Friday, October 30, 2009

"National Toast" or "So Long and Thanks for All the Fishwrap"

It looks like curtains for the Canada's most right wing national rag. As much as I bleed ink and hate the thought of another newspaper closing down, I will not shed a tear for the National Post - I only hope the courts refuse to allow the Aspers to tie this anchor around the collective neck of their other newspapers, which like most other papers have enough financial trouble to deal with already.The National Post was started by Conrad Black to attack the governing Liberals after Prime Minister Jean Chretien refused to grant Connie a waver and let him become a British aristocrat while remaining a Canadian citizen. The soon-to-be Lord Tubby of Fleet Prisoner No. 90210 Lord Black of Cross Harbour decided that this would not do - mere law was not going this plucky underdog billionaire from achieving the British peerage that every Canadian boy dreams about. Deciding the Globe and Mail was not sufficiently conservative or at his beck and call, Tubby threw some money around, hired the cream of the conservative pundit and columnist crop, and set up the National Post.It has never made money, nor has it impressed anyone with its editorial brilliance.Despite the occasional presence of some bright lights, the National Post has been a rag from day one, the print equivalent of the FOX TV news, but without the constant stripper stories or teabag rallies.Eventually Black gave up, renounced his Canadian citizenship and bought took his seat in the House of Lords and sold the money-burning Reform-Tory organ to the Asper family, long-time Liberal party supporters who under heir-to-the-throne David Asper seem to have converted to the Likud-Republican neoconservatism embraced by movement conservatives in the United States and Canada. The acquistion of the National Post and the former Southam chain from Black, along with their purchase of several specialty TV channels, seems to have been the beginning of the end for the Asper family's CanWest media empire.Which, given the extent to which the Asper clan seems to like to interfere with editorial policy at their media properties, is just fine by me.When a news organ with pretentions to respectability starts giving editorial space to hateful, chuckleheaded boobs like Kathy Shaide and "Raphel Alexander" -- well, its time to take Old Yeller out behind the barn and do the decent thing.

Update: Well, the court has ruled that the National Post can take the rest of the former Southam chain of newspapers down with it. This is a shame because some of them, such as the Montreal Gazette, were actually doing okay compared to the rest of the industry. On the bright side, there could be some decent newspapers for sale at fire-sale-on-boxing-day prices for anyone crazy enough to want to take a chance on the newspaper business these days. Otherwise we may as well pucker up and kiss goodbye the Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader-Post, Vancouver Province, Vancouver Sun, Victoria Times-Colonist and the Windsor Star. Which pretty much leaves the country with country with a bunch more cities that just won't have a real daily newspaper anymore.

Crossposted from the Woodshed where we have The Rules

No comments: