THE COLLINS COLUMN
April 14, 2001 [from the Internet]
NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET
by Doug Collins
Last August Canadians woke up one day to find that the biggest media
empire in the country had been created and was under Jewish ownership.
Not that anyone quite put it that way, but it was so. As the headline
in the National Post put it, "Asper becomes nation's media king." "Izzy"
Asper, already a TV mogul, had bought Hollinger/Southam's 13 daily newspapers,
126 community newspapers, Canadian Internet operations, and fifty per
cent of the National Post itself. In British Columbia, it meant that
the Aspers and their CanWest empire controlled every media outlet that
really counted, including The Vancouver Sun, The Province, and the Victoria
Times-Colonist Subsequently, they were also to own BCTV, the biggest
TV station, and were already owners of CKVU-TV (now to be sold).
Fast forward to April 12, when a column appeared in The Outlook, a small
newspaper on Vancouver's North Shore under the headline "Welcome to
Izzy's World". The piece showed that the Aspers had fired the publisher
of the North Shore News, Mr. Peter Speck, plus Executive Editor Timothy
Renshaw. It was also stated that when those firings took place, three
weeks previously, a notice had been posted in the newsroom to the effect
that my name - known to everyone as a former columnist of the News -
should never appear in the paper's pages again. Not even in a letter
to the editor. The fiction before that had been that Mr. Speck had "retired".
Which he had, in the same sense as saying that a man who has been killed
has "died". He had been told by the Asper messenger that his 32-year
role as publisher and previous owner of the News was over and that he
was to leave immediately. Mr. Renshaw, meanwhile, was given some nonsense
about the paper having to reduce costs. It was clear from the Outlook
piece that Messrs Speck and Renshaw were paying the price for having
supported me through thick and thin against "human rights" complaints
made against me by the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'Nai Brith. I was
of that opinion the moment they left, although no-one in the Asper Shadowland
is going to admit to such a thing. But what else could it be? Under
Mr. Speck the North Shore News won dozens of awards and was the most
financially successful community newspaper in the country. In 1999 it
won the Canadian Community Newspapers Association award as "the best
all- round community newspaper in Canada". Two years before that it
was designated in the U.S. as being one of the top three in North America.
Mr. Renshaw, for two years running, won the Association's award for
outstanding column writing.
The Asper excesses in editorial control have not been confined to Vancouver's
North Shore. A couple of weeks ago the Toronto Sun reported that CanWest
had instructed all its newspapers to run an article by Liberal flack
Warren Kinsella attacking the Canadian Alliance for going after Jean
Chretien. "Must appear in all CanWest newspapers", was the order. There's
more. According to Frank magazine, CanWest's editors have been told
not to criticize the CRTC, Canada's radio and television supposed watchdog
that hands out and can cancel broadcasting licences. Not surprising,
seeing that the CRTC had approved CanWest's $800,000,000 bid to buy
a string of TV stations from Vancouver's Western International Communications
Mine is not the only monicker that is unpopular with Izzy and Co., and
I'm in pretty good company. Big-time newspaper writers Richard Gwyn
and Gwynne Dyer are also reported to be on Izzy's shit-list. Why? Perhaps
they haven't been one hundred per cent in favor of Israel. For the same
reason, Jewish pressure got The Vancouver Courier to drop the great
Greg Felton, although the Aspers didn't own the paper at that time.
Quite apart from Jewish control and its editorial biases, we have here
monopoly control of a vast section of the media that in former days
would have been the subject of severe inquiry. When the Vancouver Sun
and Province joined together as Pacific Press in the late 1950s, for
instance, the Monopolies Commission took years to approve the deal and
then laid down certain conditions. When Hollinger/Southam bought the
North Shore News the arrangement was again many years in the making.
Now, all is silence, in Parliament and elsewhere. What are they afraid
of? Getting on the wrong side of Izzy? One might have expected the remaining
media to utter a groan or two, but silence has been the rule. Or happy
consent. When the news of CanWest's takeover of Hollinger/Southam broke,
Maclean's magazine had a virtual orgasm spread over six pages, complete
with pictures of a grinning Izzy and son Leonard. Peter Newman, another
member of that fraternity, also sang a song of praise. Would he have
been so keen if the Gentiles had made such a grab? When it happened,
Asper Jr. said that the deal would create "exciting changes in the media
scene". True. Welcome to Izzy's world!