Posts Tagged ‘truth

Charlie Angus can’t handle the truth

- February 8th, 2011

Charlie Angus and the NDP want government truth squads.

Forget your 1970s nightmares of The Dream Police, Charlie Angus wants the News Police to say  whether something is true before you can see it on TV or hear it on radio.

As Bryn Weese reports in the Sun, this is all about a proposed regulatory change proposed by the CRTC.

Currently, the regulations read, “a licensee shall not broadcast …any false or misleading news.”

If the CRTC goes ahead with the changes, it would read, “…any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.”

All of this has Angus worried.

“If you change it, you could see a very different media landscape. You could have the kind of Fox News in Canada,” Angus told reporters in the National Press Theatre.

“To say, ‘You can say anything you want, even if you know it’s misleading, so long as someone doesn’t get killed,’ that’s a pretty outrageous drop in standards,” Angus said.

He also warned of Canada importing “hate radio” from the United States.

Truly scary. Perhaps we should apply a little bit of the truth police to Angus’ own claims.

The CRTC is actually responding to a request, more than a decade old, from a joint committee of MPs and Senators that examine regulations. The CRTC ignored the request for a long time, it dates back to the 90s, and then decided to respond at the beginning of January.

According to Gloria Galloway in The Globe, the reason for rewording the regulation has to do with concerns that it is not in keeping with The Charter and its guarantee of freedom of expression.

None of that matters to Charlie Angus.

Angus links it all to Sun News and claims the prime minister is orchestrating all of this so that when Sun News launches we can spread lies and fear.

Let’s set the record straight about Charlie Angus. He doesn’t like Quebecor, not a thing about it. Quebecor is ultimately the owner of Sun News but also Sun Media chain and several other papers including The Daily Press, the hometown paper in Timmins.

Angus doesn’t like any of this and especially The Daily Press. The former CBC correspondent made that clear last December when CBC president Hubert Lacroix appeared before the Commons heritage committee. Angus used it as an attempt to run down The Daily Press.

I’m not sure why he’s so upset, his name appeared 117 times in The Daily Press over the last 12 months, once every 3.1 days. Not bad for a backbench MP. Across the English side of the Quebecor papers his name has appeared 574 times. Charlie gets plenty of ink with us, as does the NDP.

But he doesn’t like some of the political views expressed in the paper and he wants those shut down it seems. That’s what he was suggesting back in December anyway, more government control of the media.

Here’s what Angus asked the president of the government run broadcaster.

“Do we need some clear ground rules just so that we can set aside personal political agendas from the public interest and make sure that for viewers like me, back home, I will be able to watch my content or read my newspaper and know that it’s not being fingerprinted from up high?”

Translation, can we take all editorial control away from the people that own the media outlets and give it to a government agency?

That’s not what I want – a government news police deciding what can and can’t be reported. How about you?

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