Journalism

They won; we lost

Financial elites have waged a decades-long campaign of self-interest against Canadians. They won; we lost.

The most important front has been action to control mass media and reduce the influence of progressive voices heard by the general public.

Writing with Robert Hiltz, award-winning journalist Bruce Livesay labelled the country’s largest newspaper chain, a propaganda outlet for conservative parties and right-wing ideologues.”

Postmedia is controlled by unidentified investors fronted by Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. and Chatham Asset Management, a New Jersey hedge fund that serves high net worth individuals.

These shadowy lenders charge interest at rates more than 2.5x bank prime rate. As as a result, with asset stripping complete, external subsidies are a necessity to maintain a company being abandoned by customers and advertisers.

Ottawa’s LibCons decided that government should rescue Postmedia with part of a media bailout scheme costing taxpayers $600 million in the first tranche.

Of course, it is not only Postmedia that will extract dollars from taxpayers’ pockets. So will owners of the Globe and Mail. The Woodbridge Company is a private holding of Canada’s wealthiest family, the Thomsons, net worth over $30 billion.

Prem Watsa, Torstar’s billionaire investor, will be made wealthier by taxpayer subsidies to Toronto Star, Black Press, StarMetro, Sing Tao and more than 100 community newspapers and online offerings.

Quebec’s billionaire Péladeau family, publishers of Le Journal de Montréal, will also welcome millions of taxpayer dollars to their empire. And, the billionaire Desmarais family will be pleased about public subsidies for Le Devoir and La Presse.

Uber-wealthy media owners in BC, like Glacier’s Sam Grippo and David Black and David Radler are not likely to turn down taxpayer contributions that will assist them in their real estate empires and other investments.

Media ownership was once a profitable venture on its own. Today, the main benefit is management of public dialogue and political actions that result in massive corporate welfare. This is achieved by appointing media managers who are loyal to investor’s purposes, not those of ordinary citizens.

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10 replies »

  1. Well didn’t they say that they could produce a bunch of “opinion” pieces in newspapers to parrot their point of view and further their objectives ? One of my favourite Frank Zappa quotes “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • The despicable part is that citizens get screwed over either way.
      Subscription numbers are what counts as success not the total number of papers sold daily. (ie: from news boxes, stores etc).
      It was our only way to fight back: a silent protest via low volumes.

      Now Postmedia et all can use those low numbers to get the subsidy from the Federal govt.. arrrggh.
      We are so angry at Trudeau over this egregiously bad decision to hand tax$ to those would manipulate us.
      Yet, the thought of Scheer and his alt-right co-horts gaining power is even scarier. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

      Remember also that the Vanc Sun (includes The Province) has a contract w/ Capp et all so any info published re fossil fuels will be pro-fossil fuel propaganda.
      This is the Best Blog in BC… Thank Your for actual journalism.

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  2. Fish wrap; that is all what Canadian mainstream news papers are good for.

    Trudeau’s pandering to the big media giants, with our tax money shows that he is nothing more than a mere pawn in the global exploitation of the worlds population by a very few oligarchs and robber barons.

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  3. The news moguls described in your story certainly need no help, though the news industry has taken a huge advertising revenue hit in the digital age. Meanwhile, full page ads by local, provincial or federal governments have been welcome streams of ‘propping up’ cash for years.

    Faced with reduced income, news chains have consolidated their staffing and resources. Writing, editing, printing and graphics layouts tasks are sent out of town, across the country or even internationally. The local flavour can get lost in the shuffle — and if readers don’t like the new taste, readership dips even further.

    Are we prolonging the inevitable demise of the traditional news services, by propping them up?

    Does propping up a newspaper ensure compliant news coverage for a government? If so, Andrew Scheer’s party should be in favour of such funding. For those who don’t like using tax dollars to pay for their subscriptions, however, voting for Scheer seems to be the only way to stop this practice. Some choice!

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  4. These financials elites are traitors to everything we hold dear as Canadians. And so are those politicians that allow and take part in this assault on democracy and their very own people. Canadians. Harsh as that may sound, that is the reality presented today as to what kind of people they are and what is really happening. They serve themselves for power and wealth and even sell out and serve the interests more for dictators and corrupt governments of other countrys like China and other bad actors, than the interests of Canadians. Now if that isn’t treasonous acts then we are truly lost and will never win back even a bit of real estate and things will get worse. And i think it’s approaching high noon for that description to be attached to what some of these people are doing to us and this country. We can only hope that lots of those media figures, journalists and the like that are caught up in this storm fight back and fight hard. The table needs to be turned against these… yes, traitors

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  5. These financial elites are traitors to everything we hold dear as Canadians. And so are those politicians that allow and take part in this assault on us and our democracy. Harsh as that may sound, that is the reality of the situation as to what is happening. They serve themselves for wealth and power and even sell our interests out in favour of corrupt tyrannical foreign governments and entities for their gain. Democracy has no meaning to these people or doesn’t register. Greed and power supercedes everything. This is what treason in reality looks like, sorry to say.

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  6. if there are all those tax dollars floating around to be spent on “welfare” I’d rather it be spent on the children of this country, not a bunch of financial 1%ers, who have enough. If they’re operations no longer make money, they can sell them off or close them. Like really who will miss the newspapers we currently have? I haven’t bought them for 20 yrs and at one time I purchased at least two a day. Its not that I use on line, its that the Canadian newspapers don’t report any real news and what news they report is slanted. for this I should pay money?????

    let them close the doors. the current staff will be able to find other employment or start their own operations. Some blogs reach more people than newspapers do and the blogs have more factual information, not all but some.

    Most of what I consider import, is not reported in the msm.

    this is just another e.g. of the rich getting richer and the rest getting screwed without being kissed.

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