Friday, June 11, 2010

Fox North: Doomed To Failure

24/7?
Wells is heralding the arrival of the apocalypse--he's even shown up here to tsk tsk me in the comments for belittling it--and there are a few others who also seem to think that a right-wing, 24 hour news station in Canada constitutes an existential threat to the nation. On my part, I think that if anyone wants to flush a few hundred million down the tubes chasing a pale Fox knockoff, then at least that money isn't being spent on something that might really damage the fabric of the country.

The biggest problem for a "Fox North", other than the fact that they probably won't get their “mandatory distribution" license--lies simply in the demographics of the nation they wish to entertain. Look at it this way: the Conservative Party of Canada trundles along with the support of a little less than 1/3 of the nation by trying to convince people they are not Conservative. Strip that number down to the hard-core believers, and you have about 10% of the population (look at the Reform party support figures from over the years here). That's the potential size of an audience for a "robustly right" 24 hour news station. And, put bluntly, its about the same size you might need to run a specialty channel--a gay porn station, for example.

Now, most of the gay porn stations I've ever watched actually have a news-cast, which is typically done naked (they also have a cooking show). And unless David Akin is going to shed a few pounds, I can assure you the gay porn station's news-cast will be far, far better than anything on Fox North.

Which segues nicely into the whole notion of "pale" imitations. Considering who Fox-North "stars" might be, you realize how terribly short the Canadian right is on the charisma front. Wells has already ruled himself out, and FN will be hard pressed to find another bald guy of his stature. Monte Solberg is entertaining in 12 second sound bites, but terribly whiny over the long haul. Gerry Nicholls is suitably bald, but again--can he be entertaining enough for long enough to make it work? Adler? Have you seen Adler? A marshmallow in a suit! Ezra Levant? SERIOUSLY?? They'll be drowning in law-suits before the first broadcast! Plus, Ezra is less a pundit than the leader of a small death cult. Normal people--normal Conservative people--hate his guts! I once had a Tory loyalist inform me that if Ezra came out for Liberty, he would have to stand against it.

And that's my 2nd final point. Given the paucity of Canadian Conservative star-power, and the fact that you can still watch the real Fox News in Canada, why would anyone choose the fake version?

Believe me: this sucker is going to be the National Post of the air-waves. It will never make a single penny.

30 comments:

RuralSandi said...

My disappointment in this is David Akin. I thought he was a decent reporter, but sure as hell he won't be allowed to talk about an issue truthfully.

What a fool Mr. Akin.

Greg said...

Believe me: this sucker is going to be the National Post of the air-waves. It will never make a single penny.

On the other hand, the NP is impossible to kill. That sucker is a super zombie.

Gerry Nicholls said...

First off, it's "Gerry" not "Gary" second off, the reason I don't like doing TV is because when I watch myself on it, it shatters the illusion I have created for myself that I have a full head of thick hair!

The Jurist said...

Is anybody concerned about it making money on its own though? The more likely outcome looks to be that the owners - like those of CanWest - will be entirely willing to take what would count as massive losses on a media scale in order to shift the wider political debate to the right. And I'm not sure how that can be seen as a plus.

HitEleven said...

Read about the consequences of posting about shady businesses operated by pals of the Conservative party:

http://battlelight.blogspot.com/

Alison said...

Ahem

And you know, BCL, I remember when we used to say the same things you're saying now about the US.

Tof KW said...

I'll take Fox-North provided that the CRTC mandates a Canadian version of MSNBC to counter it. If alarmist US populist bullshit passing for conservatism is allowed on our airwaves; then we must also be provided with reporters who call them on said bullshit.

R. G. Harvie said...

T of KW.. don't we already have MSNBC-lite in CBC?

While I think Fox's "talking heads" are pretty facile.. the news is pretty good, actually.

The reality is we're all becoming pretty obsessed with demonizing those with different ideas.. and I've done my own share.

At the end of the day, it's just television and politics.. so, whether Fox, or the NP, or CBC survive the next decade - really isn't "life or death stuff". It's just another point of view.. which will only have substance if it has "substance".

Shiner said...

I think it should be noted that FOX isn't all about capturing the Conservative population, it's about turning the uneducated into Conservatives. The first goal of FOX, and I'm sure Kory knows this, is to be entertaining, to have a news broadcast people can watch with the sound off. Once you have that you capture a huge amount of people who are bored by "regular" news, and, it just so happens, these people are easily influenced and incredibly gullible.

At the end of the day, it's just television and politics.. so, whether Fox, or the NP, or CBC survive the next decade - really isn't "life or death stuff". It's just another point of view.. which will only have substance if it has "substance".

Uh, actually it quite literally is life or death. From war to healthcare to crime, all is influenced by politics and opinion makers get to pick the winners.

sharonapple88 said...

Ahem

Rachel Marsden is crazy... I mean even Fox couldn't keep her.

While I think Fox's "talking heads" are pretty facile.. the news is pretty good, actually.

Maybe not.

A report from 2007 shows that the audience for Fox News scores 35% on knowledge level of current events. This is around the national average, but considering that viewers of CNN score higher, it says a lot about the quality of information coming from Fox News. (The shinning beacon appears to be one of the talking headshows -- The O'Reilly Factor.)

R. G. Harvie said...

Ah yes, the grand Conservative conspiracy for mind control.

You know what, it isn't "life or death" for the most part - and that's the problem.

We've conditioned voters to vote out of fear, instead of asking them to use their intellect.

And when I say, "we", I'm including conservative types, a la Rush Limbaugh and, for that matter, myself on occasion.

Life is a little more complex and the things that shape our lives are a little more significant than what flavor we have in Ottawa.

But what works best for a political party is polarization. Because once you have a significant voting block drinking your kool-aid, you can screw up pretty badly and still manage to keep their support.

And it works bet when you creat a fiction that those on my team are human and those on the "other" team are less than.

Worked well as I recall for the National Socialist German Workers' Party.. at least for a while.

And us, as bloggers, run the risk of accentuating that, if we're not careful.

It's why I spend at least as much time on Liberal blogs as Conservative.

Ideas, good ideas, can come from the most unlikely of places.

sharonapple88 said...

(The shinning beacon appears to be one of the talking headshows -- The O'Reilly Factor.)

Just realize that the may be referring to Bill O'Reilly's talk radio show.

There's another more recent study on accuracy and Fox News dealing with health care reform.

Around 45% of Fox News viewers claimed the death panel were a part of health care reform, which is out of proportion to the regular population. Needless to say, this wasn't true.

Reality Bites said...

I think they can forget about mandatory carriage.

When the first digital channels went on air, about 10 got mandatory carriage, and 40 or so didn't. As far as I know, there have been no "Category 1" licenses granted since then. They come with a certain amount of format protection. There are types of programming that CBCNN can show (such as documentaries) that CTVNN can't, since it's licensed as a headline news service.

They also require formal hearings, whereas Category 2 licenses are pretty much yours for the asking - providing they don't conflict with a category 1 license.

You can expect both CBC and CTV to oppose this.

Shiner said...

Educate yourself Rob. The creation of FOX is well documented, as are it's broadcasting strategies, your partisanship shows itself when you dismiss simple facts as "conspiracy theories".

Your belittling of the news media (and politics in general) is truly bizarre.

Shiner said...

*its strategies... TGIF

sharonapple88 said...

Ideas, good ideas, can come from the most unlikely of places.

But obviously not from Fox News. ;)

Tof KW said...

R. G. Harvie said...

T of KW.. don't we already have MSNBC-lite in CBC?

Not even close. Have you ever watched Olbermann or Maddow? There is no balance there. Anything any GOP party member says (even the mentally balanced ones that could fit into our Conservative party) is methodically dissected and debunked.

And Mr Harvie you're brighter than this. Don't tell me you buy into Teneycke's charge that the CBC is the media wing of the Liberal party do you?

The fact that they hired the boob as a pundit/commentator proves that's crap. That and the fact that none of Harper's strawman arguments go challenged by the CBC (for the same reasons as CTV or Global don't either) lest the network loose any future interviews from our fearless leader (who has yet to take any real questions that have not been pre-screened).

Even Tom Flanagan came out earlier this year and stated there is no overtly liberal-biased media anymore; there was at one time but all the major networks now provide balanced coverage since Harper's become PM. (BTW - I like Flanagan, he's never been afraid to tell it like it is.)

Which brings me back to my original point. If a ‘Fox-North’ is created to spread batshit alarmist paranoia (you have caught some of the O’Reilly Factor or Glenn Beck’s show I assume) to the gullible of this nation, there had better have a counter-network to call them on this. The last thing we need up here is an unchallenged network blaring 24-7 that liberals are allied with the Islamofascists & the homosexual mafia in a conspiracy to kill free speech and impose a New World Order against Christians.

James Bowie said...

Canadian talent pool sure is shallow, as you say, but I saw Fred Thompson doing an AARP commercial last night. I think there are plenty of ultra-right American has-beens who are looking for work. Tucker Carlson's show gets cancelled every few years, so maybe he might be available.

Rotterdam said...

Funny how the left want media control all to themselves.
Talk of a "Fox North" has them in a tizzy. What are they afraid of?
They want to shut it down like they shut down Ann Coulter.

The free expression of idea's?

Not the Canadian left.

Shiner said...

The free expression of idea's?

Not the Canadian left.


Not the strongest of points when you're advocating the creation of a separate network so that you don't have to listen to opinions that are different from your own. Idiot.

Tof KW said...

Rotterdam said...
"Funny how the left want media control all to themselves."

Rotterdam, do you even bother to read any of the other posts here?

TofKW said...
"Even Tom Flanagan came out earlier this year and stated there is no overtly liberal-biased media anymore; there was at one time but all the major networks now provide balanced coverage since Harper's become PM."

Rotterdam, you are obviously paid by the PMO to spread CPofC propoganda over the forums so your 'opinion' here means sweet shit all.

Shiner said...

TofKW, not even a point worth making anymore. When every journalist of the last generation is now wearing CPC blue on the Hill, the CBC's political panel is (at least) two-thirds self-delcared Conservative, the NP and Quebecor's papers no longer even pretend to be balanced, Aikin leaves for the PMO's new network, and Newman looks like he'll follow, there's nothing you can say to make the likes of Rob and Rotterdam realize how full of it they are. Reality and the Conservative don't get along.

R. G. Harvie said...

**yawn**

You're all just feeding the machine, my friends.

If we tell government and the media we'll jump when they say, "gotcha", that's what we'll get.

Only if we demand more will we get more.

And I'm amazed that anyone over 10 years of age isn't dismissive of the media and politics.

We've gone from statesmen and news anchors with integrity to tabloid journalism and yellow politics.

And all of those who seek to cover themselves in the blanket of partisan covers just continue the problem.

That road leads to conservatives approving of Watergate and liberals approving of Adscam.

I prefer to keep my options open, and to not be afraid of simple-minded buffoons like Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh.

Personally?

I watch BBC.

Tof KW said...

Rob, the problem isn't with conservatives like yourself who see past all the rhetoric and partisanship in every political party. The problem is the 10-20% on the extreme who really believe word-for-word the crap that Beck, O'Reilly, & Hannity peddle every night.

We've already seen what that creates by looking south of the border. Cripes, just look at what the teabaggers are doing to the Republican party. When they're turfing solid all-Americans like McCain because he's too 'liberal' ...there's a serious problem in that party. The can't even control the monster anymore.

This radicalization is all thanks to FOXNews, and I'll counter that MSNBC is the logical outgrowth from this ...a media network completely biased against the Republicans.

Politics here isn't polarized enough for you? Allow FOX-North and watch.

Shiner said...

Rob, the problem isn't with conservatives like yourself who see past all the rhetoric and partisanship in every political party. The problem is the 10-20% on the extreme who really believe word-for-word the crap that Beck, O'Reilly, & Hannity peddle every night.

I think you give Rob far too much credit. He's a concern troll, nothing more. The whole "let's see beyond partisan politics" schtick is consistently betrayed by pot shots at the Liberals and a rather odd weighting scheme he gives to CPC scandals vs. Liberal scandals (CPC scandal="just politics"). At a certain point over Harper's reign any real tory, like you or I, jumped ship, even honest liberals walked away in disgust, but Rob, the alleged post-partisan, hangs on for dear life. He'll show up here and swear that he's disgusted with this or that from the CPC (always with a BS caveat), but oddly it's never quite enough to push him over the edge.

dupmar said...

Ann Coulter in league with Peladeau's Quebecor, now there's worthwhile entertainment.

Has anyone given thought to the fact that Quebecor's expansion into English Canadian TV communication is a bone the blogging tories/ Reformers might find hard to swallow, it runs counter to their entire narrative on Canada. Hasn't Quebec been portrayed in blogging tory blogs as some socialist cancer that deserves to be cut from the body politic, that Quebec doesn't have a business class, the entire population is composed of welfare mooches, that Quebec and business are two mutually exclusive realities, that the French language is irrelevant to Canada, and certainly to the conduct of business in Canada, and suddenly these selfsame blogging tories who have been badmouthing Quebec every other day of the week suddenly find a savior for their conservative values in the person of Quebecor's Peladeau, and are suddenly falling all over themselves singing the virtues of a billionnaire media mogul from Quebec. Yesterday the denied the existence of such a creature.

Given the composition of Quebecor's board and the fact Quebecor is headquartered in Montreal, have they pondered the reality that the board's business is conducted, horror of horrors, in French. So let's once again review the arguments with respect to the French language and Canada's institutions these Reformers threw our way with respect to the composition of the Supreme Court.

What's next, are the blogging tories going to put Ardvark and Mary T on a bus to Montreal, to provide language instruction to Quebecor's board and show them the blogging tory way to conduct business in Canada, the Alberta way.

rjjago said...

I'd have to question your estimates. I mean first off, this channel is going to be in English - what do the Tories poll in English Canada? 40%? More?

And what percentage of English Canadians are supportive of right-leaning politicians at one level of government or another?

The Canadian right is more than just the federal Tories, it also includes the BC Liberals, the Wildrose Alliance, the newfie PC's and dozens and dozens of smaller right-leaning municipal parties.

There is an enormous pool of people who are receptive to right-wing politics.

As long as this channel isn't a carbon copy of the Toronto-centric, Tory-obsessed National Post - then I think it has a good chance of reaching people.

As for the talent pool - two words, Rex Murphy.

Shiner said...

As for the talent pool - two words, Rex Murphy.

*snort*

Awesome.

C Broad Arrow said...

Looking forward to another view of Canadian news and culture. The more views the better...don't you think?

Shiner said...

Looking forward to another view of Canadian news and culture. The more views the better...don't you think?

No.