Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Calgary Sun's evolution

Time was that the Calgary Herald was the city's center right paper and the Sun was the wingnut daily. Right-wing and right-wingier.

Things have changed over the years, the final straw for me with the Herald was during the Lakeside Packers strike when the Herald's agriculture columnist did a piece about how the perfidious UFCW was taking advantage of the 'naive and gullible Africans' working at Lakeside. This was the strike that the workers eventually won a first contract with after one of the plant's management drove a union executive off the road. Although the Canwest chain has shown some discomfort with the Harperites of late, and the plummeting numbers of their flagship the National Pest appears to be delivering a message about the appeal of it's far right editorial consensus, they are still reliably neo-conservative, even if they are more sub-rosa in promoting it.

The Sun has been dipping its toe into working class populism for quite awhile as represented by the columns of Rick Bell (For Edmonton readers, he's our Neil Waugh equivalent.) and the moderate to progressive stance of Bill Kaufman, who I studied Journalism with at Mount Royal College.

Most recently they tossed Ezra Levant overboard after his disgusting attempt to use the death of a child in a tragic school bus accident for anti-Muslim racial pandering - within weeks of the Standard closing its doors in fact which taken together may represent a welcome distancing of mainstream conservatism from Levant's repugnant views.

And today the featured editorial from the hitherto reliably right-wing Licia Corbella harshly condemned Stephen Harper's government for turning away from Canada's long-standing policy of opposing the death penalty in all cases where Canadians face it in other countries.

I slam the mainstream media in Canada for failing to adequately represent the mostly centrist to center left nature of the Canadian public. When they show signs of doing so, particularly in the stereotyped right wing utopia of Calgary they deserve praise for it.


eugene plawiuk said...

I too made note of Licia's editorial because it ran in the Edmonton Sun to. Neil Waugh our right wing columnist up here has been anti-big oil, pro-buidling trades unions and been sounding decidedly left wing of late.
Though he falls back to his right wing ranting when it comes to civic politics.

However the Edmonton Journal on the other hand has been nothing but a Liberal Party of Alberta rag refusing to cover the NDP while touting Taft and his party even after they waited five weeks to comment on the Royalty report, mere days before the Ed TV show.

Interesting times in Alberta media politics.

Diane Demorney said...

So the Calgary Sun really threw Ezra under the bus?

Good times... good times.

Cliff said...


Cliff said...

And from someone who worked for and with Ezra Levant: Forget the free speech rhetoric, Ezra just really doesn't like Muslims.

Matthew The Astrologer said...

My blog has suffered terribly of late for the Sun's flirtations with sanity...

Cliff said...

Ted Byfield and Paul Jackson still have columns, with them around the crazy well will never completely run dry.

Ted's been taking a break recently I think - and fair enough since his daughter died tragically in a fire last month. I may think his columns are crazy and reactionary, but my heart goes out to his family.

Diane Demorney said...

The very public demise of Levant's career has made me feel all happy and giggly inside.

Cliff: that letter by Merle Terlesky is just icing on the cake. I, too, (to my great shame) once worked for the Western Standard. What can I say? I was broke and needed a job. I soon realised I would never be broke enough to work any longer for those douchebags. My self-esteem will never sink that low again.

lilith attack said...

Jose Rodriguez left a message on our answering machine in response to one angry voicemail about that column:

"Hi this is Jose Rodriguez with the Calgary Sun returning, ah, your phone call.

Um, Yes. Ah, Mr. Levant's column ah, also upset me. Um, and I guess at this point all I can say is that it it won't be running in our newspaper again. Please give me a call at ..."

A factual error? Spicy? The cowards.

Mr. Rodriguez later defended himself to my partner in a connected phone call that he's not "a left lib or anything."

It would be news if the Sun reported on the hateful racist tongues over at the Western Sun's online blog. It's absolutely sick.

Thanks for the direction to FFWD's report of Levant getting canned; all we knew of that was from Rodriguez and hadn't found anything in print.

Cheers, all.

Cliff said...

I wonder how he's financing his beloved Hummer now? It's not as if the Sun column paid enough to even get it around the block, but with the fall of the Standard is he one of the Professional Right Wing's charity cases now? Are the Fraser Institute or the Heritage Foundation keeping him in the style he's grown accustomed to?

Will the CBC take the hint and stop Don Newman from trotting him out as a 'representative Albertan'?

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