Where Fair And Balanced Still Mean Something.

Although little more than an imaginary line separates us, Canada’s politics are light years away from those in the US.  Unlike our politicians, Canadians don’t have to consult a dictionary for the meaning of compromise.  And except for the vile rhetoric blasted across the border by US radio stations, the Canadian airwaves are void of hate-filled rants.

The reason?

Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast….any false or misleading news.”  Broadcast news reporters and pundits tell the truth?  How positively pre-1987!  That was the year the FCC, pushed by President Ronald Reagan, repealed the Fairness Doctrine.  Ever since, conservative crackpots have been free to lie, mislead and spew any hateful ideas they want – the more the better.  In the US, we understand those are the things that build ratings.

But those darn, polite Canadians have yet to realize that ratings are more important than civility and fairness.  So they cling to the quaint belief that broadcasters and politicians should tell the truth.  Is it any wonder that Canadian conservatives are deprived of the likes of Fox News Channel?  And now that Canadian regulators have rejected Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s efforts to repeal the Radio Act, Canada’s conservatives will have to settle for the truth a while longer.