I was on Twitter, past midnight, reading some of the things people were saying about the network’s demise. There was a lot of gloating and awful stuff being said.
I slept for four hours, then got up to watch the network disappear. They showed a promo for Pat Bolland’s show, and then that was it. The screen in my bedroom went black at exactly 5 a.m. I stared at it for a while, and tried to formulate what I wanted to say.
It’s not you who I want to say it to, former Sun News Network folks. It’s to those people on Twitter, last night and this morning, the ones who were gleefully celebrating the end of Sun News.
They’re celebrating, I guess, because they disagreed with the opinions that were found on Sun News. They didn’t like conservative opinions being broadcast, so they think it’s funny that 200 people have lost their jobs. I find that completely insane, for two reasons.
Firstly, folks, I disagreed with those conservatives, too. Plenty. On sex ed, on CBC, on abortion, on niqabs, on social programs, on climate change, on Islam, on gay marriage, on Liberals and liberals, on just about anything you can imagine: I would regularly appear on Sun News Network to argue with those conservatives, face-to-face, on-camera. I would argue, aggressively, against the conservative point of view.
And, over almost four years, a funny thing happened: they kept inviting me back. They asked me to come on much more than my day job would permit, in fact. And they were professional and courteous and fair to me. Only once did they try and shut me down – here – but multiple Sun folks called me afterwards to apologize, and to say that it would never happen again. It didn’t.
That’s the first thing: if you disagree with someone’s opinion, debate them. Present evidence. Argue with facts. Be passionate. Because that’s what Sun News Network gave me an opportunity to do, over and over, for four years.
Here’s the second thing: in case you haven’t noticed, our traditional news media are dying.
There are all kinds of reasons for that: the Internet, Google and Facebook and Craigslist, bad business decisions, whatever. We can debate the causes ad nauseum. But the fact is that the media, as we knew it, is disappearing.
Bloggers and social media mavens will celebrate the mainstream media’s demise, too. But they shouldn’t. Because bloggers and tweeters don’t generate actual news – they just comment on it. They offer opinions on someone else’s work. Someone else’s journalism.
When that journalism disappears, mark my words: our democracy will be diminished, and possibly even in peril. I’m not exaggerating. There is nothing that keeps the powerful in check – not Question Period, not a public opinion poll, not even the police – as effectively as journalists do. I’ve worked on both sides, and I know, I’ve seen it: every time a newspaper dies – every time a TV network dies – the powerful grow more so. You may think that’s okay, but I sure don’t. They are not always benign in the way they exercise power.
Anyway. Those are the two things I wanted to say, this bitterly-cold Friday the Thirteenth: if you disagree with someone, debate them. Don’t let out a cheer when they lose their job, and their ability to pay the rent and feed their kids. Because one day, in this economy, you’re probably going to lose your job, too. And it would be pretty shitty for someone to find that funny, on that day, wouldn’t it?
Remember this, too: every news reporter – every news editor, every news producer, every news technician – is a crucial part of a flourishing democracy. And when we lose them, our democracy loses. The Sun News Network ones, too.
And I guess there’s a third thing I wanted to say: Kory – and Matt and Dennis and others – put together an actual national news network, and they had some good folks there. I may have vociferously disagreed with the opinions they expressed – and you may have, too – but I am so, so sorry that they have lost their jobs, at 5 a.m. this morning. I will miss many of them.
So, don’t celebrate them losing their jobs. Don’t be indifferent to the effect it will have on our democracy. Because if you do, you’re just being an asshole.
Anyway. Back to work. I’m lucky to still have a job – and if you’ve got one, you should be, too.
– See more at: http://warrenkinsella.com
Warren’s Twitter @kinsellawarren
Ok, and how would Sun and its supporters react to thousands at CBC LOSING THEIR JOBS? You know, the very thing Sun wanted to happen? No one is happy 200 people lost their jobs. They’re happy that an attempt to bring Republican fox news to Canada where their only goal was to smear anyone likely to unseat the conservative party. And they are happy that the network that makes enemies of anyone that disagrees with them are gone.
I take exception to The Dude’s comments pertaining to how Sun or anyone would react to anyone loosing their job. If you’re in the media, you would know this has been happening in the private sector for the last couple of decades once deregulation came into effect when the big boys from Central Canada swooped in and bought up radio, television stations and newspapers across the land. Why is it the CBC should be treated any differently? The CBC became a Monster, totally out of control of budgets and something had to happen. The Sun’s Brian Lilley wrote an excellent book exposing the CBC. I highly recommend the read. Its only natural for Sun to tackle issues such as the Mother Corporation. No other news networks in the private sector dare. Typical ‘liberal lingo’ Dude accusing Sun of being a Republican fox news. Your Liberal Colours are showing dude! To say the station is out to smear anyone is ludicrous, to the point you insult my intelligence. I can’t help but believe you actually read and understood what Warren wrote? We all know what a strong liberal Mr. Kinsella is and he made it very clear on his position as a Sun commentator and contributor. As a conservative/libertarian, I not only admire the man, but I like him. As someone who paid my $3.00 per month to watch Sun, I’m truly sad to see this news voice silenced.
So Ethan, YOU were the subscriber! We were all wondering who that was 😉
I really thought all the employees would have gathered in the parking lot, each cough up 15K and just bought the place.
With Sun News Network’s demise, a new conservative news voice will have to step up to fill the void. Maybe not now, but in due time.
As for the liberal Twits (pun intended for their use of Twitter) who cheered the end of Sun News and celebrated the sudden unemployment of its 200 employees for the sole reason that they hate conservative viewpoints (and the truth), common sense says they should give their heads a shake, but reality shows they won’t because they don’t have the decency.
Tell me who was cheering the demise of Sun News on Twitter. Anybody worth reading?
“It’s not you who I want to say it to, former Sun News Network folks. It’s to those people on Twitter, last night and this morning, the ones who were gleefully celebrating the end of Sun News.
They’re celebrating, I guess, because they disagreed with the opinions that were found on Sun News. They didn’t like conservative opinions being broadcast, so they think it’s funny that 200 people have lost their jobs.” – Warren Kinsella (further up in the article)