First Impressions of Sun “News”

Has anyone else subjected themselves yet to watching the Sun News channel? You’re certainly not alone if you haven’t – their highest rated show in prime time has only managed to pull in about 50,000 viewers so far, with others not even breaking 20,000. To be fair, they haven’t struck deals with all the cable carriers yet and it is early days. But still… given all of the hype and promotion in friendly media outlets and a fortuitous launch in the middle of a federal election, the ratings coming out of the gate have been pretty dismal.

And no wonder. It is just painfully awful to watch. Yes, I’ll admit that I’m predisposed to hate it and prejudiced insofar as thinking that all of their hosts (David Aiken notably excepted) are peevish, right-wing hacks, shrill demagogues, and smarmy, wet-behind-the-ears douchebags; all of which certainly makes listening to them grind their ideological axes an aggravating experience, but it’s more than just that…

Despite proudly touting their “state-of-the-art design package” in their promos, on the whole, the graphics are fairly crude by today’s criteria and the sets look cheap. In fact, everything about the presentation appears kind of low-rent and sub-par. That of course wouldn’t matter if the discussion was of a high standard, but sadly it’s not – by a long shot! Even worse than being overtly biased – which it most definitely is – it’s something far more inexcusable: it’s profoundly boring.

Last night, radio blowhard Charles Adler spent the first quarter of his program re-imagining what had taken place on the previous night’s show. The second quarter involved the channel’s meme du jour of fear-mongering about a conspiracy between the opposition parties to “illegitimately” usurp power after the election. The third quarter was spent distorting the opposition parties’ “hug a thug” position on the justice system claiming that they wanted to unleash violent criminals, rapists and sexual predators on law-abiding communities…

The last 25 percent of his program was spent talking about a recent incident where a shih tzu attacked a female greeter in an Ottawa Home Depot. Somehow or other Chuck tried to spin this into a crazily fabricated strawman argument railing against “leftists” who he imagined believed that animals have human rights and could hypothetically one day start filing lawsuits on their behalf. Following this goofy notion was an awkward, largely incoherent conversation with Sun “personality” Mark Bonokoski that ambled all over the place, but kept returning to his elderly mother’s shih tzu, which apparently just afforded the two of them the opportunity to say “shit” on air a lot (a fact that Adler actually alluded to, disingenuously asking “Bono” if that was the reason people found this story interesting and newsworthy). Whazzahuh?

Well, that’s an example of the “straight talk” to be found on Sun News. I could go on about the other small sampling of the channel’s offerings that I forced myself to watch the other night, but doing so would just compound the time already wasted on the exercise.



Filed under Media Bias

33 responses to “First Impressions of Sun “News”

  1. Don’t worry, in five years it will be the most watched station in Canada like Fox is in the states and then you can emulate your democratic brethren and whine on incessantly about it with your sophisticated friends. Maybe you liberals should merge with the greens since I think the second party will be happy to put the boots to your party now that it’s in free-fall. About that coalition, don’t worry, Prime Minister Harper will be getting that majority.

  2. In its current form, I don’t think so. But as I said, it’s early days and those are just my first impressions, which I freely admit are prejudiced.

    p.s. Nice touch including that “sophisticated friends” dig in there. It’s such a refreshing change from “elitists”… good to see that you’re expanding your line of attack. Albeit still focused on the exact same retarded trajectory.

    p.p.s. Is that a new definition of the term “free fall” that you are peddling? Maybe the BT Kool-Aid has gone to your head…

    p.p.p.s. Thanks for telling me not to worry about the COMPLETELY ASSURED DOMINANT MAJORITY VICTORY OF THE HARPER CONSERVATIVES before I have even voted.

  3. kitt

    How on earth did you ever force yourself to watch more than 40 seconds of this drivel? Maybe you don’t know badbeta but every tv has a lock channel and except for the 40 seconds, my tv does not have Sun crapola 🙂

  4. sapphireandsteel

    I expect in five years badbeta probably have to share tv time with his fellow prisoners in HM prison for unreported crimes. Though if stupidity was a crime he’d probably call the cops on himself

  5. I’m surprised that Faux News North doesn’t have the Sunshine Girls as the weather girls.

    “From downtown Toronto, a socialist windbag is advancing toward Quebec. Winds up to 100 km/h. Do you like my bikini?”

    Seriously, Sun TV News is painful to watch. It’s just news-jock radio converted into a video format. Most of the hosts seem less like journalists and more like news entertainers. They don’t investigate the news; they just interpret what others have investigated.

    One will be able to determine Sun TV News’ target market by the commercials that airs on the station. I suspect that Sun TV News will not be competing against the CBC and CTV NewsNet. Its main competition will be Jerry Springer and The Maury Povich Show. I’ll still be watching Jerry and Maury. They’re more newsworthy than Faux News North.

  6. Kitt: I just wanted to check it out for myself so that I wasn’t talking out of my arse. So in my “down-time” when I was pulling an all-nighter at the office that I presently call home base, I took a few hours away from work to kick back in their lunchroom, fired up the big flat screen TV, and voluntarily subjected myself to several hours of mental torture.

  7. SD: One will be able to determine Sun TV News’ target market by the commercials that airs on the station.

    I was checking it out in the wee hours, so their advertisers at that time may not be representative, but they were AVON cosmetics (ding dong!), herbal remedies, over-the-counter joint medications (as used by Charles Adler!), and Russell Oliver, the obnoxious huckster who will buy your gold, jewelery and silver.

    Draw your own demographic conclusions from that bunch! 😉

  8. sapphireandsteel

    Russell Oliver the cashman? I haven’t seen him since I left Ontario ages ago. Maybe you’ll get crazy Joe and other various businesses from Etobicoke advertising too

  9. dupmar

    On the imaginary “leftists” coming to the defense of Shih Tzu nosebiters in Home Depot shopping carts, well actually there were a number of contributors coming to the dog’s defense in a related piece on Dawg’s Blog.

    From the comments section of news stories in the Globe, Star, etc. on the Sun TV network, one of the better ones is that they are positioning themselves to be a major competitor of the Naked News. It seems to fit with all the newplay they’ve been giving the story, with panel discussions and interviews, and this during a federal election campaign when you would think other news took precedence, of one single mother and previously employed administrative assistant at a Quebec high school now seeking a full time carrer in the porn industry.

    And to the list of noteworthy advertisers, you can add the plugs for Phil Dioguardi, criminal lawyer specializing in tax fraud and evasion.

  10. S&S: It was a total flashback for me too. Especially when the “CashMan” creepily appeared in silver body paint flanked by some former Sun swimsuit models, now offering to buy up your tarnished family heirlooms for scrap value…

    Dupmar: Thanks for the reminder re “Phil Dioguardi, criminal lawyer specializing in tax fraud and evasion”.

    Let’s just say that, for the most part, the current sponsors of Sun News are “dubious” entities…

  11. Where are you getting the viewing numbers from?

  12. billg

    I watch it for the sexy arms on some of the girls. No seriously folks, its got to get better because its not very good right now. Maybe segments on back window gun racks, how to pick a good chewing tabacco, where to buy a good lawn tractor beer holder…you know, stuff real Canadians care about.

  13. DAVID

    Let’s just say that, for the most part, the current sponsors of Sun News are “dubious” entities……………Yes Liberals ARE buying lots of ad space thanks

  14. Tea Party patriot

    Sun News is right wing?

    Does that make CBC left wing?

    Is Martin retarded?

    Imagine when Harper gives a BILLION dollars a year to Sun News to even out the “state media” complex?

    Another thing. How does the Canadian election cost 300 million?

    So for this year alone, Canadians have to shell out 1.3 billion just to have the CBC and an election?

    Can you fucking believe that?

    If that isn’t RETARDED then I don’t know if Martin is straight or gay.

  15. Shiner

    TPP could get his own show with quality commentary like that.

  16. CWTF

    As advertisers, you forgot Dr.Ho’s insoles…

    SunTV is right-loony-right. No, it does not mean that the CBC is lefty… It, for the most part is neutral.

    It would seem that any deviation from right-wing fantasies (aka reality) is labelled “left”….

  17. sapphireandsteel

    Maybe TPP is secretly Russell Oliver. He possesses the same amount of clarity

  18. benalbanach

    I take it then that Badbeta did watch the Sun News Channel…and did enjoy it.
    He enjoys its lack of sophistication and its blatant right-wing bias.
    There’s a fear and anger there that I fail to understand. I try to avoid jumping to the conclusion that his lack of an inquisitive mind is a sign of brain-damage. I don’t mean to be unkind but I can’t find an other answer.

  19. rabbit

    Given the tiny budget (about $25 million per year right now I think) it’s not bad, particularly going up against the Mother Corp’s budget of $1.55 billion.

    If they can eventually find an audience of 200,000 for their most popular shows, they’ll be doing well.

  20. CWTF

    Rabbit, given bigger scope and mandate of the CBC it’s nice to see you frame your comment in such a “bullshit” way…

  21. I’ve seen it, the commercials are indeed cheesy, I enjoyed Jack and Olivia yesterday very much/ They seemed very human, interesting as a couple.

    Ezra is OTT. Byline needs to lose the distracting John Candy esque background screens that appear to come closer and then recede. It’s odd and weird.

    I have enjoyed the “right to bare arms flap”. I particularly have enjoyed the reaction of so called serious newsies women who think in order to be taken seriously one must dress plain, no skin on the arms displayed for real women of quality. What are we all to become Amish/Mennonite now? I have no idea if these ladies are of newsie quality or not, but “sleeves or not to sleeves” is extremely superficial and not part of the equation as far as I am concerned.

    Women that have strict “unwritten” rules about the no rules/constraints that women should have to follow to be taken seriously. It has been a very amusing experience all the way around really.

  22. rabbit



    The fact that you can’t respond without insults demonstrates the weaknesses of your arguments.

    But although the CBC’s mandate is broader, it does include news and political opinion, I’m guessing at far greater cost than the entire Sun TV’s budget. Certainly the fact that Sun’s budget is less than 2% of the CBC’s is striking, and itself makes a political point.

  23. Certainly the fact that Sun’s budget is less than 2% of the CBC’s is striking, and itself makes a political point.

    No it doesn’t. One is a real news organisation with real expenses because real reporting costs money and, as has already been said, the CBC’s mandate goes beyond that reporting. SunTV is a half-assed adaptation of bottom-of-the-barrel talk radio. It has second-rate talent, ethically challenged reporting, and no responsibility for anything. Putting “Certainly” before a bullshit statement doesn’t make it true.

  24. Ironballs Mcgillicuty

    Levant fetishizing freedom and telling us that a lot of gov’t spending is unconstitutional. Lilley wanting to be your culture warrior and also get gov’t out of your life. Addler and his muddled, conservative fantasies. I take it from the comments that Sun women are required to bare some skin. Their newspaper no longer cares what it says as long as it’s agenda is promoted, and I’m sure SunTV will follow suit. Good god, this is just the template from Fox News, point by point. Except, we also have it in print.

    Now, give this 24 hour propaganda about 10-20 years, and what kind of effect do you think it will have on the overall political climate and political discourse? Just look south for your answer.

  25. Ironballs wrote:

    I take it from the comments that Sun women are required to bare some skin.

    That’s a mental leap.

  26. I had it on for 10 minutes today, and in those few minutes Ezra Levant managed to somehow draw a parallel between Hitler being vegetarian and socialists treating plants and animals as equals in terms of rights.

  27. There’s a fear and anger there that I fail to understand.

    Erectile dysfunction is a terrible thing. And requiring frequent recourse to Photoshopped pics of Mark Steyn in a thong can make a man mean.

  28. sapphireandsteel

    How do you know those pics are photoshopped Sir Francis?

  29. b_nichol

    Has anyone watched Sun TV regularly?

    9 days ago, I was phoned and asked some questions about the CBC Vote Compass. From what I recall:
    q. Have you heard about the CBC Vote Compass on TV?
    a. no, the internets
    q. did you take it? results? voting intention?
    a. yes, Green, ND
    q. Do you strongly agree, agree, etc. that the Compass could have been designed by a pollster (words to that effect) ?
    a. well, that would make sense, and I think I read that the other day
    q. Do you think there was a bias in your answers?
    a. Do you mean design bias, or deliberate bias to provide a predetermined outcome?
    q. Umm, bias.
    a. OK, I’ll play. Agree.
    q. (one or two long, convoluted questions I can’t recall)
    q. Do you think that there should be an official investigation into the CBC?
    a. (now laughing derisively) Is there a place for comments? Tell Sun media that this is the stupidist push poll I have ever heard of, and the worst example of manufacturing news.
    q. so that would be a Disagree?
    a. No, put me down for Strongly Disagree.

    I have yet to see anything on the results in the Sun online and I really expected this to be one of the “Important Breaking News Stories” on Sun TV this week, but maybe that last question wasn’t very well received. I am just a little disappointed.

  30. What company was doing it b_nichol? Market researchers that perform push polls should be called out.

  31. b_nichol

    I didn’t think to ask.

  32. BCL: Where are you getting the viewing numbers from?

    I got them from this website.

  33. Ezra Levant

    Oh I love Ezra Levant and love to see how liberals spew their hate and propaganda at him.

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