The secret script for ‘Fox News North’ - Macleans.ca
 

The secret script for ‘Fox News North’

Deride hippies. Assail Starbucks. Introduce guest with alternative view. Cue head-shaking.


 

iStock/ Illustration by Taylor Shute

Sun TV News—which instantly acquired the nickname Fox News North—says it will begin broadcasting at the crack of dawn on Jan. 1. A few hours later, it is expected to name Stephen Harper as its Man of the Year for 2011.

Run by the former chief spokesman for the Prime Minister, the “populist” news channel promises to offer a right-wing perspective, combative personalities and a catchy, non-partisan slogan like “We report, you decide” or “Michael Ignatieff: Just visiting.”

Will Fox North turn a profit? It’s got a good shot, especially when you consider that the network’s flagship talk shows will likely recycle the exact same script night after night.
Sun TV News: Talk Show Script

Graphics. Martial music. Fade in on the Sun TV News logo: an angry beaver holding a flag and brandishing a shotgun.

Introduction of program host. Description by host of new political development. Expression of outrage at said development. Furrowing of brow ensues. ABRUPT INCREASE IN VOLUME.
Investigation of recent remarks made by opposition politician. Question raised as to intellectual capacity of said politician. Inquiry made as to what planet said politician is living on. Strong implication put forth that said planet is not Earth.

Heroism of military troops confirmed. Confusion registered as to why opposition politicians openly rooting for our troops to be butchered. Sad day for Canada declared.

Softening of host’s demeanour commences. Deep affection for Canada stated. “Average Canadians” revered. Blanket assertion made as to what “average Canadians” truly value and desire. Striking similarity achieved between said desires and those of host. ABRUPT INCREASE IN JINGOISM.

John Baird’s charisma alleged.

Introduction of first guest. Establishment of guest’s credentials as a) a member of the Fraser Institute, b) a past member of the Fraser Institute, or c) a person named “Fraser” (after the Fraser Institute).

Assertion made by host as to the failure of liberals and lefties to get “it.” Enthusiastic agreement by guest as to the lack of “it” being in any way gotten. Synchronized shaking of heads in dismay.
Starbucks assailed.

Commercials. Claim advanced as to convenience and comfort of adjustable beds. Avowals made regarding merits of reverse mortgages, cholesterol drugs and bran.
Return of host. Assertion put forth as to the grave nature of climate-change crisis. Prankish nature of assertion revealed by exaggerated wink of eye. Laughter directed by host toward own mastery of mirth.

Hippies derided.

Creation of straw man. Refuting of straw man’s flawed perspective. Triumph over straw man dwelled upon.

Need for relief from day’s solemnity claimed. Video shown of mouse riding atop a duck, which in turn is riding atop a kitten. Hilarity alleged. Reference made to video as documentation of NDP caucus meeting.

Introduction of second guest. Warning to audience that second guest holds Alternative Point of View.

Solicitation of said point of view. Commencement of eye-rolling. Aspersion cast upon Alternative Point of View. “Go smoke another doobie” facial and hand gesture executed.

Patriotism of guest called into question. Absence of Canadian flag on lapel remarked upon. ABRUPT INCREASE IN CONSERVATIVE TALKING POINTS.

Elitists assailed.

Voice of host lowered. Dark conspiracy alleged. Dubious motives suggested. Host’s own blog referenced as being uncannily representative of public opinion.

Spectre of coalition raised. Grim picture of Canada under Liberal-NDP rule painted. Return to barter system predicted. National butter knife registry deemed likely.

Way of life of “average Canadian” defended by host. Canadian children revered. Several national landmarks cited. Moisture fills eyes at mention of love of country. Spontaneous recitation of lyrics of national anthem. (English only.) Quivering of chin. Immigrant hugged.

Time on clock noticed. Papers collected and shuffled. Own performance as host praised. Hugged immigrant instructed to go warm up car. ABRUPT 10-PART KEN BURNS RETROSPECTIVE ABOUT THE LIBERAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM.


 

The secret script for ‘Fox News North’

  1. Wouldn't you have to take all this back if Scott Reid gets to co-host a show on FOXnn with Ezra Levant?

  2. Cue script for predictable Feschuk post: sneeringly look down your nose at people who don't blindly subscribe to CBC-LPC-416 view of the world.

    Yawn.

    • Orson, show us your "papers."

    • As opposed sneeringly looking down your nose at people who don't blindly subscribe to the NP-CPC-403 view? Feschuk is a humour columnist. Have you seen his skewerings of Iggy? Lighten up.

      • There's a rather important difference between Iggy and Fox News north: Iggy actually exists. Fox News North will not even go on air until 2011. So it's worth considering why it is that the likes of Don Newman (CBC hack), Murray Dobbin (lefty hack) and Feschuk (ex-Chretien fart catcher) all feel the need to mercilessly slag something that doesn't even exist yet. Why do you think that is?

        • sorry, that should have been "ex-Martin fart catcher". My bad.

        • Why do I think that is? … because he's a humour columnist, and admits it. How would you react if I got my blood up at every little thing Mark Steyn took a skewer to?

          • So Murray Dobbin and Don Newman are humour columnists? Who knew?

          • You mean they're being serious? That's makes them even more funny!

        • Your distinction is meaningless.

          • You're so right. There's absolutely no difference between something that exists versus something that does not yet exist.

          • Okay so if Feschuk or whoever (whomever? I'm grammar bad good at) waited until the end of June 2011 to write this column, then you'd be laughing along jolly-ho with the rest of us, right?

          • It would depend on what Fox News North was actually like. As I pointed out, he's slagging and making fun of something that doesn't exist yet. Whether it's worthy of being slagged or being made fun of will depend on what it is, what it's like, whether it's good or bad, etc. What part of that don't you get?

    • Careful who you insult Bean, you might need some of them as viewers.

      • I'm not a conservative.

    • Whoa, whoa, whoa! There's no need to be bringing area codes into it.

      • Hey sorry man, I tried to keep it civil but lost my cool ;^) And don't even get me started on Postal Codes!

  3. I'd watch it

  4. Feschuck has given us the looking glass image of what the CBC currently serves up every day.

  5. wait till they ask for equivilent sponsorship money from Ottawa, this thing likely ain't gonna be great but so what? as long as it does'nt break any laws let em be

  6. What I really am hoping for is maybe some news anchorettes from the Sunshine Girl pages, gotta say that would really create some competition for some of those CBC types (Newman and co)

    • I think they're lining up some Real Women. You know – the ones with the really big – hair.

      • Y'know, I could really relate to that…

  7. Why can't it not be July the first? After days of CBC and the other one bleeding all over Toronto's "loss of innocence", an even slightly hard nosed approach to news events will be appreciated.

  8. If this is going to be a biased broadcaster as Fox in the USA,I suggest that we take a closer look at the possible implication:With enough money at their hands a particular group could buy up one station after the other, spreading highly biased information or even disinformation.Once these demagogues have control,where do we go for unbiased info?
    "Fight the beginnings" [J.W.v.Goethe]

  9. Fox News North will be subsidized through the Fraser Institute and the Manning Centre for Building Democracy. Staff from those organizations will regularly work at FNN for no fee just so they can get the word out. The Manning Centre will in turn be funded through tax free charitable donations made to various fundamentalist Christian organizations throughout Canada. The Manning Centre will insure that all news is balanced and has some religious strings attached.

  10. Yeah, how about you summarize the CBC for us.

    Cue up Toronto-born socialist Ryerson/UofT graduate to talk of the death of democracy in Canada – Cut to a sober/objective interview (insert your choice of flake her – Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow, David Suzuki, or Linda McQuaig). Move on to reminding Canadians coast to coast how unbelievably multicultural Toronto is.

    Possible mascot:: 60 year old hippie-chick dressed in a Greenpeace T-shirt and hemp skirt blowing a Vuvuzela

    • . . . and after commercials, cue up breathless, fawning interview of Marci McDonald, telling us in apocalyptic tones how the Harper government is turning Canada into a theocracy. Do not, I repeat, do not, ask Ms. McDonald any challenging questions, and do not give anyone with a dissenting or contrary view a chance to speak.

      And unlike Feschuk's fictional account of something that doesn't even exist yet, this partisan crap is actually going on at the CBC and being packaged as "news".

      • Not only that, it's heavily taxpayer subsidized!

      • After next commercial have current CBC nobody interview former CBC nobody about their new tax funded book/movie/documentary/poetry/travel.

        • Saturday night watch the Leafs lose again.

          • back to serious business tune into "Flashback: 40 years ago today what was Pierre doing?" followed by a docudrama on the great Canadian : Rene Levesque.

          • . . . followed up by documentary: "Tommy Douglas: Saint or Saint?"

          • Announcement of an interview of Justin Trudeau and 5 minutes of fawning on the Trudeau name and questions as to why Justin isn't Prime Minister yet.

            Quick story on Castro's senility after he announced Communism didn't work for Cuba accompanied by Justin Trudeau Twitter graphic lamenting the loss of socialism that "Papa" loved.

  11. I really enjoyed the part about the commercials…so true!

  12. Why can't conservatives laugh at themselves?

    • Because the don't have funny bones, just funny ideas.

    • They're afraid people will think they're gay.

    • Because then they couldn't tell their fellow conservatives apart from everybody else.

    • If your comment is even partly aimed at me, sorry to burst your bubble but I'm not a conservative.

      This may be too complex a concept for you to grasp, but it's possible to see that

      1. diversity of opinion is a good thing;
      2. having multiple news channels with multiple viewpoints and approaches is a good thing; and
      3. the coming of so-called Fox News North is not a mortal threat to The Canadian Way of Life,

      without being a conservative.

      • Diversity of opinion – I'm with you on that. But something which appears to be organized out of the current PMO – not so much.

        • By the time this thing's up and running, another gang could very well be occupying the PMO. And btw, I didn't know that our Prime Minister's last name was Peladeau.

  13. Since when is Sun TV News even a close approximation to conservative views. Even FOX news is not conservative, it just looks that way compared to the typical pro-communist crap of the MSM. Conservatives have many perspectives and beliefs. The only thing that unites them is their belief in the value of small government, personal freedom/responsibility and rule of law. Anything contrary to that is not a real conservative, anything compatible to that is possible.

    • I have actually worked as a Traffic Co-ordinator for two different MSM broadcasters in the past. A T.C. is a person who schedules the TV commercials that run– the commercials that advertisers pay a lot of money to the broadcaster for, in order to show viewers their products. This kind of hyperbole, where you say the MSM is "pro-communist" is just… I don't know. All I know is that placing expensive ads for Toyotas or Tide or Frosted Flakes or Swiffers can't last long if a network actually had a "pro-communist" stance. This extreme right hyperbole — in response to a humour columnist no less!!– converts no one to your view of the world.

      • I'm beginning to believe that no-one in Canada (or the US for that matter) actually has any idea at all what communism is.

  14. Harper's a joke, this guy is a joke and I'm quite sure this program will be as well. Cheap sensualisation, just what the PM likes.

    • Cheap "Sensualisation". YES!

      • That's what happens when you nationalize the prostitution industry.

  15. Can't wait. Haven't watched Canuckistani news for over 5 years now.

  16. Anyone named Fraser, unless their first name is Graham.

  17. Feschuk Your an Idiot ! You seem scared of the prospect of this channel, could it be we're worried about some truth in journalism, someone will finally point out what's wrong with the media in this country, by doing it fair and balanced.When the conservative get the votes in the house the CBC will be gone and hopefully you and the rest of your leftie pals in the media won't be far behind.

    • Don't take yourself so seriously! I thought it was funny. As for truth in journalism … nah … there is none. We all have to make up our own minds about stuff, you can't ever jump on any of these bandwagons, they'll all lead you astray.

    • I see, so you have no interest in fairness, but want to "take over the system" like the "lefties" you deride?

      There's an irony in that you seem oblivious too.

    • Your an Idiot !

      Grammar / irony fail.

  18. All in all not bad Feschuk, though not really your best work. On the other hand, Kory has been absolutely brilliant in his role as smartly dressed, angry white boy takin on da system. He truly knows that the only one who can defend folks with regular jobs down on Main Street is someone who aint never had no regular job and that only someone hardwired into the establishment could possibly take on the establishment. Indeed the only way to prevent Canada from going down the toilet handing all our hard earned tax money over to Quebec is for our boy to go to Ottawa cap-in-hand asking for a subsidy for a company named after Quebec.

    • Macleans is subsidized with taxpayer money too.

      • Yah, but they don't whine about it overly much do they?

        I say if you're going to take the money, then put a sock in it.

  19. For me, the interesting question about Fox News North or Sun TV or whatever they're going to call it is whether the Conservatives hope that it will supplant the CBC.

    An indicator will be whether cable networks will be forced to carry it, or forced to include it as part of the Basic Cable package.

    • An interesting question, but how exactly is this "Sun TV" NOT going to be listed as a specialty channel?

      In any case, there wouild be a great irony to them joining the others at the public "trough" while railing against it.

      Ah well, Conservatives do hypocrisy as well as anyone else I guess.

  20. 2 articles on Fox news North today!
    Kory can't buy this kind of advertising….keep it up LibLuvin media,
    the fear mongering will guarantee a wide veiwership.

    • Perhaps, but for how long?

      Well hey I'm sure they've done their market research and know that there's at least some appetite for entertainment propoganda, er… I mean "news". LOL

  21. Well then. THAT certainly nailed the point. Humourous too.

    Ah well, I guess Entertainment Tonight Canada is about to get some competition up here for ratings. LOL

  22. I suppose this new news station will be just about as predictable as CBC is…just in the opposite direction.

    The news is so predictable these days. Hardly worth watching as you can just about predict what is about to come out of CBC's interview with Maude Barlow or Sid Ryan talking about the G20. Or asking the head of Toronto's Police Union whether any criticism of police actions were warranted during the G20. Or just about any politician who steps in front of a camera or mic.

    Everybody is following a script. I don't need to hear them talk at me anymore, because I know the script and you can reliably predict what is going to come out of their mouths.

    I used to be a news junkie…but like the TV junkie, you can only watch the same re-runs so many times.

    • Hey Harvey, you know how I hate to agree with you, but how can I not in this case? LOL

      I think in part though that things have simply changed. We can get so much more depth from online print and interaction with others, that most of the time TV news just seems trite to me.

      I only watch for the interviews I consider interesting, you know, horse's mouth kind of stuff.

      Love the PVR for skipping the lame commercials and lame commentary! LOL

      • Agreed 100%. I was watching CBC's The National last night, and they had some piece on Canada becoming seen as an economic powerhouse, a good place to invest, etc. It is a potentially interesting topic. But the CBC piece was so superficial, it was useless. Utterly lacking in depth. The CBC is capable of doing interesting, in-depth stuff, but this was vapid. I suspect the CBC news execs think that they have to dumb-down stuff to be digestible in prime time, but yes, this makes me want to flee to the print medium to read something like Atlantic Monthly that has some depth and original thought & analysis.

        • Who watches a daily round up for in depth coverage?

          • That's the thing — that piece I'm referring to was in the latter part of the broadcast, when they're supposed to be doing more meaningful in-depth stuff. It wasn't in the daily roundup.

  23. I finally figured out a positive outcome of Fox North I hadn't considered.

    I no longer have to watch Kory pitch his unbelievably one-sided rhetoric on the CBC.

    Of course I usually just FFW past his nonsense anyways.

    I mean seriously, his positions are so predictable I could write them for him. :P

  24. I guess the whole thing boils down to the newest oxymoron:
    Media Credibility.

    At least McLeans attempts to present more than one side and every now and then actually covers very important hard news that somehow
    (imagine that) slips by the national TV networks…..

  25. I'm surprised Scott didn't use his standard Kirsti Alley fat jokes or Sara Palin dumb jokes.

  26. This is Canada damn it, you have to tell Canadians only what they want to hear. Jeez

  27. Loved the (English Only) disclaimer and the immigrant crack. Made me giggle

  28. Funny, but a completely unrealistic portrayal of Sun TV. There's no way in hell that David Akin would give his car keys to an immigrant.