Alright so a week has passed since the debut of Sun TV. While the network is still taking its first steps and there are, surely, more things to come, we still want to know: What did everyone think of the first seven days? Well, one thing’s for sure: few left their screens overly impressed, or even outraged, really.
Indeed, The Globe and Mail‘s John Doyle called it dead boring: “I encourage you to watch it. You can learn a great deal about the utter banality of well-meant but bonehead TV.” Colleague Tabatha Southey called it “unstuck in time” and added: “It’s as if, in its first few days, its pundits felt that they had a duty to diligently cover all the events they had missed before it existed. It’s a news network for the recently cryogenically unfrozen.”
The Toronto Star‘s national affairs columnist Tim Harper writes that “Sun TV’s cardboard approach to politics was unexpected.” He adds: “Its timidity when it comes to partisan politics could doom it faster than its need to get on a specialty cable package.” Winnipeg Free Press columnist Brad Oswald called the whole launch a non-event, “noteworthy more for its low-budget look and the mini-kerfuffle surrounding its female staffers’ wardrobes than for any actual impact it had on this country’s TV-news business and political discourse.”
Speaking of that wardrobe: As a self-described small-c conservation the National Post‘s Tasha Kheiriddin felt she should be tuning in. “But I won’t be,” she wrote, “And it’s not because of the content … It is nice to see the likes of Brian Crowley and John Robson get air time. The channel is unabashedly right-wing, something we’re not used to seeing in Canada … So why won’t I be watching? Because despite its virtues, Sun TV really isn’t about Hard News and Straight Talk. It’s about Hot Chicks and Sexy Outfits.”
Maclean’s caused a bigger stir when one of its reporters tweeted Sun News as “Skank TV.” The Sun responded with a newspaper story which quoted Slut Walk organizer Sonya J.F. Barnett: “I don’t understand how a low-cut top or exposed arms has anything to do with how news is reported.”
And how is the much-hyped Ezra Levant doing? According Howard Bernstein’s review not so hot: “Ezra Levant’s non-stop whining and digs at the CBC have made a man I have always thought interesting, into a blowhard and a bore, even when I agree with him. An hour of Ezra, unfocused, unedited, unremitting is a test a strength I am afraid I have failed.”
However, it’s not time for Sun haters to break out the champagne just yet, says Jeffrey Dvorkin: “Sun TV is still in its infancy. It can and will only get better. And when it does, like its southern cousin, it will become a rallying point for opposition to any and all forms of standard journalistic practice especially at the CBC.”
So, now that you know what everyone else thought, what did you think?
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