|Ezra Levant hosts "The Source"|
It was all part of the fearless free speech policy at the Quebecor start up. The launch party/relentless self promotion started with afternoon host Krista Erickson leading viewers on a tour of the Sun News set. Some viewers may have been distracted by Sunshine Girl Erickson's micro-mini. She charged through introductions of several news players, including a former Miss Canada and other babes. It brought back memories of Naked News, without the naked part or the news part.
We quickly met the station's star player, Ezra Levant. All red-faced and sweaty, he brought back memories of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. He stood behind a podium, making him look like he was about to take on Watson in Jeopardy! as I wrote in the review posted overnight by The Canadian Press. He said he was there to "stand up to bullying from the nanny state."
He was also quick to say, "if you disagree with us, ignore us," and then made that impossible, piling on with the freedom of speech rhetoric. "I'm a Castro, I can fill four hours a day," said Levant, who later proved it by showing up as a guest on Sun News shows that came on after his.
Levant proved you can show cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on the air without the sky falling in Canada. Then he launched a virtual jihad against the CBC, the first in a series of endless attacks on the public broadcaster.
|David Akin hosts Daily Brief|
Levant eventually gave way to a much more conventional news hour anchored by David Akin. His show is called Daily Brief which, as my son pointed out, "sounds like its about underwear." The Ottawa news veteran handled interviews and directed traffic and did it all with CBC News Network precision. That actually seemed out of place on this night. Better to have Sun News delivered by Gary Busey. Theo Caldwell followed and brought an evangelical intensity to his assignment. He seemed a bit uptight and over dressed, like the rich kid who gave Peter Parker such a hard time in those Spider-Man movies.
|Charles Adler appears nightly at 7ET|
Brian Lilley came on at 9 and hammered CBC again, this time for investing money in "Mulroney the Opera," a Canadian movie written by my old pal Dan Redican. If it was Chretien they were goofing on we'd be seeing it nightly at 10. Lilley kept showing a graphic of money going down a CBC drain.
The good news for Sun News is nothing fell over, nobody got bleeped, the screen never faded to black. It was a pretty smooth premiere for a long night of promotion and opinion. The bad news is that they're going to have to do it all again today and again the day after that and all on a pretty minimal budget. They probably shook things up at CBC headquarters to the point that panic may be starting to set in should Harper win a majority. Levant has potential to be appointment viewing just to see if he might burst into flames or morph into Howard Beale on air. It`s good to see a whole bunch of people get jobs in the news business, and Dr. Ho find a whole new network to sell those nifty insoles. They`re flexible, baby!