Media Beat: December 06, 2021
Canadian media’s disingenuous dirty secret
An intensive six-week study of key political shows across multiple networks and a review of lobbyist filings conducted by Ricochet in collaboration with Jacobin has revealed significant bias in Canadian television news shows. Lobbyists for banks, oil companies, arms manufacturers, and other sundry corporate interests routinely appear on news shows without any public disclosure of their big money ties. – John Horler, Jacobin
Toronto video platform Rumble to go public on Nasdaq via SPAC
Rumble has in recent years marketed itself as a destination for content creators hoping to circumvent other platforms’ terms of service around speech. It rose to prominence hosting videos from right-wing media and personalities such as far-right cable channel One America News Network and radio host Dan Bongino. Last January, the company launched an antitrust suit against YouTube parent Google LLC accusing it of “rigging” search results to give preference to its own video service.
In an investor presentation filed last week, the company described itself as a “neutral” platform for video, and increasingly cloud services, arguing that Big Tech services such as YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and even Amazon Web Services’ cloud-computing offerings have “high censorship” and “high partisanship.” – Josh O’Kane, The Globe and Mail
Cannabis legalization was supposed to be a licence to print money. Three years on, nobody is turning a profit
The most poignant sign of the failure of the cannabis business … might be sitting in warehouses across the country. At its peak, last October, following the 2020 growing season, there was about 1.1 billion grams of harvested or processed cannabis held in storage: 95 percent of inventory has not been purchased by retailers or wholesalers, and much of it is “assumed to be largely unsaleable,” writes MJBizDaily’s Matt Lamers, whether because of degradation or excess supply. We have more pot in this country than we can possibly sell. Producers today are sitting on a massive, and predictable, oversupply that is slowly becoming worthless—and that’s going to cost a lot of companies a lot of money. – Kieran Delamont, The Walrus
How Big Is Streaming?While streaming gets all the headlines, according to Nielsen it accounted for 28% of total TV viewing in October. Meanwhile, broadcast and cable accounted for 65% of viewing. Apparently, the average adult in the US is sitting on his/her ass watching over 4 1/2 hours of TV a day.
The problem is, who the hell knows what "watching TV" even means anymore? There are so many ways to consume video... Is watching a rerun of 30 Rock on Netflix on an iPad watching TV? I don't know.
BTW, whatever happened to "TV Is Dead?" – Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
Christmas has come early for Canadian bankers
The six largest banks hit record-breaking profits in 2021 and will pay out massive bonuses at year’s end, newly released fourth-quarter earnings reports show.
On the strength of a combined $57.4 billion in profits, the Big Six are paying out $18.8 billion in bonuses before the holidays.
This year’s bonuses follow on the $15.2 billion paid out by the banks in 2018, $15.6 billion in 2019, and $16.2 billion in 2020, making this the best year in history for high-level bankers in Canada.
Canadian banks are among the most profitable companies in the world, and Canada has become an increasingly favourable place for banks to operate. – Dan Darrah, The Breach
Trump’s foul-mouthed Mar-a-Largo weekend speech
In remarks to diners at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday night, Donald Trump called the American media “crooked bastards” and Gen Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a “fucking idiot”.
The meandering, foul-mouthed speech to Turning Point USA, a group for young conservatives, was streamed by Jack Posobiec, a right-wing blogger and provocateur.
The insult to the press recalled barbs while Trump was in power, including calling reporters and editors “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”, attacks many in the media regarded as dangerous, inviting political violence. – Martin Pengelly, The Guardian
Trump social media startup receives commitment of US$1B
Former President Trump’s social media group, Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. (TMTG), and its blank-check company announced on Saturday it had received a commitment of $1 billion from an unidentified “diverse group of institutional investors.”
TMTG and blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corp. said that "subscription agreements for $1 billion in committed capital" would be received from an unknown group of investors once TMTG and Digital World are combined. – Caroline Vakil, The Hill