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Adapt or die
Liberal censors and subsidizers can struggle all they like; the future of reputable Canadian media is independent. They have no one to blame but themselves.
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To borrow from Chris Selley, it’s hard to imagine how men like Canadian ‘Heritage Minister’ Pablo Rodriguez even get out of bed in the morning. Tasked with defending the indefensible, the self-satisfied Michael McDonald lookalike has been having one of those weeks, months, and years that would lead any ordinary partisan hack to beg for a demotion. Any ordinary person might shave those heavily pomaded locks down to the follicle, forego all earthly pleasures and personal belongings, and head West in search of absolution.
Only, these are men of low cunning and lesser shame. So when Pablo Rodriguez does get out of bed — likely after staring at the ceiling for hours — it’s back to the INGSOC grind. There are social media relationships to sabotage and poison pills to offer the last of Canada’s dying legacy media outlets. The Trudeau Liberals are here to help. They may also be the problem, but there’s little time to haggle over the details.
The hand that hits is also the hand that feeds.
Welcome to a Liberal news ban by not-so-stealth. Applications are open for good little soldiers.
The broad strokes for the uninitiated, and those with more interesting priorities than having to gaze long into the neo-communist abyss:
The Liberals attempted to extort big tech to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, for the honour of sharing Canadian media links on their platforms. Companies like Meta, who own Facebook and Instagram, and who play a large role in the landscape of discourse, link-sharing, and political advertising, rightly balked.
In an utterly incoherent argument, the Liberals have accused Meta, Google, and Twitter of “stealing” the links that get shared on their platforms, which serve as major drivers of traffic to many dying traditional media outlets that wouldn’t be finding the clicks and views otherwise.
Meta, for all their faults, have rightly announced they’ll take their ball and go home.
No deal. No negotiation. This is what we think of Bill C-18, and the horse it rode in on. There will be no more link-sharing for Canadian news on our platform.
It’s a harsh rebuke, but fair. Most of us know a scam when we see or hear one. When a strange number calls, and offers to clean your ducts for less, even when you live in a condo building, most lucid adults wouldn’t put a deposit down on their credit card.
Google appears to be next — and that would be the one that really hurts for the struggling legacy press. (Editor’s note: an hour after this column was first published, Google announced they will also block access to Canadian news.)
So why haven’t the Liberals backed off on this bumbling attempt?
If this were a bank robbery, Rodriguez and Trudeau haven’t even gotten to the part where the dye packs explode in their faces while driving off with their ill-gotten gains. They tripped through the door, sending their pistols sliding across the marble floor into the waiting hands of already-better-armed security. Now thoroughly pinned down behind an artificial planter and taking heavy fire, they’re still screaming for the manager to open the safe.
Well, it’s complicated, as per our friend Andrew Lawton:
Bill C-18 isn’t a one-off – it’s part of a multi-pronged takeover of the internet by Trudeau that has been in progress for years and isn’t near over.
Bill C-11, which forces tech companies to promote government-approved Canadian content, is already law. Companies have to rework their algorithms in ways that will fundamentally alter how Canadians watch shows on Netflix, what music they find on Spotify, and most likely what political content they access on YouTube and elsewhere.
While the government claims this is about promoting Canadian content, I suspect being Canadian won’t be enough to get on the government’s algorithmic good list. The CRTC confirmed this week that it believes broadcast regulations should use a “mandated diversity model” to attain “greater inclusion of Indigenous persons, Black and other racialized persons, and members of other equity-seeking communities in the broadcasting system.”
It’s not hard to imagine a world where, say, content criticizing these outcomes are suppressed, or worse.
The coup de grâce of Trudeau’s seizure of the internet will be the incoming online safety regime, which will streamline and codify internet censorship powers under the guise of reining in objective harms such as child pornography alongside far murkier things like online hate.
Others, like Spencer Fernando (also our friend), believe this whole mess to be entirely intentional:
The more the media consolidates, and the more those consolidated entities are dependent upon government money, the easier it is for the government to influence what the press says, and the more the idea of the ‘free press’ erodes further.
He’s probably right.
This is, after all, the same group of Liberals currently out selling ESG, ‘just transition,’ and various other forms of self-righteous economic suicide to countries like Norway, who were so intrigued, they immediately turned around and cut an $18-billion deal for American oil and gas.
And this is the same group of Liberals who are now slandering ordinary Canadian parents as “far-right” for the thought crime of *checks notes* having entirely reasonable concerns surrounding increasingly woke schoolboards pushing radical gender ideology on their kids.
The government’s excuse for such attacks? The same one that Trudeau Sr. used for residential schools: that they know best, always.
(At least he was right about the state having no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Only, now, it’s his son’s government that has short eyes on a few race car beds with astronaut sheets, where glow-in-the-dark stars and planets line the walls.)
They haven’t been on your side before — so why would they suddenly be now?
This entire needless, log-roll-y mess has been but a problem in search of solutions, when the most obvious of solutions has been there all along.
Do nothing. Leave them alone. Leave us alone.
The fact that this never crossed their minds once again gives away the game entire. In the choice between adapt or die, the New Liberals have again opted for life support accompanied by a binder overflowing with fine print.
That may buy struggling outlets like the merging Star and Postmedia time, and help consolidate power for a government desperate to regain control over a once-fawning narrative, but dead is still dead.
The future of reputable Canadian media is independent. Spend your own dollars accordingly.
Alexander Brown is a writer, comms director, and part-time politico. This is his 50th post here at Acceptable Views. To support his work, you are welcome to join thousands of subscribers. Unlike the bailout-happy legacy media, we rely only on the kindness of paid subscribers to keep the lights on.