Veteran television newsman Tim Knight contributes a regular blog to HuffPost, analyzing and rating the top broadcast news shows in Canada. Today he examine's Sun TV.
Episode: Sun TV News
Date: Friday March 9, 2012
Sun TV News is a most peculiar and mysterious place. I wanted to know which of their shows they consider to be their flagship so I could review it like I do other journalistic programs. I emailed and called half a dozen times but could only get as far as their news comment line ("We value your opinion, so please leave us a message."). Nice to know they value my opinion, but I never heard back.
Occurs to me that if major news (The Rapture, World War lll, Justin Bieber weds) breaks outside my window, I'll probably watch another network.
Now, I write this column by screening different flagship news programs in the evening and making notes, then re-screening on the Internet the next day to get the slightly different Internet feel and check names and quotes.
Last night I watched some Sun coverage of the Manning Conference in Ottawa. I won't bore you with details. It was much like any other network's coverage of political gatherings -- interesting for the participants no doubt, but consistently dull. Anyway, a conservative network covering a Conservative rally is closer to an evangelical assembly of the saved than journalism.
Today I hit the Sun News website looking for yesterday's other shows. But I couldn't find any. So I checked my horoscope in the Globe and Mail, studied the entrails of chickens and decided to review whatever random segments I could conjure up.
Best I could do was find previews of "stories we're working on right now." They're introduced by a somewhat insipid young woman, unscripted, and nicely informal. Sometimes humorous, even witty. And they're never without the Sun's notoriously self-serving, male pit-bull point of view.True Journalistic Objectivity -- Michael Coren (The Arena):
"George Soros... a Yankee, imperialist leftist."
CBC, Porn, and Sun TV Saves Canada -- Brian Lilley (Byline):
"I was described as a fascist by a professor... and he's going to regret doing this because... enough of people who are conservative being slandered and libeled by these morons."
CBC, Porn, and Sun TV Saves Canada -- Ezra Levant (The Source):
"CBC has come to its senses and decided it's going to stop airing free porn from France on the Internet. It's a victory for Sun News, it's a victory for you."
Save the Cops -- Charles Adler (Prime Time)
"The CBC blinked today. They announced they're getting out of the porn business, shutting down their porn website. I think it's because they want their annual bailout this month but in the meantime, victory for us and the taxpayers."
Wrath About Grapes -- Charles Adler (Prime Time):
"... this ridiculous idea that police are arresting citizens that are trying to help them. They're arresting good citizens as opposed to criminals. It's a very strange situation in a country where we desperately want to believe in some institutions like the police and don't want to see their reputations devalued."
"Is it possible the NHL is trying to push Don (Cherry) right off the proverbial cliff?
Verdict -- I admit I'm no techno-geek. So maybe it's my fault I couldn't find screenable archives. But if someone from Sun would care to contact me, steer me towards anything it considers a flagship news show so I can review it, I would be pathetically grateful.
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