October 25 2004


October 25 2004


‘What do you mean by asking, “Is Canada ready for loudmouth TV?” We’ve had Don Cherry all these years, haven’t we?’ -Veraussyk, Edmonton

Chasing foxes

I read with interest your articles on whether we should allow Fox News to broadcast in Canada (“Is Canada ready for loudmouth TV,” Cover, Oct. 4). I say, why not? Fox is the World Wrestling Entertainment of television news, and I think most people, even in the U.S., see it as such. To arbitrarily disallow its entry is an insult to Canadian viewers, not to mention curtailing our fun. I lean to the left politically, but I would certainly tune in to see Bill O’Reilly pile-drive the “dastardly Democrats.” It’s not going to change my ideology or political ideals; it’s simply going to provide some lively viewing with the evening cocoa.

D. G. MacDonald, Truro, N.S.

A disturbing number of my fellow citizens boast that Fox News is their sole source of information, and now that tunnel-vision world view is about to be sent north of our border. When I hear Fox’s paeans to the Bush administration described as “fair and balanced” with “no spin,” all I can think of is the old line about the Holy Roman Empire—it is in fact none of the above.

Jeff Karpinski, King of Prussia, Pa.

Canada sorely needs the alternative perspective that Fox will bring to Canadian viewers. Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom inherent in most Canadian media reports, including yours, many of us actually agree with the Bush administration’s approach to foreign policy, especially its recognition of the serious threats posed by global terrorism and the need to eradicate that with whatever means are at its disposal. Instead of naively trying to sanitize terrorism, for example, through deceptively misrepresenting its evil perpetrators as “militants” or “activists” (as most of the Canadian media regularly do), Fox has the courage to call a spade a spade. Bring it on! Bob Dale, Nepean, Ont.

My American friends are constantly complaining of all the lies on Fox “news,” and how impossible it is to learn from Fox what’s

really going on. This is a channel that gratuitously insults anyone who doesn’t toe the Bush party line, including our entire country. Are we such masochists as to stand for that and welcome them with open arms? I hope not. You should not be asking the question, “Is Canada ready for Fox?” But rather, “Do we want them?” And the answer from any informed, self-respecting Canadian is a resounding no.

Sabina Becker, Cobourg, Ont.

There is no way such a dangerous, proBush product should be available to Canadians. We should only be allowed access to government-sanctioned, left-wing TV sources such as the CBC, and to our “non-

Come on up! I Ready,

aye, ready is one answer

to the Fox challenge

Our critical look at Fox News, which soon may be available in Canada, brought out backers of the right-wing cable network. Despite Maclean’s welcome of another news source, some readers feared censorship. “Thanks for your concern,” wrote Dave Johnson of Lethbridge, Alta., “but I think I’d like the other side represented up here. It’s called freedom.”

loudmouth TV” friends at al-Jazeera. It would be un-Canadian for the CRTC to allow us to be subjected to non-approved, non-liberal media. Only media outlets that hate Bush should be allowed to speak on Canadian TV.

Allan Kopyto, Hamilton

Is Canada ready for loudmouth TV? You bet! We’re bored out of our minds up here. Bring on a fresh voice—the sooner the better. There’s good reason why the Fox network enjoys the majority of cable news viewers down south.

M. R. Heinrichs, Abbotsford, B.C.

I am a Canadian expatriate living in the U.S. The polarizing, entertainment-oriented “news” programs on many channels here are damaging the quality of political discussion throughout the country. I urge the CRTC to keep this low-quality, divisive programming off Canada’s airwaves.

Jon Tulk, West Chester, Pa.

We are in the Dark Ages when it comes to TV choice. I like to decide for myself what I will pay for and watch. I don’t need the CRTC, or anyone else, babysitting and deciding what is good and bad for me to see. Mark Jameson Georgetown, Ont.

If Canadians want Canadian culture to survive, someone will have to step up and limit cheap foreign programs designed for the lowest common denominator, and it has to be the CRTC.

Sudhir Jain, Calgary

Banning provinces

Hooray for Michael Rourke (“Who needs provinces?,” Over to You, Oct. 4)! Canada is not a country, but 10 little fiefdoms. Provinces made sense in 1867 when the telegraph was the fastest means of communicating, but now the country is literally microseconds wide and does not need dispersed governance.

Pat Barnhouse, Ottawa

Just the thought of giving Paul Martin and his ilk any more power sends shivers down the spine. They would just love it. With no more transfer payments, they would have the whole pot to give to their friends. And that’s just the start. Instead, the question should be, “Who needs the federal

government?” How long can we continue to afford its unmitigated waste?

Bob Stewart, Lindsay, Ont.

Squabbling over health care dollars, inconsistent education programs, conflicting laws, poorly distributed resource royalties, etc. The list of problems goes on and on, and much of it has been caused by the divisive nature of Canadian federalism. What is the sense of having political boundaries within a single country? Is Canada one nation or many? The creation of the provinces has done little but produce an annoyingly selfdestructive political establishment.

Sean Sunley, Regina

Listening to Suzuki

When will we finally listen to David Suzuki’s call for rational behaviour when it comes to the environment (“No one can say it’s too late,” The Maclean’s Interview, Oct. 4)? We in Canada are indeed fortunate to have such a prophet in our midst. Unless we act quickly and determinedly to greatly reduce our carbon consumption through the Kyoto accord and other more drastic measures, we will indeed witness the “shattering of the world”— and our precious habitat on this marvellous planet will be spoiled for generations.

Bill Ashwell, Victoria

Your recent interview with David Suzuki sends an important message. Many people do not see or hear what scientists are telling them and are unaware of the current situation. Some even believe everything is just fine and may be improving. To meet the challenge, we must look to continuously improve the way we do things—and the way we deliver the message.

Tyler J. Moffitt, Fort Frances, Ont.

Over the years, Dr.

Suzuki’s sensitivity to all causes environmental has made me more aware and more caring, especially of our planet’s creatures and plants. For that I am indebted to his insights. However, it was troubling to note his sensitivity does not extend to the hundreds

What’s the sense of political boundaries within one country? Is Canada one nation or many?

of thousands of environmentally concerned Christians in our land who, like me, must have been saddened by his cavalier remark, “Jesus Christ, what does it take?”

Frank DeVries, Richmond, B.C.

Monster funds

Perhaps Canada’s mutual funds aren’t suffering from “late trading” or “market timing” as noted by Steve Maich (“The scandal that isn’t,” All Business, Oct. 4). However, hidden fees and expenses have a greater impact on the average investor than improper trading. At one time, mutual funds were simply a way for small investors to diversify their portfolio through pooling their investment funds to buy a variety of equities. But that was before mutual fund companies were formed. It’s not unusual for them to make in excess of five per cent per year on their funds, regardless of market performance and even when their investors watch their capital evaporate during a bear market.

Keith G. Sutcliffe, Dartmouth, N.S.

Last word

I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks for a great issue (Oct. 4, 2004)! The cover story on Fox News was fascinating and well written, the other features were topical and provided well-thought-out insight, and it was truly an enjoyment to read the reviews of this fall’s new Canadian books. Keep up the good work!

Megan Burns, Toronto