Sun News Network hasn't earned the nickname Fox News North by being friendly to Liberals and New Democrats, but two of the station's most prominent hosts took a break from bashing progressives Wednesday to aim their rhetorical cannons at an unfamiliar target — the Conservative Party of Canada.
The treasury board president spent part of Wednesday at a ceremony opening the new visitors’ centre at Bethune Memorial House in Gravenhurst, Ont. Price tag? $2.5 million.
The Tories have been paying increased attention to Bethune's legacy largely because he is a national hero in China, where the Conservatives have been seeking to expand trade relations. The doctor died in 1939 while tending to future Chinese ruler Mao Zedong's troops.
If there's one thing Sun News hates more than Liberals, it's communists, so it's not surprising Levant and Lilley are taking the Tories to task.
Levant focused on the government failing to provide funding for a monument to the victims of totalitarian communism, while lavishing cash on a tribute to a red hero.
ANYTHING TO CURRY FAVOUR WITH THE CHINESE
The China angle was the the thrust of Lilley's interview segment with former Liberal strategist Ray Heard. The title of the piece? RED ALERT - CHINA IN CHARGE. Snappy.
Lilley and Heard also took the time to criticize Clement for arriving at the ceremony in an "NDP-orange rickshaw." Heard pointed out that the minister should be more careful to avoid such obvious symbols of neo-colonialism. We're not sure about the intellectual optics, but we're pretty sure Clement couldn't have looked more silly (see footage in the video below).
STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO
The barrage of criticism from Sun News may be coming in part as response to a Twitter spat on Wednesday between former Globe editor Stephen Wicary and Clement.
Wicary, who was Levant's target last week for moving to Cuba — where his wife is taking a job with a charity — sarcastically tweeted at Sun News about whether they would be running a "two-part hit job on that dirty red @TonyclementCPC." Looks like that's exactly what they're doing.
Clement responded to Wicary that his point was to celebrate things other than Bethune's communism and that "you chose to live in a communist country. Big difference." Clement was met with a barrage of criticism online for the comment, with many pointing out the apparent hypocrisy between celebrating Bethune and bashing a Canadian for moving to a communist nation.
It seems Sun News doesn't want to be charged with the same hypocrisy.
A young Chinese communist in 1927.
Chinese communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong (L) welcomes U.S. President Richard Nixon to his house in the Beijing Forbidden City on February 22, 1972. President Nixon urged China to join the United States in 'a long march together, not in lockstep, but on different roads leading to the same goal, the goal of building a world structure of peace'.
A budding Georgian revolutionary in his mid-twenties.
Then-Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1936.
A 1916 photo of a young corporal.
A picture dated 1939 shows German Nazi Chancellor and dictator Adolf Hitler (C) consulting a geographical survey map with his general staff including Heinrich Himmler (L) and Martin Bormann (R) at an unlocated place during World War II.
A wealthy young Russian in 1887.
Portrait dated May 1919 of Vladimir Illyich Ulianov (1870-1924) better known as Lenin, as he delivers a speech during the parade of the general training troops. Lenin led in October 1917 the communist revolution, founded the Soviet armed forces, the Red Army, and became head of the first Soviet government.
A young man listens intently in July 1953. (AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released on Feb. 4, 2012, by the state media website Cubadebate, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro listens during the presentation of his book 'Guerrillero del Tiempo,' or 'Time Warrior' in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Cubadebate, Roberto Chile)
This politician pictured in 1976 would come to rule Rhodesia, renamed Zimbabwe, in 1980. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, looks on after delivering an address to the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 22, 2011 in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A future dictator in his hometown of Tikrit. Photo dated 1960. (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
In this Jan. 29, 2006, file photo, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein gestures during his trial in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)
The General circa 1950. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Mubutu Sese Koko
Surrounded by bodyguards, Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko is escorted into a car after arriving at Pointe Noire, Congo, Wednesday, May 14, 1997, for a scheduled meeting with Zairian rebel leader Laurent Kabila. (AP Photo/Peter Andrews)
Just a schoolboy in this October, 1963, photo. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images)
Kim Jong Il
In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service, the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is laid in a memorial palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Kim Jong Il died on Saturday, Dec. 17, North Korean state media announced Monday. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)
Not so long ago... (AP Photo/Str)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting of Russian and Belarusian leadership in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011. Lukashenko <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belarus/8214397/Alexander-Lukashenko-Europes-last-dictator.html" target="_hplink">has been called Europe's only remaining dictator</a>. (AP Photo/Maxim Shipenkov, Pool)
The 70s were happier times for this handsome fellow. (AP Photo)
In this Sept. 8, 2010, file photo, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi fans his face during the Forum of Kings, Princes, Sultans, Sheikhs and Mayors of Africa in Tripoli. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid Al Fergany, file)
This president takes a shot while playing basketball in Kampala, Uganda, in a 1977 photo. Not much to our surprise, he beat the rival military team by a score of 10-0. (AP Photo / Richard Tomkins).
Former Ugandan President Idi Amin looking relaxed, circa 1980. (Photo by Keystone/HultonArchive/Getty Images)
Rebel leader shows off new recruits for his army on Feb. 12, 1997. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju)
Laurent-Desire Kabila's coffin is carried by Congolese officers January 21, 2001, upon its arrival from Lumumbashi at n'Djili airport in Kinshasa. Joseph Kabila (C-in black), appointed as Kabila's successor, follows his father's coffin. (DESIREY MINKOH/AFP/Getty Images)
Then-vice president lifts an eyebrow on May 11, 1975. (AP Photo/Tayeb)
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is wheeled into court in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. Defense attorneys for Egypt's Interior Minister argued Sunday that thugs and armed men killed protesters and said some relatives of those killed in the uprising are only seeking compensation. Mubarak, his former interior minister and four top security officers are being tried for complicity in the deaths of hundreds of protesters at the hands of security forces during the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising. The six face the death penalty if convicted. (AP Photo/Mohammed al-Law)
A military ruler smiles on July 24, 1989. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)
Omar Al Bashir
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir speaks to reporters during a visit to Tripoli, Libya, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. (AP Photo Abdel Magid al-Fergany)
A Communist leader sneers in February 1988. (AFP/Getty Images)
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic arrives to open his defence at the war crimes tribunal August 31, 2004, in The Hague, Netherlands. Milosevic was accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the wake of the war in the Balkans during the 1990's. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)
The man second from the left in this undated family photo would rise to power by coincidence. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, waves to his supporters after he attended the prayer of Eid Al Adha, at the al-Nour Mosque in the northern town of Raqqa, Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/SANA)
Former prime minister waves to the cheering crowd November 7, 1987, after being sworn in as president. (JOEL ROBINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
In this file photo released Dec. 28, 2010, by the Tunisian Presidency office, Tunisia's President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, left, visits Mohamed Bouazizi, a young man who set himself on fire acting out of desperation after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit, at Ben Arous Burn and Trauma Centre, in Tunis. The Tunisian unrest began after Bouazizi set himself on fire when police in the central town of Sidi Bouzid confiscated the fruits he was selling without a permit. A Tunisian court has dropped charges against a policewoman whose dispute with Mohamed Bouazizi sparked a chain of events that unleashed uprisings around the Arab world. The case against the policewoman was closed after the vendor's family withdrew its original complaint. (AP Photo/Tunisian Presidency, File)
Man with impressive moustache attends emergency Arab Summit on November 11, 1987 in Amman, Jordan. (NABIL ISMAIL/AFP/Getty Images)
Ali Abdullah Saleh
In this Feb. 5, 2012 file photo, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh waves to people protesting his presence in the United States as he exits a hotel in New York. Saleh is in the U.S. protected by diplomatic immunity while he receives treatment of burns he suffered during an assassination attempt in June. A Human Rights Watch report released Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 said Saleh ordered a crackdown on Arab Spring protesters that killed at least 120 people in just one city. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)