Jan 032012
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Sun Media offers Muskoka weekend with key on-air personalities.

by John Gordon Miller, Ryerson University

Quick now. Got any plans for the weekend of February 24-26?

No? Then you're invited to spend two fun-filled days at an exclusive Muskoka resort. Need we say more? All meals and taxes in, it's yours for just $1,050 per person. But you gotta hurry. Book it after January 16 and the rate shoots up $150.

Just think. Instead of staying home and having to shovel your walk, you can spend it poolside mingling with celebrities and wolfing down shrimp at a world-class Italian restaurant.



That sounds like a cattle call for any white, barrel sucking immigrant hater who's too stupid to find out the regular room rate at the Muskoka Marriott is only $199.


Instead of getting stuck in traffic trying to get out of the mall, you can enjoy morning yoga followed by an 80-minute Aroma Stone Facial with Wildflower Footbath at the luxury country spa ($185 extra, by appointment only).

Instead of visiting your nagging in-laws, you can do leisurely laps alone in the year-round pool, then unwind with a loved one sipping martinis and looking out at Lake Rosseau.

And get this: Also happening to stay at the resort that weekend will be some of your favourite TV stars. You know, folks like Ezra Levant, Charles Adler, Brian Lilley, Michael Coren and Krista Erickson. In fact, you'll be spending most of your time with them. They'll even be eating at your table.

Ah, hold on here just a minute.

Really. Hold on.

Don't they all work for that crazy Sun News Network? Well yes, but that's why you're invited. They call it Freedom Weekend and the event website lists the highlights:

  • Friday and Saturday night accommodation at the stunning JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa;


  • Six gourmet meals, each one with a different Sun News or conservative personality rotated through your table (plus snacks and receptions);


  • Six full hours of lively panel discussions featuring Sun News and conservative personalities, where you can participate in a Q&A session; and


  • A choice of one of several Saturday afternoon fun activities (e.g. snowshoe trek; yoga; art class, etc.) plus an astronomy event, with a Sun News or conservative personality. Maybe you can challenge Ezra Levant to a snowshoe race!

Or as Ezra says in his Sun Media column, "Seriously, this is going to be fun. My favourite — I just know it — will be sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. I get the feeling that Charles Adler has some great campfire stories, don't you? This idea is really unprecedented in Canada, the chance to spend a whole weekend with your favourite Sun Media personalities in a beautiful and relaxed setting."

Well, when you put it that way… Let's see, what could I think of that would be more fun? Shoveling my walk? Getting stuck in a traffic jam? Getting stranded for the weekend with nagging in-laws? Gosh, February 24-26, you say? Wasn't that the weekend we were thinking of painting the spare bedroom?

So, six full hours of panel discussions! They should be able to handle that, all those talking heads who stand behind lecterns on television and hector us about eliminating the CBC, abolishing the gun registry, developing the tar sands and getting rid of human rights commissars…

The discussion topics for Freedom Weekend-by-the-lake have yet to be decided, but Ezra says "we'll talk about how to strengthen our freedoms here at home, and project freedom abroad to the world." Wow, that sounds like a cattle call for any white, barrel sucking immigrant hater who's too stupid to find out the regular room rate at the Muskoka Marriott is only $199.

Makes you wonder when was the last time a group of ideological warriors went north to train in the backwoods and plot to storm Parliament, blow up the CBC, seize the airwaves and spread terror across the land. Oh yeah, the Toronto 18 did that. Didn't police arrest the lot of them and call them the gravest threat to our democracy?

I think a weekend with Ezra and friends could be something just like that.

The only thing that sets them apart from the Muslim extremists is that Sun Media will be charging you admission.

The good news is that the resort has 200 rooms. Lots of space to at least put up all of the network's regular viewers.

About John Gordon Miller

John Gordon Miller has been an award-winning reporter, a senior news executive, chair of a journalism school, an author, a teacher, a researcher and a consultant. He's been professor of journalism at Ryerson for 21 years, following a 20-year career as an editor and reporter. Most of that was spent at the Toronto Star, where he was foreign editor, founding editor of the Sunday Star, weekend editor, deputy managing editor, and acting managing editor. He is author of Yesterday's News, a critique of daily newspapers in Canada. He is active as an expert witness in legal cases involving journalism.

© Copyright 2012 John Gordon Miller, All rights Reserved. Written For: StraightGoods.ca

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