Friday, February 9, 2024

Asper’s legacy of media control lives on in HonestReporting Canada


Canada HonestReporting media Southam Global Television Israel Lobby Zionism billionaires narrative control presstitutes

The billionaire-funded organization was founded to “control the narrative” on Israel

One of the benefits of teaching overseas, as I was forced to do for most of my 20-year career in higher education because I am a bit too critical of Canadian media for most journalism schools in this country, is that it helps to broaden your perspective. My first teaching appointment was in Singapore, which is basically a police state but provided an interesting multicultural experience, especially since I started there just before 9/11, when the whole world changed for the worse. About three quarters of my students were ethnic Chinese, with a minority of Indigenous Malay, most of whom were Muslims. One of my best students, a Muslim woman named Nurhaslina, berated me one day in class, complaining that “the media in Canada is controlled by Jews.” I told her I didn’t think that was true, but I began to look into it.

Sure enough, much of our news media had recently been taken over by the Asper family of Winnipeg whose patriarch Israel “Izzy” Asper was an outspoken secular Jew I had met once in my previous career as a newspaper reporter in Vancouver. Thus began a line of research that resulted in my 2007 book Asper Nation: Canada’s Most Dangerous Media Company (here’s a free copy). Asper was a tax lawyer and newspaper columnist who was once leader of the Liberal Party in Manitoba but could never gain office, perhaps due to his proposed “flat tax,” which would have applied to the rich at the same rate as the poor. Instead he used his Liberal Party connections to help build Global Television into a national network and a cash machine which made so much money from cheap Hollywood reruns that it became known as the “Love Boat Network.” Asper used the proceeds to buy the Southam newspaper chain from Conrad Black for $3.2 billion at the millennium and proceeded to remake its editorial content to his liking.

Asper often complained before his death in 2003 that Canadian media were biased against Israel, railing especially against coverage of the then-raging Middle East conflict by the CBC, which he also complained was unfair government-funded competition for Global. After a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 at a Jerusalem pizzeria in 2001, Asper ordered his newly-acquired newspapers to run an editorial arguing that Canada should back Israel’s response, no matter how harsh. “Howsoever the Israeli government chooses to respond to this barbaric atrocity should have the unequivocal support of the Canadian government without the usual hand-wringing criticism about ‘excessive force.’” Not only were Southam dailies across Canada ordered to carry the editorial, but the Columbia Journalism Review reported that it came with a “no-rebuttal order” from Canwest head office. “Papers in the Southam chain were told to carry neither columns nor letters to the editor taking issue with that editorial.” The uproar resounded across Canada, especially in Montréal, where Southam journalists went on byline strike and formed a resistance group they called the “Gazette Intifada.”  (more...)

Asper’s legacy of media control lives on in HonestReporting Canada

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