Author Margaret Atwood’s support for a petition criticizing the prime minister over the proposed Sun TV news channel has caused a flurry of tweets on Twitter.
Atwood tweeted Tuesday that she’d signed a petition called “Stop Fox News North” at Avaaz.org and encouraged others to join her.
The petition accuses Prime Minister Stephen Harper of “trying to push American-style hate media” onto Canadian airwaves.
The proposed Sun TV News channel–dubbed Fox News North by critics–will be run by Harper’s former top aide and the petition says it will be funded with money from cable TV fees.
It calls on Harper to “immediately stop all pressure on the CRTC on this matter,” and had been signed by more than 37,000 people as of Wednesday afternoon.
It also urges CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein to stay on in his job and “continue to stand up for Canada’s democratic traditions.”
Atwood said her objection isn’t to Sun TV News, but that it would be paid for from cable fees and that the “CRTC chair should be arms’ length, not Harper tool.”
David Akin, Sun Media’s Ottawa bureau chief, tweeted back that he thought Atwood was “smarter than that.”
“So disappointing you’d put your name to anti-free speech movement,” Akin wrote.
“Free speech does not mean under-the-carpet deals that would force people to pay for Fox out of cable fees,” Atwood responded.
CRTC hearings on Sun TV News are to begin Nov. 19 in Gatineau, Que.