Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Journalists Write About Journalists Writing About Journalism; Get Story All Wrong.

This is hilarious, and not just because it suggests I wasn't just being lazy in failing to enlist in this whole "Fox News North" freakout, which now turns out to rely mainly on a hoax. I had other reasons.

1. When one of the first things new management at Sun Media does is turf the "anti-war" lunatic Eric Margolis, a far-right, conspiracy-mongering, Ron-Paul admiring Pat-Buchanan acolyte who is also a fruitcake millionaire who runs a family firm that traffics in what is euphemistically described as "alternative medicine," I am not inclined to go all Pavlovian when I hear that the new bosses also have plans for a television station.

2. I am instinctively suspicious of any campaign that requires me to imagine Canada as a hopeless and delicate maiden that is about to be tied to the railway tracks yet again by a brutish and cunning American in a black hat and a handlebar moustache. After all, Canada's Sun newspapers were far more right-wing, far earlier than any major media chain that the Yanks have had to put up with. They were at it a generation before Fox News was even born.

3. Don't get me wrong. I must have been one of the first out of the blocks with worries about our own versions of Fox News shouting matches and the same hoarse and hate-filled stalemate that has so horribly paralyzed American politics. But it didn't help that the outfit that now wants my signature on petitions and my letters to editors and MPs about the spectre of an American-style right-wing television station coming to Canada was itself employing distinctly American-style hysterics in its cause and appeared to be some kind of subsidiary of, the Yankee nutters who gave us Cindy Sheehan, besides.

4. The whole thing just struck me as Canadian media-politics as usual, but I should also confess that for some reason I was strangely confident that if a champion was required to rescue some precious Canadian regulatory matter and prevent any American ruffling or mussing of its petticoats and blonde ringlets, it would be a guy with the delightfully gothic name of Konrad von Finckenstein. I know it's wrong, but I just figured he'd probably save her in the nick of time.

If cartoons and made-up stories must play a role in Canada's newspapers and magazines, then at least let's not pretend. Be honest about it. Scott Feschuk knows how it's done: Dark conspiracy alleged. Dubious motives suggested. Host’s own blog referenced as being uncannily representative of public opinion. Spectre of coalition raised. Grim picture of Canada under Liberal-NDP rule painted. Return to barter system predicted. National butter knife registry deemed likely. . .

UPDATE: Bilking aromatherapy enthusiasts for fun and profit - "Enter your credit card details!"


Blogger Thermblog said...

Thanks for the summary; I haven't been following this calamity with my usual dedication.

I love Margolis. In 1998 he said: Yasser Arafat suffers from advancing Parkinson’s disease. Like many other Arab leaders, he also has hypertension, digestive problems and nerve disorders.

When Arafat died 6 years later he said: This writer believes Arafat may have been murdered by an untraceable toxin brought to Israel from the KGB’s Moscow labs.

Ya, definitely the most likely scenario. (He scrubbed his website but I saved the verbiage.)

12:45 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

In one of his pathetic bloviations about Afghanistan, Margolis once referred to the ISI operative and heroin dealer Hajai Qadir as his old friend and “benefactor." Dunno if that's been scrubbed too.

12:52 PM  
Blogger GayandRight said...

Whenever Rick Salutin claims that Hamas is actually quite moderate and that they are ready to make peace with Israel....his source is always Margolis.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Wally Keeler said...

Damn! that's good work Terry.

1:32 PM  
Blogger dmurrell said...

Terry: I like your comment about Lawrence Martin's Globe and Mail column -- where he made up out of thin air the lie that the Conservative government was about to tear apart the CRTC over the SunNews application.

I have an andecdote about when Lawrence Martin was Globe and Mail bureau chief in Moscow. Jewish activists in the Soviet Union began demonstrating in Moscow for the newly-installed Gorbachev to allow exit permits for Jewish emmigration to Israel. From 1985 to 1988 Gorbachew refused.

My memory has it that the Jewish activists demonstrated at a certain Moscow "street" -- whose name I cannot remember. So the demonstrations became known as the "_______ street dmonstrations". (If anyone familiar with this issue knows the name of the street, please let me know).

At any rate, Lawrence Martin was a one-sided Gorbachev apologist. And I recollect that he wrote one column attacking the Jewish demonstrators, arguing that the Soviet regime had a right to withhold exit visas to Jews. One column in the Financial Post editorial page referred to Martin as the "Walter Duranty" of the Globe and Mail. Such a nasty name perhaps goes overboard -- but Lawrence Martin was a one-sided pro-Soviet apologist.

One point however: Gorbachev did cave in, in 1989, and finally allowed mass Jewish emmigration to Israel from that year onwards. But that one Lawrence Martin column -- written between 1985 and 1988 -- still bothers me. I will be researching out university library archives for it.
-- David Murrell

3:22 AM  

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