Now, more than ever

There’s an old adage that says that one is judged by the company they keep. While I think that this may be a bit too simplistic at times, I find that time and time again, the comments sections some of the media “of record” in this country reflect a readership at home.

Take for instance, this top comment at the CBC:

and this attempt at the Globe and Mail:

Those thumbs up/thumbs down votes are telling of the state of Canadian media these days. CBC and the Globe sing to the choir and the applecart of comfortable thought remains unturned.

Is there a market for Sun TV News? Fox News in the US has the most politically diverse audience (Republican/Democrat split) and I believe the same will be true for Sun News. Conservatives will find a home there to be sure, but left-wingers will also clamour to fight back the threatening barbarians climbing the gate of their mainstream, of their order now challenged.

Do you think there is a market for Sun TV News?

US Election 2008: Live results


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11:00pm: CNN declares Barack Obama President-elect
10:01pm: Democrats are +4 in the senate.
10:00pm: stephentaylor.ca decision desk calls the presidency for Obama, even before the California polls close and lucrative pharmaceutical ads run.
9:58pm: FNC projects TX, UT for McCain. Obama projected to win IA.
9:51pm: Why so slow on projecting Obama as President? It’s over.
9:46pm: CNN projects NM for Obama.
9:33pm: CNN projects OH for Obama.
9:22pm: CNN projects WV for McCain.
9:18pm: CNN projects McConnell (R-Sen) winning in KY.
9:11pm: Levin (D-Sen) wins MI.
9:10pm: CNN has better exit poll data than FNC.
9:09pm: Johnson (D-Sen) wins SD.
9:08pm: Inhofe (R-Sen) wins OK.
9:08pm: Barrasso (R-Sen) wins WY.
9:01pm: FNC projects ID KS, ND, WY for McCain.
9:00pm: FNC projects MI, MN, NY, NM, RI, WI for Obama.
9:00pm: Polls in central US close. CNN projects RI, NY, WI, MI, MN, NY for Obama, WY and ND for McCain.
8:56pm: CNN projects AL for McCain.
8:50pm: Obama at 71% in OH.
8:45pm: US House of Representative so far +1 for the Democrats.
8:42pm: Mark Pryor (D-Sen) wins AR.
8:30pm: FNC projects GA for McCain.
8:38pm: CNN late to the show and projects PA for Obama.
8:35pm: Frank Lautenberg (D-Sen) wins in NJ.
8:34pm: Susan Collins (R-Sen) wins in ME.
8:32pm: John Kerry (D-Sen) wins in MA.
8:32pm: Dick Durban (D-Sen) wins in IL.
8:31pm: Jay Rockefeller (D-Sen) wins in WV.
8:31pm: Lamar Alexander (R-Sen) wins in TN.
8:28pm: CNN calls NH for Obama.
8:17pm: Obama leads by 250k in FL with 30% reporting
8:16pm: Correction… Dole (R) loses in NC.
8:12pm: NBC, ABC call PA for Obama.
8:02pm: CNN describes african-americans as a stronger voting block for Obama than registered Democrats.
8:00pm: McCain gets OK and TN. Obama gets MN, DC, IL, MD, CT, DE, MA, and NJ.
8:00pm: CNN projects fresh round of states 8-2 Obama-McCain.
7:55pm: CNN calls SC for McCain (44%-55% Obama?!)
7:34pm: Dole (R) re-elected in NC.
7:32pm: FNC calls Daniels (R) re-elected in IN.
7:28pm: Georgia leads for McCain. He should take it. 1,650 votes reported with McCain at 71%. 2.41% MoE, 19/20 (if the sample was representative, which it is not!)
7:24pm: McCain will take IN.
7:17pm: McCain leads in FL 54-46.
7:14pm: Star Wars hologram on CNN. WTF? (CNN title: “CNN’s Jessica Yellin via Hollogram from Chicago”)
7:12pm: McCain leads in VA.
7:10pm: So far GOP (-1) in the Senate.
7:08pm: FNC calls Linsey Graham (R) for Senate in SC.
7:08pm: FNC calls Mark Warner (D) for Senate in VA.
7:07pm: FNC calls Vermont for Obama.
7:04pm: McCain leads Indiana. Indiana hasn’t gone Democrat since LBJ.
7pm: CNN calls Kentucky
Oldest

Cruikshank apologizes for Mallick column, recognizes CBC’s left-wing editorial bias

A mea culpa from CBC News publisher John Cruikshank concerning this column by Heather Mallick published on the CBC website.

In the column, Mallick calls American voters “white trash”, Republican men “sexual inadequates” and Sarah Palin a “hillbilly” among other slurs.

Here is Cruikshank’s letter (emphasis mine):

More than 300 people have taken the trouble this month to complain to the CBC ombudsman about a column we ran on CBCNews.ca about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Sept. 5.

The column, by award-winning freelance writer Heather Mallick, was also pilloried by the National Post in Canada and by Fox News in the U.S. Despite its age — it is three weeks old, several lifetimes in web years — this posting remains a subject of fascination in the blogosphere.

Vince Carlin, the CBC ombudsman, has now issued his assessment of the Mallick column. He doesn’t fault her for riling readers by either the caustic nature of her tone or the polarizing nature of her opinion.

But he objects that many of her most savage assertions lack a basis in fact. And he is certainly correct.

Mallick’s column is a classic piece of political invective. It is viciously personal, grossly hyperbolic and intensely partisan.

And because it is all those things, this column should not have appeared on the CBCNews.ca site.

Healthy restraint
On the whole, the CBC News policy handbook takes a very anxious view of any mixing of opinion in with the news business. It sees the two as nitro and glycerin, innocuous on their own but explosive together. This is a very healthy restraint for a public broadcaster.

But every news organization needs to have an opinion dimension. Access to different viewpoints helps readers, listeners and viewers make reasoned choices, especially during an election campaign.

As a public broadcaster we have an added responsibility to provide an array of opinions and voices to complement our journalism. But we must do so carefully. And you should be able to trust us to provide you with work that’s based on solid reporting and free from the passionate excesses of partisanship.

We failed you in this case. And as a result we have put new editing procedures in place to ensure that in the future, work that is not appropriate for our platforms, will not appear. We are open to contentious reasoned argument but not to partisan attack. It’s a fine line.

Ombudsman Carlin makes another significant observation in his response to complainants: when it does choose to print opinion, CBCNews.ca displays a very narrow range on its pages.

In this, Carlin is also correct.

This, too, is being immediately addressed. CBCNews.ca will soon expand the diversity of voices and opinions and be home to a diverse group of writers with many perspectives. In this, we will better reflect the depth and texture of this country.

We erred in our editorial judgment. You told us in no uncertain terms. And we have learned from it.

Here was CBC ombudsman Vince Carlin’s assessment of the complaints that followed Mallick’s column,

CBC Board of Directors Political Contributions by Party

As I prepared this post, a rerun of the CBC’s fifth estate documentary was lamenting the arrival of that “loud”, “raucous” cable news channel that has debuted on Canadian digital cable. I am, of course, talking about Fox News.

Bob McKeown has an obvious thesis. He claims, quite correctly, that Fox News has aided in the division of the United States into Red and Blue. He calls it “a very un-civil war”. Ironically he uses Al Franken and his Air America to confirm his thesis that Fox News is conservative (and thus quite evil). Yet, he ignores that by appealing to Franken he becomes unfaithful to his original thesis of media division of opinion as unfavorable.

I’d venture to guess that Bob took a lot of notes when he saw the Democratic Party funded documentary on Fox News: Outfoxed. All of the points were there. If I produced Outfoxed, I’d look into suing the Fifth Estate for plagiarism.

There is something quite ironic about the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation identifying media bias when the American news channel itself will compete directly with CBC for viewers.

So, I decided to look into the political influence behind what may direct the decisions at the CBC, from the stories that they choose to cover to which rerun of the Antiques Roadshow they’ll play on Newsworld whenever the Conservative Party gets together at a convention or leadership debate.

Thus, I present the political contributions by party made by the current CBC board of directors.

cbc board of directors.jpg

Consider that these powerful positions are appointed by the government and that state media should of course be unbiased.

The CBC documentary on Fox News dreads a division of opinion in the news media concerning the stories that are reported, the facts which are selected, and the tone of the broadcast. I would much prefer a “divide” than such a disparity which is as evident as the chart above describes.