Daily Archives: September 7, 2010

“Fox News North” and the “Left”


We received this comment this morning on the issue of the Sun TV News application for a broadcasting license:

Interesting how when it comes from the left they call it education and when it comes from the right they call it “hate propaganda speech.”

Education is disinterested.  Ideology is not.  That’s the distinction that matters here.  While my politics lean heavily to the left, they also quickly become fluid and pragmatic when the consideration is what actually works.

My issue with “Fox News North” is not really a matter of left or right.  It has to do with process, intent, and foreseeable consequences.  The Harper government is gaming the system, facilitating private interests we have a right to be skeptical about and wary of, and it is clearly pushing this application along for primarily ideological reasons.  Conservatives themselves have called this project “Fox News North” for some time now (although they have taken to pretending they haven’t), and, frankly, we don’t need a Fox News, there’s no significant demand for a Fox News, and our system for licensing ought not to be abused to foist a Fox News upon us.  Just because Quebecor is making an application, why would it follow that it must be granted?

Kory Teneycke — former press aide to Harper and now VP for development at Quebecor — makes a regular habit of saying unpleasant things in an aggressive way, which is no small matter when you’re moneyed and have powerful interests behind you.  When he called into question Margaret Atwood’s patriotism (an “issue” then taken up by the Sun chain of newspapers and others, creating the “echo chamber” effect that now drowns out discourse in the U.S.), I took it as a sign of things to come.

There is a case to be made here.  And so I do.  In this instance, I simply want the CRTC to be able to do its mandated job without political pressure from the Harper government or intimidation by the likes of Kory Teneycke.

Sign the Petition to Support the CRTC and Stop Fox News North! [Updated]

Sign here to stop the Harper-Mulroney-Quebecor axis from imposing a politicized rightwing “mandatory access” news channel on cable service providers.


CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein has already refused Sun TV’s application for a “must carry” license because it didn’t meet the necessary requirements, but parent company Quebecor is still pressing a fast track application that would give it “mandatory access” status.

The Harper government is facilitating the process, and is apparently trying to drive von Finckenstein from office in order to put someone more amenable in place.

The next CRTC hearing on the matter is November 19th.

Read the Avaaz mass email in an earlier post here.

Sign the petition to “Stop Fox News North” here.



Helen Mirren as Elizabeth delivering her famous speech to the troops at Tilbury as the Spanish Armada approached, 19 August 1588.

Today is the birthday of Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603).

Frye in Notebook 8 reflects on the consequences of the defining moment of the Elizabethan Age upon Elizabethan culture:

Before the Armada the best brains, Spenser and Sidney, thought in terms of a Protestant United Front, hence the Duc d’Alencon business.  Spenser never really got over this stage.  The Armada itself shifted the emphasis: true, it had sailed with the Pope’s blessing to destroy a heretic kingdom, but it had banked heavily on a religious revolution in England, & it must have been difficult for the Protestants who had lived through that hideous period to forget that the Catholics had turned out to fight for England & had thereby placed their religious liberties in the hands of Elizabeth.  So it seems probable that the theatre represented a Catholic-Anglican truce against Puritans, the idea being that Protestantism had come not to destroy but to fulfill Catholicism by allegorizing its literalism, as in Spenser.  This truce, if it existed, could hardly have lasted long after the Gunpowder Plot.  Then a strong anti-Spanish, anti-Catholic middle-class nationalism comes up (Middleton, B & F [Beaumont and Fletcher]); the king-fool appears more frequently, possibly because bourgeois insistence on plain sense is breaking down the allegorical synthesis based on the King & Queen; but I think the theatre stands fundamentally for the national establishment.  Cassius, the Puritan revolutionary, love not plays & hears no music.  Aramado in L.L. is the Armada: the date means the word would irresistibly suggest that to an audience.  (CW 20, 110)

Frye on Elizabeth, the Armada and myth in The Secular Scripture:

Myths are usually assumed to be true, stories about what really happened.  But truth is not the central basis for distinguishing the mythical from the fabulous: it is a certain quality of importance or authority of the community that marks the myth, not truth as such.  The anxiety of society, when it urges the authority of a myth and the necessity of believing it, seems to be less to proclaim its truth than to prevent anyone from questioning it.  Thus the Christian myth of providence, after a battle, is often invoked by the winning side in a way which makes its truth or secondary importance.  The storm that wrecked the Spanish Armada was a providential event to the English, but a natural event to the Spaniards.  Elizabeth I issued a medal quoting the Psalms, “God breathed with his winds, and they were scattered”; Philip of Spain said to the survivors, “I sent you forth to fight with men, not with the elements.” (CW 18, 14-15)