Canada's War on U.S. Pop Culture

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Slaves to "Baywatch" and KFC all over the planet have a new savior: Canada has declared war on U.S. pop culture. And this is no solo quixotic tilt against the Golden Arches -- Ottawa got the culture ministers of Britain, Brazil, Croatia, Iceland, Mexico and Senegal, among others, on board for a conference on strategies to counter the global dominance of Americana. Needless to say, Washington was not invited, although the official explanation is that the U.S. has no culture minister. But there may be a commercial motive behind Canada's noble quest: "It's driven as much by the entertainment industry in those countries as by any genuine fear of being culturally swamped," says TIME Toronto bureau chief Andrew Purvis. "It's basically protectionism." No surprise then that the major initiative discussed was a proposed international news TV network to rival CNN. But CNN already has global rivals such as the BBC World Service, and overthrowing Mickey and Mickey D's may take a little more than hockey and Mike Myers.