Saturday, October 23, 2010

People who cannot resist a subsidy

Here was Pierre Karl Peladeau speaking in Calgary yesterday on Canadian media and offering some insights:
“There is no connection of any sort between Sun TV News and Fox News,” Peladeau said, “although, let me tell you, if our channel could be as successful as Fox News, our shareholders would be very pleased.”

Fox News is one of the most-watched news channels in the U.S.

“What is particularly irritating in these attacks is the condescending tone,” Peladeau said.

“I think you Albertans know what I’m talking about. Even today, you have to regularly put up with lectures from the little group in central Canada, mostly made up of people who cannot resist a subsidy when they see one.”
Entertaining stuff for the lunch crowd and surely we need not take it seriously! Well, ok...

But isn't this a little rich from Mr. Peladeau, whose network was recently seeking special treatment from the CRTC? The "must offer" channel status until abandoning it just a few weeks ago? Which status would have obliged we citizens to have likely paid for his channel without our approval? What do we call that? The word subsidy comes to mind. Sure, it was dressed up as a choice matter, but we know the way the bundling works with the cable companies, news packages, etc. The odds were good that we would have paid, irrespective of the illusion of choice, if that strategy had been pursued and approved. But, that's water under the bridge. Now it's specialty channel status being sought for Sun TV and as far as we know, that would be a one-off buy for each of us to add to our viewing if we want.

And what of the arena proposal in Quebec City? Peladeau was on the Plains of Abraham, marching in support of the return of the Nordiques, voicing an openness to Quebecor financially participating in some way although we know that federal funding is being sought for that arena and would be sizable. What do we call that funding anyway? The word subsidy comes to mind. Sure it's all dressed up as what's good for Quebecor is good for the tax revenues of Quebec, but we know who would be benefiting from yes, that taxpayer subsidy. Maybe Harper should factor into his arena funding decision this anti-subsidy talk from Mr. Peladeau.

Then there was the whole 2009 outstretched hand to the federal government thing. But that's so 2009.

One other item from yesterday, on the Levant hire:
The outspoken Calgarian said he will bring a national and western perspective to what often is an Toronto-centric arena of political and news commentary during the future hour-long show.

Levant will be moving to Toronto for the job.
But do they know that Toronto is in...condescending central Canada? Too funny.