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Friday, May 18, 2012

Thoughts on the CBC

I used to listen to CBC Radio a great deal.

a) when it used to play classical music (instead of jazz or whatever it plays now)

b) before I grew up and realized how one-sided it is.

If it is Canadian, then I am not. And so they would want me therefore to conclude. I had occasion to listen to it today for about five minutes in the car - where I live, you drive behind a hill and suddenly you've got one station to chose from.

There was an interesting reflection on the failure - it seems - of the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. After that came on something else - "Q News" was it called? featuring a standard, long term CBC personality and someone whose name I did not catch but whose voice sounded like that red-headed comedian who was featured on an episode of Seinfeld. I'm sure many of you know who I mean. Well, whether I wanted to hear it or not, I learned that this woman is a lesbian. I don't know, sex seems like a fairly private affair. Why was she telling me? I don't believe that was the point of her being on the show, to tell Canadians about her sexuality, but she mentioned it anyway. In case any of us were dying to know.

I don't really care what the program was called, who the intended audience was, or anything else - and that's the point of this post: I DON'T CARE.

I Don't Care about CBC - But Shouldn't I?

As a Canadian. As a tax-payer.

Among the very few things that Harper and I seem to be able to agree about anymore, it is that CBC is terrible.

It is a media 'empire' that maintains a privileged place in the media layout in Canada - one which the other media companies in this country would kill for - that is to say, that it is financed in large part by tax-payer money. And so, knowing that it will never go bankrupt, how do you mess up a business like that?

It is one for which I have no use. And I'm Canadian. Other than for perhaps a total of fewer than 50 days of my life, my entire life has been lived a mari usque ad mare. I get Canada. It interests me. And I like the radio. I like news. I like culture. I like driving in my car listening to the radio. So do millions of other Canadians. Unfortunately, CBC registers the favourite channel for a dismal few of us.

And who would those few be?

I can tell you who it is not, who does not, it seems, deserve to be considered Canadian:

1. Conservative Christians of any stripe.

2. Conservatives Jews, Muslims, etc.

3. Social conservatives of any other stripe.

4. People who do not want to know about some disembodied voice's sexuality.

5. People who want to hear all sides of the story.

6. People who don't want representatives of the 'other' sides of the story presented as 'Exhibit A,' to be ridiculed by the cultured, bilingual cappuccino suckers in Ottawa and Montreal.

So, CBC, this is why your business model is failing (and this from a PhD in theology who is perpetually insolvent):

your audience is limited to the people you like.

That's kind of like deciding only to sell Coca-Cola to whities.

And why companies like Sun News are growing while you scuttle along in your self-imposed irrelevance.

All you journalist execs working for CBC remember back to your undergrads, reading about how controlling education and the media could change people ('conscientizing,' Marx called it), and that is why you have adopted and been committed to this cynical mode of operation. Yet Marx wasn't completely right. Some people can do a little bit of thinking for themselves... maybe a surprising number, judging from CBC's lack of success in holding onto a market the Federal Government hand-delivers it.


This gets me thinking: what does a government like Ontario fear when a plan like the 'Gay Cults' they want to impose on Catholic Schools fails? Or succeeds? Alienating such a significant portion of your citizenry cannot but have negative long-term consequences. It's not simply victory.

Any of you SCCB readers and bloggers listen to or watch CBC?


  1. We listen primarily to the CBC...mostly because it's either that or a country music station and we can't figure out what we dislike more.
    There are only a few programs we like to listen to, and even those 3 or 4 at times have been so biased and offensive that it makes me sick. Your analysis is correct - most of the representatives of the conservative side of any story are ridiculed by the "cultured, bilingual cappuccino suckers" of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. It's disgusting really, and I can't believe it passes for real debate. They can't hide their disdain.
    In the end, since the CBC's funding has been slashed, we'll wait and see what will happen to it. At some point, I'm afraid, we'll have to start to like country music.

  2. I suppose it will be refunded once the NDP replace the Conservatives, because they loooove indoctrination.

  3. It's like you live in my brain, Colin. I could have written this (even though I don't have a PhD). I listened to CBC FM during my university years, and in my early married life before I stopped being a feminist. I did this for 2 reasons:
    1) it was all classical, all the time
    2) I was not yet grown up

    Now that the Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup are no longer on CBC TV, I'd like the whole racket defunded. Let it exist by all means, but without once cent of taxpayer money. It should compete on the open market for its audience, and its funding.