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Canada Refuses To Allow False News On Airwaves

Canada Refuses To Allow False News On Airwaves

Score one for honesty in journalism.

After the public discovered that the Conservative Harper government was attempting to change the rules that prevented media outlets from broadcasting false or misleading news, their reaction was swift and decisive.

No freaking way.

The Harper government was quietly attempting to change this rule to make broadcasting false news illegal only in cases where it could be proven that the broadcaster “knew” the news was false prior to broadcast. Coincidentally – or not – the change was being discussed just in time for the launch of a brand new right wing television news station in Canada. 

Sun News, the brainchild of Harper’s former chief of staff Kory Teneycke, promises to bring “hard news and straight talk” to Canadians. The network, nicknamed “Fox News North,” was expected to provide vitriolic political rhetoric and right-wing attacks in much the same vein as Fox News in America.

Based on the outcry from Canadians who were uncomfortable with giving media outlets a get-out-of-jail-free card for broadcasting false news (“honest engine, we thought it was true!”), as well as with the timing, The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last week abandoned the attempt to change the wording. Given the push to make the change seemed to be politically driven rather than publicly driven, the CRTC appears quite willing to let the matter die.

Sun TV is still expected to launch on schedule in the spring of 2011. How this decision will affect their planned approach to news reporting is as yet unclear.

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CRTC To Allow Misleading News, Just In Time for FOX News North to Launch

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Photo credit: BGilliard on Flickr.

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297 comments

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7:25PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

If you Like Governments to stop free speech and control the Airways, Why not move to CHINA or IRAN, And leave free people on this side of the ocean, Hear what we want to hear, And see what they want to see,,, Most of the people making comments sound just like HITLER, Well he died, But he still lives in your minds, You see, But you are blind, So sad

6:33PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

About time, score 1 for us.

10:21AM PDT on May 29, 2011

News should be truth and NOT slanted.

8:35AM PDT on May 1, 2011

Harper has to go. Please vote against him on May 2nd.

7:24PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

P.S. Chuck if you don't have tv, you shouldn't even be in this discussion. You are not relevant.

7:22PM PDT on Apr 8, 2011

Chuck nobody folded we just know a fool when we read one. Stop wasting this spaces time and energy.

My comment repeated for accuracy.

Chuck bless you quest but those with wisdom and discernment realize not to respond to negativity. It is just a game humans play. Solve problems constructively not with trying to prove you are right. Peace.

7:29PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

JEWELS S -- The "Fox lies while the others don't" routine is a bluff. It was called, and everyone folded. Psychologizing me won't change that.

LARRY W -- O'Reilly's massive ignorance is not evidence that Fox lies, merely that O'Reilly is a simpleton. (And he is: he lives in his Norman Rockwell past because he cannot understand the world around him today.) The "Fox lies" bluff was called, and everyone folded.

Any government rules about what constitutes 'acceptable news' will stop the honest and the dishonest alike because rules ALWAYS have unintended consequences.

You can yell "fire" if you think there actually is one, and Fox thinks there is.

RENEE B -- The "Fox lies" bluff was called and everyone folded, but you at least addressed the issue. I haven't had TV for 6 months, and barely miss it, but will watch Stewart when I get around to hooking it back up.

FTR, I used to watch the other networks too. MCnBS is fully reactive: all they can talk about is Fox, but they will address most issues if Fox has been there first. They are the Attack Dog Network. CCCPNN is proactive but very carefully chooses the issues they 'report' on. They are the Advocacy Network.

7:36PM PDT on Apr 6, 2011

Chuck, watch Jon Stewart nightly and you will see complete hypocrisy by Fox News reporters. The show manages to find incredible footage where reporters either say they never said something they did say or do complete turn-arounds based on which political party/candidate they are talking about. If not liars, they are fear-mongers and hypocrites to say the least. I have seen Beck preach the doomsday sermon with all the fire and passion of Jim Baker in his heyday.

7:40PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Chuck. "The backlash against your kind is only getting started, and is decades overdue."

I like the backlash we have now; in addition to you beckinoids, we have the ex-teacher "tide comes in, tide goes out," "Sun comes up, sun goes down," and you can't explain it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I applaud him for being an EX teacher, even if he is the fox star. The short time actually spent on news ought to be limited to news, not making political points. No one infringing on anyone's rights. Can't yell 'fire' in the theater because it could be harmful, so why should you be allowed to broadcast false news? Glad to see Canada holding on to their demand for some integrity in their news.

Did you happen to ask yourself why they even asked for a waiver of the rules requiring honest reporting?

11:55AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

I really hope they shut down the implementation of Fox New North

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