Will the last Asper to leave please turn out the lights? Lenny Asper has called it quits at CanWest having steered the company straight onto the rocks and into the arms of moonraker creditors. For a good while, Lenny had transformed CanWest into a public relations arm of his favourite causes, notably Israel and Canada's right wing. Years ago The Globe's Lawrence Martin wrote that CanWest, particularly the National Post, operated as the Conservative's party organ and was so far right it should be "delivered in a holster."
When you're pushing ideology talent is not at a premium, a fact borne out by the gaggle of second-rate hacks the likes of Terrence Corcoran, Kelley McParland, Jonathan Kay and visiting scribbler Lorne "the grunter" Gunter who practically oozed across the CanWest newsprint. These guys weren't journalists as much as side show barkers, carnies. Their output was lame but, worse, it was predictable and ultimately boring. As the headliners of The National Spot, it's not difficult to see why the paper was a monumental money loser. It was in the wrong country. That sort of trash actually has a strong market south of our border but not here.
CanWest's broadcasting arm is gone. G-lowball is lost to the Aspers forever. The papers are up on the block with bidding to close this Friday. Creditors hope the papers will fetch more than the .95-billion dollars they're owed. Failing that they're expected to bundle them up into a new chain and take the whole thing public. Hard to see how well that will work. I'd bet it's just as likely they'll wind up having to flog them piecemeal with bidders paying good money for the wheat and fire sale prices for the chaff.