Fox News North – Not! Savour the victory
It’s quite a come down. From in-your-face arrogance to a total retreat in a matter of a few months, the big money behind Quebecor’s determination to set up a Fox news North is now looking pretty humble.
There’s no doubt that part of this is overreach on the part of Pierre Karl Peladeau and his junkyard-dog front man Kory Teneycke. But mostly it is a huge victory for every Canadian who took time to write, email, phone or other wise protest this grotesque plan to move Canadian political culture to the far right. And a victory in particular for Avaaz the on-line social movement that flushed Teneycke and his bully tactics into the open.
We should all celebrate – maybe by donating to our favourite on-line journals.
Teneycke got a tad ahead of himself having come so recently from the PMO where he was accustomed to having virtually dictatorial powers to use government authority in Harper’s interests.
It turns out that the ability to bully a nation as a private corporate citizen isn’t quite so easy.
Teneycke is now still licking his wounds and is hiding from public view hoping that people – including those who might otherwise have employed him – will forget what an idiot he was and what a liability he would be to any public project in the future.
As for Peladeau, his enormous wealth – he is a billionaire – hasn’t prevented him from being humbled by citizen action against his plan. Of course he can’t hide his arrogance. He told reporters outside the Canadian Club in Ottawa that his company, Sun Media would now withdraw a request for a special license that would force cable companies to offer his station (now barely on the radar of any audience) in at least some of their packages.
“We’ve decided to go with the policies of the CRTC,” said a Quebecor spokesman..
Big of them – as if obeying the law of the land was an option for Daddy Big Bucks.
His statement indicated that they will simply ask for the ordinary license which means cable companies can take his TV network or leave it.
It put the lie to Peladeau’s previous alarmist declaration by which he attempted to pressure the CRTC. In August, he declared that failing to get his favoured status would be a disaster: “This would be fatal to our business case … and would likely result in the cancellation of the Sun TV News project.”
It’s a sweet victory. Savour it.
This column originally appeared in Mr. Dobbin’s blog. Reprinted here with his kind permission.