Thursday, January 24, 2013

Andrew Coyne: Sun News' "shameless" "gall"

... There just aren’t words for this kind of gall. Even by the standards of the cultural sector, it’s breathtaking: proof, yet again, that the only thing you need to succeed in Canadian business is utter shamelessness, coupled with an invincible sense of entitlement to the public’s money....
Talk about shameless, breathtaking gall! Andrew Coyne, charter member of Group Think Media, smears Sun News for its temerity in seeking a level playing field in the TV news business. His main "argument" seems to be that during its startup period Sun supposedly shunned the mandatory carriage it is now seeking. Even if this were true, Big Deal! What are they guilty of? At worst business miscalculation, or maybe chutzpah as the new network in town. Anyway, now that Sun has, what do they call it ... oh, yes, "experience", and finds that it's accessibility to the TV audience is severely restricted compared to its competitors, its hardly surprising that they would seek to level the playing field, especially since it’s losing money.

Coyne’s second "argument" is that it would be better if the entire system were reformed to offer subsidies to no one. That seems like a reasonable if not laudable goal. No doubt the CRTC’s dopey rules need reform. But why should Sun lead that charge or wait for it to happen? In any case the dollar subsidy* that Sun is asking for is tiny compared to what the others have been getting from square one.  Shouldn’t it get the same as the others, automatically? Although that’s probably small beer compared with the "subsidy" Sun really needs - which is access to the same audience and on the same basis as the other Canadian news networks. That’s also something Sun News should have been granted from the get-go.

Meanwhile, Coyne should tell us, if he can, why he thinks Sun News shouldn’t be treated the same as the other networks. Contemptuous innuendo doesn’t count.

*Clarification: "subsidy" = cable subscriber fee (not taxpayer funded)



wilson said...

Last time I looked, Macleans got a government subsidy from the Canadian taxpayer.
If I remember correctly, Macleans gets the maximum, $1.4 million annual subsidy from Heritage Ministry.

and Coyne himself performs on the CBC stage, paid for by the Canadian Taxpayer.
Sometimes 'we' fly Coyne and Hebert and others to locations such as Vancouver for their 16 minute At Issue session.

I asked kady O'malley what that 16 minutes cost Canadians (flights, hotels etc)
My comment was deleted.

Anonymous said...

But only groupthinking narrow minded Progressives are entitled to public money. Conservatives don't deserve it; they just get to pay for Progressives' elite lives.

Anonymous said...

As I commented on a post over at Barrel Strength just now: "There is ideological purity (“these hands will never touch money extorted by government decree!”) and there is reality. Sun has to play the game, despite Andrew Coyne’s sanctimonious reproof of Ezra on Twitter last night. (Goodness, he is a principled fuss-pot,that one. He belongs on a small town municipal council, pointlessly prolonging meetings on petty points of order, far into the night.) Good TV costs money, and Ezra and the gang have earned a flatter competitive environment. It can take a long, long time to build your audience – it took Sports Illustrated and ESPN and Amazon years to become profitable. Sun Media is losing money, and I suspect will continue to lose money on Ezra and company, even after it couples with the cable consumer’s credit card."

dmorris said...

I signed the petition to get Sun-tv a better place in the channel lineup. Locally,(Kelowna), we have KIRO-TV from Seattle Washington in channel 7.

No one I know EVER watches that channel,who in the Okanagan gives a damn about what's happening in Seattle? And if I DO want to watch Sun,have to pay extra for it,and it's way hell and gone up at 177!

Of course,there IS the French channel,12,for the 0.25% of the local population that speaks that language, but NO conservative TV channel within easy reach. This has to be corrected.

If I remember correctly, Sun-TV DID apply to the CRTC for mandatory status,like all their competitors,and were turned down.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have easier access to Sun network. Why so much a fuss about this when Al-Jazeera's Canadian channel was foisted on us without hardly a peep from anyone.

Martin said...

I don't understand the technical issues involved, but Sun was included on Rogers basic channel package at about channel 54. After a few months they disappeared to HD spots and Rogers informed me the reason was they didn't renew an analog license. The implication from Rogers was that it was Sun's decision; I received no reply to a query to Sun. Anyone know what is going on here?

Sean M said...

I signed the petition too. However, I have doubts as whether it will make any difference with the "cultural police" at the CRTC. The CRTC is one of the more ugly bureaucratic impositions foisted upon Canadians. The CRTC has a mandate to promote the Trudopian ideology of tribalism, whether it's ramming french down our throats, and forcing us to pay for it, or the odious mult-cult. Their mandate is to divide Canadians by tribe, while exterminating any and all efforts at a "monolithic culture"... Sun News rails against the Trudopian State, so I worry the CRTC see them as a threat to the Trudopian statism they are mandated to impose.

JR said...

Following up on dmorris' comment, I just read the Sun News submission to the CRTC. Contrary to what Coyne states, Sun writes:
In our initial application, we requested mandatory distribution for Sun News for a period of three years.
... The CRTC indicated it was not considering mandatory distribution for any channels at the time of our initial application, but would have a process opening in 2012 under which such requests would be considered.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Coyne is just another name on the long list of "do as I say, don't do as I do" kind of people. I'm sure he thinks his rationale on the Sun News issue is a question of PRINCIPLES.

On the Jan 24 edition of At Issue Coyne once again argued for a one-time "understanding" among the NDP, the Liberals, and the Greens in the next election in order to unseat PM Harper and the Conservatives. Once in power, they can then change the electoral system from the FPTP to a PR system. No mention whatsoever of letting the electorate have a say on the electoral system issue.

That kind of garbage comes from someone who constantly criticizes the Conservatives for supposedly abandoning their conservative PRINCIPLES. What kind of PRINCIPLES guide Coyne and those who think that the only justified path to power is temporarily discarding one's basic ideology?
-- Gabby in QC