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Military jet over Vernon has social media buzzing




A military jet roaring across the North Okanagan has social media buzzing.

The plane was seen over Vernon several times Friday afternoon, leading to numerous posts and comments.

The Vernon & Area Community Forum page lit up with comments ranging from the Canadian Airforce was conducting training exercises to more humorous comments of “I am pretty sure I saw Tom Cruise at the gas station near the airport.”


One close up picture of the jet shows it appears to have British markings.

Castanet will have more information as soon as it becomes available.



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Can Chris Licht Survive at CNN? – New York Magazine



Chris Licht.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images


Reporters learn early in their careers to think two or three steps ahead. That’s why, while the media commentariat was talking about CNN CEO Chris Licht last Friday, some of CNN’s best-known journalists were thinking ahead and calling David Leavy.

Precisely 24 hours before The Atlantic published “Inside the Meltdown at CNN,” a 15,000-word defenestration of Licht, the cable news network announced Leavy as its new chief operating officer. The press release listed June 20 as Leavy’s start date. But the truth is Leavy started immediately — he had no other choice. He knew the article was about to hit. His boss David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, needed him to survey and repair the damage.

Leavy, who was Zaslav’s chief corporate operating officer, emailed multiple CNN anchors right away and vowed to meet with them as soon as possible. And then came the phone calls: delicate conversations with CNN personalities who signaled that they have lost confidence in Licht as a leader. Some top anchors want him out. “I feel like a quarterback without a coach,” one anchor commented Sunday.

That anti-Licht sentiment is shared by many in the CNN rank and file, and has existed to some extent for months, but The Atlantic article cemented it. In the words of three employees: “He’s over.” “He’s done.” “There’s no coming back from that profile.” However, the staffers don’t know whether Zaslav agrees. Licht clearly sees a way forward: On Sunday evening, to the surprise of some employees, he was in Iowa, overseeing the production of a town-hall broadcast with GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley. He plans to address the CNN staff on Monday morning.

Most of the 40-plus people whose insights informed this column, texted and called me over the weekend because of my history at CNN. I covered media news and anchored the Sunday-morning program Reliable Sources for nearly nine years. I was shown the door in August 2022 but have remained in touch with Licht, Zaslav, and other key players at the company. This is the first time I’m reporting on CNN at any length since leaving.

The network is at an inflection point, and Zaslav will determine its future. He has been vocal — much more in private than public — about how he wants CNN to evolve. Some say this reflects his passion for the brand; others say it amounts to inappropriate interference. Licht has told deputies that he has defended CNN’s editorial independence.

Many CNN staffers feel the news operation isn’t broken and thus doesn’t need Zaslav or Licht to fix it. Zaslav, who seems not to agree, has channeled his views through Licht, sometimes loudly enough that others could overhear him doing so over the phone. But now Zaslav is telling associates that Leavy is bringing adult supervision — a seeming indictment of Licht. In the words of one host, “Something has got to give.”

On April 11, 2022, the day Warner Bros. Discovery was born, Zaslav could have visited HBO, the Warner Bros. studio lot, or any number of prized assets. But he chose to visit CNN first. Zaslav and Leavy, his longtime right-hand man, toured CNN’s New York offices at Hudson Yards in the morning and visited the Washington, D.C., bureau at night. Zaslav talked up CNN as a “national treasure” and praised the network’s coverage of the war in Ukraine. When asked about the status of the brand-new CNN+ streaming service, “Zaslav responded that it would be up to incoming chief Chris Licht to decide on future strategy,” Insider reported that day.

Zaslav had started to recruit Licht to take over CNN months before then-network president Jeff Zucker’s ouster meant the job was vacant. He believed Licht was a “wunderkind,” impressed by Licht’s years producing Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. He didn’t interview anyone else for the job, a fact that insulted Zucker’s lieutenants but signaled that Zaslav thought a total overhaul was necessary.

Post-Zucker, CNN staffers longed for another larger-than-life, I-have-your-back leader — as many saw Zucker. They thought they might have one in Licht. May 1 was supposed to be Licht’s first day of work. But when Zaslav decided to shut down CNN+, he tasked Licht with announcing the decision and laying off the employees. It was April 21. Licht didn’t even have an office yet.

If I sound sympathetic toward the position Licht was placed in, that’s because I, like many CNN employees, had been. Everyone could tell that he was carrying out someone else’s orders. But the goodwill dried up quickly because, in the words of a Licht confidant, “he was dealt a bad hand, and then he played it badly.” That’s the story Tim Alberta told in The Atlantic in devastating detail.

Alberta rightly hit on Licht’s office location as a metaphor for the exec’s missteps. Licht decided not to move into Zucker’s modest old office on the 17th floor, steps from the daytime anchor set and the newsroom. He chose a corporate suite on 22, above all the CNN floors, with its own reception area and a glorious view of the Hudson River. Employees wondered if their badges even worked up there. Few had reason to find out since Licht kept most CNNers at a distance, or at least that’s how they felt. Correspondents likened him to a ghost and bemoaned his lack of feedback. One said, “He didn’t like what we were doing but didn’t tell us how to do it differently.”

He told Alberta, however. Licht talked at length about his disdain for the Trump-era, Zucker-era CNN. And that’s what a great deal of the employee angst is about now. “It’s very frustrating,” one said, “that we learn more about Licht’s motivations from interviews than we do from internal communication.”

Staffers I spoke with were startled by the lapse in judgment that Licht’s participation in The Atlantic profile represented. And they were particularly offended by Licht’s assertion that CNN unduly hyped COVID for ratings. (I was on CNN’s air almost every day back then, and I completely reject that.) In private conversations over the weekend, Licht has sought to clarify that his criticisms of CNN’s coverage were about the later stage of the pandemic, not the pre-vaccine period, and were informed by internal research that showed some viewers lost trust in the network due to COVID.

“Even if he thinks these things,” one staffer said, “if he’s so concerned with the CNN brand, what is the point of saying any of this stuff publicly? Just giving haters on the right more ammo to bash us with while giving skeptics on the left more ammo to justify turning us off. How does any of this help anything?”

Let me take a step back. When Alberta first asked to shadow Licht and write about the “gut renovation” of CNN, there was reason to believe that the resulting piece would be positive. It was mid-June of last year, and Licht was promising to roll out programming “that questions the status quo, shatters groupthink, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to facts and fights fearlessly to get to the truth.” He was planning a signature Sunday-night newsmagazine and brainstorming a new morning show. And he was supremely confident — because Zaslav had his back.

So he talked with Alberta last fall, then talked some more. Most CNN staffers, even most anchors, had no idea that the profile was in the works. By the time I caught wind of it, in March, CNN’s ratings had dipped, morale had collapsed, and Alberta’s notebook was already full of gruesome detail about the CNN This Morning mess and other misfires. Yet the reporter was still allowed back in the building for more — and he ultimately portrayed Licht as paranoid, self-absorbed, and reluctant to admit mistakes. “Trumpian” is the phrase several staffers used with me. And to be clear, these were all people who respected Licht at the outset — “I was really rooting for him,” one said. Another insider remarked: “I’m so struck by how consumed he is by the coverage he gets and the respect his predecessor had.”

Licht’s allies (they do still exist) point out that he faced very real challenges from the get-go, including constant leaks to the press. CNBC reporter Alex Sherman astutely observed on Sunday that “there are many parallels between what’s happening at CNN and what happened at Disney with Bob Chapek and Bob Iger.” Zaslav has made a similar point in recent months, I’m told. The New York Times said Sunday that Zucker is “now serving as a kind of grievance switchboard for current and former employees of the news network.”

It’s tempting to say Licht is entangled in a proxy war between Zucker and Zaslav and shrug at all the rich white guys fighting over a declining asset. But that would be a mistake. This argument is about the proper function of journalism in a fractured democracy. It’s about when and how and even whether news organizations should stand up to demagogues who want to destroy them. Judging from the near-unanimous criticism of CNN’s Trump town hall last month, the Zaslav and Licht camp is losing the argument.

David Leavy at a Discovery, Inc., event in 2018.
Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.

In the wake of the town hall, which Alberta was allowed to attend as a guest of CNN, executives in Licht’s inner circle came to recognize that the forthcoming article would be bruising — maybe even brutal. Leaks to Puck’s Dylan Byers and other journalists indicated that Licht had “lost the room,” so to speak, while others said he never won the newsroom to begin with. Where he needed to build alliances, instead he built walls. He was so busy “managing up,” interfacing with Zaslav, that he didn’t build many relationships below 22. The view from upstairs now, according to two people who spoke with Zaslav, is that Licht “overcorrected” — that he tried so hard not to be Zucker that he became ineffective.

More than a dozen sources observed that in recent months, Licht had begun to open up somewhat, sending back-patting texts to his reporters, complimenting their packages and stories. “He’s actually really good one-on-one,” a producer said, which squared with my own experience. (Licht fired me in such a gracious manner that we have joked about it since.) But his belated outreach to the rank and file prompted eye-rolls from some CNN veterans, especially those who had been in meetings with Licht from the start and observed the same traits that Alberta documented. To them, Alberta didn’t reveal anything new; he merely told the rest of the media industry what they already knew. “This incompetence and tone-deafness is what we’ve been dealing with for a year now,” a top anchor said.

But staffers in bureaus like Los Angeles and London, already frustrated by cost-cutting moves like a partial travel freeze, and fearful about Warner’s looming round of layoffs, said they were stunned by the quotes. “He hates us,” one correspondent said, an emotion echoed by several others.

I also spoke with a foreign correspondent who was strongly supportive of Licht, even after Alberta’s article. This person said Licht “has been a highly enthusiastic and caring investor in reporters” and suggested some CNNers are still pining for the Zucker era. “It’s vital for us all to move on,” the correspondent said, “and get on with our jobs.”

By the time Alberta was preparing his final draft, Zaslav had already determined the need to dispatch Leavy to help stabilize the situation at CNN. The result was Thursday’s installation of Leavy as COO. Licht announced the news on CNN’s daily 9 a.m. editorial call. Most staffers don’t dial into the meeting, so they learned about Leavy through a press release — there was no memo from Licht.

Discovery said Leavy would start at CNN on June 20, giving him two weeks to hand off big chunks of his current corporate portfolio to others. Later in the day, however, word came that The Atlantic was publishing the Licht profile even sooner than expected. It came out Friday during the 9 a.m. editorial call, and some reporters began reading while pretending to listen to the meeting. “How can he lead us now?” asked more than one producer.

All day long, staffers shared a mix of pride in their scoops — the news operation is “firing on all cylinders right now” — and anger at Licht for distracting from that. One employee called it “trauma bonding” and said “I have so many Signal threads I can’t keep up.” In New York, where CNN’s parent is consolidating office space and giving up the 17th floor, one reporter looked at all the moving boxes and said it felt like a season finale episode of Succession. Ironically, perhaps, Licht is about to move from the 22nd floor to one of the newsroom floors, according to several sources. But some senior employees wonder if he will last long enough to relocate. Leavy is already being described by some staffers as the “shadow CEO.”

While Leavy worked the phones over the weekend, listening to anchors’ concerns and pledging a reset, Licht laid low. Spokespeople for Warner Bros. Discovery and Licht had nothing to say about the resignation speculation. At the moment, no further changes seem to be imminent; Zaslav is keeping his options open, several people said.

Zaslav “has an opportunity to let Chris take the fall,” one of CNN’s longtime on-air personalities said, “and back off the both-side-isms.” But Zaslav has shown no sign of deviating from his vision for CNN, and he needs someone to execute it, whether that’s Licht or Leavy or both. Over the weekend, Licht plotted how to turn around CNN and save his own job. He told associates that he is going to lean into his authentic self. “I’ve got nothing to lose now,” he told one. “And I’m going to fight like hell to win back their trust.”

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Canada should look to its past and Europe for guidance on media policy — but not south



Canada needs to look back on its history of establishing the CBC to avoid its media landscape going the route of its neighbour to the south. (Rod Flores/Unsplash)
Canada needs to look back on its history of establishing the CBC to avoid its media landscape going the route of its neighbour to the south. (Rod Flores/Unsplash)

Seventy years ago, Canadian leaders turned away from the British model of media policy that rejected advertising-supported private broadcasting.

While it’s gone well for a few private corporations, it hasn’t benefited the Canadian public. And the future heralds an even more dangerous American-style media landscape here in Canada.

Canadian leaders once understood the importance and even the potential danger of media to the public. Those lessons need to be remembered. The honourable early history of media policy in Canada needs to be embraced anew.

Aird Commission findings

In 1928, the Royal Commission on Radio Broadcasting, also known as the Aird Commission, was created to consider alternative models for the future of Canadian broadcasting.


It was led by Sir John Aird, the president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. As media scholar Marc Raboy writes in his comprehensive history of Canadian broadcasting, Missed Opportunities, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established because of public pressure that came from a broad coalition of civic organizations that made up the Canadian Radio League.

The Aird Commission found much to be alarmed about regarding radio. As Aird stated in 1932:

“I have watched — naturally I felt it my duty to watch — the program and the material that was coming over the air, and much of it is of the most objectionable character … what I object to most strongly is the character of the ribald songs and vulgar dialogues regarding robberies, burglaries, hold-ups of banks and things like that.”

A farmer and his son listen to the radio in the mid-1920s. (Shutterstock)A farmer and his son listen to the radio in the mid-1920s. (Shutterstock)
A farmer and his son listen to the radio in the mid-1920s. (Shutterstock)

The commissioners listened to radio around the world and heard the concerns of various communities with access to the medium. They consistently heard complaints about content, but also about advertising.

As a result of its research, the Aird Commission proposed a publicly owned corporation not unlike the British Broadcasting Corporation (the BBC). It argued the new medium of radio should be regarded as a national public service rather than a profit-making industry, and its ownership and operating structure should be organized to recognize this principle.


Creation of the CBC/Radio-Canada

In 1936, the Canadian Broadcasting Act created the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada as a Crown corporation funded through fees known as receiver set licences (initially $2.50 per licence) with limited financing from advertising.

Richard Bedford Bennett, the Conservative prime minister of Canada who had the unfortunate task of attempting to unite a divided and economically struggling country through the Great Depression of the 1930s, pushed the CBC through its parliamentary hurdles.

Bennett proclaimed:

“This country must be assured of complete Canadian control of broadcasting from Canadian sources. Without such control, broadcasting can never be the agency by which national consciousness may be fostered and sustained and national unity still further strengthened.”

In addition to telling the Canadian story to the booming cities of Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto, the CBC was tasked with reaching remote and isolated rural and maritime communities, providing both national and local voices reflecting Canada and in two languages: English and French. Canada’s vast territory and multilingual character made the CBC one of the world’s most far-reaching and complex public broadcasters.

Yet the Aird Commission recommendation that private broadcasting should be fully replaced by public broadcasting never happened.

The British model of public service media funded through receiver licence fees was eventually abandoned in 1953, and CBC funding would be tied to the shifting sands of parliamentary funding.

The CBC logo is projected onto a screen during the CBC’s annual upfront presentation in Toronto in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana MartinThe CBC logo is projected onto a screen during the CBC’s annual upfront presentation in Toronto in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
The CBC logo is projected onto a screen during the CBC’s annual upfront presentation in Toronto in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin

Cuts to the CBC

In 1984, the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney made significant cuts to the CBC, and those cuts increased under the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien.

Make no mistake — the BBC has more than its share of problems. While it’s thrived without advertising, it has lost some of its audience to the private commercial broadcasting that began in the U.K. in 1955 and from political pressure exerted by both Labour and Tory administrations.

Nonetheless, the BBC continues to dominate broadcast and online news in the U.K. The CBC has not fared as well.

Budget cuts to the CBC, often fuelled by partisan politics, have wrought havoc. The Windsor CBC station I watched as a child growing up in Detroit was once a profitable Canadian production powerhouse, but it cancelled popular local programming and slashed the news operation.

In 1990, because of further budget cuts, CBC closed down the station’s news department, spurring street protests from thousands of Windsor citizens.

A “Save Our Station” committee was formed to pressure both CBC and the Canadian government to preserve the Windsor operation. Some limited news service was established because of these protests, but other communities once served by the CBC had no such luck.

Private broadcaster CTV has eclipsed the CBC as Canada’s most-watched television network. And according to the independent media database IMDb, CTV’s top programs are all American productions; mainly police and medical dramas.

American-produced shows have long been CTV’s most-watched. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank GunnAmerican-produced shows have long been CTV’s most-watched. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
American-produced shows have long been CTV’s most-watched. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The European way

Europe suggests a better path. A recent study by the European Broadcasting Union shows a strong correlation between a country’s democratic well-being and robust public service media, including online media.

Social media policy in the United States has generated echo chambers of misinformation and conspiracy and has certainly not curtailed the erosion of civic knowledge. A 2022 study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center reveals that while many Americans are angry about politics, less than half of those surveyed understood the basics of U.S. government.

And in Canada? According to Statista, Canada is one of the world’s most connected online populations, with a social media penetration rate of 89 per cent of the Canadian population.

The most popular media sites in Canada are also U.S.-based — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A protester holds an anti-Trudeau sign near Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldA protester holds an anti-Trudeau sign near Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
A protester holds an anti-Trudeau sign near Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

U.S.-based, advertising-driven social media sites designed to stoke outrage are not creating more informed Canadians. The actions of the so-called Freedom Convoy illustrates this phenomenon.

And, unfortunately, similar to American civic illiteracy, a recent Forum Research Poll suggests only one in 10 Canadians would pass the Canadian citizenship exam.

Looking ahead

The future of advertising-driven media does not bode well for democracy. Even Silicon Valley leaders are warning against a laissez-faire U.S. policy approach in terms of generative artificial intelligence/large language models like ChatGPT.

The American threat to Canada continues not because of U.S. power, but because Canadian leaders have not put in place policies to foster and protect Canadian democracy.

Civic organizations of all stripes need to come together to demand a new approach to media that’s informed by lessons from Canada’s past and by the obvious mistakes evident south of the border.

This article is republished from The Conversation, an independent nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. The Conversation is trustworthy news from experts, from an independent nonprofit. Try our free newsletters.

It was written by: Mark Lloyd, McGill University.

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Mark Lloyd does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.



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The social media apps we use, from best to worst – Mashable



For a bunch of people who supposedly hate social media, we sure do spend a lot of time on it.

Just 33 percent of U.S. adults have “some or a lot” of trust in social media, according to a late 2022 report from the Pew Research Center(opens in a new tab), and people who spend time on social media are more likely to experience mental health problems(opens in a new tab), including depression. According to BroadbandSearch, an independent research site that compares internet providers, the average American spends a little more than two hours a day on (opens in a new tab)the very same hurtful platforms they purport not to trust. And it seems like new social media platforms — any sort of online space in which people are publicly chatting with each other, including Facebook and Twitter and TikTok and, yes, LinkedIn — are popping up every day.

There aren’t loads of social media platforms that are brand new in 2023, but there are dozens that we spend our time on every day that have had some pretty radically nightmarish moments in 2023. Unfortunately, as it is the middle of the year, it’s time to rank these nightmares.

While evaluating these social media platforms, I’ve considered five questions: 

  1. How widely-used is the app?

  2. How grumpy does the app make me because of the content?

  3. How grumpy does the app make me because of the interface?

  4. How likely is the app to disrupt democracy?

  5. How annoying are the influencers on that app?

There are many apps that launched recently that didn’t make the list — Geneva, Diem, Melon, Pineapple, Somewhere Good — because they just aren’t widely-used enough to asses just how awful they are. I’m omitting far-right social media apps like Parler and Gab — they are all worse than the apps I’m writing about here, and their content is too vile for me to make fun of in a listicle.

Here are the social media platforms that have stolen our brains so far in 2023, from least bad to worst. This list is just my opinion, but it is also correct.


A very nice escape from Twitter for the 20 minutes it was relevant.


Fine, but no one uses it anymore so it is now therefore boring. Boring, to be clear, is not necessarily an insult when it comes to social media (see: Facebook further down the list, which I wish was more boring).


Boring but alright. 


This app seems fine but I don’t have access to it. Send me an invite and I will do my best to accurately review it.


A new app that is annoying to me, but others find it lovely.


There are LinkedInfluencers(opens in a new tab), which is annoying but not actively harmful.


Stay with me, but the newsletter platform is kind of killing it this year. It launched chats and a Notes feature to rival Twitter and some of the more popular Substack writers make a pretty good living from their newsletters. It’s this far down, though, because Substack isn’t without its problems: The platform allows some pretty hateful speech, like the transphobic newsletter from Graham Linehan. 


This would be higher if it didn’t force Snapchat AI onto every single user.


Can be vile, but can also feed you a pretty consistent number of frog videos. It’s lower down because entire nations are banning it for — you guessed it — potential threats to democracy.


I swear to God if I get fed one more video about dieting I’m going to scream.


Unfortunately for Facebook, most of us simply refuse to forget 2016(opens in a new tab) and the Facebook Papers. There’s an old saying in Tennessee(opens in a new tab) — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, ruin democracy once, shame on — shame on you. Ruin democracy twice — you can’t get democracy ruined again.


Elon Musk 🥴

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