Posted by: Peaceful Social Worker | March 21, 2012

Sun News and all that fear

I have been thinking about what we hear on the news, and how it is presented. CBC gets a lot of flak for being left leaning or socialist. Apparently the CPC wants to cut funding to it. That is if you believe the rumours. Time will ultimately tell when the budget is released. I don’t watch American news very often since I find it strident and shrill. It seems that we are still quite polite this side of the border. Or are we?

The other night I watched a bit of Sun News TV (“Home of hard news and straight facts”) to see what it was about. I had been advised that a show there would be a good place to learn about the “Robocalls” issue, so that I could see it had all been cleared up. This was the second time I watched….I lasted about half an hour. The first time, Thursday night, I lasted only five minutes. Frankly, I thought I was watching a spoof show, like This Hour has 22 Minutes, or something. Apparently, no, this is a real news station.

Last night, this man was talking on this segment: Okay, so I get being angry at the way  things are run. I get being angry at how police handle things sometimes. Just don’t twist things to make fit your agenda. For the record, I know Sun News is not the only media outlet that does this.  Of course, it did not help that he used the term “social workers” as a swear word.

 It seems that we are being fed information based on fear and ignorance. I’m not sure if the people feeding the information are uninformed as well, or are just pushing an agenda. It’s hard not to be paranoid some days. I was concerned about the amount of mean-ness and rudeness in some of what I saw in the show. For instance, they had a priest on the show giving good reasons why the death penalty is not a good thing. The host mocked him, and talked over him. Clearly the host was suggesting the death penalty needs to return. Did someone say that Sun News is balanced reporting? That’s hardly balanced. If there is going to be a discussion about the death penalty, let’s hear both sides. Give both sides a chance to speak without editorializing while they speak. A debate is fine too. Have some actual balance in it. I really hope that Sun News is not the way our media is going, and that not many people are taking it seriously.

Everyone has fears. It is easy to feed on those fears. Stephen King made lots of money writing books that essentially exploited our fears…….but that was entertainment, not news. Are we becoming a more fearful society as a whole? What happened to our sense of looking after each other? I did read recently that we are becoming more narcissistic. We get things more immediately. We don’t have to deal with slow tellers at the banks because we have online banking and bank machines. When we want something, we get it. Does this mean we need more sensationalist news reporting? I hope not.

I am concerned about how and what we hear on the news. I am also concerned with the direction our government seems to be heading. Bill C-10 was pushed through, hidden under the noise of the “Robocalls” issue”. Other bills are pending, and there is talk of re-opening the abortion debate and the death penalty debate. Today I read somewhere that more Canadians believe that Canada is heading in the wrong direction. (I can’t find where I read that. If you find it, or can refute it, feel free to post it in a comment) Maybe I am getting old. You know things are always better in the “good old days”. Or so they say.

I know I have only watched about half an hour of Sun News, so I am probably not getting the full picture. I am really not trying to slam Sun News. I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion really.

We live in a time of sound bites. Our attention spans are shorter, we want things now. What we really need is to be able to sit down and listen. Take some time to digest information. Okay, maybe it is something I need. I’m tired of the spin. Perhaps it is time for a news fast. Heck, you know I will be following what is happening in the world anyway. I will take it with a grain of salt, and think about what I hear. I’ll also probably watch Sun News again, if for no other reason than to get a better idea of what it is about.

I’d love to hear how you cope with the news and where you get your news from? Do you read it? What it on TV? Or what?

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values” ~Marshall McLuhan


  1. I read parts, or all, of about 5 or 6 media outlets every day..but then, I am ‘retired’ so don’t have a schedule that demands a block of time 5 days a week..this is part of the luxury of being unemployed in the 8 hour a day sense..I also read our local newspapers for local news, and watch a portion of a TV news show from here on the Island, as well as CBC News for the last half hour…it’s really been dumbed down, and with Dinosaur Tony Parsons at the head table, it’s not nearly as much fun as it used to be…nor is it terribly valid anymore..I think that CBC is being starved out, and the handlers and managers of the station are trying too hard to be inoffensive to practically everyone, and thereby pleasing no one…
    For real news and analysis, you cannot beat the Guardian..always good, always contrarian, passionate and with my sort of slant..the Sun? A Supposi-Tory device, pure and simple, Canada’s answer to Fox.

    • I think you might be right about CBC. That’s sad too. We need intelligent news, and I don’t think we are getting it these days. Your description on the Sun absolutely matches my impressions. Of course, my first impression with watching it was not a good one.

  2. I hear ya. We get several papers at the office, one of which is the Toronto Sun. The Post and the Globe get put out for the clients to see; the Sun sits on the kitchen table. I sometimes peruse it and it leaves me annoyed for an hour after. They loooooooove our idiot mayor, and yet even *they* can’t find a decent photo of him which makes me laugh. And I’m proud that they loathe our pinko left-wing socialist city councillor who was reelected by a huge majority (the right wing isn’t getting to my neighbourhood any time soon).

    It upsets me that there are people here that want to see ‘FOX News North’ because it just seems so…unCanadian.

    • I have always thought that the Sun papers were light entertainment….you mean they are news??? 😉 I did see a clip by someone talking about Graham James that was okay. I suppose a story like that doesn’t need as much balance…….(?) I believe I put a link to it on my story about that issue. (pedophiles)

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