Two months shy of its fourth birthday, the Sun News Network went dark on Friday the 13th of February.
Regardless of whether you saw the network as right-wing vitriol or clear-sighted truth — or if you saw it perhaps as most of us did, which was very rarely or not at all ━ its closure inspired the multitudes to take to Twitter and spout some truth of their own.
First there was the expected gloating (and “gloating” is the perfect word) from what can only be assumed to be the Left:
The masses often disappoint me, but today I take solace in the fact that the masses rejected manipulative nonsense. #sunnews #TOpoli
— Andrew Sosna (@AndrewSosna) February 13, 2015
Not everything that happens on Friday the 13th is bad. #SUNNEWS #cdnpoli
— David Paterson (@DavidPatersonca) February 13, 2015
And, of course, the equally expected retort from the other side:
Reading copious tweets from some leftists ecstatic about 200 very good people losing their jobs reminds me why I can’t stand them. #sunnews
— Maddie Di Muccio (@MaddieDiMuccio) February 13, 2015
But beyond the jabs and counters which so often characterize issues on Twitter, there were a variety of explanations of why the network failed in tweeted links to long-form pieces from outlets such as Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, The Walrus, and iPolitics, among several others. These pieces likewise weren’t immune to gloating, especially The Tyee, which said Sun News “proved Canadians to be much smarter than it predicted”. John Doyle’s contribution in The Globe called Sun News “cheap, cheesy, terrible television.”
Antonia Zerbisias: Sun News Death a Victory for Intellect http://t.co/nvqfhL6JC7 pic.twitter.com/CGH8XnGm2V
— The Tyee (@TheTyee) February 16, 2015
The end of Sun News is both national tragedy and farce http://t.co/nMJIVzEIf4 From @MisterJohnDoyle pic.twitter.com/hoN2Vhostw
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) February 17, 2015
And like the trench battles between would-be pundits, the big names also came out on Twitter to respond to articles like the above. Four days after the closure, Sun News personalities Ezra Levant and David Akin had their counter-points promoted on Twitter either by themselves or others:
Who killed the Sun News Network? http://t.co/UqY27dpnaJ And can we start a new TV channel? Should we try? http://t.co/bd03eA2bc0 #cdnpoli
— Ezra Levant (@ezralevant) February 17, 2015
Hey look, mom! I’m a freelancer! Gracias, @MacLeansMag for the opportunity! http://t.co/D3kzg0IRSb
— David Akin (@davidakin) February 17, 2015
“Let’s not continue the fiction we did no news.” @DavidAkin on what was missed in coverage of Sun News Network’s end: http://t.co/2ASpbaKH03
— Maclean’s Magazine (@MacleansMag) February 17, 2015
But while both sides were busy duking it out with each other over the merits — or lack thereof — of Sun News, by far the greatest driver of the conversation was the loss of media jobs. People of all stripes took to Twitter to lament the fact that, regardless of one’s politics, the failure of Sun News Network meant that 200 people would soon be unemployed.
CBC is reporting that Sun News will be shut down tomorrow. I hope not. Lots of good people there, including many trying to get foot in door.
— Matt Gurney (@mattgurney) February 13, 2015
CBC reporting that Sun News Network shutting down tomorrow. You may hate Ezra, QMI but a lot of good, hard working folk work for Sun News.
— christopher curtis (@titocurtis) February 13, 2015
CBC News reporting Sun News will indeed fold tomorrow. Bottom line: more media jobs, gone.
— Siobhan Morris (@siomo) February 13, 2015
Whatever you thought of Sun News, even if you never thought of them, they are media brethren losing jobs. And that is sad for our craft.
— Tom Harrington (@cbctom) February 13, 2015
At 24 in Vancouver I worked next to Sun News reporters. They are not all Ezra Levant. Some played it straight, and I hope they bounce back.
— Jeremy Nuttall (@Tyee_Nuttall) February 13, 2015
Two takeaways from this: 1) Sun News Network is definitely dead, and; 2) Whatever your take, you can always be sure that Twitter users will have a decidedly strong opinion.