Quote of the Day: “Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom”


What we don’t get here and why

“In looking at two countries as closely related as Canada and the United States, no difference is unique or exclusive: we can point to nothing in Canada that does not have a counterpart, or many counterparts south of its border.  What is different is a matter of emphasis and of degree.” Frye in “Canadian Culture Today,” (CW 12, 510)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gives Canada props for preventing Fox-style “news” from developing here because we regulate the deliberate dissemination of lies.  He points out, however, that we must be particularly vigilant with Stephen Harper on the scene.

Money quote:

Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987. Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio. Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right wing network, “Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”

Harper, often referred to as “George W. Bush’s Mini Me,” is known for having mounted a Bush like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency, and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery; false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity.

Full story here.

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2 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: “Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom”

  1. Prof. Mondo

    With all due respect, and speaking as someone who doesn’t watch Fox News, I think RFK the Lesser (in every sense of the word) is a pretty poor candidate for a modern-day Diogenes, given his loony-tunes involvement in the long-discredited vaccine/autism link and his linking of “the Right” to his uncle’s murder when Oswald was a communist and defector to the USSR. Frankly, other than successfully joining the Lucky Sperm Club, I’m really pressed to find anything rfk has done besides drop his last name as a substitute for ethos.

    I don’t like Fox News, but you can find better allies.

    1. Michael Happy Post author

      I found Kennedy’s article interesting because it is almost certainly the only piece of its kind to be found on this matter in America today, or any other day, for that matter. Worthwhile Canadian initiatives are not headline grabbers down there. It’s unlikely very many people outside of liberal circles would find the issue of any consequence at all, but it is of course highly consequential. The damage Fox News has done to American political discourse is incalculable. We’re fighting off those who’d like to foist this sort of thing on us too, including a prime minister who has already secretly met with Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes and has evidently used his office to help the Fox News North project along. It’s a lot to contend with, and, as Murdoch and Ailes prove, the good guys not only don’t always win, but are more likely not to. It seems imprudent therefore to ignore the sympathetic response of someone who, against the odds, seems to have got it right when no one else was even looking.


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