07/12/2012 11:21 EDT | Updated 07/12/2012 12:21 EDT

Ezra Levant And Brian Lilley Of Sun News Target Tony Clement And The Conservatives Over Norman Bethune Centre (VIDEO)

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.

Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley both devoted segments to bashing the Tories and Tony Clement for funding a centre devoted to communist hero, and Canadian-born doctor, Norman Bethune.

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.


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).


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.

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