I have been subscribing to the Kingston Whig Standard for 38 years. I delivered it for 5 years when I was young and my parents got the paper for as long as I can remember.
But I now rarely ever read it.
The National section used to be my favourite part, and their columnists covered a wide range of interesting and relevant topics.
But since Sun Media took it over, it's little more than a Reform Party attack ad. Greg Weston, the only fair and balanced writer they had left, was fired for exposing "fake lake".
Now we get the likes of Ezra Levant, long time supporter of the Reform movement. Monte Solberg, long time Reform Party MP. Peter Worthington, one of the most right-wing journalists on the planet, and father-in-law of David Frum. Gerry Nicholls, VP of the National Citizens Coalition when Stephen Harper was their president. John Snobolen, the high school drop out who became Mike Harris's education (?) minister. Michael Den Tandt, who defies all reason.
But the paper hit a new low yesterday. Under the headline 'Ignatieff's former chief of staff takes 'cheap shot' at Sun readers', they wasted three columns on this non-issue. The key word was 'former'. Ian Davey was fired a year ago by Ignatieff. But that didn't stop Sun Media from making this 'newsworthy'.
Davey suggested that the Toronto Sun was for people who can't read. I couldn't agree more. It always a reputation for being a cheap tabloid. But under Kory Teneycke's guidance, they made this about attacking the 6.5 million readers across the country of papers in the Sun Media chain.
First off, that Sun Media chain now includes the many local papers they bought up, so people don't subscribe because of the Sun, but in spite of them. It's often their only choice.
I attended a Save the Prison Farms event several weeks ago and was speaking with a woman who stated that she was surprised that the Whig was giving this so much press. But they did it in their local section, the only thing they have any control over.
The conversation then turned to the demise of a paper that used to be so well respected as one of Canada's oldest. I told her that I had noticed that since Sun took it over, it had gone so far to the right that you could find more balanced reporting in the National Enquirer.
She had no idea that we were now part of Sun Media. "That explains it" she said.
But clearly this story was published to create an "us against them" mentality. It became about 'Ignatieff ... cheap shot ... readers'. "He" was attacking "us".
How this will resonate with local readers is any one's guess, but it may just make readers, sitting at their breakfast table, learning for the first time that their newspaper is now part of Sun Media, mutter "that explains it".
But this is the kind of crap we will get from Fox News North. Contrived news 24/7. I can hardly wait.