Western Standard will be antidote to Maclean's, the CBC by Ezra Levant

Jan 5, 2004

Source : National Post

Like the weather, everybody complains about the CBC but nobody actually does anything about it.

Well, my New Year's resolution is to build a counterweight to Canada's mushy, left-wing, politically correct media -- the CBC and Maclean's magazine being the two most obvious offenders. (Thank God and the Aspers for the National Post.) I 'm not starting a new Rush Limbaugh-style radio show -- at least not yet. But I am proud to announce the conception of a new magazine, called the Western Standard.

With the demise of the Alberta Report over the summer, Canadians have lost their one general interest news magazine that covered events from an independent, conservative, Western-Canada-based perspective. It is not just Alberta Report's opinion columns that are sorely missed. It's their straight coverage of the news -- an old-fashioned approach to reportage that actually gave fair coverage to the conservative point of view on any story. Alberta Report always quoted liberals in their news stories -- you have to, if you're covering Parliament. They just balanced those quotes with respectful samplings from the conservative side of the aisle, too. Imagine a CBC like that!

The Western Standard will not be a replica of the Alberta Report -- we have a new team of investors, managers and editors. But we do have Ted Byfield, Alberta Report's founder, as a columnist. We've also hired Canada's best conservative and libertarian columnists, and some top U.S. writers, too. And we've snapped up Canada's leading investigative reporter, to dig up stories that you just won't find anywhere else. I'm going to keep their names secret until our official launch in the new year.

Here are my top 10 reasons why I think the Western Standard is going to be the must-read magazine of 2004:

1. There is simply nothing else like it today -- no conservative Canadian news magazine exists.

2. We will cover important news stories that the liberal media ignores -- or even censors.

3. We will report news about conservatives, Christians and other politically incorrect people without disparaging them.

4. We will be the antidote to the CBC's pro-Liberal bias in the 2004 federal election.

5. We will be a true Western voice, with a Western publisher, editor and writers.

6. We will have the best conservative and libertarian columnists in the country -- and from around the world.

7. We have a sense of humour -- unlike most liberal media who take themselves too seriously and seem to regard most jokes as offensive.

8. Two words: pro-beef.

9. Even our ads will be interesting.

10. And, in all seriousness, we will rebuild the public vocabulary of freedom and personal responsibility in Canada.

Many Canadians despair at the direction of our country -- and they point to the likelihood of another term or two of Liberal government as a sign of hopelessness, that the battle of ideas has been lost. But that underestimates the number of the frustrated conservatives in this country.

Remember that the Liberals have never won with more than 41% of the vote, and that barely half of voters cast a ballot in the first place. Take comfort from a more accurate barometer: The CBC's market share for news in some Canadian communities is less than 10% -- basically channel-surfers who get lost.

The fight-back starts with accurate news reporting that will fill in the blanks left by the CBC's selective coverage. And our strong conservative columnists will give readers well-worded arguments against big government. The magazine itself will serve as an incubator for excellent young journalistic talent -- our hiring policies will value critical thinkers who find the news and write it with clarity as much as those who attended a politically correct journalism school.

In the Western Standard, "capitalist," "gun owner," "tobacconist," "America" and "men" won't be dirty words. On the other hand, "bureaucrat," "social worker, " "CRTC" and "United Nations" will be treated with caution.

Go to www.westernstandard.ca to sign up if you want to read reporters who don't have a crush on Paul Martin. Sign up if you want to read the news how it really is, even on prickly topics like aboriginal affairs, Islamic radicalism in Canada or the truth behind the mad cow scare, to name just a few. Sign up if you want a regular jolt of fully caffeinated columnists -- none of this "on the one hand, on the other hand" pabulum.

Sign up if you're a conservative who wants ammo, if you're a status-quo liberal who wants to be challenged or if you're a CBC producer who wants to secretly find out what Canada is really like.

© National Post