Thursday, 7 July 2011

FOX NORTH is outraged, OUTRAGED I tell you!! And it's all your fault!

Ever since SUN TV (AKA FOX North) went on the air smack in the middle of the last election FOX North has been searching for a wedge issue comparable to the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-gay hysteria that their American mentors have used so successfully. Not that they haven't also pushed those buttons as well, but they must sense that that sort of thing will exclude them forever from mainstream Canadian society.

That brings us to the arts, yeah that's the ticket. Attacking "elitists" is the new black. The poisonous idea that anybody who makes the mistake of actually treasuring arts, culture, education, science or the environment over greed, guns and god is naturally an "elitist".

Never mind that those who scream this the loudest are always rich and powerful media types and politicians who get out of their limos long enough to plant themselves in front of another microphone and complain about how they are once again being silenced and victimized for their "patriotism" by "the elite".

Of course they are utterly shameless and cynical hypocrites who deserve to be treated with the utter disdain usually reserved for those wingnuts who walk around with their sandwich boards warning us about the end of the world. Combined with the contempt given to telemarketers who scam us while we are trying to have dinner, with perhaps a touch of the "shut the fuck up" we save for those ignorant louts at hockey games screaming at the ref and cheering the most concussion inducing body checks with all too revealing glee. (Significant aside; I can't help but noticing that these types usually don't actually play hockey themselves). I seriously doubt these soulless opportunists have any actual beliefs other than lust for power, greed and attention who will not only yell fire in a crowed theatre, but then blame the resulting stampede on those damn liberal elitists. And the artists on stage of course, let us not forget the real enemy.

In the recent (and ongoing) budget debate in the U.S.A. the Republicans have used deficit hysteria to once again demand the cutting off of such perennial straw men as the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and NPR. Hey it almost make sense to ask about taxpayer funding during a recession and budget cuts right? Until you realize that arts funding in the USA counts for less than one tenth of one percent of the entire U.S. budget. That's right, you read that correctly. Less than one tenth of one percent. Mind you most Americans think it's more like ten percent. Gee, I wonder how they got that idea? Could it be that Republicans find it useful to attack the arts so as to distract voters away from the cost of the massive tax cuts and giveaways Republicans have pledged to protect even at the cost of total economic collapse? What a cynical elitist idea and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that. GET A JOB YOU STONERS!!!

And yet; I can't help but remember in the previous election Stephen Harper's speech attacking the "cultural elites" in Quebec which cost him the lead in the polls there and which he has never recovered from. After that he kind of backed of a bit. But now the election is over and he has his "More centrist" (remember when they promised that?) majority promising massive cuts to deal with the deficit they would like us to forget they did not in fact inherit from the previously Liberal government. I can't help but noticing SUN TV, AKA FOX North's new fixation on attacking the arts in Canada, especially those artists that most of us have frankly never heard of.

First there was Ezra Levant attacking some band B.C. called "Living With Lions" for accepting a FACTOR grant. We had the spectacle of this comically smug tightass proclaiming his love for The Clash and punk rock and demanding that the band return the money and demanding that “public funding” to be cut to “so called musicians", "a bunch of losers" and a “crummy band". He also brayed his outrage of their "anti-christian" message calling them "Christophobic", which is a little rich coming from a blowhard who made his bones by attacking Islam on a regular basis.

He demanded that the band "return the money" to the taxpayers. Which the shell shocked band then did. Clearly the band should be renamed "Living With Pussies" All of which proves by the way that punk is truly dead. And so is satire.

Then enjoying the taste of easy blood FOX North picked another easy target. An award winning interpretive dancer who I am apparently not elite enough to have ever hard of named Margie Gillis.

The resulting ambush interview between SUN TV's mini-skirted attack bunny Krista Erickson and the almost comically soft spoken and polite Gillis has become a much re-posted horror show of an absurdly uniformed and arrogant host alternating between rank sycophancy of the most cloying sort and text book bullying tactics borrowed from FOX and every other talk radio dick with delusions of grandeur. Constant interruptions, blanket assertions, manufactured outrage, faux working class self pity, bizarre digressions and non-sequitors, oh and of course a completely gratuitous invoking of "Our Troops". It has to be seen to be believed.

(aside update; It turns out you can't actually see it after all since SUN TV regularly uses bullshit copyright complaints to ban any and all embarrassing clips from Youtube. They have had to do this quite a lot lately given the tendency of SUN TV's "Flagship Show" host Ezra Levant to engage in the sort of vitriolic race-baiting that actually got them on the receiving end of a police investigation for violating the country's hate laws, seriously, he's that disgusting. For months the response from the SUN Bunker was to defiantly state that they would never, ever, apologize or cave in to "political correctness" so there, take that. Until the police paid a polite call, then SUN fired off a hurried and half-assed apology. Then they had all the numerous Youtube evidence banned. Not to state the obvious but this is the same SUN TV which has always demanded "openness and transparency" of The CBC. And Native Band Councils. And Arts Groups. And Unions. And any political parties they don't like. Just sayin. Back to our rant already in progress.)

Then a strange thing happened. Normally polite Canadians were revolted by the spectacle of a perfectly nice (if somewhat goofy) hippie lady being attacked by this hard faced bottle blonde harpy and did something they rarely do in large numbers. They got off their butts and complained to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (AKA CBSC). I know there's been complaints before, Howard Stern got a bunch and earlier this year there was a whole kerfuffle over a Dire Straits song (which I also blogged about on here) but there has literally never been a deluge like this. That entire Dire Straits clusterfuck came as a result on just one single complaint for example.

How bad? The CBSC got an astounding over 4,350 complaints an a matter of weeks where they normally get around 2000 in an entire year. In fact they got so many complaints that the CBSC took the unique step of actually putting out a press release begging people to stop sending in complaints as they were completely overwhelmed. Allow me to paraphrase; "We heard you the first 4,350 times! Now please stop, really, we are totally swamped over here". Wow; Nice work people. Seriously, I am impressed.

Just to add salt to the wounds according to the BBM surveys thus far the ratings for SUN TV are so pathetic that at times they have only averaged 7,000 viewers nation wide. So I guess they should be happy that over 4,350 people were watching at all.

For some reason Sun TV and Erickson don't see it that way of course and have been predictably whining about being "bullied" and "threatened" with "four letter words". SUN TV's owners blamed the whole thing on Facebook. Turns out they are outraged at the idea of people using the media to push political agendas. Yeah; this is all your fault Facebook! Shame on you. So let us never forget that the real victims are always the right wing media, our most vulnerable resource.

Now the CBSC doesn't have the power to ban Erickson or fine FOX North and I'm fine with that but I like the fact that Canadians were actually willing to show support for their artists. Harper learned that one once already but that was before the recession so it's nice to see it again. I think Canadians also stood up as well for basic civility, if Erickson had merely asked a question about tax dollars and arts funding that would be one thing, but honestly, she's a snide whining bitch.

But then again if they are going to suckerpunch the straw man of arts funding then FOX North and Erickson have a few questions to answer themselves.

First of all Krista Erickson herself made her name working at the taxpayer funded CBC for years so if FOX North can smugly demand that the hapless band "Living With Lions" return the their funding to the taxpayers than surely Erickson can do the same. Now. And if we are really going to make the tired argument of pay based solely on "merit" then the next obvious question is exactly what are Erickson's qualifications anyway for being some sort of expert on public policy, I mean aside from the obvious fact that she is exactly the type of imperious pinch faced, blow dried, bottle blonde, mini-skirted harpy that right wingers get a hard on for. I mean if we are supposed to give jobs only to the most qualified and experienced than why not give the gig to former Reform M.P. Deborah Grey? She's actually done policy and media stuff and could do actually do a credible job. She also has impeccable conservative credentials and is even good on camera, she certainly wouldn't behave like a rabid chihuahua. I'm guessing that FOX North is assuming that there is little demand to see Deb Grey in a mini-skirt. No offense to Deb Grey. She seems nice and polite.

But now I'm engaging in the sort of nasty "persecution" that conservatives so love to complain about suffering. Sorry about that. Won't happen again. So how do you respond to these tea-bagger douchebags? How about by pointing out the indisputable fact that SUN TV gets more taxpayer money than all these silly dancers and musicians combined? No shit. I kid you not.

SUN TV is owned by Quebecor, which also owns the SUN newspaper chain (obviously) along with the free daily "24 Hours" commuter paper and a bunch of other papers and magazines. All presumably profitable. And it turns out they also get a lot of taxpayer grants from something called The Canadian Periodical Fund. How much you may ask, since clearly nobody at FOX North will. Well check this out;

"Granted to magazine publishers under the Canadian Periodical Fund.

A list of Quebecor properties and the commensurate amount they received from taxpayers for 2010-11, via the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Chez Soi: $487, 735
Cool: $191.136
7 Jours: $327,160
TV Hebdo: $1,157,100
TV Hebdo Teleromans: $8,480
Les idees de ma maison: $376,943
Clin d’oeil: $480,749
Cote Jardins: $33,678
Derniere Heure: $154,966
Echoes Vedettes: $188,704
Le Lundi: $376,018
Moi & Cie: $7,947
Tout simplement Clodine: $99,489
Clodine Hors serie: $4,366

TOTAL $3.7 million."

And keep in mind that's in JUST ONE YEAR, not the decade that Erickson was so hot and bothered about. Soooo...Krista, Ezra, howabout it? When is Quebecor going to return that money? All of it? As a taxpayer I demand to know. Now. Why should I have to subsidize your no doubt generous salaries? Surely Quebecor doesn't actually require an annual taxpayer bailout? And even if they did then surely you would be the first ones to insist that Qubecor must be allowed to fail. No?

And when are you going to do an ambush interview about that? I'm waiting. And I'm sure so are your 7,000 viewers.

Angry Mob victorian
pc screen shot

No comments:

Post a Comment