The initial stimulus for this blog was a discussion I had a couple of years ago with a fellow at a party in the USA about politicians telling lies. I, (being naively Canadian), felt that honesty was high on my priorities for a politician. His position, (being worldly American), was that he would never vote for a politician who DIDN’T lie. At that point we became ships that passed in the night – never to meet again. However, it has given me much cause for thought. Should we really expect our politicians to be liars? Maybe there are cases where the end justifies the means? I’m not as sure as I used to be.
But when it comes to our public news media being allowed to spew forth information they know to be false I would have said, “NOT IN MY CANADA. NOT NOW. NOT EVER.”
I had always thought that there was a ban (legal, or at least moral) on allowing the Canadian TV and radio news media to spew forth false information. And I find I was right. The CRTC has had a ban on broadcasting false information on radio and TV, and the CRTC was content with that current ban on fake news.
Then, late in 2010 the commission was “coerced” to approve a proposal to make "fake news" acceptable on Canadian TV and radio. One can only guess from where this political pressure came, but it is most likely related to the earlier move to establish a “Fox News North”.
" We never wanted to touch this thing. We put it forward because we were ordered to do it," von Finckenstein told reporters.
The CRTC is dropping this proposal to allow fictitious news items thanks to on the support from a Parliamentary committee. "All I can say is, 'Thank you committee.' I will withdraw this proposal tomorrow. This is the end of the issue,’”Finckenstein said.
I sincerely hope this is “the end of the issue.” MY CANADA didn’t (and never will) approve of giving right to broadcast information that is know to be false or deliberately misleading.
But it scares me that this sort of thing was going on without the knowledge of the Canadian public.