I’ve been following via Twitter the launch of SunTV. That’s right, the newspaper chain dedicated to making you deathly afraid of pit bulls, PCP-crazed gangs, and flu shots now has a TV station. Because the airwaves aren’t clogged enough with right-wing rants of dubious factuality.
Anyway, as I said, I’ve been following this on Twitter, mostly via @Antonia_Z and @goldsbie. And it sounds like Sun Media Group gave their little station quite a launch. Launched it right into a wall. Lots of CBC bashing, an attempt to bring the “Sunshine Girls” to the screen, and Ezra Levant telling about a zillion lies.
But why, you ask, am I taking Twitter’s word for it? Why am I not checking out “Ezra Levant and his Amazing Tap-Dancing Ego” myself?
…I don’t have a TV.
Yes, I am a walking stereotype. I’m a leftist feminist vegan who rides a bicycle, works in the arts, does yoga, rarely washes her hair, and to top it all off doesn’t even have a TV.
In my own defense, I did used to have one. I never wanted to pay for cable, so we had an antenna and got the following stations:
– CBC English
– CBC French
– whatever Ontario’s French-language public station is called
– occasionally the Fox affiliate from Rochester if the weather was good.
The best reception was on TVO and French CBC, so all I ever really watched was Lingo (which is an awesome game show, if you speak enough French to follow it) and various British mysteries on TVO. I’m not complaining, since it introduced me to both Midsomer Murders and Rosemary and Thyme (two middle-aged ladies run a gardening business and solve murders? Sign me up!), but when we moved to this 12-foot-wide palatial estate, it didn’t seem worth keeping.
And now I am a TV freeloader – I watch TV shows streaming on my computer/IPod, or on DVD, or downloaded directly from ITunes or some other completely legal source. I am not holding up my end of the “watch TV for free, but sit through these ads” bargain. And I don’t feel bad about that at all.*
Anyway. Let’s hope Ezra Levant goes totally batshit and becomes Canada’s answer to Glenn Beck, complete with blackboard and Nazi flashcards. I still won’t buy a TV to watch him, but I will look up Rick Mercer making fun of him on YouTube.
*I know, this raises the free-rider problem: “How will TV get produced if no one pays for it?”, But honestly, it’s not my problem that the TV industry hasn’t figured out how monetize the Internet yet. There are lots of really good ideas for turning even file-sharing into something that brings in money for artists and producers (automatic micro-contributions from users, a radio licensing model, something like FACTOR where a small levy is placed on every computer to fund grants for independent producers, etc), but the networks prefer to defend the old model tooth and nail. And while I doubt that Internet revenues will bring in the obscenely massive profits the networks have gotten used to, I can’t bring myself to give a shit. They’ll bring in something, and the Charlie Sheen will have to settle for only $100,000/episode instead of $2,000,000. The horror.