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BC Media Fail British Columbians

BC’s media has shown exactly why that new Sun TV News channel to cover Canadian events, issues and news with an edge is so badly needed.

““There’ll be a range of opinion. It’ll be different, it’ll be less politically correct. If you’re wondering what the presentation of what kind of news stories we’ll be interested in, and a flavour of the commentary that we’ll have, pick up the Sun newspaper, you’ll probably have a pretty good indication,” said Kory Tenycke, front man for the proposed channel when it was announced a few days ago.

Now, we don’t yet know if the new venture will truly be as awful as Fox News in the U.S., as some have suggested, or just a lot more cheeky, spirited and politically incorrect.  If it’s the latter, I’d say Hooray!

“We’re taking on smug, condescending, often irrelevant journalism. We’re taking on political correctness. We will not be a state broadcaster offering boring news by bureaucrats, for elites, and paid for by taxpayers. We’ll be unapologetically patriotic,” Teneycke explained.

And NOTHING showed the need for what Teneycke and Sun News Channel promises than the emarrasing and terrible job done by BC’s old boys’ media “eastablishment” during the visit to BCV this week by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. 

The BC media played dead; the BC media let their listeners, viewers, readers down; the BC media let their province down; the BC media let the West down; the BC media delivered a message to the people, parties, politicians, and power brokers back East that it’s okay to turn your back on the West, treat the West with disdain, give us second class treatment--and the media will play along like puppies.  No dobermans here!

I am referring, of course, to Ignatieff’s decision, along with the rest of the Liberal caucus, to support a New Brunswick NDP private member’s Bill C-232 that would require ALL new Supreme Court Justices to be bilingual, not just good enough to order a poutine at an Ottawa chip stand, but fluent enough to hear legal arguments “without the use of an interpreter”.  The simultaneous translation we’ve had since Confederation would be no longer good enough.

No great problem for New Brunswick or Quebec judges interested in Supreme Court appointment, prestige and power because, surrounded by a sea of 375 million English speaking North Americans, most of them can already speak/undersand  English. But in Western Canada and BC. such a preposterous proposal would ensure that only very few judges here would qualify for top court appointment.

The Bloc Quebecois loved it! And they, along with Liberal support, pushed this anti-Western NDP proposal through the Commons: only the Conservatives opposed it, but with a minority government, could not stop it.

The Bill  passed the Commons, and is now before the Senate, the last hope for sanity and  justice for the West and BC to prevail before departing Governor General Michaelle Jean gets to sign it into law. 

I warned about this horrible insult to BC and the West in July 2009: the BC media  ignored it; The Saskatoon Star Phoenix went after Ignatieff on this in April: The National Post raised the alarm; even the Toronto Star shone its searchlight on the issue.

And the Alberta government has filed a legal challenge of the proposed law!

“A bill currently before Canada’s Senate represents a serious risk to the interests of western Canadians, to the proper function of the Supreme Court, and to the integrity of the justice system,”  argues  Alberta’s Minister of Justice, Alison Redford.
 
This week, Ignatieff came to BC.
 
And for two days, the BC media pretty well let him set his own agenda: with a vow that, if  he becomes Prime Minister (LOL!) , he would ban offshore oil tanker traffic; he also announced he will soon visit China to promote trade. 
 
Ho hum!  
 
But from what I saw on TV, read in the newspapers, or heard on the radio the BC media gave Ignatieff a free pass on his complete betrayal of BC and Western Canadians.  They had him right here.  They should have raked him over the coals; they should have sent a loud message back East; they should have represented the voices and the interests of British Columbians.   
 
They did  nothing.   Actually worse: they just let Ignatieff pursue his own agenda--and gave him a platform to do it.
 
I remember how different the BC media was during the Golden Age.  It’s not that long ago that we would have relished his visit, put his feet to the fire and applied a lot of heat.  And the public would have appreciated it … and loved us for it.  Now?  No wonder so many have so little respect for the media.
 
What a disgrace!
 
It’s too early to tell exactly what form the new Sun TV channel will take, or whether it will have a real BC/Western presence in its coverage or just give us more Central Canada crud.  And I’m sure the big networks/media will oppose it, saying it’s not needed, can’t be supported financially, and argue they are already doing a great job for Canadians.
 
Not!
 
Given the current sad state of media and news management in BC, the new channel sure deserves a try. Maybe it will wake up the BC media.
 
Reprinted by permission of Harv Oberfeld. This article first appeared on his blog, Keeping it Real.