Regulators Reject Proposal That Would Bring Fox-Style News to Canada

Regulators Reject Proposal That Would Bring Fox-Style News to Canada.

The above is an opinion piece by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., but the factsare correct.

Points for debate: is maintaining news integrity worth this sort of affront to Canada’s version of “Freedom of Speech”? (Not necessarily in a legal sense.)

After I got over laughing about it, I did allow the thought to creep into my head that I might actually prefer the greater freedoms allowed to news media in the U.S., despite the presence of Fox “News.”

You might want to review this thread as a reference. Perhaps Fox News can’t create a station in Canada, but Canadians can and do watch Fox News.

Ah, dang. I missed that thread. Well, feel free to close this one.

Anyway Canadians watching Fox News isn’t the point since Fox News rarely if ever covers issues specifically important to Canadians.

Canada has news? You learn something every day on this MB!

If the law only applies to broadcast news, there’s no issue. The public owns the airwaves, and has the right to decide how those airwaves are used. If you want to be able to lie on TV, you can do so over privately-owned cable systems.

True enough. But the proposed Fox “News”-like program was going to over cable, no? So it must apply there as well.

Just for the sake of clarification, Robery Kennedy Jr.'s article is such a bald-faced lie I can’t believe the man would have the audacity to write such things.

He says:

“Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canada (sic) regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada’s right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.”

This is, um, not what happened. The VERY ARTICLE HIS ARTICLE LINKS TO notes that it was not the regulator that rejected such a move by the Prime Minister - how could a regulatory agency do that? - but a committee of Parliament itself that decided not to change the law. IT’s also worth noting that one of the motivations here is not to help right-wingers, but that THE SUPREME COURT SAID THIS SORT OF THING IS UNCONSTITIONAL in criminal law so they’re trying to bring the regulation into line with the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Well, that and other absurdities like “Harper is often referrered to as `George W. Bush’s Mini Me’” a phrase that, to be honest, is used here appoximately never.

The thought of a United States Department of Truth bothers me. Such a department may have suppressed dissent during the War in Vietnam. Nevertheless, the airwaves are public. I do not watch FOX News, but it has been documented that many of Rush Limbaugh’s arguments are based on lies.

There should be some cost to making assertions on the air that are simply not true.

Agreed. I would like to see something along the lines of a special speech status for “People in positions of the public trust”. That certainly would include broadcast news. However it would be extremely difficult to regulate without stepping on the constitution. I don’t even want to think about how we would go about issuing fines either… I would rather hear something like " We have just received word that _____ is happening. We will report to you as soon as we confirm the facts." a thousand times than some of cutesy reporting of inaccurate information and issuing a quick retraction when nobody is looking. “No comment” or “We cannot confirm or deny”, is far preferable.

I don’t think the news should be allowed to lie, no. Better to have honest news than lying freedom

Rush Limbaugh (who I personally loathe) has insisted many, many times that he is not a journalist but an entertainer simply giving his opinion. Since he doesn’t claim to be a journalist, his “reports” should be held to the same standard as Jon Stewart’s on the *Daily Show *-- if you happen to agree with him, he’s brilliant, if not, he’s a buffoon.

I’m opposed to the government regulating broadcast content this way, but I’m not convinced by this dodge. The line between journalism and ‘entertainment’ news commentary is not as firm as people like to pretend in thought exercises. I don’t think Rush is a journalist, but as a pundit I don’t think it’s any more acceptable for him to lie than Katie Couric or Bob Schieffer. If there were a “Truth Department,” it would not have to take Rush at his word. It would really defeat the purpose if it did.

True, but perhaps it could require a rejoinder type stinger when such programs come back from break twice an hour that says something like: " The views and opinions expressed in this program are intended as entertainment, and should not be assumed to be factual, accurate, or impartial. Listeners are encouraged to form their own opinions."

If Rush and his like on either side are entertainers, then they should have no problem with this. If they are journalists then they should be held to a higher standard.

Why would they watch it then? Why would it be available on Canadian cable and satellite services if there was not market for it or for it’s particular brand of ‘news’? Personally, even had your OP been accurate I’d say that the fact that some non-zero number of Canadian’s in fact DO watch Fox News pretty much means that blocking new ‘Fox-Style News to Canada’ is at best a moot point (at worst, of course, this was a complete distortion and predicated on ignorance of the fact that Fox is already available in Canada). In fact, I’d think that Canadian’s, yearning for a Fox-Style News organization of their very own, would be a bit pissed, since it means that US Fox maintains a monopoly on this brand of news.

I think it’s a very bad idea for the government to get involved in the truth game and try to regulate what is ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’. Basically, if people want what Fox has to offer then let them have it. If people want midget porn then let them have that. If they want to howl at the moon and believe in the 9/11 Truth movements brand of BS, then let them have that.

Of course, Canadian’s are free to implement such a program if that’s what they really want. However, based on the fact that some Canadian’s do in fact watch Fox and will continue to do so unless you erect a Great Firewall of Doom, it seems sort of silly to block like minded Canadian’s the opportunity to build their own right wing spin machine, if that’s what they really want. I mean, if Canadian’s really don’t want such a thing then won’t they vote with their pocketbooks??


Point, the first: the SUN TV news channel (owned by Quebecor, publisher of the Sun newspaper chain) is coming soon to Canada and bills itself as a Fox-like new channel.
Point, the second: Canadians. Not Canadian**'s**.

Good point…that was definitely egregious use of apostrophes there…


fulfilling Gaudere’s Law, I left off an s on “news”.

:stuck_out_tongue: I just figured it was a Fox-like new channel.


What really stops them dead in their tracks is the rule against lying. I’ve always loved the saying that “you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own set of facts.” I think it’s eminently reasonable to require broadcast news to tell the truth.

I’m seriously beginning to question the value of the First Amendment. It may almost sound like heresy for me as an american citizen to say this. But I have First Amendment right to question the utility of the First Amendment! I’ve come to the conclusion that false news and hate speech does have damaging effects, and I don’t think more speech is necessarily going to sufficiently counteract it.

Setting aside the issue of Free Speech for a moment…

It seems extremely revealing to me that Right Wing broadcasting can’t succeed if they’re required to always tell the truth. That speaks for itself, doesn’t it?