When I was first tipped off to Heather Mallick’s column the other day where she wrote about Fox News, Sun TV News and her connection to both of them I was seriously worried that I would learn that Ms. Mallick had slept with someone in my office.
This is no irrational fear, Mallick has already written about people she has slept with in her Toronto Star columns. That’s right, the woman who worries that Sun TV will soon lower the standards of journalism and discourse in Canada used up space in her column to tell the world about a one night stand from her ancient past.
“This was the lowest point of my digital life: I was playing a news conference online while researching a column and a distant emotional bell tolled. Something seemed oddly familiar. I looked at the screen. ‘Oh my god,’ I said aloud. ‘I slept with that guy.’
And it was true. I had, decades ago, in my early 20s.”
Beyond worrying that Sun TV will take standards lower than exposing our sex lives Mallick doesn’t want to have an alternative news channel offered in Canada because she’s convinced it will inspire racism, push an agenda and make stuff up.
Recently The Star wrote up a story about Tibetan monks en route to Canada being held up at the border due to visa problems. The only problem is there were no visa problems. The monks, part of an advance team preparing for the Dali Lama’s visit to Canada in October, were actually held up for reasons that had nothing to do with visas or the Canadian government.
Now, if you read Heather Mallick you would think a correction would have been promptly issued. Here’s what Mallick wrote as she ranted and raved about Fox and Sun TV.
“When real journalists make a mistake, we feel a sickness in our soul. It’s humiliating, it should, and will be, publicly corrected and so-workers avert their eyes. Fox isn’t like that. They seemingly make up numbers, flying unburdened through their fenced-in no-fact zone.”
Heather, you should start reading your own paper. And speaking of things that have agendas….
One of the main criticisms of Sun TV is that it will be agenda driven. Mallick calls it a propaganda machine. How many Canadians know about the Atkinson Principles? The Toronto Star is run according to a set of principles laid out by Joseph Atkinson a multi-millionaire that died in 1948.
Among Atkinson’s many beliefs, the ones still guiding the newspaper 62 years after his death, was the idea that all utilities should be owned by the public. That may not seem controversial if you think utility means electricity and water but check his idea of what constituted a utility. From The Star’s own web site,
“He favoured public ownership of gas, electric light, electric power, coalmines, oil wells, timber, pulp and paper, telephone, telegraph, radio, television, railways, airlines and streetcars.”
Notice what is absent? Newspapers. While he wanted all other media to be owned by the government Atkinson wanted to keep amassing his fortune which continues to fund left wing causes today through his foundation.
Atkinson also used his newspaper’s pages to push for a greater role for labour unions in Canada while also seeking to limit the influence of unions at The Star.
Eccentric media barons, dead or alive, can have whatever wacky ideas they want, the point here is that The Star has, and always has had its own agenda. Joseph Atkinson took over The Toronto Star with the support of wealthy backers so they could turn it into the voice of the Liberal Party.
That’s what the paper was in Atkinson’s day, that’s what it remains today.