The Shotgun Blog
Friday, November 12, 2004
Here's a snippet, from about the mid-point in Terry O'Neill's Thinking like a FOX, the cover story in the Nov. 22 issue of the Western Standard on stands now (not available online for another week and a half).
Subtitle: In just eight years, Fox News has rocked American politics. Now that the network is headed north, will Canadians ever think the same way again?
Media analyst Lydia Miljan says she has been studying the way the Canadian media portrays our neighbours to the south, by examining whenever the word "American" comes up in transcripts of news reports and how it is contextualized. "It seems to me that, when I'm reading those transcripts, it's not so much an anti-American sentiment, as much as it is an anti-capitalist one," says Miljan, a political science professor at the University of Windsor. "The most vicious thing you can say about Americans on CBC is that they're greedy. And there's a lot of politics of envy that goes into that." As the income gap increases between Canada and the United States, she says, "Canadians look across the border with a lot of envy, saying, 'Well, they might have more money, but we're nicer people.' And [the media] perpetuate those myths. So, in the media reports, whenever there is conflict between Canada and the United States, Americans are called greedy, or they're called bullies." In addition to fostering animosity toward the U.S., the end result is that Canadians grow increasingly and deliberately ignorant about what America is all about. "It's easier [for the news media] to poke fun, it's easier to call somebody mean-spirited or sick or whatever, than actually look at the economics of their policies," says Miljan.
Despite its larger-than-life reputation, Fox isn't as slanted as its critics would have you believe. "Our view is that the U.S. news media, like the CBC up your way, have for years tilted to the left," says Baker. Fox News simply breaks the longstanding mould. "Liberals in America have reacted to it very negatively, have said that Fox News Channel is evil, awful--you know, a right-wing, biased network. That's kind of humorous, because they don't see ABC and NBC as biased. They just see Fox as biased. I think that proves the point."
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It's true in the US, a huge number of us view Fox as our only balanced television news coverage. I recall Trudeaupia observing the same thing on his site when he was down here.
However in the US, Fox was preceded by an explosion of talk radio. Rush started it, then it became ubiquitous.
If Canada gets Fox, or a Canadian equivalent of Fox, I hope I can get up there for the early part of its inauguration, because I imagine it would create a tsunami that would hit Canada like a Falluja firefight.
My advice to my conservative Canadian friends is get in shape, always go out in twos, and be ready to rumble.
Posted by: Greg in Dallas | 2004-11-12 12:50:50 PM
> Now that the network is headed north
It is? You mean the CRTC has approved it? News to me -- good news!
Posted by: Mark Wickens | 2004-11-12 2:25:05 PM
This is the first I have heard this too. Are we to expect FoxNews on basic cable or on some hard-to-see digital feed?
Posted by: Ghost of a flea | 2004-11-12 3:00:53 PM
As far as we know the announcement is not until the end of this month, but the latest edition of the Western Standard is saying it a done deal.
Posted by: MikeP | 2004-11-12 4:37:40 PM
Hey folks, buy the mag and you'll get all the juice on Fox's foray north.
Let's just say that we have excellent sources that assure us it's a fait accompli.
Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2004-11-12 4:44:29 PM
"will Canadians ever think the same way again?"
Don't worry. If Fox devotes too large a chunk of their coverage to Canada, it will turn off American viewers. They won't do it.
Fox is primarily a domestic American news channel. Canadians are unlikely to even watch it in serious numbers. The important thing is that it is your choice, not Ottawa's.
Posted by: The Owner's Manual | 2004-11-12 5:01:36 PM
This is awesome! Now I won't be stuck watching the left-leaning CNN for American and international coverage.
Posted by: Joel | 2004-11-12 6:18:42 PM
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