4 Rules For a More Grown-Up Cable News Culture
#4: Lighten Up and Go Crazy
That's Ezra Levant.
A few years back, he filmed his interrogation by a Canadian bureaucrat -- he calls her a "thug" -- after he "illegally" published the "Mohammed cartoons" in his magazine.
The video went viral and made already-famous-in-Canada Levant an international free-speech superstar.
Not surprisingly, he now has his own nightly show on Sun News, where he's distinguished himself as a workhorse who is unapologetic about his contrarian views.
The opening monologue he writes for every one of his 200 shows a year runs somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 words each, he notes. Add the on-air interviews, radio appearances, public speeches, books and columns, and his annual word count is easily in the millions. “I regard the occasional error as a natural side effect of me generally flooring it all the time,” he says. Press him on whether there are any such “mistakes” he wishes he hadn’t made, and the contrition becomes even harder to detect. “I’m sure there are hundreds of things,” he says. “But none of them weigh heavily on my mind.”
Here's Ezra in action:
Levant causes trouble pretty much every day.
Liberals file complaint after complaint about him to our version of the FCC.
Here's how that tends to go:
So how does all this prankish "going crazy" fit in with suggestions for creating a more "grown-up" cable news environment?
Well, what could be more helpful to the growth and maturity of cable than for it to shake off its tired "echo chamber" formatting and content, and risk offending the FCC, sponsors, and yes, even loyal viewers?
Anyway, Sun News has done other zany, one-of-a-kind stuff like staging a celebrity boxing match between Canada's John F. Kennedy, Jr. and a young senator who happens to be an Algonquin libertarian.
Alas, the Indian lost. But hey, it was for charity.