest people are ‘celebrating’ lost jobs.”

      I do not go into whether Sun’s viewpoint was wrong. I am not talking about the debate. I am saying Warren’s accusation of schadenfreude are ridiculous, cherry-picked and intellectually dishonesty of almost Sun Newsian proportions. Period.

      • debs says:

        I liked both your initial post and this reply, glad you got out before the demise of the network.
        if the channel had tried for a different more balanced approach it might have garnered more of an audience. too bad the network heads wanted such an extreme off the “political cliff” approach.

      • Robin says:

        Nope, thank you for your personal insight. It’s unfortunate that Sun News Network didn’t invest more on air time and resource to present thoughtful debates with well-educated and articulate panellists representing a spectrum of viewpoints from right to left. Instead, the channel became an extended version of CNN’s Crossfire whose “journalistic” contribution to political debate was challenged by Jon Stewart not long before CNN wisely cancelled the show.


        If there were elements of Sun News Network that did provide some value to public discourse on politics, it is possible that other networks will pick up those segments; however, it is unlikely, and that is the true test of the value any portion of Sun News Network provided.

        If the technicians at Sun News Network are members of the IATSE union then they should be able to find more work in a reasonable time; if not, it may be more difficult as victims of a network that didn’t protect their technical staff by hiring them through a union.

        Frankly, I always viewed Sun News Network as a vehicle for the Conservative Party of Canada to circumvent federal laws governing political party financing since the Sun News Network consistently parroted whatever campaign slogan or political spin emerged from the CPC Permanent War Room in Nepean, a satellite office for the PMO. Sun News Network provided corporations with a means to contribute financially to this communications strategy.

        It is unfortunate that up to 200 people will lose their jobs; however, in the name of God, they must have known it was a tenuous employment situation, if not, they were no more aware of the real world around them than most of the on-air personalities.

        As Jon Stewart said about Crossfire: “Stop. You’re hurting America.” For Canada, the hurting has stopped. It’s a good thing, too.

  24. Ann says:

    Thanks for writing about the human cost that comes with the demise of SNN. It’s not going to be easy for 200 people to find work and take care of their families and responsibilities.

    I do hope, that their voices are not lost because as you point out our democracy needs more voices not less when it comes to keeping our political class accountable.

    It is sad and telling that many have take to social media to cheer SNN demise because they didn’t like a conservative point of view having a platform to express an alternative point of view. It also demonstrates that they did not and would not support what has been attributed to Voltaire:

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

  25. Jean says:

    At least with Sun, we got the Conservative side of any political issue. Unlike the CBC & CTV and many newspaper media, who only pander to the shiny pony and the Liberal party. We need to hear ALL sides in all things political. Now we will not, as the Liberal point of view will only be reported. So sorry for all the good employees who are now in the unemployment line.

    • Allyson says:

      My entire family (with a few exceptions) has voted Conservative and have for decades. If it’s of any interest, CBC is on constantly in all our households, even though it’s not the quality network it used to be. My Conservative family supports the arts and education and see the value in government support of both. My Conservative family are not bigoted, support gay marriage and are non- Church goers. They live in Alberta but they are not rednecks. They are increasingly despondent at the acts of the Harper Government, although they would not vote Liberal or NDP in a million years.

      What is a Conservative voice? For me, it’s many things EXCEPT Sun News, which is just controversial for the sake of being controversial, an outlet for the extreme view, and a mouthpiece for the Harper government.

    • smelter rat says:

      Horsefeathers. The CBC Board is made up entirely of Conservative appointees.

  26. Alex says:

    I cannot agree with you in the slightest. I would say that your opinion here sort of expresses one of the many problems that SNN created for itself.

    People are not gloating because they disagree with your message. They are gloating because of the single minded, facts be damned method by which that message was delivered. The “news” part of SNN means in theory you weren’t there to deliver a message, but to deliver the facts and the truth. Obsessively bending the news to try to fit an agenda is a horrible thing to do. The gloating you see is all about the end of that lopsided point of view that covered over any good the station could really do.

    SNN failed not because of liberals, not because of people saying nasty things about you, not because the CRTC wouldn’t give you mandatory carriage and a free lunch… it’s all about the product. Quite simply, your potential audience was 5 plus million who could watch you, and the fewer than 10,000 who actually did so. SNN failed because at the end of the day, Canadians were unwilling to pay for and unwilling to tune into the channel for whatever reasons they may have had. I watched SNN a bit when it first came on the air, and realized that the vast majority of the programming was one sided “opinion disguised as news” that didn’t really bring anything to the table. I wasn’t challenged to consider my views, I wasn’t exposed to a thought provoking mix of views, I wasn’t shown that the story had two sides. I quickly caught on to the single sided, 2D view of the world that dominated and colored everything on the channel, and made it pretty unwatchable.

    Oh, and for the record, I subscribe and pay for Fox News (and CNN). I am not against (or for) the conservative point of view. I think it is one of many ways to consider things. It’s not the only way.

    What SNN has proven, perhaps beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that except for a xenophobic few, Canadians are not sheep, and are unwilling to be corralled into small minded dittohead style thinking. Canadians have open minds and just wouldn’t pay to watch minds more closed than their own.

  27. Ben says:

    Amen, Nope. Exactly. In my reading of twitter last night I actually saw a lot of people who were sad about Sun’s demise, and sadder about the way it was going down. With hardworking journalists and producers and editors not having been told a thing while the mainstream media was reporting they would be unemployed as of the next morning.

    Sure there were some who were “gleeful.” It’s twitter. You can cherry pick what you want.

    I should add though that I won’t miss the channel a bit. I mourn the loss of media jobs, and wish the network could have smartened up, produced better content and created more jobs, but they failed. Miserably.

    The clip you showed us from the Brian Lilley show kind of says it all. While you are presenting a reasonable view, the host is ranting, raving, shutting down your mic and generally being a prick. This is what Canadians couldn’t be bothered to turn in to, and this in the end is why Sun News is gone, and why 200 people are out of work.

  28. Ben says:

    n my reading of twitter last night I actually saw a lot of people who were sad about Sun’s demise, and sadder about the way it was going down. With hardworking journalists and producers and editors not having been told a thing while the mainstream media was reporting they would be unemployed as of the next morning.

    Sure there were some who were “gleeful.” It’s twitter. You can cherry pick what you want.

    I should add though that I won’t miss the channel a bit. I mourn the loss of media jobs, and wish the network could have smartened up, produced better content and created more jobs, but they failed. Miserably.

    The clip you showed us from the Brian Lilley show kind of says it all. While you are presenting a reasonable view, the host is ranting, raving, shutting down your mic and generally being a prick. This is what Canadians couldn’t be bothered to turn in to, and this in the end is why Sun News is gone, and why 200 people are out of work.

  29. Rick Hemmingson says:

    Well spake.

    The CRTC (and their bosses in government) did Canadians a great disservice when they decided we only need a Left Stream Media.

    SUN News Network made this country a much better place – no question.

    • The Left says:

      Yes the CRTC went door to door and programmed Sun News out of peoples televisions. The nerve of them!

      It had nothing to do with terrible ratings in a declining market at all.

      If you want I can throw in an ADSCAM and NEP to make you feel better

  30. Poyani says:

    Reading this pathetic defense of the traditional news media reminded me of this old article by Glenn Greenwald entitled “THE PETULANT ENTITLEMENT SYNDROME OF JOURNALISTS”.

    RIP traditional media. You never once held the powerful to account on behalf of the people and you will not be missed!


  31. Rick says:

    Having been in the media biz for 30 years myself, I hate to see anyone lose their gig; regardless of their political views.

    The Sun News Network was a much-needed balance against the leftist lamentations from the CBC, the stridently anti-Israel (almost bordering on anti-Semitic) Toronto Star; et al. Had SNN been permitted to be carried on basic cable by the CRTC, their refreshing; no-holds barred assault against political correctness would have found a much greater audience.

    Censorship via the “Cannot Really Try (to) Communicate” outfit.

    Plus, the CBC slurps about one billion big ones per-year from the public tax trough; AND sells commercial time as well. Private stations do not get taxpayer subsidies, they must rely on their self-generated advertising revenue.

    SNN would have been competitive if it was on basic cable, as is CBC Newsworld, CTV; etc.

  32. Greg Holden says:

    If Sun News Network supporters are calling me an asshole then at least I got something right. As a news publisher, editor and blogger all I can say is Kinsella is out-of-date as to who generates news. While Kinsella’s blog may not generate news, rather it comments on it, it does generate a lot of hot air, much like Sun News Network did. For those who fancy better than empty rhetoric based on an infantile perspective, there are other options and to the credit of the Canadian viewer they rejected Sun News Network. Expect better of your news, expect better of your political dialouge.

    Mourning the loss of jobs to people who disgraced journalism with their bias and disgraced Canadians by insulting their intelligence, is about as bright as publically flogging yourself. I’m not sorry you lost your gravy train, but I feel your pain.

  33. Jacqui says:

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s never a cause for celebration when a dissenting viewpoint is silenced.

  34. Craig says:

    Even the “Canadian Press” has degenerated into a Harper-hater opinion outlet. Journalism is dead.

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      Not really. Read “Party of One” by a journalist who is well respected and detailed in his reporting of facts.

      • Cranston Snord says:

        “Well respected”? By whom, exactly? This author is a one-trick pony if there ever was one, and has been a Harper-hating journalist since day one.

  35. BrianK says:

    I think your point about the power of journalism to contribute to a vibrant democracy is essential. As anyone who has worked in politics knows, it’s not the opposition that really drives change – it’s the media. Political parties fight for the media to cover their issues on their terms. My office recently made a policy announcement that got a lot of positive coverage. That policy was driven in large part by an incident that occurred about a year ago that got a lot of negative media attention. Very quickly, thanks to the media, an issue that had previously been ignored by most people was being talked about, and we had to react. The media works. We should have more of it, not less. That so many people feel able to take the free flow of information for granted must be a testament to how good we have it in Canada.

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      This is true only if the topic you are dealing with is inside the box considered appropriate by the corporate elite. For example, our media hardly ever if at all deals with the true causes of the country’s debts. It NEVER talks about money creation and to my knowledge did not cover the recent debate in the British parliament on the topic.

  36. MgS says:

    If Sun News was actually doing journalism and engaging in debate, I might agree with you. They weren’t.

    Run by CPC partisans, with people like Ezra Levant, Brian Lilley and Michael Coren as talking heads, this station wasn’t about “the debate”, it was a straight up partisan propaganda arm for the CPC. You, Warren, may have been a voice of comparative moderation in that sphere, but that doesn’t undo

    In no respect can I call Sun TV “journalism” – it was 98% opinion and distortion. With a few notable exceptions, it became a station which was a purveyor of lies about LGBT people on Coren’s shows, Ezra Levant spewed more absolute nonsense – inventing “facts” as he went along, and Lilley and the rest generally acted as a cheerleader for anything the Harper government proposed – the more it attacked Canada’s rights and freedoms, the happier Sun TV seemed to be to promote it.

    That isn’t debate. That isn’t journalism.

    There is, in fact one word for Sun TV: Propaganda

    • BrianH says:

      You have just described the CBC to a tee – except they are in the pocket of the Liberals. Two other differences though: Taxpayers are forced to keep CBC in business and you agree with CBC’s bias, so you find that acceptable.

      • jeff 316 says:

        You can not support the CBC but still take a reasoned stance. Yours is nothing but sillyness. You obviously haven’t watched either network.

    • debs says:

      excellent description!

  37. Ian Berg says:

    I wanted to congratulate Warren Kinsella over Twitter for this fine article, especially for stating “if you disagree with someone, debate them.” But on Twitter I see that @kinsellawarren has blocked my @ianberg account.

    I can understand not following someone or muting someone you disagree with on Twitter. I absolutely agree with blocking accounts and reporting them if they’re threatening you in some way.

    But I’ll never understanding blocking someone you mrely disagree with. Blocking me just undermine the entire argument you’ve made in this blog post. Nice work there showcasing Liberal hypocrisy at its best.

    • Warren says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. The blocking feature just prevents one person from seeing it; it doesn’t prevent the tweeter from continuing to say what they want.

      Tweet whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean everyone else wants to see it. Duh.

      • Nope says:

        Warren, your selfish denial of Ian Berg’s victim complex is classic librul socialist commie censorship b.s. You are infringing on his rights to be a crybaby. This is why I will not vote for Shiny Pony, because liberals hate freedom, rights and the troops.

        • Ian Berg says:

          Not following accounts that I disagree with works for me but Blocking is a feature provided by Twitter for taking that extra step to protect your Twitter feed, for whatever reason.

          At least Warren Kinsella replied to my post here rather than deleted it.

        • Brian Zinchuk says:

          That’s kind of hilarious, since I’ve known Ian since we were 10, and we went as partners to debate nationals in school. It’s always been in his nature to debate points, not censor them. Ian’s about as far from a liberal socialist commie censor as you can get. It’s curious how people will make wildly outrageous assumptions out of the blue in this manner.

  38. KP says:

    I was one of those awful Twitter people who was ‘gleeful’ when I heard Sun News was finally being put to sleep. Sun News was readily available on my cable package every month and the few times I did watch, I was disgusted by the slanted, bigoted and occasionally straight-up vile opinions being spat by its hosts.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I worked as a journalist before seeing the writing on the wall and getting out of the business several years ago and while I certainly feel for the journalists who lost their jobs, they aren’t naive people who were just following orders. They were educated people who knew exactly what they were being tasked with selling, which was editorial content being tagged as news.

    On some level, I’m dismayed there is such a dearth of journalism jobs that talented reporters, editors and other production staff are forced to reduce themselves to creating low-rent schlock on a network that catered to an infinitesimally-small percentage of the Canadian population, but nobody was forcing them to work at Sun.

    In the end, this isn’t a failure of the market, it’s not CBC’s fault, it has nothing to do with people not wanting to hear conservative opinions on TV – seriously, look at how many card-carrying Tories there are among Canada’s top media personalities – it’s about a business that quite simply didn’t offer anything people were willing to pay for.

    • Rick Hemmingson says:


      I am equally dismayed by left-wing bigotry broadcast non-stop by the CBC. And yet……I must let it into my living room. More than that, money is forcibly taken from my piggy bank and handed to them. Why?

      Your construct only makes sense to you because you define “people” as Canadians who think like you do.

      • KP says:

        I’d like to see some of this ‘non-stop left-wing bigotry’ you are seeing on CBC.

        Our media landscape doesn’t work the same way as the States. Screeching partisans are left to the comment section of newspapers or given brief digressions in nightly newscasts to explain their opinions, not given entire networks to bloviate endlessly about topics that aren’t germane to news or current events in Canada.

        I define ‘people’ as Canadians who vote with their wallets. Sun News never presented a compelling case for anyone who wasn’t already interested in their viewpoints to seek it out. They defined themselves by their key shows, which featured divisive personalities like Brian Lilley, Michael Coren and Ezra Levant, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

        It was commentary masquerading as news. Nobody cared. That’s why they failed. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous.

  39. Pierre D. says:

    Good column Warren but I disagree on several points.

    First, I’ll admit to a little gloating and whooping it up, if only because Sun News claimed to be a lone pinion of truth, valid opinion and “straight talk”. Unfortunately, none of those qualities were seen on the network for any length of time. I tuned in three times over the past few years. What I saw were vitriolic attacks on the Liberal party, party line stuff supporting the oilsands and vituperations from Ezra Levant.

    And it was cheaply presented. So, so cheaply presented. I often wondered if I was looking at a college television show or if I was really watching a multi-million dollar media conglomerate’s flagship station.

    “Bloggers and social media mavens will celebrate the mainstream media’s demise, too. But they shouldn’t. Because bloggers and tweeters don’t generate actual news – they just comment on it. They offer opinions on someone else’s work. Someone else’s journalism.

    This is hilariously incorrect. Get on Twitter during a world event and Bloggers are first with the photos, the takes, the info. They put it out there raw and (sadly sometimes) unedited with appropriate commentary. Also, let’s not kid ourselves. Sun News doesn’t offer journalism, they offer…wait for it..opinion. They comment (as bloggers do) on current events to steer opinion toward the conservative side of things.

    Warren, in closing, I’ll say one last thing:
    I had a sub to Ottawa Sun and cancelled after Ezra Levant’s often libellous attacks on others.
    I had a sub bo Ottawa Citizen and cancelled it after it simply stopped offering enough editorial content for my tastes.

    The day belongs to the bloggers. They are being recognized and hired in sports avenues (NHL) and mainstream media would be wise to hire them, give them some writing training and go from there.
    I want to read their opinions more and more, and the canned opinions of Sun Media and Postmedia less and less.


  40. debs says:

    I didnt like sun news, I didnt agree with most of their content, and I most certainly didnt like Ezra Levant. I liked Warren and I really thought David Akin deserves more then losing his job, along with all the other hardworking staffers. If they could fire Ezra and have kept going, perhaps, but im not going to miss them>
    what I really wish sunnews could have done is be an independent thought media, no conservative spin, but with actual stories on the malefeasance of this govt, the mismanagement of tax money etc.
    instead we got stuff like guns in highriver taken and krista E skewering a dancer. Not really my cup of tea, and I most certainly dont want anyone to starve, but the idea that the station is a disenting view that couldnt be found elsewhere, well im not so sure about that, I see the national post as one place. I also see many right wing blogs that could satisfy the 5000 right wing viewers who need a place to go.
    However I do hope that the hardworking staff find work in the spring and I wish all of them the best.

  41. Al in Cranbrook says:

    SNN had no respect whatsoever for the sacred cows of the left wing.

    Who else had the balls to march headfirst into a crowd of demonstrators, often at considerable person risk, and ask the hard questions? And whom knew waaay too many of them by name, because they were inevitably the same bunch of professional protesters showing up from one end of the country to the other. CBC? CTV? Anyone? Not a fucking chance! All they care about is a) said demonstrations pumping the (left wing) narrative du jour, and b) and providing endless fodder with which to fill their airwaves and draw ratings, and thus ad revenues. Questioning protesters pumping such mind numbingly idiotic and stupid garbage that, if one tried, is impossible to even make up. Again, asinine garbage never, ever to be aired by CBC or CTV so that Canadians might get a real handle on just who these people are, and what they are truly about.

    All done as of 5 this morning.

    All the left wing righteous posturing and pontificating over free speech, but nevertheless many of whom advocate for the censorship, if not outright banishment, of any and all views skeptical of AGW. Will one ever, EVER, hear some talking head on the CBC or CTV dare venture even remotely close to asking tough questions of the likes of Suzuki, or Gore, or the endless parade of preachers of the Church of Anthropological Global Warming?

    SNN did a broadcast of the one hour interview with Suzuki from Australia, certainly no one else would. I can’t stand the guy…and even I was embarrassed for him! Actual scientists in the audience, often asking science based questions about AGW and GMF, were pretty much gobsmacked by his astounding lack of knowledge, if not his dubiously banal rhetoric. Even the host of the program could barely hide his own discomfort. All of it to the sounds of crickets amongst the usual suspects of Canada’s MSM.

    Levant, love him or hate him, is a relentless pit bull in pursuit of the truth. And he cares not one wit whom the truth offends…often even if they’re conservatives. Where else will we find journalists of such nature? He tackled those whom attempted to squelch free speech in Naniamo’s city council, in Calgary street protests, in anti-oil sands demonstrations, wherever didn’t matter. And he brought us the truth of fracking, the sound science involved, and first hand evidence of the boon it has been to the people and economy south of the border. As well, he exposed the underhanded and disgusting, if not actually seditious, lengths to which devotees of the AGW mantra and opponents of the petroleum industry are prepared to indulge. As opposed to the endless and not so veiled bashing of our own energy sectors by the usual suspects of the Canadian MSM.

    For the first time in my 60 years Canada had some balance in its on air news coverage.

    That all went out the window this morning. And 98% of those cheering here will never know how much we just lost, because they couldn’t dare, or bear, to have their sacred ideologies challenged.

    It’s a GD shame upon us all.


    • Dianne Monusd says:

      Well said Al. Totally true, we have really suffered a great loss today and sadly most don’t even know it.

    • John Daly says:

      Al: Ezra Levant. The end 😉

    • edward nuff says:

      Al your parrot is dead.
      No, it isn’t.
      Yes, it is.
      No, it isn’t.
      Yes, it is Al, Your fucking parrot is dead. There was nothing left for it to repeat.
      Yes, there was.
      No Al, There wasn’t. Your fucking parrot is dead.
      No, it isn’t it’s merely sleeping.

  42. Brian Busby says:

    I don’t see anyone celebrating the loss of jobs – quite the opposite. Maybe that’s just my crowd. I’ve heard no cheering over the mainstream media’s demise.

    Though I agree with much of what you say, I can’t help but recognize that there is a great difference between expressing opinion and spreading falsehoods. We saw examples of the latter regularly on Sun. We were treated to Ezra Levant’s repeated claim that Pearson decided to change the flag to “Liberal colours”. We rolled our eyes when Brian Lilley stated that Trudeau had the pool at 24 Sussex built for himself at taxpayer expense. For the most part, the falsehoods were rather trivial, but uncorrected they formed part of a constant stream that fed the cesspool of misinformation.

    (I’m being a bit unfair here – after all, Sun did issue a retraction and apology to George Soros. Ezra Levant did not. Sun also apologized for the Justin Trudeau “wedding crasher” piece, but did not issue a correction. Ezra Levant was silent.)

    I’m not celebrating the loss of Ezra Levant’s TV gig, but I do wonder that he had it in the first place. That he did says something about the network’s demise.

  43. davie says:

    I surf tv channels (way too much). When Sun news started up, it struck me that evangelical tv was already preaching the same points of view. They still are. There is a national network that carries this mix of religion and politics all day Sundays.
    I thought that the past few years the CBC news and CBC tv networks have become fairly narrowed, fairly government friendly. A few years ago programmes that challenged the powerful began to disappear, to be replaced by programming that lauds the powerful.
    Sunnews seemed to me to target the vulnerable, basically painting the vulnerable as being very powerful, then bravely attacking them.

    Now Suntv has the same freedom of speech that I do.

    If the media is the institution holding our powerful in government to account, rather than the opposition, maybe we should fix that.

    (I must have missed the programming where anyone on Sunnews gave a rat’s ass about anyone in this country being out of work, unable to feed their kids.)

  44. Kelly says:

    Hi Warren, I was a regular viewer of Sun News, very sad to see them go. I am a conservative and when you were on I would sometimes yell at the TV at your remarks and wonder aloud why they would invite such a staunch Liberal such as yourself to a conservative network. On the other hand very refreshing to see the other opinon which you DON’T see on other political networks. That was the beauty of Sun News they invited all views, especially the ones they disagreed with. I don’t know if there will ever be another news channel like it in Canada, but its a loss for sure.

    • Brian Busby says:

      I see a tip of the cards in talk about “other political networks.”

      What other political networks?

      And, please, before anyone calls the CBC “lieberal”, allow me to recognize the diversity of opinion presented on Power & Politics and the At Issue panel.

      To suggest that there was beauty in Sun News is a matter of opinion; to claim that “they invited all views, especially the ones they disagreed with” is absurd. Frankly, one can’t help but question a network that held a “view” – uniformly.

      Yes, they were all individuals.

  45. Dale says:

    Very well stated Warren.
    Many times I disagreed with you and other times I was in full or at least partial agreement. However, I also disagreed at times with Ezra, Brian, & Michael but at the same time found their forums informative with lively discussion and good debate.
    The bottom line is that Sun News made me think about many important and interesting things: Canada, the Economy, the Socialist state, climate change, and so forth. Sun News presented an alternative to the strong Socialist leanings in Canada.
    Sun News and you will be very much missed.
    Hoping that somehow, I see all of you again.
    All the best.

    • edward nuff says:

      Oh please. They were temporary foreign workers who drank the koolaid from the land down under who thought being foxes in the henhouse was a gool idea. It wasn’t, isn’t and never will be. If they didn’t know it coming in they sure do going out so as we say in Quebec “c’etait de la bonne merde qui on shier. Vraiment de la bonne merde ais maintenant c’est temps de partir. Au revoir.

  46. The Progressive Indian says:

    As a small c conservative that leans libertarian, I am sad to see the only semblance of “balance” we had in the news now gone.

    As for the left, their glee at this, much like the grave dancing I’ve witnessed when a conservative figure died, puzzles and saddens me.

    I said & saw from the start though, that SNN would not last long. They were to over the top with their presentation & I always thought they were “preaching to the choir” more than they were trying to increase viewership.

    That’s my $.02

    • Brian Busby says:

      Again, I’ve seen precious little glee expressed – and I’ve never seen the left grave dancing when a conservative figure has died.

      There are exceptions, of course, one friend wrote me to say that he doesn’t feel all that bad about the SNN employees who have lost their jobs. I guess we’ll agree to disagree. He sees himself as as a centrist. I don’t think he’s typical.

      When Kathy Shaidle dances on the grave of Michel Trudeau, a young man who didn’t so much as run for office – “There’s never an avalanche around when you need one,” she writes” – I see her as atypical of the right. The regulars to her blog who repeat her inane remarks? I don’t see them as typical either.

      • Brian Busby says:

        Ah, and I didn’t even mention the sad spectacle of a bewigged Ezra Levant joking around with Michael Coren after Jack Layton died. I defy anyone tp come up with a similar display shown on CBC News Network or CTV News Channel.

  47. Alex says:

    Warren, like you I disagreed with almost everything Sun News said. However, also like you, I am saddened by their demise because it is another example of the death of traditional journalism.

    We are living in a strange time when: a) the thirst for news is increasing; but b) the economics for producing news are failing. I recently heard James Baxter, one of the founders of IPolitics, speak about the current demise of traditional journalism. Speaking in Ottawa, he predicted that The Ottawa Citizen would likely disappear within five years. Others have noted that the Sun chain of newspapers may also disappear in the near future. Which raises the question: If the Citizen and Ottawa Sun go “poof”, who will give Ottawa-residents their local news? Baxter said that one of the reasons he was inspired to create IPolitics was to create the new generation of news sources.

    My view (hope?) is that a new group of entrepreneurs will rise to fill the coming journalistic vacuum. On dark days, however, I sometimes wonder if news is a unique commodity in the sense that everyone wants to have it, but almost nobody wants to pay for it. And if nobody wants to pay for it then who will produce it?

    • Warren says:

      Yep. And my column won’t be in the Sun after Tuesday, looks like.

      • Bill MacLeod says:

        Well then Warren, speaking as a small-c conservative — and pretty much a big-C one lately — then that day will be as sad a day for opinion-based journalism as today was.

        I loved your appearances on SNN, when you were agreeing with Brian Lilley as well as disagreeing with him. I’ll miss those programs. (You once mentioned you almost had a show of your own on SNN. I would have loved that. Can you say what happened to that plan?)

        I always read your Sun columns as well. You know, the Sun newspaper opinion pieces were as good or better than those in our other national newspapers.

        In any case, as another soul recently said, you’re certainly a class act. An opinionated one, mind you, but that’s also a compliment.

        In the end, SNN never had a chance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but being available to five million households is a far cry from being available *in* five million households. Frankly, I think the CBC shouldn’t be crowing about having eight times the viewers, given their far greater penetration and lower dial location.

        Cheers, and hoping to be reading your opinions in print elsewhere, if not in the Sun.


      • Bill Templeman says:

        Warren, now this news about the demise of your column is sad indeed. Your columns often tackled hypocrisy, regardless of the political colours of the offender, including Liberal offenders. Good on you for those comments. The media universe is becoming more fragmented all the time. There are precious few fora these days where lefties and right wingers can debate. Your columns in the Sun and your interviews on SNN will be missed. Where to next for your writing?

      • Niall says:

        Hi Warren,

        I certainly do not share your politics but I do share your (near) absolute defence of freedom of speech and debate in the ‘marketplace of ideas’.

        Unfortunately, that Value/Belief system is sooo quaintly 19th century, and has yielded the field to more ‘enlightened’ viewpoints.

        And what is worse, it seems the plain lessons of history in regards to how Power will be relentlessly concentrated in the hands of the few (via a boiling the frog censorship) are lost on those who claim “balance, fair comment, civility, etc…” as their weasel words to constrict what thoughts are even possible, and all naively posited to serve a necessary and inevitable ‘progressive’ arc of history.

        (Black) Friday the 13th was a sad f*cking day for Freedom in this country.

        And made even more difficult to deal with by your alarming hint that my Winnipeg Sun may not now have your opinion columns (I mostly never agreed with them, but I always read them).

        Best of Luck,

        Yours truly

        Niall from Winnipeg

    • willie flintstone says:

      I buy Maclean’s and another paper, yearly, for my mum’s Christman. Costs a bloody fortune, but she is worth it, my mum.

  48. Buck Shumway says:

    Much respect Mr. Kinsella. I always enjoyed your appearances on the Sun News Network. Yes I am a conservative, but I am a dialectic learner. I prefer to watch programs that present arguments from all sides, rather than just one sided commentary with no counter point. You (and other guests) as much as anybody made SNN what it was. It truly is a shame to see it gone. A one sided media, regardless of what side they represent, is a dangerous thing, to us all!

    Anyway, thanks for all you do in helping to form the political dialogue (diálogos, “conversation, discourse”) in our great country! And thanks for your incredible post here today!

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      Buck there is a problem with being a dialectical learner. You don’t get outside the box the media create. It means there is no debate allowed on certain topics so you don’t get to hear opposing views debated. For example. Money creation. The country’s debt. Not being a regular reader of Mr. Kinsella, I do not know what he has to say on the topic or may not remember. But I know that if he had said anything outside the box on these two topics, I would have seen it.

  49. Michael says:

    As a former reporter (laid off twice) now stuck in the vast government communications machine, I agree. Every piece of the media that is lost is a terrible thing. You may disagree with Sun News, but part of the responsibility of living in a democracy means you have to defend their right to say what they want.

    • Robert Jago says:

      You can defend the right of every citizen to speak their mind, and also accept that the content of some minds is really off-putting. Censors didn’t take down Sun News, they did it themselves. They’re no more martyrs than the CEOs at Target or Radioshack.

  50. rude boy says:

    Sorry – The Sun News Network offered a lot of conservative commentary but very little reporting. I would miss the loss of the print version of the Sun much more than I do the passing of its cable network. The loss of the employees’ jobs to one side, David Carr’s untimely death was, for me, today’s big media story.

  51. Len MacKeigan says:

    Sorry man, you’re ysing the same kind of logic that the Sun people did. People may be glad to see the network gone but that doesn’t mean they’re glad people lost their jobs. That’s Ezra logic where if you agreed with some that that was good for a Muslim person you are a jihadist who hates freedom.

    Sun News didn’t appeal to a lot if conservatives because of this cartoonish kind of argument and the way they talked down to their audience as if they were stupid. Plus we really don’t have the same kind of gun-totting, Obama hating, the world is coming to an end people sitting in their bunkers that Fox News has.

    Sadly their was a place in canadian media for a different point of view but Sun News blew it by pushing a hate filled, racist and partisan agenda.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Hate filled and racist??? What utter bullshit!!! They frequently hosted guest commentators of every race and religion. Some as regular contributors.

      Politically incorrect? Absolutely, and bless them all for it!!! I’m sick of debate being stifled, if not censored outright, by that (mostly left wing) crap!

      Partisan agenda? And you think the CBC…burning up a billion $$$ worth of taxpayers’ dough every year…doesn’t have a partisan agenda???

      Give it a rest already!

      And BTW, you want a good taste of “hate filled”, surf some left wing blogs and websites this morning, or the comments section of articles about SNN going out of biz.

      • ben burd says:

        Hey All how about listing three examples of “left-wing bias” and I will take your posts more seriously.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          Tell you what: You provide just one link from the CBC of impartial, unbiased coverage of the skeptic side of AGW. Or perhaps you might document their “reporting” of the news Climategate when it broke. Let me save you some time…skip ahead from that date, because it was roughly 9 to 11 days, as memory serves me, before they even made passing mention of it. Pretty much to the effect of, nothing to see here folks, now move along. Not that they weren’t alone in this…pretty much the same fare was served up by CTV, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN… Only Fox News jumped all over it. And had SNN been around, is there any doubt they would have, too?

          Bias comes in many forms, not the least of which is deliberate exclusion that is practiced by the usual suspects of the MSM.

          News we need to know, eh? My ass!

      • The Left says:

        Funny how a small search on this website finds one Al in Cranbrook taking glee at public servants losing jobs and the CBC being put under.

        Irony and Hypocrisy on Friday 13th.

        Is that called Cranbrook Style?

        • Al in Cranbrook says:

          A billion $$$ per year from taxpayers for the CBC??? For what??? News they deem we need to know, and to hell with everything and everyone else???

          Damn straight I was gleeful! Sell the useless POS for a buck and put ’em out of taxpaying Canadians misery once and for all.

      • John Daly says:

        Al:your overuse of the label “left wing”=zero. Expand your vocabulary. It will be easier now that you no longer have Ezra et al to dumb you down 😉

      • Len MacKeigan says:

        Hey Al,

        Thanks for your typical Sun News Believer response,

        “Hate filled and racist??? What utter bullshit!!! They frequently hosted guest commentators of every race and religion. Some as regular contributors.”

        Sure, but they weren’t there to be debated, they were there to be harangued.
        And the regular contributors had were there with the same agenda.

        “Politically incorrect? Absolutely, and bless them all for it!!! I’m sick of debate being stifled, if not censored outright, by that (mostly left wing) crap!”

        Politically incorrect is good, I agree, it’s a chance to get ideas and disagreements out into the air. As pointed out above there was very little debate on Sun News. Usually just mocking of other’s opinions. And I don’t know who you mean was censoring what. I know “Free Speech” was always a fall back position for Ezra to be able to speak his “mind”, but oddly enough he always seemed to block people on his twitter feed who questioned him or wanted to debate.

        “Partisan agenda? And you think the CBC…burning up a billion $$$ worth of taxpayers’ dough every year…doesn’t have a partisan agenda???”

        Can you point out a Sun News story that was critical of Stephen Harper? That would be great. And my comment has nothing to do with the CBC, I don’t really watch their news much. But here’s an interesting article about television and money and Sun News in Canada. Terrific defence of Sun News as just trying to make a living in the free market world. http://www.ipolitics.ca/2015/02/13/when-the-yelling-stopped-the-strange-life-and-shabby-death-of-sun-tv/

        Give it a rest already!

        Gladly. the last time I commented on a Sun News story I was trying to inform people that the Supreme Court decision to strike down the law against assisted suicide did not mean that people’s children would collude with their doctors to give you and steal your estate. That was Ezra’s take on it and imagine being elderly and having this man yelling at you that you could now be legally killed. That’s not politically incorrect, that’s planting fear.

        And BTW, you want a good taste of “hate filled”, surf some left wing blogs and websites this morning, or the comments section of articles about SNN going out of biz.

        Seen them. And most of them seem glad that Sun News is gone, not that people have lost your jobs as Mr. Kinsella states. The world is not as black and White as Sun liked you to believe.

        You can tell me to “drink the kool-aid now”.

        – See more at: http://warrenkinsella.com/2015/02/dear-sun-news-network-folks/?replytocom=245288#respond

    • Allyson says:

      Yeah, but….. jobs ! : /

  52. Al says:

    Although I was never a fan of Sun News, I agree its passing isn’t good news. To see people on the left applauding (for obvious reasons) and on the right (for it not being Fox News-y enough) demonstrates that people have missed the point. Newspapers, TV news, all these forums for providing information and commentary are under attack by a generation that would rather communicate in 146 characters or less. It’s also a sign that there are simply too many damn channels on TV. I’ve heard claims that one reason Sun News died was because it was stuck too far up the dial for people to find it. I think that’s a reasonable complaint, and remember Sun News isn’t alone: I wonder how many channels up in the 200s are able to survive. I rarely think to tune my TV beyond about 100 and most of those 100 channels I don’t watch anyway.

  53. willie flintstone says:

    A sad day. Today is a PA day, so am home, and am forced to choose between Fox news, cbc or ctv. Pretty boring. Sun tv was always a source to tune in to during the day. More committee study for me, I guess. Am watching a human right committee on Venezuela, as well as c-span committee on terrorism. Fun!

  54. As a Sun news supporter and politically a but to the right, I have to say your post here today has garnered respect from me. Thank you for the excellent article.

  55. Eli Playter says:

    Don’t worry about the faces; they’ll be fine. You only need to look as far as Target for another comparable. Feel badly for the so-so-wage employees turned out on the coldest day of the year. Like their Target counterparts, they’re the ones that’re truly hurt by this (‘though it’s been emminently predictable for a long time to any with hopes of making it anywhere else).

    SNN couldn’t make a go of it producing the cheapest kind of television going: talking heads. About the only thing cheaper is the Christmas log show. If SNN couldn’t make a go of it producing talk radio with images, then it’s disingenuous to try to foist blame on the CRTC or any other quarter for their failings. The C-suite crew misread the tea leaves. Full stop

  56. Bob Jones says:

    I’m always impressed by the vitriol and hate spewed by Conservative pundits at the left until the Conservatives are in a losing position then suddenly we all need to be ‘thoughtful’ and ‘respectful’ of those that are suffering. SUN TV rejoiced at CBC employees losing their jobs lumping them in with executives and ministers or they ignored that unpleasant fact. Now it’s their turn and suddenly they want us all to be mindful of their suffering. Well karma’s a bitch.

  57. Bill says:

    How is the other point of view being lost in this closing of a largely opinion driven network?

    AM talk radio is largely the domain of the right, then there’s the tabloid market.

    And last time I checked, be it the CBC or CTV, whenever there’s an issue to be “debated”, they have members from all three parties or their strategist’s to grind it into dust.

    How is our democracy threatened by the loss of another opinion driven station?

  58. Clayton O'Bear says:

    I celebrate because good so rarely triumphs over evil. It’s not that right wing ideas are discussed that bothered me, it was more the constant lies, defense of the oligarchs, and the racism I objected to. Debate them in an unbiased forum not where they hold the power, and utilyze the power to frame the argument in a disengenouous manner that ultimately harms society. The press isn’t dieing because we refuse to watch conservative propaghanda, it’s dieing because it’s all becoming conservative propaghanda. Refusing to attack corrupt plutocrats, allowing paid spokesmen to publish defensive articles on disproven policies like trickle down, or privatizing water is how media became irrellevant to the mass struggling to not fall into poverty. Rabble is still around give them a network. If they’re goal is to have a job and feed their kids then work for a living and stop trying to sell lies

  59. Esther says:

    I was raised on CBC, but over the last 10 that has dwindled down to “not at all”. I was involved in an issue that would not, could not be discussed on CBC. Reporters steered clear of it. For 6 years I saw them outright ignore our concerns about wind turbines, and eventually the lawsuit by the wind company against me. If Sun News did not exist this issue would never have been debated on TV – CBC or TVO pretended this rural issue did not exist. Even when we had a protest of over 800 people outside CBC building they completely the story. Now that I think of it, we should have stormed the building. That was my last straw with them. When the wind developer Nextera sued me for calling them “Nexterror”, Ezra put a show together within a day that nailed the issue completely. I hadn’t even talked to him about it – he/they had researched and thought it through so well … I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t have said it better. Because he truly does stand for Free Speech. Do I always agree with him? Nope. Has he changed my mind on some issues. Yes. Has he brought stories forward that I had no idea about? Hell ya! Stories that other broadcasters snub, and ignore. Now we are back to one sided stories, with major gaps in reporting what is really happening. Loss of differing voices is true loss of democracy.

  60. Kate says:

    Independent media have real journalists, and investigative reporters. In a world of endless information bombardment, no one has time for the deliberate lies, spin, and omissions of mainstream media. This is no loss.

  61. Shakazulu says:

    Thank you Mr. Kinsella. I’ve never agreed with your opinions, but you showed yourself that you are person of honor and character in defending those who hold contrary opinions. To those leftists celebrating the demise of SNN, go ahead and laugh; ultimately, for we conservatives, true conservatives, our kingdom is not of this world. Now, to you supposed conservatives who never supported SNN, I heap my total scorn upon you. Where else in the media was there a balanced approach to the issue of abortion? Where else in the media was there attention paid to those First Nations Activists speaking out against the corrupt chiefs and bureaucrats? Where else in the media were the cases of Ghomeshi and Levin scrutinized? Ehere else in the media was organized religion portrayed in a positive light? Where else in the media was the corrupt Ontario Liberal Government of McGuinty and Wynn held to account? Where else in the media were informative documentaries about the global warming / anti-fracking hoaxes or human trafficking or the farce of wind power or the evilness of ‘dis’honor killings shown? Where else in the media was courage displayed in confronting Islamic Jihadism, both here and abroad? Where else in the media is Canadian Industry and Business celebrated for their success and innovation and job creation? If not for Sun News: the Nanaimo city council would’ve gotten away with discriminating against Christians; the Nova Scotia legal society would’ve gotten away with discrimination against TWU law school grads; Tom Steyer, the Rockfellers, the Russians & Arabs with the Environmental Movement would be getting away with damaging Canada’s Oil Sands; the pro jihad thugs would’ve gotten away with assaulting peacefully protesting citizens in Calgary. Shame on you, ‘supposed’ conservatives for not supporting our one true public voice. To you supposed ‘conservatives’, I remind you that Dante stated that the lowest circle of hell was reserved for traitors. Whatever mistakes were made, Sun News Network was a shining beacon of hope in an ever increasing dark and hostile world, especially significant at the end of 2014 and then at the beginning of 2015. God help us.

    • Dianne Monusd says:

      Very well put summary of the many things we fans of SNN appreciated and will greatly miss.

      • Shakazulu says:

        Thanks D! Would we ever have known the truth about the High River gun grab by the RCMP if not for Sun News? Would Chinese / Hong Kong democracy advocates get a platform & voice if not for Sun News? Would we ever get in-depth coverage of provincial elections if not for Sun News? Would we have ever known the truth about the anti-fracking protestors of New Brunswick if not for Sun News? Would we ever know about how hate is preached in mosques in our very own country if not for Sun News?

        • Herb Wiseman says:

          Never watched the Sun Media except when it showed up on my Facebook news feed. I am aware of all of the issues you mention but never from them. I was usually aware of them before the newsfeed provided me with the Sun spin. If hardly anybody watched the network how did Canadians get informed? Your argument does not make sense.

  62. Rick says:

    I was very sad to hear of the demise of Sun News. I watched it regularly and tried to dispute the information and stories that were presented. Most times I could not find flaw in the presentation of facts and I challenged others to do the same. You may not like the approach and presentation of Ezra and Brian but as they always stated they were only providing the facts. Can it be disputed that Trudeau vanished during the Hebdo attack – no, are there mosques in Canada preaching hate towards our free society – yes, is the CBC steering clear of the use of certain verbiage to appease and avoid confrontation – well yes. You may hate the approach taken by Sun News in their reporting style but I find it very hard to dispute the truth when it is presented in both written form and videos provided.

    I will miss this channel greatly and I guess I will have to rely on the weather channel for snippets of newscasts because I cannot stomach the publicly funded annoyance of a CBC broadcast.

  63. Dianne Monusd says:

    Thank you for your write up on the demise of SUN News. As a big fan of SUN, I find it a very discouraging day. I do watch mostly news and political commentary but the other media is too unfair and unbalanced. They do not have the kind of commentators of all stripes to debate weighty issues of real concern to people who use their brains. SUN has made me so much more aware of the whole country not just the region I live in. They had a wonderful group of journalists who I will miss dearly. I will also especially miss those who came on the show to enlighten the viewers of the situation in the mid east and the threats democracy faces from radical islam. No other media ever bothered to have commentators of their caliber and direct knowledge of the facts. I enjoyed your debates on SUN very much as well, you were fair and honest and respectful about debating those with different views. This is the highest standard we expect of journalists and commentators.

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      So if you are so much better informed because of the Sun/Fox news, what is the cause of the country’s $600 billion plus debt?

  64. Shakazulu says:

    Koch Brothers or Jimmy Pattison or McCains or whomever please buy SNN, and ensure a balanced media in Canada!

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      Are you kidding? Koch brothers and balanced news? Koch brothers are big into voter suppression in the USA. How is that likely to bring about “balanced news?” You must be a writer of comedies!

  65. Em says:

    I am disappointed and sad with the loss of the Sun News Network.

    However, this might just be the reality of TV as a medium in the world. Taking a page out of Rob Ford, he did create a YouTube channel after SNN cancelled his program. It didn’t last long (is it still around?), but I feel that a SNN clone on YouTube can exist (even as a pay service). Internet will outlive TV .. and from my PoV, I see TV’s as enormous computer monitors anyway.

    I don’t have cable and relied on SNN via the videos page. I never liked the Bell / Rogers monopoly in the GTA, so I gave them the finger. Problem with that is that there didn’t seem to be a “Donate To” button the the Sun News web-page to support you from my end, and I would have happily donated on a monthly basis. I remember sending an e-mail about that about 2 – 3 years ago, but never heard back (or might have went to the blackhole).

  66. Steve Chatzibasile says:


    I have the following to say Sir.

    I debate conservatives all the time. I don’t hate them. I dislike some of their views and the rational for those views. This channel was not a conduit for legitimate debate. It was a propaganda channel. And conservatives rejected this channel to the point it’s now of business. It Came in with a bang and its out with a whimper.

    Nice people or not, this channel was a waste of oxygen and I for one am happy that it’s gone. Some things deserve to go quietly into the night. In the case of this channel, core conservatives have spoken and for once I agree with them whole heartedly.

  67. David Winter says:

    I think if they had kept it OTA (Over the Air) it would have done so much better. At least they would have had 3 stations (London, Hamilton/Toronto, Ottawa) And people watching over the Air, is growing in Canada. Not only that then it would be allowed to be on the Lower Channels

  68. Daniel McCormack says:

    It’s blatantly false to say that anyone even slightly happy about Sun’s demise is specifically cheering on the loss of employment. When you disagree with a person or institution, you can be happy that they have gone under not because you think they should be silenced or unemployed and unable to feed their family (a pretty sensationalist thing to say), but because our democracy has decided that they were no good. You act like this is a typical symptom of our dying press but you couldn’t be more wrong. A symptom of that would be an age old traditional media institution with a decorated history going bust because they stuck to their guns and the public’s tastes have radically changed. Sun was very much a new media institution like CNN, MSNBC and FOX news. This is a very typical market situation of a new trend of media emerging (i.e. 24 hour pundit and rhetoric driven news) and one new player not succeeding. Imagine if the national post went under? That has been a standard conservative voice in this country for a long time and I think would represent a loss of debate, but a completely new age 24 cable news network? Good riddance and I sincerely hope its former employees find new employment and are able to feed their families.

    • jeff 316 says:

      Yeah. This. The you’re cheering families going hungry angle is obnoxious and a false narrative akin to the support the war or you don’t support the troops crap that we know if baloney. One can be happy for the demise of poor quality television “news” and understand the dire impact on employees and their families. Of course support the corporation that supporter you, nothing wrong with that, but the angle of post was rather silly.

  69. Some Guy says:

    The complaining about lost jobs is nothing but a smokescreen for people to lash out against people who are glad Sun News Network is gone. Nothing more. Media outlets close up all the time these days and hardly even make the news. Suddenly, everyone acts concerned that people in media lose their jobs. These same people pretending they are distraught at the lost jobs at SNN today were cheering that the CBC laid off many more last year. Let’s not have short-term memory loss, please. I distinctly remember people cheering the decision to make drastic layoffs at CBC. In this case, people are at least stressing they cheer the demise of the network, not the lost jobs. Don’t be so gullible.

  70. Some Guy says:

    Let’s understand this:

    SNN was available in 5.1 million homes and yet only watched by 8,000 people. That’s terrible numbers, period. This is a network whose very personalities and executives cheered the free market and bemoaned government assistance or interference of any kind. They fell victim to their own politics, as it turns out their viewpoint simply wasn’t as popular as they naively believed it to be. Their own VP claimed he hated “mandatory” broadcast channels, then begged for them to be included as one a year later. The world this network found itself in was created by politics its founders adored. Deregulated broadcasting is subject to the whims of that free market that was SNN’s undoing.

    All this nonsense talk about how people couldn’t find the channel is ridiculous. It’s 2015. If you cannot find a channel on a dial, you’re not worth much to the advertisers who keep a channel on the air. While people are busy blaming the CRTC, they should be blaming conservative Canadians who could have tuned in and never bothered to even try. If 8,000 conservatives exist out of 5.1 million homes, then the problem isn’t the CRTC; the problem is your network simply isn’t popular enough to exist.

    The truth is that people who wanted to find and watch SNN did…and there simply weren’t many of them. This sort of knee-jerk right-wing reactionary is rare in Canada as it is. Now we see just how delusional they always were, assuming their numbers were more plentiful than skeptics warned them from the start. This channel launched with all kinds of pomp and bravado, with its own creators smugly certain it would be enormous because the demand was huge. Well, it wasn’t. Not by a long shot.

    For all the talk about loving the free market and how conservative Canadians needed and wanted a network like SNN, what the people behind SNN wound up learning was that conservatives WANT all kinds of things they simply don’t want to pay for. SNN failing was just the free market at work.

    Oh, and Zoomer was about to buy them out, until the execs balked at their severance packages. So Zommer bailed. You wanna blame someone for the 200 lost jobs? Blame the execs who didn’t bother to think of those other jobs when they were too greedy to take the severance offered to them.

    • Shakazulu says:

      Let’s understand that the CBC gets 1 Billion $$$ from Taxpayers every year. Take that away, then let the CBC and Sun News compete in a free market!

      • Some Guy says:

        Gladly. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that CBC handily would be the 8,000 viewers Sun News Network got.

        CBC doesn’t succeed because of where its money comes from. If you think that, you don’t understand how TV ratings work.

        • Shakazulu says:

          Eight thousand viewers? So you’re saying that without the $1 Billion subsidy, CBC would fail, just as SNN did. I’d say that’s correct.

          • Herb Wiseman says:

            Just checked the numbers. By any way you want to look at it the CBC gets viewers and listeners in the millions. It is only a question of how many millions listen or how many millions view! cbc.ca gets a huge number of viewers/listeners! Personally, if it were not for the CBC, I would not be listening to the radio on my almost 1 hour daily commute to work. I also listen to them exclusively in the morning when I go through my routines for getting ready to go to work.

        • Herb Wiseman says:

          You meant “beat” not “be” the 8000 viewers right?

      • Brian Busby says:

        Let us also understand that the CBC is required to provide service across the world’s second largest country in English, French and First Nations languages. Let us understand that it is much more than a unilingual news network emanating from a single studio, but provides a wide range of radio and television programming broadcasti from dozens of stations across the country.

        Let us understand that the CBC is mandated to meet these minimal standards by an act of Parliament brought in by the Mulroney government.

        Let us understand that Quebecor, until mere months ago Sun’s parent company, annually averages over six figures in government subsidies.

      • D. Khan says:

        That’s nonsense.

        FOX News/CNN/MSNBC have had no trouble competing with PBS.

        Sky News Australia has had no issues competing with the ABC.

        Sky News UK and other UK stations have no trouble competing with the BBC.

        Private radio stations compete with CBC radio and do fine.

        And that Billion dollars doesn’t go to CBC News World.

        It goes to radio, tv, the web, remote areas of Canada, etc.

        CBC Sports had HNIC and CFL on CBC as well as baseball for years. TSN did ok.

        • Shakazulu says:

          Mr. Khan, sir. PBS doesn’t get a $ 1 Billion subsidy from the US government, nor does it compete with the news networks for advertising dollars.

      • davie says:

        Y’mean let them compete for advertising revenue from Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers?

      • Tridus says:

        Quebecor knew what the market conditions were when they started the business up. They had an OTA license and gave it up to become a specialty channel, knowing that doing so would put them at the mercy of Bell and Rogers. That’s just poor management.

        Then the deal to sell and save the station fell apart over severance costs for executives.

        That’s not on CBC. Quebecor made a product that even most Conservatives didn’t care to watch, gave up their broadcast license and were put at the mercy of the big industry players in the process, and then folded the whole thing up rather than forego a big payout for their management failures.

        And hey, if CBC funding is so bad, Sun News probably shouldn’t have lobbied so hard to force big government to make every Canadian pay them for a channel that most didn’t want. Doing that and then complaining about CBC funding is the absolute height of hypocrisy, and that kind of stuff is why almost nobody took them seriously. I guess there were 8000 exceptions, but out of 30 million Canadians that’s pretty brutal.

      • Rick Hemmingson says:

        The CBC is way past it’s best before date. Without it’s huge government subsidy and protection from the CRTC, it would have gone to the tar pits many years ago.

      • Herb Wiseman says:

        No such thing as a free market when all the funding is on the right. The CBC gets a modest subsidy compared tot he rest of the media propaganda machines on the right wing. Check out the taxes paid and avoided by the media corporations, their owners and the banks. NOT A FREE MARKET when they can buy the government policies to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

      • Herb Wiseman says:

        The myth of the free market. Another Sun/Fox victim of propaganda. There is no free market. Maybe on the internet. But the media giants are owned by corporations who bought them to maintain their power in society. Was Chomsky ever on the Sun news? Have you viewed Manufacturing Consent by him? Have you read the Father of Spin by Larry Tye about one of the most 100 influential persons of the 20th century (according to Time-Life — how ironical is that including my citing it).

        • Shakazulu says:

          Ha ha ha! Chomsky? The guru of the Modern Progressive Left. That guy has absolutely no grip on reality. Ha ha ha!


          MJT: For a while he denied Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia ever happened. Then when he could no longer deny it had really occurred, he blamed it on the United States instead of the perpetrators. What do you think was initially going on in his head? Was he lying? Was he in denial? How do you explain it?

          Benjamin Kerstein: It would take a team of psychiatrists a hundred years to figure all of that out. I can only give you my personal speculations on the subject. I think that, in the beginning, he may have believed that it was all a frame-up by the New York Times and the US-Nazi alliance or whoever else he made up to blame it on. No doubt a great deal of wishful thinking on his part was involved, but it’s possible he was sincere in his conspiracy theories.

          Then, as the facts became more difficult to deny and he started looking worse as a result, things got more complicated. At some point, he must have realized that he was saying things that in all likelihood were false. My guess is that he justified it in two ways: First, by relativizing it. Something along the lines of “whatever the Khmer Rouge may have done, it can’t be as bad as what America did in Vietnam, or Chile, or Indonesia, etc. Therefore, I am justified in continuing to defend the regime.” Second, by demonizing his opponents, by saying “whatever the Khmer Rouge may have done, it’s more important not to allow my opponents to win, because they are evil, and it is morally wrong to allow evil to win.”


    • Reality.Bites says:

      There are roughly 12.4 million homes in Canada, so Sun News was available in roughly 41% of homes. TSN and SportsNet are available in about 9 million homes apiece and draw hundreds of thousands or over a million to some of their programming. Other networks are also in about 5 million or fewer homes and are doing just fine.

      SUN’s problem was not distribution. Their problem was their inability and/or unwillingness to produce programming that anyone but a tiny fringe had any interest in viewing. They couldn’t do as well as some random guy with a youtube account, a video camera and a cute puppy. Religious nuts ranting outside the Eaton Centre in Toronto reach a far larger audience.

  71. Richard Flohil says:

    Count me delighted the Sun “News” is gone. Their collapse is the result of the fact that a hard-right viewpoint gos against the grain of the vast majority of lover-case liberals. The channel was racist, homophobic, bigoted and their tone —wrapped in the Canadian flag — proved that “patriotism”: is indeed the last resort of the foolish. Soe200 people lost their jobs? Sorry — but they should never have climbed on board such an obviously shaky enterprise. It’s “personalities” were there to piss people off — and thy succeeded! Brian Lillie is an egregiously unpleasant person who should never be in front of a television camera at all; Ezra Levant is a foolish troll who LIKES being unpleasant, and Michael Coren is a smug, self-satisfied twat. I am DELIGHTED they’re gone!

    • Shakazulu says:

      Homophobic? Coren smug? Coren is quite progressive when it comes to gay rights. As well, the Sun News Network featured JJ McCullough, who is homosexual, and who is a very articulate and artistic commentator.

    • Reality.Bites says:

      Only reason they wrapped themselves in the Canadian flag was to hide their American flag shirt and pants. They hate this country and make their adoration for a hard-right Republican version of the United States perfectly clear.

  72. Kelly says:

    The market for middle of the road TV news is pretty crowded (and no the CBC is not left wing; It’s regularly featured tons of right wingers like Rex Murphy, Andrew Coyne, Lang and O’Leary, Don Cherry et. al). CBC TV, CTV and Global all are more or less in the middle. Sun News Network was simply trying to differentiate itself in the market. To be successful you usually have to clearly position yourself and offer a unique value proposition. Marketing 101. Their promise was that they would deliver biased news of interest to Canadian hard right wingers — all 5,000 of them.

    If someone came up with a truly left wing network, they would probably get a million viewers a night. Not much advertising, but that wouldn’t be the fault of the network or the audience — rather the oligarchs who control Canada’s larger companies. And that is another problem entirely.

    • Shakazulu says:

      O’Leary is a raging capitalist. Murphy is a curmudgeon. Coyne is a centrist at best. None of them are social conservatives. The Sun News Network gave opportunity to the pro life side of the abortion debate to sound out an articulate argument against abortion.

    • Shakazulu says:

      O’Leary is a capitalist. Murphy is a curmudgeon. Coyne’s a centrist. None are pro-life social conservatives. The Media Party never allows free and fair debate on abortion. Only the SNN gave the pro life side an articulate voice.

  73. Shakazulu says:

    One last awesome thing about Sun News that the country will miss: Alex Pierson, Faith Goldy, Gina Phillips, Ada Slyvenski, Marissa Semkew, Larissa Harapyn, Mia Gordon, Adrienne Batra, Paige MacPherson, Beatrice Vaisman, Karen Lieberman, Alexandra Gunn, Sneha Kulkarni, Lisa Mrazek, Kris Sims, Rebecca Thompson, Jessica Murphy, Jessica Hume, Jill Bennet, Lisa Segal.

    • Shakazulu says:

      And Sara McIntyre!

    • Herb Wiseman says:

      Never heard of any of them. But then I don’t subscribe to ANY right-wing media. What am I saying? There is no left wing media except maybe Canadian Dimension. And certainly left wingers seldom are heard in the predominantly right-wing media of our times. So I rely on reading research articles and books about topics that are well-researched and well-written.

      • Shakazulu says:

        Then you admit that you are ignorant. According to Socrates, the beginning of wisdom is to admit you know nothing. So let me inform you, Mr. Wiseman. SNN’s Faith Goldy was one of only two reporters at the Benjamin Levin guilty plea. The mainstream media absolutely failed to report on a senior government official in education that pleaded guilty to child pornography. Why is that? Rebecca Thompson did a documentary ‘Down Wind’ in which the corruption and lies of the Ontario Liberal government and their private sector cronies in the wind power industry were exposed. In that film, there was a committed environmentalist that opposed wind mills, but got absolutely no support from her comrades on the social justice left. Why is that? You live in wilful ignorance, Mr. Wiseman.

      • John W. says:

        Herb, thank you for pointing out a truth many overlook. The right wingers are the business people who have the money and get the tax breaks for supporting pro-business media. Lefties don’t have a lot of money, hence there are almost no left-wing publications and far fewer left-wing think tanks than right-wing conservative think tanks.

  74. John McVey says:

    Hey I feel a lot worse for most of those who lost there jobs than many of the pundits working for Sun do when others lose theirs. I witnessed the “glee” when say autoworkers or anyone unionized lost their families means of support. Let’s face it the core of conservative thinking is sanctimony and selfishness and I’m supposed to be sympathetic to those devoid of it? The reason for I’m glad of it’s demise is fact is there is no balance in the media at all. Since you a Liberal are supposed to represent the left that’s a joke you are center right to my way of thinking. the CBC and Star tout the Liberals Sun, Globe, post, CTV and Global the Tories and the end of the day the NDP is lucky to get any respect at all from any of these corporate propaganda outlets let alone anyone left of them. (and there are those why do you think youth can’t be bothered to vote.) I have often wondered if they really believe what they say or are they just acting at the behest of their corporate masters. I know you’ll say they don’t tell you what to write but your their token Liberal so they can pretend there is balance. Fact is if you get a gig with a major news outlet you A: probably finished at or near the top of your class in journalism. B: have been successful in life somehow therefore naturally inclined toward elitist or out of touch points of view. Then we have to listen to them bitch about bias against them? If my son showed interest in such a career I’d tell him to preach conservatism because that’s where the money is no matter what he believed. Ironically the “free market has spoken.” and I’m proud Canadians rejected Fox News North. yet am sorry for the technicians etc. Good luck to them.

  75. D. Khan says:

    Sorry Warren, but I have to disagree.

    1. You write that “Bloggers and social media mavens will celebrate the mainstream media’s demise, too. But they shouldn’t. Because bloggers and tweeters don’t generate actual news – they just comment on it. They offer opinions on someone else’s work. Someone else’s journalism.”

    Sun News had journalists (David Akin, who was wonderful, for example) but much of what it broadcast was people who did not, as you put it, “generate actual news.” Instead, they offered opinions, gave nicknames and gave misinformation.

    2. I feel for the people who lost their jobs. All the editors, operators, technicians, electricians, etc who will now be looking for work in an industry without many openings in an economy that is underperforming. It is sad. I also understand how it would be especially difficult for you to see this considering you knew these people.

    However, I am personally glad that people like Levant, Fatah, Coren and Lilley are no longer on TV. Why? Not because I disagreed with their opinion. I love people who disagree with me. I read Mark Steyn’s website every couple days. I also check out Rex Murphy whenever I can.

    It’s lying, hatred and a slanted viewpoint that got tiresome.

    3. By claiming that we need a “Conservative” voice in terms of a national news channel, you are dignifying and giving credence to that right wing talking point that all media are biased towards the left. If you remember the coverage of, for example, “ad scam” and other issues, you’d know this is false.

    4. I had the news package from Shaw and SUN was included. It was on Channel 177 just before the HD content at 200. I don’t know how you call Ezra cutting a tree on Earth day, or interviewing JDL members “balanced.” But whatever floats your boat.

    5. As I mentioned, I liked Akin. And I wrote an email to Ada Slivinski in October praising her coverage of a story. You see, the Ottawa shooter had visited my mosque. As a result, Ms. Slivinski reported on this story from BC and did a great job. I commended her in an email on behalf of my community.
    Then Ezra discussed the story.

    He had some guy on from Quebec with no credentials, no peer-reviewed published work, and no expertise to tie my community to radical jihadists. It was here: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/featured/prime-time/867432237001/terrorist-ties/3857683808001

    He did it using false accusations and conspiracy theories along with “guilt by association” smears.

    In my opinion, this was a perfect example of what Sun News could have been (Slivinski’s outstanding reporting) and sadly became (Levant fishing for jihadists and scaremongering).

    You write above that “if you disagree with someone’s opinion, debate them. Present evidence. Argue with facts. Be passionate. ” Well Ezra never had anyone from our community on to debate. He ranted and brought on only those who 100% support his opinion. When he and other Sun hosts had Muslim guests, it was people like Tarek Fatah, who is an outlier for his opinions, and is best known for tweeting at Muslims that they are “Typical Pakis” or “Typical Muslims” for being sexist, racist, etc.

    6. In November when Levant ranted about the Greater Essex County District School Board’s alleged ruining of Remembrance Day by caving to Muslims, and being wrong on every part of the issue.

    If you don’t think that this type of scaremongering and misinformation causes harm, you are out to lunch.

    That’s why I am glad it is off the air.

    And if he would have called one of my dead parents a “slut,” I would have treated him like Pope Francis said to treat such people. But then again, maybe that’s just good journalism to you?

    • Shakazulu says:

      Mr. Khan. Ezra Levant interviewed Anjem Choudary. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqFKwU7RoM

    • Joanne says:

      Mr. Khan,

      You reveal much about yourself and the Muslims whose views you represent when you dismiss Tarek Fatah as an “outlier”. If he is an outlier, and his views are not widely shared within the Muslim community, then most non-Muslim Canadians, I think, would be well advised to take note. Tarek Fatah is internationally known, and was invited to make the opening statement at the Senate Committee on National Security in 2014. Furthermore, “His book “Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State” was (a) runner-up for the prestigious Donner Prize in 2008 while his second book “The Jew is Not My Enemy” won the Helen and Stan Vine Award in 2010″. He and his associates at the former Muslim Canadian Congress ascribe to the following principles:
      “We believe in the separation of religion and state in all matters of public policy. We feel such a separation is a necessary pre-requisite to building democratic societies, where religious, ethnic, and racial minorities are accepted as equal citizens enjoying full dignity and human rights enunciated in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
      • We believe that fanaticism and extremism within the Muslim community is a major challenge to all of us. We stand opposed to the extremists and will present the more humane and tolerant face of our community.
      • We oppose gender apartheid that is practiced in parts of our community, and believe it is contrary to the equity among men and women enshrined in Islam. We believe that Muslim men and women should work together, shoulder-to-shoulder, in their effort to rejuvenate our community.
      • Members of the Muslim Canadian Congress come from all parts of the world with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. We are proud of our Muslim heritage and the great contribution of Islam to human civilization, but are also cognisant of the failures of Islamic caliphates and the bloodshed that runs throughout Islamic history in pursuing jihadi expansion. As Canadians, we renounce the doctrine of armed jihad and follow the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the Canadian constitution as our guiding principles.”
      So the question that begs to be asked, Mr. Khan, is do you share these principles?

  76. John McVey says:

    Also if their paper wasn’t a tabloid with a pretty girl and a fantastic sports section I fear it would suffer the same fate. If you like neo liberalism move to the U.S. please stop trying to convert my great country into it.

  77. D. Khan says:

    I don’t know much about Ezra outside of his libel suits…But as far as his media career is concerned?

    It looks like he might have been the reason Sun failed.

    Everything he touches fails, its seems:

    The Western Standard:
    2004. by October 2007 stopped publishing its print edition after failing to become profitable, becoming an online magazine…then it died.

    Calgary Sun Column:
    Levant wrote for the Calgary Sun, making $125 per column. He got firedi in 2007 for alleging that a school bus driver’s “Muslim-style” head covering might be to blame for a crash that killed a nine-year-old girl.

    April 2011 to February 13, 2015:
    Hosted the Source on Sun News.
    No one watched.
    Ezra lost another gig.

  78. Patrick says:

    I think people are reveling in the death of what the sun came to mean and not the specific loss of jobs, specific commentators aside.

    • MC says:

      That is absolutely true…but Warren will never admit that…same old bullying, bullshit tactics….most are not relishing in the lost jobs, but certainly questioning their employment choice…we are just thanking any and all reasons that Sun is off the air…no real debate on important issues ever found there.

  79. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Well worth a read, and a listen…


    Interview with a very gracious and broadminded Ezra.

  80. Joanne says:

    Warren, it is clear from your words on Sun News that you have both heart and integrity. Democracy in Canada has been enriched by the existence of the Sun News Network, and it will suffer with the network’s demise. While I was sometimes put off by Ezra’s theatrics and by the bias, I appreciated the presentation of news and current issues sans the veil of political correctness. I am saddened to see it go. Television will necessarily be less controversial without Sun, but that’s not a good thing for a free society. It means there will be no forum for truly honest debate on issues that matter. You mentioned in response to someone else’s posting that your column was no longer going to be carried in Sun News Media papers. What gives? I have to admit that yours was the only column I enjoyed reading consistently!

  81. Mia says:

    It’s a shame people are celebrating the demise of Sun New Network just because it differs from their own opinions. There were a lot of views on Sun News that I personally disagreed with, but there were still quite a few issues I could relate to as well. They gave a different perspective than other news networks, and I, for one, am sad to see it go. I’m especially sad for those who have lost their jobs.

    I find people who are gloating about the network’s shut down disgusting. Our country is free and diverse, and people having different opinions on things is what makes it so. Maybe one day these gloaters will wake up, (and grow up), to realize their view of the world is not shared by everyone, and there should be a form of media outlet that represents everyone’s personal beliefs.

    As a political centrist who leans libertarian, I liked to flip between channels, listening to both the Liberal and the Conservative points, weighing on who had more facts and/or better arguments. Now that the Sun News Network is gone, I’m not going to bother watching any other Canadian network when it comes to politics because they all say the same thing, they all agree with each other, and they’re all biased towards the Liberal and NDP parties. Why waste time when only one side of the political spectrum is being portrayed?

    Anyone who is jumping for joy about a news station they disagreed with being shut down should check their narcissistic attitude, because you may feel that today is a victory for you and those who think like you, but to others who can accept people having different viewpoints, it’s unfortunate and disappointing.

  82. Mia says:

    Reading some comments here by people who had to pay more to get the Sun News Network channel, I have Shaw, and they included Sun News in my basic cable package. It was on a crazy number channel, 177, but at least it was available to me for free. It’s too bad the other cable providers wouldn’t do the same.

    • john hanrahan says:

      They were simply a business that failed because they sold a product most people did not need want or support. That’s the free market they support and love. I hope all the workers find jobs with other networks that are providing material that people actually want to view

  83. Cp says:

    Hi Warren,

    I’ve never agreed with anything I’ve heard you say….until now. ( Shouldn’t say “never”” you are good at calling out the disingenuous) And I thank you for telling the truth here. Debate should be encouraged and welcomed. I’m a pretty moderate young concervative and one of the things I really appreciated about SNN was the fact that you would always get a good fair debate. I grew tired of the regular Canadian media with their frothing at the mouth Liberals destroying some hapless CINO. As much as I disagreed with your viewpoints I always liked your passion and the fact that you could state your case. Fox News North this was not, despite what the NP’s headline had to say this morning. I knew who you were long before SNN and thought ” oh shit here we go” when I heard you would be a regular contributor. In the end I think it was one of the best aspects of the whole network. You would never see its equal on CBC or CTV.

    I hope you and all at SNN do well and continue to offer us your talents in the future.

  84. Brian says:

    Good riddance. Maybe they’ll go work in their natural habitat, the Conservative PMO. Yeah, I guess on one level it’s sad when anyone loses their job, but like asbestos mines in Quebec, there are some jobs that are of no or negative value to society and we’re all better without. I hope the government assistance programs for the jobless which the network routinely railed against treats them well.

  85. Don Sharpe says:

    Warren, I don’t like you.
    There were times I also muted your mike, from right here.
    I don’t remember ever yelling at my TV before you were on.
    But there were times you made sense.
    A few times.
    Okay, one time… and now, this time.
    Canadians were well served by Sun News Network.
    Vigorous debate. Straight Talk.
    Sun News Told Us Stories No One Else Would.
    The whole country is poorer now that they’re gone.
    Thanks for saying so.

  86. Mark Miller says:

    Warren: I shed no tears for this day. I am not gloating nor dancing over the carcass with a butchers knife. The network was a poor imitation of US Conservative Radio. Lots of bluster. Lots of holding liberal feet to the fire… but rarely ever holding conservative feet to the same fire. Kory T failed as a businessman. He and his political buddies lowered the standard of journalism in Canada. SUNTV made more people skeptical about our political leaders, and that weakens democracy. Journalists are supposed to report with balance. The late Bob Simon did that and built a respectable career as a trusted journalist followed by many political stripes around the world. The Sun could have done the same. Instead it choose journalism with an agenda. News that seemed to tap into a narrow niche of viewers not interested in facts or balance. Canadians rejected it. Some of the people who lost the jobs were colleagues of mine in previous networks. People I respect. I am sorry that 200 people lost their jobs. But what were these jobs… ? Did these jobs help make Canada a more enlightened and accountable place?

  87. Lex Dunn says:

    Mr. Kinsella,

    I agree that differences of opinion and different political beliefs should be debated. But there are many media outlets where legitimate conservative viewpoints can be, and are, given voice. The emphasis, surely, should be on “legitimate”. Too many of the views purported by Sun can hardly be described as legitimate by any definition of the term (two words: Ezra Levant). You see, not evey crackpot idea is worthy of debate. The “there were no moon landings” conspiracy theory; creationism; Elvira Kurt is funny. None of these require response. Too often Sun descended into the worst kind of inflammatory, hate-tinged rhetoric – not even decent polemic. This is why I rejoice at its demise. Because it too often, for blatantly cynical, self-serving reasons, fed the flames of fear, prejudice, misogyny, misanthropy and, yes, hatred. Yes, I’m sorry for the people who lost their jobs, but when you dance with the devil, you can’t complain when the music stops.

  88. Kre8tv says:

    I’ll give you this: it’s bad form to celebrate anything that entails the shit canning of 200 people in an industry where jobs are already scarce. But I must also say this: it won’t surprise me in the least when there’s more blood letting. TV news is a terrible, fundamentally broken product. It does a terrible job of doing anything other delivering esoteric packaged as news. And most can’t even figure out a way to deliver an even lousy product profitably.

    That’s my bias. I stopped watching TV news after Sept 11 and paradoxically (as some would see it) I’m far better informed now on the world than I used to be.

    What happened at Sun News is not on the staff. They did their jobs and from I’ve read, did so rather well. But journalism is broken. And the subscriber model that has propped up so many enterprises that have zero legitimacy as actual businesses–that’s broken too. This is just the start of what’s to come.

  89. Herb Wiseman says:

    I am not the least sad to see it go. The last thing we needed was another propaganda outlet for the corporate right wing. The CBC struggles hard to be somewhat towards the centre and presents a lot of factual reporting unlike a lot of the rest of the media. I will cite one example that most will find surprising but the media has perpetuated including the CBC. The media ACROSS THE BOARD has perpetuated the belief that government debt is largely due to overspending and therefore taxes need to be cut. None in the media has actually fact checked that myth. The data contradicting it exist from credible sources. But it is ignored in preference of the corporate spin preferences. Nor will many of those who support the Sun Media bother to fact check their beliefs and opinions. They like to have someone to blame and the right wing media has deliberately raised politicians and government as straw men to knock down in their campaign to shrink government, discredit politicians, lower taxes and remove regulations. And the uninformed deliberately unenlightened viewers with their own person axes to grind jump on board because it is easier to blame than to get informed. That has been the role of the Sun Media. To harness the energy of the uninformed and unenlightened malcontents in the service of the 1% corporate elite.

  90. mike says:

    I believe changes are in order. For several years I lived in Montreal. Videotron service starts with basic. Then cutomer has choice what extra channels he wants and only pays an equal price for each and for groups of 5, 25 etc get a group price.
    This really helped Sun and others. Now I’m in Ontario bell has cbc and ctv on basic. Sun and fox and aljazeera are on a higher price
    Package. People, especially ones on low income cannot afford this. Mts in Manitoba recently adopted a set up to Videotron. Had the Videotron system been here I truly believe Sun would have still been here. I blame crtc, bell, rogers, shaw, cbc mostly for what happened. These bunch are kiss ass bullies. I’d likel to see Stephen Ahrper totally 100% cbc funding outlaw these other bunch from using customers bill payments for sport events, a forced corporate tax. And disolve the crtc which was originally an arm of cbc anyway. Only need a department to issue permits and just a few rules. Don’t block out another channel or station. But support free speech or press freedom.
    I sincerely believe we will see a similar channel soon. Hopefully not connected with the others.
    Hopefully with most the on air folks from Sun. I will give real kudos to Sun for the 2013 earthquake and typhoon in Philippines and Vietnam in 2013. Sun and Aljazeera had the best coverage. Cbc rogers, ctv did very little, ctv2 mostly ignored this. Sun and Aljazeera kept politics almost completely out of the coverage. Just honest proper reporting.
    Thank you.

  91. Donnie Mac Leod says:

    Gee Lex ,your comments about the Bias of the Sun people could just as easily be applied to both CBC & CTV networks. I will miss the Sun News people and their input because they enabled folks to get the other side of the story. The man who noted the gloating & the loss for all of us in seeing the CRTC stick handle this Sun News team into obscurity is a tough loss for all Canadians who would rather watch both sides of bias such as the left gets in CBC & CTV and the right side of bias as found in Sun News with an eye to figuring out middle ground for ourselves. In a way this is a big loss for free speech. Without the Sun team I hesitate to think how much longer we would have gone without the transparency needed to be found in the payments to chiefs & Band Councils and the financial rape of their wards. I also wonder who but Brian Lilly in his doggedness would have given us the message that CB had 1300 pages of redacted info on sexual abuse & harassment charges within CBC. The interviews of Warren & Ray in the mix were added bonuses that I will miss. This is a loss for Canadian freedom of speech in that we have lost a measuring stick that pulled to the right but brought us to centre mass. Thanks Warren, you hit on some of my concerns quite well.

    • davie says:

      For coverage of band council activities, you get pretty good work by APTN. And they do it without the sneers, slurs and innuendo.

  92. edward nuff says:

    Nope. You’re all wrong. SNN failed because of bad hair. Really bad hair. No-one wants to look at bad hair. Not for very long anyway. From Levant to the dude with the Oil Can Harry moustache it was painful to watch. This is where Eve Adams should have gone but she is too smart. She went instead to the guy with good hair Our boy Justin. Doubt me? Warren was on SNN. Even he admits to bad hair. I rest my case 🙂

  93. davie says:

    Wow, close to 250 comments on the demise of this network!
    Only a thread on taking fighting out of hockey would bring in this many comments.

  94. David Grant says:

    I would agree that people losing their jobs is never easy and I don’t feel good about that, but I still am not crying about the demise of Sun News. The only connection this network had to news was the word itself.
    This network didn’t contibute anything to helping understanding the world around us. I watched the network and it demonstrated themselves as “Fox News North”, with a softer tone. Most conservatives who are thinking people didn’t like the show because it didn’t reflect their worldview. It was the home of Islamophobes, sexist, and homophobic attitudes as well as for the climate change denialist crowd. The people of Canada had a chance to weigh in on the future of Sun News and they decided with their remote controls. Good riddance to bad rubbish!!!

    • Alan says:

      Exactly why we needed Sun News Network, intolerance of counter trending thought, and truth, perhaps you should have watched researched and learned. Time to read George Orwell’s 1984, we stepped a lot closer on Friday 13th. I am not a radical conservative, but they told the truth most of the time, like all humans personal thoughts may interfere. Better than the rest of the media party.

      • John W. says:

        Alan, It’s called “voting with your feet” or in the case of TV, “voting with your remote”. Any broadcast media lives or dies by its listenership/viewership. The political hacks and insiders who ran SNN had no idea how to build and keep an audience. I bet they never did any real market research, focus groups, etc. but rather convinced themselves they had a great idea tha could not fail. It failed…

      • David Grant says:

        Alan, they didn’t die because of the big bad government but because there programming was dreadful and they didn’t provide anything was even close to news. I watched it for the last year it was one and the only program that resembled news the David Atkin’s program Battleground(which didn’t really provide anything that Question Period, the West Block and Power and Politics provided). Most of the time there were program about how he had to fear Islam and Muslims, gays, and any group that the Sun News Network commentators felt threatened by. Every day it was stories about how people were cheating welfare, protesters were stopping progress, and how Christians are being persecuted. They sounded like a broken record and caused me to want to change the channel. I live in Alberta so I am very familiar with these views and have many people I know who share these views. I lived in the province where I have the Herald which is centre right and the Sun is far to the right. I don’t think that there is a shortage of conservative views. Sun News had as much news in it as McDonalds has food in the product they serve.

  95. Alan says:

    Wow! Warren. What a great article, like wise I don’t agree with you most of the time, at first did not like you, but having watched you on Sun News and see more of your writings, I have 100% respect for you, and hopefully one day will meet you in person. A black cloud moved over freedom of though in Canada on Friday.

  96. John W. says:

    The National Post story on the SNN closure cited Ezra Levant saying, “I felt like the freest journalist in Canada.” Ezra Levant was never a journalist and never will be. A provocateur and polemicist, far too concerned with pushing beyond the edge of fair and reasonable conduct, essentially baiting the regulatory authorities to come and get him. The Vancouver Observer quoted an unnamed SNN employee who said “the network was “run by insiders who did not know a thing about television.”” To my mind, that is the crux of their failure. I heard Warren on CBC Radio the other day, defending SNN as part of diverse dialog. He said he thought the only time Levant crossed the line was with his racist Roma slur. Sorry Warren, I think you are WAY off base. SNN failed because they tried to transplant an American style of conservative broadcasting that has developed over 30 years of having no ‘Fairness Doctrine’ governing broadcasting. Canadian viewers were not interested rude hosts, shrieking interviewers, and right-wing fiction passed off as news. There are strong journalistic traditions in Canada and I think people expect the following: fair, reasonable and civil behavior by hosts/interviewers; a sense of objectivity and balance; and a willingness to engage in a dialog.

    Someone sent me a link to a YouTube video of Ezra interviewing a woman about the planning of the 10th anniversary ceremony marking the 9-11 attacks. She explained her point and he responded something to the effect of, “What kind of crazy person would do that?” As I said earlier, Ezra Levant was never a journalist and never will be. Ezra may tell you all these wonderful things about himself, but he permanently turned me off his ‘style’ 90 seconds into the interview.

    Jonathan Kay, formerly of the National Post (or Pest, depending on your political leanings), had what I think is a very good take on the SNN closure, similar in conclusion to what I have expressed above. “Sun News never had a fighting chance” because they were political insiders, ideologues with no idea how to run a network and build up a viewership. As the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar, SNN started out with extra-strong pickling vinegar then lamented why they were not attracting many flies.

    Krista Erickon’s shriek-fest interview with dancer Margie Gills resulted in over 6,000 complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. Given other stats I have read, SNN’s peak viewership might have been 8,000 as people were more willing to give them a chance earlier on. However, when you get 75% of your audience so pissed off at you that they formally complain, you are driving a wooden stake through your attempts to build an audience.

    Stop blaming the regulators. SNN failed to get mandatory carriage because they were not worthy of the privilege implicit in a broadcast license. They failed because they deserved to.

  97. Christo says:

    I would not characterize Ezra Levant’s 10 minute racist segment toward the Roma people as conservative opinion. Sun News ceased to be a legitimate thought-provoking news channel when it allowed to air that piece and then kept its author employed. I would encourage you and the people who were employed at Sun News to look-up the role that mainstream media played in modern genocides, RTLM in Rwanda is a good place to start. Never Again!

  98. Kay Newman says:

    Here is the only point. News means journalism, means unbiased , unfiltered, thorough reporting.
    I can agree the CBC, CTV, GLOBAL etc networks could do more “investigative” journalism showing all sides of an issues cauwe and effect based on ubiased facts mind you. The coverage into leading news stories often is covered by the obvious surface cause effect that any person with reason could likely deduce. Seldom do journalists get the freedom to drill down more intently on issues with the media coming back to past stories and expanding on them in the following days and months following. Truths take time to reveal and are often more complex than often reported.

    However, opinions are just that, opinions not news. Sun “NEWS” Network didnt drill down factually on stories as much as often or not, dicredit or support through personal opinions, innuendos, emotional blustering and often untrue represntation of actual known facts.

    So I never considered thier organisation as a safe place to get another reporting slant to an issue. I dont want “alternative” news, I want expanded factual coverage on a news story. If there is 4 news stations, Id like to hear the summary of the news event common facts presented by all, then additionally the different roads of investigation they each went further down. The layers beneath the main story. This is what I think we all crave.

    Somedays facts may fall down a liberal perspective or a conservative prospective but not because of a personal opinion or bias of a ‘reporter’ or network… but because the facts presented simply are representitive of left or right inclinations.

    it just might be the facts are just facts, not views or opinions. It is what it is as unbiasedly reported. This is what news was meant to be. How else can the public make informed “opinions” which are based in FACT, not anothers opinion.

    I dont want opinions in my news. I want several sides of an issue either investigated or debated from facts on my News. I will take care of my own opinions afterwards.

    How about an investigative journalism News Network? I would camp out to hear and consider sides of factual reporting, that I had never thought of or considered before. Thats what Journalists aspire to do and give oath to uphold, biting thier own opinions in favour of facts and happy no doubt if the facts bare out thier opinions but never the other way around.

    Asimple but dangerous idea, isnt it…a really truly informed public. Let Sun News be Sun Opinion TV if they want to express opinions over fact. NEWS is a sacred trust… I should be able to trust in its de9th of coverage and veracity.

  99. C. R. Jones says:

    Mr. Kinsella,

    Even though I would never vote for a Liberal – and didn’t always agree with you – I really enjoyed and valued your commentary with Brian Lilley. Quite honestly having you appear regularly was a important turning point for me – away from the typical partisan talking points we are so regularly exposed to under the totally lame, liberal mono-media like CBC, G&M and sadly now (mostly) Shaw/Canwest/National Post. No one was more shocked than I.

    I was also one of those who was absolutely shocked on that early appearance when Lilley cut your mic. And from your frequent interactions afterwards – I think it was clear that it was an important “stunt” learning experience for both of you.

    I am going to miss Sun News immensely – and all of their young talent – but I am quite sure that the new Rebel Media will rise to replace Sun – and be sharper, on point, and more profitable and successful – than any of the gleeful detractors toiling in the traditional media coal mines would imagine or believe.

    Game on Ezra!

  100. Shawn says:

    You say the loss of the Sun News Network is a loss to democracy yet their slanted journalism was comparable to the state run media in Communist North Korea.

  101. Herb Wiseman says:

    I suggest that part of the problem in your views is that some of your political views such as smaller bureaucracy are part of a right-wing campaign to shrink government and remove regulations that limit the power of corporations and the 1%. Your analysis in this regard is likely uninformed. You may wish to study the history of this topic beginning in 1973 with the TriLateralists and track the subsequent campaign. After that date the Fraser institute was established as a right wing propaganda outlet under the guise of a think tank. Read Chomksy’s Manufacturing Consent. But if you were to embark on such a study you must do so with the ability to alter what may be a confirmation bias. The SNN was designed to play into confirmation biases of the right wing under the illusion that it was being informative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *