President, Waterkeeper Alliance; Professor, Pace University
Huffington Post, February 28, 2011 09:54 PM
As America’s middle class battles for its survival on the Wisconsin barricades — against various Koch Oil surrogates and the corporate toadies at Fox News — fans of enlightenment, democracy and justice can take comfort from a significant victory north of Wisconsin border. Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all! The reason: Canadian regulators today announced they would reject efforts by Canada’s right-wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.
Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast … any false or misleading news.”
The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for true democracy and freedom.
As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high quality news coverage including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1988.
Political dialogue in Canada is marked by civility, modesty, honesty, collegiality, and idealism that have pretty much disappeared on the U.S. airwaves. When Stephen Harper moved to abolish the anti-lying provision of the Radio Act, Canadians rose up to oppose him fearing that their tradition of honest non-partisan news would be replaced by the toxic, overtly partisan, biased and dishonest news coverage familiar to American citizens who listen to Fox News and talk radio.
Harper’s proposal was timed to facilitate the launch of a new right wing network,”Sun TV News” which Canadians call “Fox News North.”
Phi Beta Iota: Interesting for three reasons:
1. This suggests that the Canadian Prime Minister is himself without ethics.
2. The Canadian people are paying attention and have the power that knowledge embodies.
3. This is an example of public intelligence worthy of emulation and once again reiterates the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, to wit, a nation’s best defense is an educated [and attentive] citizenry.