Thursday, August 19, 2010

The outer limits

As suggested by Lawrence Martin in today's Globe & Mail, the next victim of the Harpershchina appears to be the president of the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. Konrad von Finckenstein is reportedly on his way out; his 2ic Michel Arpin has already been shown the door.

Their crimes against the people? Not dutifully clearing the way to give a "must carry" licence to Fox News North that would force cable companies to include it in local programming.

"You can’t have the Prime Minister handing out radio and TV licences," splutters Ian Morrison of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. Oh, no?

I can hear Harper echoing a distant predecessor: "Just watch me."

What would the new compulsory programming consist of? Perhaps we've already had a foretaste or two. Sun TV News is an initiative of Quebecor’s Pierre Karl Péladeau, whose father was an admirer of Adolf Hitler.* He's joined by Harper's former communications director Kory Teneycke, who once expressed the hope that marijuana activist Marc Emory would be gang-raped in a US prison.

You don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows. Under Teneycke's watch, a major Canadian newspaper has openly called for the mass extermination of Tamil refugees. Meanwhile a major television network had no problem mainstreaming white supremacist and neo-Nazi Paul Fromm.

The times they sure are a-changin'. What's next--a mysterious fire in the Peace Tower?

*Péladeau senior liked the man's "iron will and discipline," and kept a bust of Mussolini on his desk. He created a bit of a storm in 1990 by saying that "Jews take up too much space." His hero, of course, had a solution for that.

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