News for people who can't read... good -

News for people who can’t read… good


So Sun Media is all upset with the Liberals because private citizen Ian Davey called it a newspaper chain for people who can’t read. Their editorial responding to his claim is a scream — it’s like it was written by Sarah Palin’s speechwriter the morning after a fruitless night spent trying to get served a drink in the West Village.

Anyway, I ran the weekend editorials from the major papers through the old Flesch-Kincaid analyser, and here’s what we were offered this weekend in the way of high, mid, and lowbrow newspapering:

No Substitute for an Inquiry, The Star: Grade 13

Editorial Autonomy and Financial Acumen, The Globe and Mail: Grade 10

Nine Years Later, a Troubled America, The National Post: Grade 9

Sounding it out at the Ballot Box, (i.e the one responding to Davey), The Toronto Sun: Grade 8

Filed under:

News for people who can’t read… good

  1. LOL anyone who's seen the teabagger's signs know the rightwing is illiterate.

    42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate as well.

    • Then why do you have to use disgusting lowbrow terms to make your point? And what happened to our brilliant public education system that you all brag about all the time if it's producing so many dissenting illiterates?

      • It wasn't my idea to call them teabaggers, it was theirs. And teaparty isn't any better in meaning.

        Perhaps if they could read?

        I don't recall saying anything about any 'brilliant public education system'….I'd overhaul the whole thing, top to bottom.

        PS…'dissenting' doesn't mean the same thing as 'illiterate'

        • No, you're the one calling them that. You're the one using a disgusting term because you have nothing else. Then you have the gall to suggest that others are illiterate or unsophisticated. My god.

          PS…'dissenting' doesn't mean the same thing as 'illiterate'

          Really? Congratulations. Who said it does?

          Again, you have a lot of gall pointing fingers at anyone else. A lot of gall.

          • They have no other names Dennis. Well, other than morons.

            You said 'dissenting illiterates'. …they aren't the same thing.

            You have a lot of stupid. A whole lot of stupid….thinking you can change the subject.

            Sorry, no.

          • They are called Tea PARTIERS. And, yes, you have to lash out at political opponents. So, you can't even stick to proper English, or enlightened discussion, but have the gall to call others "morons." Amazing.

            The only person suggesting that "dissenting" and "illiterates" are the same thing is YOU. What, are YOU illiterate?

            For the love of…..

          • Tea partiers means a gay sex romp with meth.

            Now stick to the topic…which is illiteracy.

            Something you know a great deal about. LOL

          • No it doesn't. You need this inane idiocy, then have the gall to suggest it's your opponents that do, and you do it using disgusting language to boot. Many of you keep proving that the Sun is bang-on. Bang-on.

          • Yes hon, it does.

            Now stick to the topic or you're ignored.

          • GALL!! Why do you keep using gall like it`s a knee-jerk reaction? Sorry chief, but you called others on that recently.

          • How about trying again using proper English? Ah yes, but it's the SUN readers who have literacy problems!

          • Hahaha. Rage some more! Gall!

          • Buddy, you've got issues beyond poor literacy skills.

          • Feel better, Buddy?
            Keep going if you need to let it out.
            Maybe you can insult my font. There`s still that.

          • It's his word for the day. Next week he starts on words with two syllables.

          • Then why can't YOU justify one claim you've made against Levant, other than to say: "stop whining"? Three syllables. Next.

    • including you

    • Apparently even the Sun writers have problems with comprehension and literacy.

  2. You know, you people keep saying you're not leftist elitist snobs, but here you are acting precisely like leftist elitist snobs — defending someone who viciously attacked the very people you say you care for, then attacking the victim to boot. This is what passes for enlightened intellectual thought these days, is it?

    And the funny thing is that you snobs aren't nearly as smart as you think you are. These boards keep proving it over and over again.

    Heck, Potter predicted Stephane Dion's victory after his dismal interview in the dying days of the campaign. I mean, with that kind of brilliance, we should all bow, submit, and beg for more, shouldn't we.

    • …then attacking the victim to boot. This is what passes for enlightened intellectual thought these days, is it?

      And I suppose that Sun Media response to Davey's was enlightened intellectual thought? Sounded like a temper tantrum.

      And perhaps you need lessons in reading comprehension. Nowhere was he defending what Ian Davey said. He merely attacked the quality of the editorial. Seriously, that response was juvenile at best, and sun media wants to be taken seriously? This is what passes for responsible journalism now over at Sun Media? Between this tantrum and the advocating of "locking and loading" of Tamil migrant ships…

      • And their vicious, dishonest attacks on Margaret Atwood.

        • Then it should be easy to cite one vicious dishonest attack against her, right? Or is it not allowed to disagree with the left-wing these days?

          • I read it. Name one vicious or dishonest thing about it. Or are you incapable of such basic English skills?

          • "… for Atwood to sign a petition demanding that a TV news channel proposed by Sun Media be stopped by the Canadian government…" Lie – that is not what the petition says.

            "…But Atwood demands that Sun TV News be banned…" Lie – she does not demand that.

            "…Why are journalists calling for the censorship of other journalists?…" Lie – they are not. So Levant his lied about Jim Travers and Susan Delacourt and Don Newman.

            Now why don't you run along and find the petition and read it if you can manage the big words.

            To for Levant to have his ass sued again.

          • Sorry, that should be Time for Levant to have his ass sued again.

          • Why? So he can win the case again?

          • What cases has he won?

          • He won the Syed Sohalwardy complaint by default when Sohalwardy withdrew it.

            When the cases against him right now are concluded, he'll have won them all.

            None of the cases have any legal merit, and the conduct of the solicitors trying the cases against him — continually delaying trial — relfect that.

          • You know, the more you keep posting here, Patrick, the more people will see me proving you wrong repeatedly down the thread.

            I do wish someone would post a list of all the people Levant has sued and all the ones who have sued him and the results. It would be a fun thing to have handy.

          • I'm sure that you think saying so makes it so.

            Unfortunately for you, it doesn't.

            So far, we have the results of one (1) case: Syed Solharwardy's silly HRC complaint, with no merit, being withdrawn due to its lack of merit.

          • So in fact you are not aware of any cases where Levant has sued someone and won in court? Or where he has been sued and won in court?

          • What we have, Holly, is a plethora of cases against Levant with zero legal merit, cases withdrawn due to lack of legal merit, and not a single victory in court OVER Levant.

            I know you're desperate to overlook that detail — but you won't be allowed to.

          • Details, please.

          • *snicker*

            You know, when you brought up the topic of lawsuits, I assumed that you were aware of the details of such cases.

            It's pretty clear at this point that you're just spouting off about things you know nothing about out of a relentlessly contrarian vindictiveness.

            Go waste someone else's time.

          • Yeah, I figured that you didn't really know.

          • Yawn.

            Seems that, just like Holly inhabits a dream world where she can justify her contempt for Canadians by branding them illiterate, it seems she also lives in a dream world where Human Rights Complaints about the wrong cartoons being published have legal merit.

          • lol, you make all these claims that he's lying, but you don't provide one shred of proof. To top it all off, I'm supposed to find a petition that you claim Levant is misrepresenting. Extraordinary.

            Again, it's like nobody is allowed to disagree with the left-wing, even though they say they're for rights, free speech, and so on. Only for themselves, I guess. Which, of course, is the exact opposite of rights.

          • Stop whining.

          • Re-read Levant. He is clearly stating that those he lists want to censor Kory TV or stop it altogether. What they actually want is for it to be subject to normal CRTC processes. He's twisting the truth at best.

          • I've read Levant. What I haven't read is anything to justify the accusations being made against him.

          • Look here, folks! DENNIS_F IS A SUN READER WHO CANNOT READ!

          • The petition's title is "Stop Fox News North".

            (Which, as previously mentioned, is itself dishonest.)

            Not "subject Sun TV to normal CRTC processes". "Stop". As in ALTOGETHER.

            You know, judging from the OTHER anti-conservative media initiatives George Soros' money is funding, it isn't hard to detect the general strategy of the far left on his particular matter. That the left is so desperate to try to silence Sun TV before it even airs its first program is the best reason to grant it a "must offer" (not a "must carry") license.

          • That is the title of the email post explaining the petition: The text of the actual petition is:

            "To CRTC Chair von Finckenstein and PM Harper:
            As concerned Canadians who deeply oppose American-style hate media on our airwaves, we applaud the CRTC's refusal to allow a new "Fox News North" channel to be funded from our cable fees. We urge Mr. von Finckenstein to stay in his job and continue to stand up for Canada's democratic traditions, and call on Prime Minister Harper to immediately stop all pressure on the CRTC on this matter."

            If you were able to read, you would see this text right above the petition:

            "…Sign the petition below to send a wave of support to von Finckenstein and forward this campaign to everyone — we'll publish full page ads in Canadian papers when we reach 100,000: "

          • *snicker*

            I would now refer you to some OTHER comments I've posted around these parts.

            The anti-Sun TV crowd's argument, to date, has been:

            -We believe Fox News is bad.
            -Because Fox News is bad, we believe Sun TV will be bad.

            That's fully evidenced by the Avaaz petition, and it really is comical.

            The ironic thing is that Ricken Patel, Avaaz's pointman on this matter, has admitted that there is no evidence, whatsoever, that Prime Minister Harper is pressuring the CRTC in any way, shape or form.

            (I've rewinded the video and watched him sputter this admission a few dozen times. Trust me, it's extremely gratifying.)

            Not to mention that the Avaaz petition is factually wrong on several points:

            -Sun TV has not applied for a category 1 license, as described in the petition.
            -Sun TV has not applied for mandatory carriage, as suggested by the petition.
            -Sun TV has not requested mandatory cable fees, as suggested by the petition.
            -Fox News is in no way affiliated with Quebecor, nor with Sun TV.
            -In earlier drafts, the petition had even fingered SunCor as being behind Sun TV. Pure comedy.

            So even if we ignore the title of the petition — which makes the anti-Sun TV crowd's goals perfectly clear — there's still plenty to work with here.

            I mean, we DON'T ignore the title of the petition, but even if we did…

          • I see you didn't read my post either – you must be a Sun reader or writer.

          • I would urge people to read the entire email, and the petition withiin it:

            There may well be errors in the email message, and perhaps also in the actual petition; but poor Patrick is not able to distinguish which is which.

          • Ironically enough, I also urge people to read the entire email, and see precisely how razor-thin Avaaz's argument is.

            THEN, I recommend that everyone go find out the facts about the Sun TV license. Starting with the detail that they have NOT applied for a category 1 license — something that poor Holly is desperate to overlook because it demolishes the entire Avaaz petition.

            I also recommend that everyone watch the CBC interview where Ricken Patel admits that there is no evidence, whatsoever, that Stephen Harper is attempting to influence the CRTC's decision.

          • Well, let's get into it: Fox "news" IS bad.

          • Fox News is bad if you're a left-winger terrified of news outlets that cover stories you'd prefer stay buried.

          • Dude, you got pwned!

          • Let's see what we've got coming from the left-wingers on here:

            – Making fun of readers of ideologically dissenting papers.

            – Making vicious accusations without proof.

            – And "Dude, you got pwned!"

            With brilliance like that, of course you should be throwing stones and making farting noises to boot!

          • Whatever – you drone on and on about how there's nothing wrong in their editorials, and dare people to find a single lie, and then Holly gives you a list of them, and a url so that you can check…and that's still not enough for you to shut up. You then try to squeal about needing more proof!

            Dude, you got pwned. The interwebs at it's best, and you're floundering like the star wars kid. But please continue. It's always best that you continue.

          • Some of you are hilarious on here. You claim to be smarter than the opponents you have to mock, but you can't even engage in basic logic. You also cheer on some of the demonstrably less intelligent posters on here.

            This Holly woman did not prove one allegation against Mr. Levant. All she did was post quotes form his article and call them lies without proving that they're lies.

            You darned right I'll continue exposing this inanity on these boards. Thank you for providing encouragement.

          • Dennis, those red things are called links. You're supposed to click on them and read what comes up. I know it's difficult for you to do, but it's part of growing up.

          • Do as he says and prove they are lies.

          • Yes, I read them. You have failed to show us how they prove one accusation you've made. Every time I challenge you to do so, you've called me a "whiner."

            That it's so terribly difficult for you to compose even one justified accusation against those you resent so much is very telling – even stunning, given the topic of this thread, which is that non left-wingers are supposed to be stupid. Not based on what I'm reading here. Sorry.

          • We're not making fun of their readers for "disagreeing"– we're making fun of the Sun chain itself– of it's lazy staff– for putting out such a lazy paper.l

          • Amazed that this ignoramus who unspools his attacks as though from sunmedia's keyboards can't even see the shadows to his own lies.
            A petition that asks that a proposed one-sided tv channel is not forced upon cable providers, and instead has to earn its keep on the specialty wire like the same al jazeera, is not censorship, doofus.
            If you force us taxpayers to pay for Faux-News-Sun version, we'll just have to create a Canadian Jon Stewart to shine some real light on your whining lies.

          • "we'll just have to create a Canadian Jon Stewart to shine some real light on your whining lies"

            I'm pretty sure Rick Mercer's up to the job. Brand new fodder for his rants.

          • There's a reason they don't want to link to the petition, Dennis. It's because you'd see how comical it really is.

            Check it out:

            First, note the title. It just reminds you of what their agenda REALLY is on this matter.

            Once you've done that, read the first paragraph. See what their argument is? Paraphrased without all the self-righteous rhetoric: Fox News is bad. And because Fox News is bad, Sun TV will be bad.

            This is before one even addresses all of the errors (if they are indeed errors and not outright lies) contained in the petition. For example, Sun TV has not applied for a Category 1 "must carry" license. They've applied for a Category 2 license with a "must offer" provision.

            Cable and satellie providers would be required to OFFER it. But actually carrying the channel will be up to individual consumers.

            The left's goal is that the channel not even be offered — not even be available to Canadians who may be interested in it. The left's strategy is first to defeat any "must offer" provision in their CRTC license, and then lobby cable and satellite providers to not offer it.

            It's all part of a strategy, Dennis.

          • I guess you believe every government and corporation based soley on the headline they attach to everything they put out too? Nuance, meet no-one.

          • *snicker*

            Riiiight. The Avaaz petition is positively FULL of nuance — if by nuance you mean "frantic left-wing talking points".

          • Who's lying now, Holly?

            Correct me if I'm wrong. The petition's title is :"Stop Fox News North".

            I'd also point out that "Fox News North" is also equal parts lie and humourous assumption.

            Fox News is in no way affiliated with the network. Moreover, to assume it will be the same before even seeing the product… utterly comical.

          • You are wrong. Read the whole email which contains the petition more carefully.

          • Riiiiight.

            The rest of the petition which is founded on numerous factual errors regarding the application it objects to, and has been since its very inception.

          • Who the frig is this victim you speak of?
            "attacking the victim to boot." suggests some poor individual who was way-laid without an ounce of notice or involvement.
            Sun used its typical tactic of distorting and twisting a comment for its favourite dog-and-pony deflection. Harper isn't man enough to do his own speeches now, he off-loads it to Sunmedia.
            Then, when someone calls them on it and offers a childish slap-back, Denise_F et al act as tho they've found a modern era zapruder film. It is to laff. The sunmedia's feeling the pinch these days, with the crtc meticulously doing due-diligence (so against the Harper rag's principles!), the globe, ctv ownership shuffle, and now their owner's pet de resistance attempt at getting another free gov't handout, this time for a blanc elephant for a prospective pro hockey team.
            Well, laudy dah…

          • What have Sun readers done to deserve these kinds of vicious attacks other than to dare read a newspaper that the left-wing can't stand?

          • Dropped out of school before completing grade 5?

          • You left-wingers need this. You claim to be civil, tolerant, and understanding, but throw mud at people who dare oppose your agenda.

            This must be why you hate competition. You hate the idea of people who you absolutely resent winning in the battle of ideas.

            Look at these boards. The same people who mock opponents for their apparent lack of intelligence literally cannot come up with intelligent remarks themselves. Just the kind of nonsense you're displaying.

            Keep it coming.

          • I am looking at the boards Dennis_F and I see an awful lot of hostility coming from you. When I search the boards I can see some connections to what you say, but not with the venom and vitriol you claim.

            To be honest it seems more like your hostility towards others with different viewpoints which you generalize as "the left" causes you more problems than anything else. Your token response seems to be one of hostility and accusations rather than measured discussion. Over time it's also turned into a game for both sides; there is no way you can credibly claim that you haven't slung any mud.

            So you've salted your own well in a way. Your perceived hostility towards others has created an atmosphere where any point you may make gets shot down and you are dismissed. Try a different response with your antagonists, and if that doesn't work ignore them.

            Really, the left as you put it, isn't extreme. The problem seems to be more with your hostility.

          • In other words, I'm not allowed to criticize the left-wing?

            Many of you love to smear your opponents, then get furious when people decide to defend themselves.

            This is your idea of "hostility" is it?

            Instead of bitching and complaining about me, how about respond to even one claim I've made on here? That you can't is rather telling, isn't it?

        • I was wondering why I've been seeing various snide remarks about Atwood online!

          On a Montreal Canadiens message board one poster pivoted from disliking women's hockey to decrying "political correctness" to proclaiming that Margaret Atwood was a terrible human being. I thought it was a completely random non-sequitur, I gather she's been a bit of a cause celebre amongst the BT/SDA set of late?

          • Sorry, this was the second headline that went with some versions Teneycke's nasty little smear:

            Then of course some real journalists noticed a few things:

            Kady busted Teneycle:

            and when Levant smeared George Soros (whose connection ito the story is minimal except in rightingers teeny minds), Alheli busted Levant:

          • You haven't proved one accusation against any of these people. You seem to think that anyone who doesn't agree with the left-wing is engaging in smears. This isn't communism, you know. Disagreeing with the left-wing shouldn't be against the law.

          • Pointing out a lie is a lie is not against the law either, yet.

          • And why don't you comment about Teneycke reporting on the fake names on the petition without mentioning that he knows who added those names? That is a serious breach of journalistic ethics.

      • Let me get this straight. Calling Sun readers illiterate is OK to you. Defending oneself against the charge isn't. Great moral principles some of you have on here.

        • No, it's rude to say Sun readers can't read. But it's accurate to say that the Sun publishes lies.

          • Because they're not left-wing? My God. Like I said from the beginning, for left-wingers who think they're so smart, they sure don't seem too intent on showing it any time soon.

          • Because they are such suckers they fall for the bilge that the Sun spews out.

      • Compared to what Davey had to say? They absolutely were.

    • What? I really don't see any connection to "victims" here. This comment is written even more poorly than a Sun editorial.

      • Dennis is following the usual rightwinger habit of accusing other people of doing what in fact he and his ilk are guilty of doing, while trying to fool everyone into thinking he is a victim.

        Stop whining, Dennis.

        • Yes, you have already established the ability to resent political opponents, and not proving the accusations you make against them. And, when all else fails, you accuse them of "whining." This is what passes as superior leftist intellectualism, does it? What an amazing thread. Quite instructive.

          • Whine, whine, whine.

      • Then why are you only capable of this?

        • Dennis, it seems you're being a bit disingenous. You are just as guilty of provoking as you are of responsing. A quick read of this entire comment thread is simple proof. If you have such a problem with them expressing themselves, dont read it. It's just that simple. Turn the channel.

          Sorry Dennis, but the world isnt tailor made for you. Get over yourself.

  3. Who exactly are you saying we are supposed to care for?

  4. In my experience, Sun editorials are written by people who can't read. After one of their news stories referred to me (correctly) as a 20-year union member), an editorial based on the news story referred to me as a 20-year-old union member.

    • I can only imagine the emotional trauma you must have gone through after reading such a malicious misrepresentation of your true age and seniority.

      • More incompetence than malice, I should think.

    • A union man since birth, eh?

      • Nice!

        • From the Sun archives (I would have called it a caption, but editorial works too)

          Twenty year old Sunshine boy logician loves a heavy workout of vector calculus and brain-teaser puzzles in addition to his involvement in IMU. ( ) For those brainy females looking for an opportunity to nuzzle those pointed ears, we have good news: pon farr is not so farr off!

      • His mother was interested in labour issues even before he was born!

        • Patchouli, I award you 5 stars for that one.

          Five GOLD stars.

          • I'll see your Five GOLD stars and throw in 5 more.

    • LOL pity it's the Onion…Time could use the makeover.

    • Made me smile. Thanks for that.

  5. Have you run the editorial response through the analyser ?

  6. I'd hardly call Mr. Potter's sampling scientific. Maybe he should do Census work for Statistics Canada.

  7. Ian Davey insults Sun readers as illiterates.

    This is the same Ian Davey who recruited the high-brow and very articulate Michael Ignatieff who was supposed to take the country by storm.

    Canadians are too dumb to appreciate Ignatieff I guess is his point.

    The arrogance of the Liberal Party of Canada is decidedly its achilles's heel.

    • Apparently he's not working for Ignatieff now; would Sun readers be aware of that?

      • Since they used the description "former chief of staff" twice, I suspect that even Sun readers will have picked up on that…

        You, however, seem to have missed it…

        • No, I saw it, but I wondered if they could handle that big phrase all by themselves.

    • And the ignorance of the Sun is decidedly its achilles's heel.

  8. Did you see the one that National Newswatch linked to in the Toronto Sun? Here are the first three sentences…

    OTTAWA – Read this if you can.

    Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's former chief of staff, Ian Davey, hit Sun Media readers below the belt Sunday, saying they're all illiterate.

    That means you can't read.

    It's nice that the Sun defines the bigger words for their readers, I'm surprised that they didn't sound it out for them phonetically. LOL

    • That's why they so often resort to "Iggy" or "Iffy"; it's not lack of respect, it's just so the slower ones can follow along.

      • Also so the writers don't have to try to spell Ignatieff, over and over.

  9. I did the same. Does Potter need to show his work. Did you actually count out everything the formula needs? Or just use an online calculator.
    I got the Sun Editorial at grade 11 and Margaret Atwoods latest blog post at 10.

  10. As for scientific: I might ask that you reduce variation by sampling different papers' editorials on the same subject. The vocabulary associated with different topics might alter the reading level regardless of editorial team doing the editorializing. Maybe you could pick, say, federal subsidy of Colisée Deux, find the various editorials on that (or any other) one topic, and feed those through the software.

    Because, you know, I have paid a hefty price for the work you have done so far, and I somehow feel entitled to placing another order.

    • That's a good point, actually. Simply taking a single random sample from various papers isn't going to get you anything that could be considered significant.

      And as for the price paid, hey, your time has value.

  11. In the spirit of compromise, maybe it's that they can read but don't. I went to university with a
    lot of people like that. Sadly, a lot of them turned out to be teachers or stock brokers (:

    • No, 42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate.

  12. It's been nearly 5 years since the Liberals lost power.

    You'd have though they might have learned a thing or two about humility during that time, especially given the circumstances that led to their ouster from power in early 2006.

    Looks like they still have some learning to do. Will it take another 5 years in the wilderness to learn it?

    • The humility of the political class as a whole has nothing to do with the simplistic efforts of the Sun.

      • Davey was dissing Sun readers. People who read the papers, or at least look at the pictures. But those people vote.

        • As Potter points out, Davey is a private citizen so why would votes matter to him?

          • Yeah, Kory Tenyeke is a private citizen too.

            Davey was appearing on television as the Liberal mouthpiece just as Powers was the Conservative mouthpiece. The Liberals gotta wear this one, and they will.

  13. The Sun chain has somehow actually become the embodiment of the UK Sun which Billy Bragg sang about in "It Says Here" over 25 years ago.

    That song touches on everything that the modern Canadian Sun chain has become. From the frequent articles about how "the economy is on the upturn," to society's desperately needs "a large dose of law and order," to printing "pictures of women in stages of undress."

    The line about "They'd rather you believe in Coronation Street Capers," actually reminded me of the Sun recently dedicating massive amounts of ink to what "Other celebrities would look like with Justin Bieber hair."

    Seriously. Look up the lyrics. Its uncanny.

  14. People say the current government is not fiscally conservative, but look how they are trying to save money by sharing a communications office with Sun Media. Why should the Sun pay for someone to argue against Davey when Demetri will go and do that for them. I know I am happy that my tax dollars are going to defend the quality of that fine media chain.

    • Then you must be enraged by the I Billion Plus Tax Dollars that goes to support tha CBC—-a definite Liberal–NDP Media.

      • Damn right! Whenever I watch CBC Newsworld (or whatever it's called now) I tend to see the likes of Flanagan, Ivison, Gregg, Coyne, and until recently Tenyeke.

        How can a conservative get a fair shake amongst *that* den of frothing socialists! That's Mothercorp for you – always trying to cram their radical leftist agenda down our throats!

        I blame Trudeau!

        • So your argument is that by rhyming off a half-dozen possible Conservatives on a publically-funded network employing thousands of lefties, then that makes CBC a balanced media.

          The folks you`ve mentioned will be bursting with pride about the influence they must wield, however, I suspect you`ve just used some flawed math.

          • Who said anything about Mothercorp being balanced?! I just proved to you that it's a hive of socialist groupthink!

            Trudeau ruined Canada!!

          • Kory accepted a JOB from them, Blue.

          • He did—-for 5 months. Probably in a vain attempt to contribute some balance.

            The new network is a better vehicle to achieve that goal.

          • No, no, it was all part of Kory's cunning plan. He would work there for five months and learn ALL about running a TV station, so that someday he could run his own. It's not like he has any other qualifications, is it? Or did he take a few communications courses like some elitist?

          • Actually I heard he followed Iggy`s bus around this summer to learn from the Master Communicator.

            Will Iggy wear that red baseball cap on his first day back in Parliament ?

  15. 42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate.

    That means they can read and write to a limited degree, but not well enough to function in today's society.

    That means they can't read a job listing, or apply for one, or fill out any forms, read equipment operating manuals, or read and understand warning signs.

    And they get their news from Fox…north or south, and Sun/Postmedia….which lies outright to them, and they don't know the difference.

    • So because someone has a low reading level they automatically watch fox and "don't know the difference?"

      • Since they are unable to comprehend the society around them….yes.

        • I think his point was they're just as likely to be watching CBC or PBS as they are FOX.. unless you've got some additional data on political affiliation vs. literacy.

          Personally, I'd tend to think that those who are illiterate tend not to vote either.

        • Oh, my dear lord.

          Emily, did you just suggest that 42% of Canadians:

          -Are functionally illiterate.
          -Get their news from Fox.
          -Are unable to comprehend the society around them.

          42% is an awfully large portion of Canadians for you to have such contempt for. I suggest you do Canada a favour and de-camp to someplace where you'll feel more at home… like Iran.

    • Good grief!
      So 42% of Canadians can't read a job listing!?!
      And then YOU accuse others of lying!
      Then we have your line that these people can't "function in today's society".
      Wow, talk about utter ridiculousness. So how are these 42% of people coping if they can't function?
      It amazes me how some people who claim to be so much smarter than everyone else can not see the big picture of how our society and economy work. The fact is that most people don't need to read or write at your level, and because they can't, doesn't make them stupid. People have different interests that don't include having to do a lot of reading and writing, and again, that doesn't make them stupid. Have you never heard of the “division of labor”?
      Some people need to put away their “airs” away and instead they should reach for their thinking cap.

      • It's how people like Emily operate: pure contempt for Canadians.

        No wonder she thinks that her far-left borderline-tyrannical regime is so necessary for the country. She believes so many Canadians are incapable of thinking for themselves.

        I actually have a proposition for Emily: in the next election, run. Tell your constituents that you think 42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate and can't function in society. See if you manage to get your deposit back.

        • Here's a report that says:

          "…About 48 per cent of Canadian adults are considered to be at a low literacy level, according to the Canadian Council on Learning, which means they have difficulty reading, comprehending and functioning effectively with written material…"

          • It's amusing to see, Holly, that you share Emily's contempt for so many Canadians.

            Studies like these generally tend to suffer on two counts:

            -Poor methodology
            -Lack of an objective measure of literacy.

            For example, the study you cite examined literacy rates in only four urban centres: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

            Three of these centres in particular present particular dilemmas to the external validity, and in all cases it relates to one of the central themes of Holly's favourite debate over the last few months:

            Sample bias.

            First off, studying Canada's four major urban centres presents its own specific sampling bias.

            As it pertains to Vancouver, I'd like to draw attention to factors that suggest to me that literacy rates there are more likely to be an outlier: simply put, Vancouver's weather makes it a popular destination for Canada's homeless population. It has more homeless people per capita than any other centre in Canada.

            Those most likely to have low levels of literacy in any country are the homeless — or should I say that those with the lowest levels of literacy are most likely to be homeless? Either way, the influence of this particular factor is clear.

            Montreal and Ottawa present a different dilemma. Each are located in areas featuring large groups of English-speaking unilingual citizens, and large groups of French-speaking unilingual citizens.

            Which leads one to ask questions such as:

            -In what language was this literacy study conducted? English? French? Both?

            -If the answer to the above question is "both", were individuals graded to have suffering levels of literacy if not bilingual?

            Which is part of the question of how literacy was judged by those administering this study. Personally, I'd be interested to know.

          • Liar. In what way do you imagine in your fevered little brain that I expressed contempt for anyone except lying scum like yourself?

          • *snicker*

            You really think that accusing vast swarths of Canadians of being illiterate doesn't demonstrate contempt?

            You're living in a fantasy world.

            Let me introduce you to the real world:

            In the real world, you aren't entitled to enjoy making sneering, contemptuous comments, then declare yourself to be immune from the consequences thereof.

            I'm almost sorry to disappoint you. Almost.

          • I forgot to mention the following in the preceding response:

            What data exists that would suggest that these results could be generalized to rural areas in BC, Ontario or Quebec, let alone in the Prariies or the Maritimes?

            Moreover, what data exists that would suggest that these results could be generalized to urban areas in the Prairies or the Maritimes, let alone to other urban areas in BC, Ontario or Quebec?

            If this study is what you want to hang your contempt for so many Canadians on, be my guest. Just be aware that this is not by any means a persuasive study.

          • Quoting the Vancouver Sun?
            I thought they printed only lies??

  16. This reminds me when Stephane Dion's handlers put out a press release that if Dion became Prime MInister he would be the first Prime Minister who had earned a Ph.D.

    Presumably Canadians were supposed to be awestruck by this revelation. It just came across as arrogant. Which was indeed one of Dion's many shortcomings as leader.

    Why are lefties so overwhelmed by a few initials at the back of a person's name?

    • Sorry, that simply isn't true.

      They aren't initials btw, they indicate the level of education.

      You know, like Harper has a Masters degree in economics?

    • Why are lefties so overwhelmed by a few initials at the back of a person's name?

      Actually, most people that I know aren't especially impressed by post-graduate degrees. Exceptional intelligence isn't required to earn a master's or Ph.D.: at the university where I got my master's degree, you needed to have earned a B+ average in your undergraduate courses, and you needed to maintain a B+ average in your grad work.

      To obtain a Ph.D., what you really need most is persistence (and the willingness to give up four or more years' worth of prime earning power).

      What I have always wondered is why the people who write editorials for the Toronto Sun, and those that support them, say such harsh things about the academic world. (The Sun editorial that is linked to by this article refers to "Professor Ignatieff — BA, MA, PhD, BFD".) Why such resentment?

      By the way – in case you have forgotten – Stephen Harper himself holds of a master's degree.

      • By the way – in case you have forgotten – Stephen Harper himself holds of a master's degree.

        Ack! I hate typos! It's "holds a master's degree", of course.

        • You shouldn't draw attention to it… most folks just edit out extraneous words on the fly. I didn't even see it until you mentioned it. I was amazed when I first came across this passage…

          Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe

          Of course, the mistakes there are glaring but it's still an amazing demonstration of the power of the mind to decipher and correct on the fly.

    • Because we all understand the amount of work and commitment to higher learning it took to earn those "letters," jarrid.

      And I LIKE the idea of having such well-educated people making decisions based on facts. Not just winding people up with rhetoric and mud-slinging.

  17. As one whose bin labulled a "left-winger" and an "aye-leetist" on these hear boards, I jist wanna say that I got a good eddicayshun but I nevur let it go to my hed.

    So I jist look at the pitchers in the Sun…oh, an' the comix.

    • You used an apostrophe in the right place! You must be won of dem smart ones! Get em!!

      • waite a minit! How d'u kno that, that a postrophe wuz in the right spot? how cum you kno so much abote grammar?
        C'mon mr. hawking, xplain that one.

        • git'im too!

  18. What would the Liberal Party have to gain by insulting all the good people who will pick up the Sun tomorrow morning ?
    Absolutely nothing. But if you want to see why the LPC will probably not produce a Prime Minister until sometime in the 2020`s, just watch how clumsily they react to this newest bit of smugness.

    The Liberals have become so distanced from reality and frankly so stupid that it`s as if they don`t realize that there is equal value in the vote of the Sun reader as that of the reader of Toronto Life. Otherwise why would they allienate the average Canadian—-just to keep E and H busy.

    • Sun readers are not the 'average Canadian'.

      • Yeah, Emily, we've all seen what you think of the "average Canadian", and anyone with a lick of sense is disgusted by it.

    • The Liberal Party didn't.

      But nice attempt at spinning.

      • The point isn`t that a former Liberal employee is dissing a large group of Canadians.
        The point is the reaction of Liberals to this insult—-just look at the snide remarks of the above commenters including Potter`s sifting of the language of different editorials using some little known tool that I`m sure was Peer-Reviewed. Watch Iggy do nothing.
        Ask yourself this: When Chretien was on the campaign trail in `93 do you think his popularity went up or down after the insulting ad about his facial appearance.
        Chretien knew how to take advantage of of the ad by appealing to the compassion of Canadians. Liberals today think it`s a good idea to try to stop the start-up of a new Media Source by insulting what they think will be the readership—-stupid—just stupid—-they need much more time on the backbenches.

        • I say, you can't hide liberals on the backbenches… any liberal is capable of making these types of remarks.

        • I would not say that all Sun readers are illiterate. Some are; some aren't. I will state that the Sun does target consumers with lower literacy levels. I think the same will hold true for the proposed Faux News North. The station will not probably take away viewers from CTV News Net and CBC News-what-ever-it-is-called-now. It will likely attract new viewers who may not be able to deal with in-depth analysis of news events.

          • You still don`t get it. It doesn`t matter what the literacy level of the Sun reader is or whether English may be their third language.
            The point is that it is always wrong to single out a group of people and show your superiority to them by insinuating that they do not read as " good " as another group.. That`s what Potter did in his blogpost, and that`s what you`re doing by carrying on with this ridiculous literacy-grading scale, and that`s what people will perceive coming from the Liberal Party when they look at Ignatieff.

            Let the free market decide whether they want to watch the new Sun Media after it starts up with the same advantages that the present news channels have as far as being bundled with other networks.

          • Do you really think Doyle should be cited as an unbiased credible source on whether we should have more choice in our media ?

            You might as well have quoted O`Malley or Newman.

          • There's a point about this that I find pretty striking… the loudest critics of this proposed station – the Avaaz petition, the other media sources snorting derision and the mere plebes commenting here – all are quick to object that they don't want to censor KoryTV but they just object to the type of license that is being sought. I call bullsh*t on that.

            This new station is seeking the same license that any other new start-up would seek and it's simply a good business practice to put yourself on the best possible footing to compete. You may have disputes with the CRTC (and I certainly do) but you can't fault a business for seeking to maximize it's position within the rules.

            And the "apparent meddling" that you're reporting at the highest levels – since the head of the CRTC has specifically denied it, what's your basis for continuing to assert it?

          • Okay, fair enough, "'reported meddling at the highest levels then." Although as Spector pointed out, Von Fincklestein was a ltad tardy in his eventual reply to said reportage- two weeks after L. Martin's column first raised the possibility.

            As for competitive footing', they appear to be seeking a “Category 2 specialty licence” while asking for “mandatory access,” At the present time, there is no such category. It would be unique to Sun Media. If so, they are not 'seeking the 'same license as any other start-up'.

            Look, who cares if Koryvision's on cable? Just do it the same way as say Vision or Al-Jazeera (neither of which anybody watches).

          • Yeah, let the free market decide! Down with Conservative corporate welfare bums!

          • It's the CRTC that won't let the free market decide. I'd certainly be happy to see all broadcast channels on the same footing but that's not the circumstance we're in…

            So new channels have to go to the CRTC as supplicants and press for the best deal they can get. It's odd that folks like you are so horrified by that.

          • Look, who cares if Koryvision's on cable?

            Don Newman, Margaret Atwood, Avaaz and the thousands of folks who've signed their petition. Not to mention a bunch of others who I can't name off the top of my head.

            Everyone tries for the best deal they can get – it's how negotiation works – I find it hard to get alarmed about one entity pushing for an advantage, especially when their first attempt was simply turned down flat.

          • You're not disturbed by the possibility that the current government may be interfering on behalf of a particular media corporation?

          • I'd be very disturbed about it, if there were any evidence of it. But for now i'm sticking to worrying about real, proven problems. It's not like there's any shortage of them.

          • That's a remarkable statement.

            On what evidence do you base your suggestion that Sun media "targets" readers with lower literacy levels?

  19. Why is the intelligentsia getting wound up by Fox News? If its only attractive to a bunch of know-nothing illiterates, what is the problem exactly?

    Why do so many in the media have their knickers in a twist. I watched Fife have a near coronary the other day while he was scare mongering about what Fox North would do if it ever arrived here.

    It is amazing the amount of condescension on display by liberals and progressives who think they know better.

    And I don't think those reading level measures are correct or they have defined them down since I learned analyzing text in university many years ago. Newspapers use to write to a Grade 6/7 level and once you reached a Grade 10/11 level it was pretty much incomprehensible without a dictionary. University level writing was only understood by other experts in field.

    • "It is amazing the amount of condescension on display by liberals and progressives who think they know better."

      It's not condescension, and it's not about smart vs. stupid. A lot of people have watched Fox News become a mouthpiece for the Republican party and a relentless fountain of misinformation, hatemongering and fearmongering. There's good reason to be concerned about the impact that such a channel will have on Canadian society.

      • " …. a relentless fountain of misinformation, hatemongering and fearmongering."

        Says you. First, have you ever watched Fox News and, if you have, can you please provide specific examples of what you are talking about.

        Secondly, how is Fox News any different from media we already have? If we are talking about misinformation, hatemongering and fearmongering, I think Canadian msm as it exists today is good place to start.

        I thought Globe/Mail was hate mongering the other week when it claimed planned parenthood was a respected org when, in fact, it is eugenics company that targets minorities in general, black people in particular, for death.

        Another example of Globe is Scott Reid article from late last year when he urged non-Conservatives to assassinate the Prime Minister.

        Condescension is weak word to describe liberals and progressives, who think nothing of murdering babies or calling for assassination of PM while flapping their gums about tv station that does not even exist yet, but I am well aware of their inability to examine their own troubling ideas.

        "Where you stand depends on where you sit." ~ Nelson Mandela

        • "I thought Globe/Mail was hate mongering the other week when it claimed planned parenthood was a respected org when, in fact, it is eugenics company that targets minorities in general, black people in particular, for death"

          No matter how often you say this, it doesn't become any truer. Planned Parenthood is no more a "eugenics company" because of Sanger's opinion on the matter than Great Britain is a "eugenics nation" because Winston Churchill was a vocal supporter of eugenics.

          • I'm sorry, who is Johnathan Treemaine? I watched that video, and I could make something just as shocking regarding Churchill

            To wit:

            Winston Churchill was not only the larger than life figure who guided Great Britain through its darkest hours during WWII, he was also an avowed and committed eugenicist and racist. Shortly after his 25th birthday, Churchill wrote to his cousin that "The improvement of the British breed is my aim in life".

            When he was Home Secretary (February 1910-October 1911) Churchill was in favor of the confinement, segregation, and sterilization of a class of persons contemporarily described as the "feeble minded." Churchill wrote "The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the Feeble-Minded and Insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate."

            Every current member of the British Parliament has yet to repudiate these odious comments by Churchill. In fact, to this day Winston Churchill is universally revered in British politics and was recently voted the Greatest Briton by the BBC Until Churchill's legacy of racialist rhetoric is loudly denounced in Parliament, we must conclude that Great Britain supports eugenics.

            See? Easy Peasy :)

  20. Those gradings seem pretty high for newspapers. You sure the Flesch Kincaid thingy weren't broke? (Better not run this comment through it, at any rate).

  21. Based on the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade-levels, these newspapers have the following FK grade-levels for their last two editorials:

    Toronto Star: 14.10
    The Globe and Mail: 14.00
    National Post: 10.35
    Toronto Sun: 9.75

    I'll believe Ian Davey.

  22. Ironically, the Sun editorial that complained about Ian Davey scored a Flesch-Kincaid grade-level of 8.8. Copy and paste into Microsoft Word.

  23. Andrew, I should have read your post about the Flesch-Kincaid levels before comment. I will agree with you assessment.

    I will add that based on Ontario's EQAO grade-ten literacy tests, the Sun does appeal to those who are illitterat.

  24. Why is the intelligentsia getting wound up by Fox News? If its only attractive to a bunch of know-nothing illiterates, what is the problem exactly?

    Because Fox News distorts the truth in order to attract a viewing audience. I suspect that there is a strong overlap between Fox News viewers and Sarah Palin supporters.

    As for Sun TV news in Canada, I see two potential problems:

    – They are asking for "must carry" status.
    – Their existence means that other news outlets are likely to become more marginalized, as the Conservatives are likely to only take questions from, or talk to, their friends at Sun TV.

    I've long wondered whether the goal of the Conservatives (and for Sun TV, natch) is for Sun TV to serve as a replacement for the CBC. It would be convenient for the Tories to have their own house organ.

    • I don`t believe Sun Media are asking for anything that present media outlets don`t already have.

      If the new Sun Media is incompetent or too biased in their reporting, then the marketplace will get rid of them. When CBC does the same they receive another Billion Plus Tax-Funded Dollars.

  25. Not sure a lot of Sun readers are expected on the MacLeans boards.

  26. The Star can brag about being the highest circulation paper in the country. It might be a little too low brow for them to brag, however.

  27. Andrew,
    You can analyze all you want.
    You can also attempt to defend, deflect and excuse.
    But we all know that this was a blunder for your side of the political fence and talking around it is not going to minimize it a bit. As a matter of fact, this post and comments that we see here can only be described as throwing fuel on the fire.
    Nice try… and by the way, your Liberal Party petticoat is showing.

    PS : I don't read the Sun or any newspaper or magazine anymore. I just got fed up with the lack of honesty and fair play.

    • then what are you doing here, reading MacLeans mag online and commenting?

      • Wow, what biting commentary.
        Too bad it's all gum and no teeth.
        Actually, I ended up here by linking from a blog who seen it for the media mis-direction that it is and thought I'd add a bit of realty to the mix. You should be thanking me.
        But I can't help but notice that you didn't question what I said, only that I said it.
        It is hard to argue with the truth, isn't it!

  28. “It was once said about the Toronto Sun that it's a newspaper for people who can't read,” he said.


    Whatever, I'm not convinced that the Sun's outrage is genuine. If you want to be taken seriously as a newspaper, raise your standards, attempt the occasional proofread, get rid of the Sunshine Girls, and stop pandering. But this editorial is just an excuse to take advantage of some publicity; further proof that the sun is 'written for people who can't read, by people who can't write'.