Just turned off CBC

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Sven Sven's picture

We had Ms. Sven's 97-year-old aunt over for dinner the other night.  We sent much of the four-hour evening talking about her early life.  "Back in the day", she and her husband worked from sun-up to sun-down, six days per week.  Washing clothes took nearly a full day.  They made their own butter, ice cream, bacon, etc., etc.  Farm work was done with animals.  It was incredibly hard work.  Vacation?  Not in their vocabulary.  The capitalist society that we have has made huge strides forward for the average person.  There are very, very few people today (in the USA and Canada) who live and work like Ms. Sven's aunt, and millions like her, had to work in order to survive.

Yet, some people (the eleutherophobics of the world) want everyone to be a slave to equality.  You will take what the government gives you.  If you don't like what the CBC broadcasts, you can complain and, as (I think) unionist said, nothing will come of it but you'll "feel better" about it!!  Do Canadians really need the CBC to have diversity of opinion?  I don't think so.  What is rabble.ca if not "choice"?  Diversity of options and choice is a great thing for media (and the government does nothing to foster that by having the CBC as a crown corporation).  If the CBC disappeared today, rabble.ca and thousands of other media sources would continue to flourish just fine, thank you very much.

And, choice should not be limited to media and ideas.  But, turn everything over to the government, as some advocate, and you'll get a steady stream of shit products and services, if they are available at all.  Capitalism means choice.

I'll take the freedom I have to slavery in equality any day.

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Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

You seem to be insisting that we should spend our time justifying the CBC's existence to you, Sven.

 Sorry that explaining our institutions to a foreigner hostile to them isn't a priority here.

Sven Sven's picture

By the way, the thread title ("Just turned off CBC") says much: When you are not reliant on a single source of government-spewed information, you have the choice to "turn it off" and direct your attention to many other alternative sources of information.

Try applying that same principle to food, clothing, and all of the other products and services available in Canada and America.  Government can play an important role in maintaining system transparency and throwing people like Bernie Ebbers and Dennis Kozlowski in prison for actual theft.  But, to turn the means of production over to the government would be foolishness...unless one favors slavery to equality.  And, in that case, you'll get exactly that: Slavery.

___________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

RosaL

Sven wrote:

We had Ms. Sven's 97-year-old aunt over for dinner the other night.  We sent much of the four-hour evening talking about her early life.  "Back in the day", she and her husband worked from sun-up to sun-down, six days per week.  Washing clothes took nearly a full day.  They made their own butter, ice cream, bacon, etc., etc.  Farm work was done with animals.  It was incredibly hard work.  Vacation?  Not in their vocabulary.  The capitalist society that we have has made huge strides forward for the average person.  There are very, very few people today (in the USA and Canada) who live and work like Ms. Sven's aunt, and millions like her, had to work in order to survive.

 

What I have been told by people of similar age and utterly impoverished backgrounds  is that, hard as things were, they had something few people (they say) have now: They had time. They visited. There was community. They read whatever they could get their hands on. They stayed up half the night arguing politics. (I'm talking about people with maybe two years of formal education, for whom English was a second language.) They stood in the fields and looked at the stars. They thought. They sat and talked together. (I'm not romanticizing. I'm reporting what people have told me, people who lived close to starvation. I'm talking about my own family.)

Capitalism marches on and in exchange for the whole of our lives it gives us trinkets: widescreen tvs, computers, cell-phones, etc. to distract us, to keep us from thinking, and to bathe us in propaganda. 

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:

Sorry that explaining our institutions to a foreigner hostile to them isn't a priority here.

That's laughable, Lard.  Babblers routinely criticize actions in other countries (especially in the much-hated America).

_____________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

outwest

 

Sven,

I don't know what the demographics for the Rabble are, but you can bet they're comparatively small.  Look at these comment sections - participated by only a handful of us. As de Tocqueville said, the critical problem with America in the future will not be that truth is strangled, but that it will be drowned by far too much, distracting and useless information, thus consumers will have trouble finding it. We're nearly there with our culture, now.

An informed society of voters is the most important aspect of a democracy - and that only happens when that education is widespread and state supported, not when it's the bastion of privileged, private, informed few.

 

As bad as the CBC is, it's the best mainstream media we have. If it did not exist, the private stations would not suffice at all. As was stated by someone above, those who own private media have only one thing on their minds: profit. And profit motivation does not create a culture of intelligence, nor does it support truth.

Name me a single private mainstream media organization in this country that's balanced and allows for both right and left wing points of view. You can't do it. They're all right wing, every single one of them.

 

 

Unionist

Sven crusades here against government monopoly over broadcasting - as if anyone suggested it. The question is whether there should be ONE well-financed and democratically owned and controlled medium that is not beholden to a handful of wealthy families. Sven can't criticizes that notion, so he instead rails against another of his own imagination. It's called strawcasting.

George Victor

Canada's enjoyment of public broadcasting (which came to us along with a central bank and a public airline ...all proposed by a Conservative government on its way out of office in the Depression)  was one of the things bestowed on us by Britain and Keynes.

Your PBS struggles to inform, but it's mostly entertainment (including the very best available, and that's "made in the UK."

The American public is a great, dumbed-down electorate, vulnereable to the same forces that Mark Twain pointed to a hundered years back. Back when old "auntie" was milking the cows by hand. Roosevelt was able to accomplish only so much after 1932, and endorsing "state intervention" to the degree seen elsewhere was never his objective, really. Read M'Lord Black's bio on FDR to see a capitalist's praise for it's saviour.

Then look at what Black tried to do by way of propagandizing our national news sources - and the Asper followup.  We are threatened with following you folks into that same manipulated state you find yourself in.

Try and  read some political and economic history of other countries Sven. 

Your dear old auntie's assessment lacks good comparative range. Although some reference to Mark Twain would be a good sign.Wink

 

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:

I'm not romanticizing. 

I'm sorry, but you are romanticizing.

Certainly, the early 20th century was not bereft of joy and pleasure.  And, I do think there was a stronger sense of community (because, in part, there weren't things available to passively entertain people, like TV, video games, the Internet, etc.).  But, life, particularly rural life, was very, very difficult.

____________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:
Sven crusades here against government monopoly over broadcasting - as if anyone suggested it. The question is whether there should be ONE well-financed and democratically owned and controlled medium that is not beholden to a handful of wealthy families. Sven can't criticizes that notion, so he instead rails against another of his own imagination. It's called strawcasting.

Ah, but don't you and many others want the means of production of products and services controlled by the government?

You don't want "ONE well-financed and democratically owned and controlled" among many other options.  You want "ONE well-financed and democratically owned and controlled" source of everything.

Then, when you don't like what is produced, whether it's products or services, you can complain with no result other than "feeling better" about having complained.  You think it's bad when the CBC does that when there are thousands of other information choices.  Imagine what it would be like if that was the "ONE well-financed and democratically owned and controlled" source of everything.

____________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

Freedom = Slavery only in a Lewis Carolesque world, FM.

___________________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

So what's your suggestion, Sven? That we exercise our freedom of choice by turning off CNN and turning on Fox?

RosaL

Sven wrote:

Freedom = Slavery only in a Lewis Carolesque world, FM.

 

You have lost almost everything and in exchange you have material excess. The really sad thing is that you've been convinced that what you have is freedom.

Loretta

For Sven and others who might be reading this thread, here is a good article on the importance and influence of public broadcasting:

http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/RMmythCB.html

 

Unionist

Sven wrote:

Ah, but don't you and many others want the means of production of products and services controlled by the government?

No, I don't. But I love your debating style:

"Those workers rioting in the streets for union recognition are a bunch of Bolsheviks - so, we can't recognize their union!"

"Single-payer health care for now - but then what? Single user!?"

Thank God those kinds of totalitarian arguments no longer work in a free society like Canada. You should visit here sometime, if they'll still let you leave.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
What I have been told by people of similar age and utterly impoverished
backgrounds  is that, hard as things were, they had something few
people (they say) have now: They had time. They visited. There was
community. They read whatever they could get their hands on. They
stayed up half the night arguing politics. (I'm talking about people
with maybe two years of formal education, for whom English was a second
language.) They stood in the fields and looked at the stars. They
thought. They sat and talked together. (I'm not romanticizing. I'm
reporting what people have told me, people who lived close to
starvation. I'm talking about my own family.)

Well, put, RosaL. The other thing Sven misses in romantacizing consumer capitalism, is that he is romanticizing his own slavery. Not only do people today not have us much time (and the time they do have they waste subjecting their entire lives to a barrage of mindless marketing), not only have they surrendered community for shopping, not only have they traded neighbourhoods for cul-de-sacs with homes that turn their arses to the world, but they are entirely enslaved to the system.  Unlike the grandmother could at one time, Sven can't feed himself, wash himself, clothe himself, house himself, or transport himself without the unelected corporate bodies which rule over every every facet of his being.

Sven is brainwashed to the extent that he fails to recognize that big government exists only for big business and big business now governs more of his life than any other institution in history. He confuses consumer choices, limited and provided by monopolies or oligopolies, as choice and freedom. It doesn't occur to him that all of his choices deliver the same homogenized and substandard product. As long as it is branded differently he sees it as different.

When Americans are so easily duped and so easily convinced to surrender democratic rights and self-government for corporate rule and slavery - and it is slavery, is it any wonder their nation is ensnared in senseless war and the wealth of its people transferred to two-bit criminals and hucksters?

ETA: Another important aspect Sven neglects to think upon, is that the chains of his consumerist slavery or paid for and forged with the blood of other people. For Sven to live in a false world of plenty where he benefits from a welath he hasn't earned, others must pay for it with their resources, their sweat, and too often their lives. Hence we have two decades of Americans murdering Iraqis and enslaving people all over the globe for oil.

 

RosaL

I didn't say it wasn't 'very, very difficult'. And I was talking about rural life. (Where do you think I live?) I am reporting what people (not just one person) have said. I don't think they were romanticizing either. Nor was I talking about 'joy and pleasure'. What I had in mind, for lack of a better term, was 'the life of the spirit', in a kind of Germanic (rather than religious) sense.

My point was that the forms of our deprivation have changed, not that there wasn't real deprivation in the past. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Only in America, Sven, have slaves been convinced they are free through brain washing. Only in America can slaves be bought and held as cheaply as a television set.

 

remind remind's picture

Good post FM, I agree.

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"watching the tide roll away"

Sven Sven's picture

Catchfire wrote:
So what's your suggestion, Sven? That we exercise our freedom of choice by turning off CNN and turning on Fox?

How about turning them both off?  I rarely watch either.  There are many other sources of information.  There's a veritable "marketplace of ideas" out there, Catchfire.

____________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Fleabitn2

My own moment of (latest) realization of the CBC as instruments of government propaganda came with the release in July of the Omar Khadr interrogation tapes.

Shown on the National news, no less, Omar Khadr said "I have been tortured by Americans at Bagram airbase." A statement which should have been the central focus of the newspiece, was totally ignored by the reporters and commentators, and the story was deliberately manipulated to present a talking head following that statement, a commenter who totally dismissed and belittled Khadr's assertion. 

The manipulation was clever and subtle, but completely insidious and disgusting. 

 

RosaL

Sven wrote:

There's a veritable "marketplace of ideas" out there, Catchfire.

 

And yet you agree with the orthodoxy of those who rule in your society. I wonder why.... 

Sven Sven's picture

Unionist wrote:
Sven wrote:

Ah, but don't you and many others want the means of production of products and services controlled by the government?

No, I don't.

Okay, so perhaps you don't want the means of production of products and services controlled by the government but many on the Left pine for those days.

_________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:
Sven wrote:

There's a veritable "marketplace of ideas" out there, Catchfire.

 

And yet you agree with the orthodoxy of those who rule in your society. I wonder why.... 

And, yet, you don't agree with that "orthodoxy".  I wonder how that's even possible when, apparently, you only choices for information are the CBC, CNN, and Fox?!?!

___________________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

RosaL

Sven wrote:

Okay, so perhaps you don't want the means of production of products and services controlled by the government but many on the Left pine for those days.

 

No doubt your opinion is based on good empirical evidence. Perhaps you could give us some examples.  

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
How about turning them both off?  I rarely watch either.  There are
many other sources of information.  There's a veritable "marketplace of
ideas" out there, Catchfire.

Then you should access them because your arguments here suggest you are as insular and sheltered from alternative perspectives as the stereotypes suggest.

 

George Victor

Sven, you have used only an Alice in Wonderland reference and an old lady's reminiscing on independence as implied sources  for your "position", which looks sort of John Waynish, "pilgrim."

Got any others to offer? (Or were folks like Mark Twain also speaking out of a nasty socialism-inspired background in their attacks on the status quo? )

Perhaps an offering from that "veritable 'marketplace of ideas' " that awaits us all?

Something beyond  monosyllabic  rhetoric?

 

RosaL

Sven wrote:

And, yet, you don't agree with that "orthodoxy".  I wonder how that's even possible when, apparently, you only choices for information are the CBC, CNN, and Fox?!?!

Everyone has her/his own story and I don't want to post mine on the internet. But, briefly, it involves a socialist grandfather, economic/social marginalization and exclusion, and autism, which can render a person relatively impervious to propaganda and 'group-think'. These are some of the "conditions of the possibility" of my dissent.

And I was able to find a copy of Capital in a used book-store. This is capitalism, not fascism.  

jas

Sven wrote:
RosaL wrote:

I'm not romanticizing.

I'm sorry, but you are romanticizing.

Now THIS is funny! When RosaL responds to Sven's anecdotal history with pretty much exactly the same of her own, RosaL is "romanticizing"! But SVEN isn't! Nooo, Sven talks "facts". Everyone else is making shit up. 

I'm pretty sure NPR exists in Minnesota, Sven. Does that represent slavery of the masses?

Sven Sven's picture

jas wrote:
Sven wrote:
RosaL wrote:

I'm not romanticizing.

I'm sorry, but you are romanticizing.

Now THIS is funny! When RosaL responds to Sven's anecdotal history with pretty much exactly the same of her own, RosaL is "romanticizing"! But SVEN isn't! Nooo, Sven talks "facts". Everyone else is making shit up. 

"Romanticizing", at least in the sense used by Rosa, is looking at the past in Rose (Rosa?) colored glasses (making it better than it actually was).  It's not a matter of me talking in facts and Rosa not talking in facts.  Life 70 years ago was very, very difficult and something very, very few people today in Canada or America have to experience...and, wonder of wonders, the vast improvements in society have occurred within a capitalist system.

jas wrote:
I'm pretty sure NPR exists in Minnesota, Sven. Does that represent slavery of the masses?

As a matter of fact, it does.  And, MPR (the state affiliate) has more members who voluntarily support it financially than any other state public radio system.  In contrast to the CBC, it's not a government-run organization...it's an independent, non-profit organization like rabble.ca.

 

______________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Quote:
How about turning them both off?  I rarely watch either.  There are many other sources of information.  There's a veritable "marketplace of ideas" out there, Catchfire.

Then you should access them because your arguments here suggest you are as insular and sheltered from alternative perspectives as the stereotypes suggest.

Why, because the arguments in favor of the positions you support are so obviously self-evident that any person who gives those arguments the slighted thought or consideration would automatically argree with them?

 

___________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sarann

Also in those 'olden days' we had the CBC.  My two older brothers were in the forces during WW11 that's where we got the news. And our entertainment.  And the grain prices.  The CBC should be funded and set at arms length like the BBC, and allowed to thrive and tell the truth and have some money to produce good stuff. 

For many, many years the right wingers winged on and on about left wing bias in middle of the road media.  This continual bawling has had a cumulative effect so that even the CBC has begun to be biased toward them.  Also I think, afraid they will be knocked dead. 

 

Time for lefties to winge on and on.  Write letters.  Complain at every opportunity.  We have to adopt some of their tactics, sad as that may seem.

George Victor

Nothing, then,  in the way of inspiring reading/listening from your own perspective,  Sven? 

 

 

jas

Sven wrote:

"Romanticizing", at least in the sense used by Rosa, is looking at the past in Rose (Rosa?) colored glasses (making it better than it actually was). It's not a matter of me talking in facts and Rosa not talking in facts. Life 70 years ago was very, very difficult and something very, very few people today in Canada or America have to experience...and, wonder of wonders, the vast improvements in society have occurred within a capitalist system.

Right. Like I said. RosaL is romanticizing about the quality of life back then, based on a personal history that she has learned directly. Sven isn't romanticizing when he talks about the "vast improvements in society" that capitalism brought to the hard physical life of that era. Whereas Roas was talking about the social, spiritual and community life of that era, which perhaps was not improved at all by capitalism, but made worse.

Do you begin to see where you might be willfully donning some rose-coloured glasses, Sven??

Quote:

As a matter of fact, it does. And, MPR (the state affiliate) has more members who voluntarily support it financially than any other state public radio system. In contrast to the CBC, it's not a government-run organization...it's an independent, non-profit organization like rabble.ca.

Edited: CBC is not government run. It's a Crown corporation, which, at least in theory, operates at arm's length from government. NPR was founded with public money (that's "taxpayers' money" to right-wingers) and continues to be subsidized with public money. Moreover, as you know, the US has a different social economy, having 10x the population of Canada, and that population dispersed much more evenly geographically than Canada's. Different funding necessities. We pay higher taxes in Canada for many reasons such as this. A fact which seems to continue to elude you in many of your discussions and attempts to compare Canadian and US situations.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
Why, because the arguments in favor of the positions you support are so
obviously self-evident that any person who gives those arguments the
slighted thought or consideration would automatically argree with them?

No actually. Because the failures of the system you so readily defend. Consider the evidence, Sven. In your Utopia, while billions are required to maintain permanent war across the globe and the oppression of two-thirds of the world's population, you still can't afford universal health care.

In your Utopia, which laughlingly idolizes individualism, most people are entirely dependent upon corporations for every facet of their survival. Individual self-expression is actively discouraged in favour of conformity (patriotism, not being un-American).

In your Utopia millions of Americans face extreme poverty and deprivation, including the loss of their homes, because the free market system you religiously worship turned out to be a giant ponzi scheme. And while the government then socializes risk, using the tax dollars of the victimized middle-class to fund socialism for the rich, suckers like you still defend the very system that is now exposed as a fraud as being holy and above rapproach.

At what point do you recognize you've been conned? When your child is dead in some foreign land? When you are or someone you love is homeless? When the military patrols the streets to keep you in your place? When?

My God! You've been lied by your government, corporations, and corporate owned media into a major foreign war. You're entire economic system has been exposed as a giant ponzi scheme and is in free fall and all while it was happening your government, corporate overlords, and corporate owned media told you it wasn't happening. I mean, incredibly, the very same scam that Enron used to rip-off some Americans the investment houses adopted to rip-off the entire country. It was nothing new. It was the same scam. Why didn't your corporate media, your superior free market of ideas, warn you it was coming?

When do you wake up and when does the cult conditioning wear off? Before or after you line up for the Kool-aid?

 

Michelle

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Only in America, Sven, have slaves been convinced they are free through brain washing. Only in America can slaves be bought and held as cheaply as a television set.

If only it were "only in America".  It's here, too.  We're not THAT superior, and we're almost as immersed in consumer culture and corporate slavery as they are.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Loretta wrote:

For Sven and others who might be reading this thread, here is a good article on the importance and influence of public broadcasting:

http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/RMmythCB.html

 

 

That is a fantastic paper Loretta. Dr. McChesney provides an excellent overview of the history of public broadcasting including comparisons between the UK, Canada and the US. Written in 1997, his prognostication of the impact of globalization and media concentration on broadcast communications is excellent but sadly, I think that he over-estimated the impact anti-corporate forces would have on media. If anything the situation has grown worse.

From his lecture:

Quote:
The ultimate goal must be to have the
public service sector be the dominant component of the
broadcasting and media system. Hence the struggle for public
service broadcasting cannot avoid direct confrontation and
conflict with the existing corporate media giants. Our goal
must be to break them up into smaller units, and to encourage
the success of media workers' unions as a counterbalance to
corporate muscle. And commercial broadcasters should be held to
high public service standards. For example, there is no reason
that children's TV shows or TV news programs should have any
advertising.

But these are matters I can only raise, not settle. They are
the proper subject of political debate. Our most immediate job
is to put media issues on the political agenda, to convince
people that it is their right in a democratic society to
establish a media system that serves their needs. What I have
presented so far suggests this will not be an easy task,
especially in the United States where media power is
concentrated and protected by world-class public relations. But
it is not a hopeless task. Surveys and repeated experiences
suggest that the U.S. people, and people elsewhere, are not
enthralled with the corporate commercial media culture. It's
just that people often lack even the most elementary level of
information -- after all, where would they get it, except
through the media system? -- and they have been alternately
seduced and pummeled by corporate propaganda. They feel
powerless to effect change, and frankly, they have a point. In
this vacuum, right-wing media theories can and do prosper; but
what is striking is how little they actually do resonate with
the mass of people. The area of media reform is wide open and
waiting for democratic media activists to exploit.

In this scenario, where there is a paucity of reliable
information, there is a crucial role to be played by
communication scholars and academics. Our job is to conduct
research on how the current system works and present it in as
accessible a manner as possible. Our job is to study and report
on the history of communication policy-making and nonprofit
media, and their link to democratic politics. Our job is to
subject the corporate media PR claims to rigorous scrutiny and
then publicize the results of our research to the best of our
ability. Our job is to connect with scholars with similar
concerns in other academic disciplines and fields, and to work
closely with media reform activists. Our job is not to be
anybody's cheerleader or to pull any punches. Our job is to
maintain a commitment to democratic values, to tell the truth,
and to let the chips fall where they may.

Sadly, communication scholars, at least in the United States,
have dropped the ball in this regard. To some extent, this is
due to the general structure of Academe, which encourages
scholars to avoid conflicts with the powers-that-be. As Noam
Chomsky once noted, the United States has the most cowardly
intellectual class in the world. To a great extent, in
communication particularly, this is due to the close attachment
of academic departments to the media industries. This
relationship gives a strong push to what Paul Lazarsfeld termed
"administrative" research that serves media owners, rather than
"critical" research that aims to serve democratic ideals. It is
striking how little of the most useful critical work in
communication is actually generated by scholars in
communication departments.

His comment about academic integrity could be applied to most areas of study these days. You have to go back to 80s and 90s to find critical academic works that don't parrot neo-conservative corporate goals. You see it every time a public affairs or new program, whether on CTV, Global or CBC, turns to an academic expert for an interview or panel spot. The pool of diverse opinions and well informed critique is shrinking.

Another aspect he touches upon is the dumbing down of journalism in general and its impact:

Quote:

Consider ... the decline of journalism that
accompanies the rise of the Disneys, Time Warners, and Rupert
Murdochs to the commanding positions in global news media.
Traditionally, there has existed a relatively sophisticated
journalism pitched at business interests and the upper middle
classes, and an inexpensive schlock journalism pitched at the
masses. Among the new giants of the news media, however, a
commitment to high-quality journalism as a necessary public
service evaporates as soon as the bottom line comes into view.
Good journalism is expensive. Good journalism usually
antagonizes powerful political and business interests. So it
was in 1994 that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation discontinued
carrying the BBC World Service television channel in Asia
because the Chinese leadership let it be known that doing so
would undermine Murdoch's chance at the lucrative Chinese
market. And when Disney purchased ESPN in 1995, Disney CEO
Michael Eisner acknowledged that ESPN's appeal was that it
never antagonized political powers in any nation. When Disney
fulfilled a contractual obligation and distributed the
pro-Tibetan Kundon in 1997, Eisner bent over backwards
to kiss the rear ends of the Chinese leaders, all but promising
that Disney would never again make the mistake of delving into
China's "internal" affairs. Disney even hired Henry Kissinger
to massage the Chinese leadership on its behalf. Also in 1997,
Time Warner's CNN addressed its declining ratings by airing an
interview with O.J. Simpson and subsequent shows analyzing the
interview. These corporate decisions are based entirely upon
self-serving economic considerations, not on traditional
journalistic considerations. It goes without saying that not
one of these new media giants would ever follow the lead of
Baruch Ivcher, the Peruvian TV station owner who has been
threatened with deportation or arrest for persistently exposing
the corruption of the Fujimori government.

Media mergers in the 1990s led to a great deal of downsizing and reorganization that resulted in smaller news staffs and greater reliance on the same information sources (news feeds such as AP, CP and Reuters). It presented an opportunity to prune the news room of top notch investigative journalists or critical editorialists. I'm sure schools of journalism followed suit because the focus in academia moved to meeting market demand. Just think of it, Sara Palin has a journalism degree. I'm not suggesting that all journalist graduates post 1980s are as vaccuous as her but I believe curriculums have been dumbed down to fill the requirements of corporate media.

So in part, Sven is right, the CBC of late has been shaped by competition. Where he is wrong is in the fact that that competition has not had the effect of keeping them in check or responsive to public needs. It has had the opposite effect. It has led to the dilution of quality and a diminished capacity to be responsive to the public good.

Governments, Conservative and Liberals, have been pushing the CBC to behave like a corporate competitor for the past three decades. Although an arms length crown corporation, the government controls public financing and Board of Director/Executive Management appointments. This sets the tone for how the day-to-day business of running the CBC is done. These policies have led to a reversal of the role CBC (like the BBC) once played as being the standard bearer of what quality production and programming should be.

What seems evident to me is that the CBC should be strengthened and allowed to follow its original mandate as outlined in the Broadcasting Act. The preamble of that Act alone is a thing of beauty. It recognizes our airwaves as a public good that must serve to shore up our democracy.

As Dr. McChesney points out:

Quote:

In Britain, public service broadcasting had the strongest hold
by far. The BBC enjoyed a complete monopoly from the 1920s
until the 1950s. It also enjoyed significant popular support.
Even after commercial radio and television were introduced, the
system managed to maintain its overriding commitment to public
service for decades. This was due to no small extent to a
regulatory regime that made it difficult for the commercial
broadcasters to become entrenched and which required that they
meet high standards for public service. In short, commercial
principles were kept on a short leash and were not permitted to
set the rules for the entire system. Indeed, the British
experience suggests that a mixed system of public and
commercial broadcasting can coexist and prosper (and even
perhaps be desirable) if there is rigorous regulation to ensure
public service values. But this is a difficult balance to
strike; in Britain the incessant prodding of commercial
interests, combined with the Thatcherite love of the market,
helped turn the tide. By the 1990s British media scholar Colin
Sparks announced that British broadcasting was a predominately
commercial affair, and that the BBC was taking rather than
giving cues.

By the way, hi Unionist! Thanks for the wishes. Best to you and yours. 

 

 

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
If only it were "only in America".  It's here, too.  We're not THAT
superior, and we're almost as immersed in consumer culture and
corporate slavery as they are.

I agree. I just don't think Canadians have been as successfully brain washed although progress in that direction is on-going.

Fidel

I think that if enough Americans and Canadians were sufficiently brainwashed, there would be no more need for billionaires to fund political campaigns. Apparently they cant trust voters to decide for themselves without well funded propaganda campaigns every four years, and now every two in Canada. The conservatives never really recovered from Brian Mulroney's legacy. 22 percent of registered voter support is all they could muster just a few weeks ago, even after having spent more on campaigning than every other party.

 And the powermongers would have no reason to buck the left trying to repair our obsolete and dysfunctional voting systems. They still dont fully trust us with democracy in the English-speaking countries.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I agree, George. 

George Victor

The Conservatives have more to spend, Fidel,  because they collect more aindividual  donations (the average was $97 Edit:  $97 was the average for Obama) than all the other parties combined. They have very efficient IT networks - like the committed Christians. Often, it's local chambers of commerce mailing lists. "Billionaires" can no longer do it for them (or the Libs). But, of course, the media give them freebies all the time.

The Conservatives HAVE "recovered from Brian Mulroney's legacy" by combioning CRAP with PCP  - and more. We just have to become better at organizing - and informing. A recession tipping toward economic depression  should provide opportunities, one would think.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Thank you for your last contribution, Laine. It is the perfect opening to put this thread back on track. Sven's deliberate derailment should be ignored from this point forward.

George Victor

Thank you for that contribution, Laine. It is the perfect opening to put this thread back on track. Sven's deliberate derailment should be ignored from this point forward.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Right on, LTJ.

And FM - I sure would not want to be on the opposing team!Laughing You've got the  21st century  consumer/taxpayer  profile just about right. How do we restore the concept "citizen" without taking over the printing presses?

Like, what are you reading lately?

Loretta

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Thank you for your last contribution, Laine. It is the perfect opening to put this thread back on track. Sven's deliberate derailment should be ignored from this point forward.

What am I (and the link to the article Laine quoted) -- chopped liver?

RosaL

no, I won't say anything.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Did you ever read Naomi Klein's No Logo, George? I know there was a lot of criticism of that book, and Klein personally, and for a lot of reasons. But that's all grist. Klein has an amazing ability to see past the curtains and into the kitchen as she did equally well with Shock Doctrine. And one of the critical lessons of that book is that corporations sell back to us only the image of that which they take.

So Starbucks, for example, presents the image of the very thing it is putting out of existence: the cool, walkable neighbourhood, funky, coffee place where people meet to talk, gossip, get warm, or just read and hangout. The thing is this, theStarbucks is not that funky little place. You won't find posters promoting local punk rock acts, alternative theatre, or even the Kinsmen meeting. It doesn't happen. And as often as not, you can't walk there.

Klein got that. But it is more than branding and the selling of consumer goods. It is the branding and selling of quality of life as well. Add to Klein's excellent analysis this very interesting read by Jeffery Kaplan: The Gospel of Consumption  for a fuller understanding.

Kaplan argues that consumerism is a strategy and he contrasts that by demonstrating the example of an early experiment at Kellogs:

Quote:
Business leaders were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of a

society no longer centered on the production of goods. For them, the
new “labor-saving” machinery presented not a vision of liberation but a
threat to their position at the center of power. John E. Edgerton,
president of the National Association of Manufacturers, typified their
response when he declared: “I am for everything that will make work
happier but against everything that will further subordinate its
importance. The emphasis should be put on work—more work and better
work.” “Nothing,” he claimed, “breeds radicalism more than unhappiness
unless it is leisure.”

....
Not only did Kellogg prosper, but journalists from magazines such as Forbes and BusinessWeek

reported that the great majority of company employees embraced the
shorter workday. One reporter described “a lot of gardening and
community beautification, athletics and hobbies . . . libraries well
patronized and the mental background of these fortunate workers . . .
becoming richer.”

That goes to one of RosaL's points.

But returning to Klein, they sell us the image of what they destroy. I will say this very briefly and maybe Sven will hear it: You can't be free if you can't feed yourself. Dependence on the corporate growth, processing and delivery of food and life's other essentials is slavery to the corporation which is unelected, unresponsive, and disconnected from the health and well-being of our own communities. 

But Sven might not consider a complete dependence on corporations as a bad thing so long as he gets to watch more TV. But as the article cited above makes us aware, even that is an illusion:

Quote:
The median number of leisure hours available each week dropped 20% in 2008, from 20 hours in 2007, to an all-time low of only 16 hours this year. This continues a trend which has seen America’s median weekly leisure time shrink 10 hours - from 26 hours per week in 1973, the first year we tracked it

That's from The Harris Poll company and can be read here:

Leisure Time Plummets 20% in 2008 - Hits New Low


But despite that poll and data behind it, The Heritage Foundation, one of the ideological trumpeters of the freemarket religion, tells us: Upwards Leisure Mobility: Americans Work Less and Have More Leisure Time than Ever Before.

How can they get it so wrong? Because they're selling not informing and they are selling exactly that which their political and corporate allies  are taking from us: quality and enjoyment of life.

Consider, George, that so many people who livein cities of tens and hundreds of thousands if not millions, will subscribe to  a perception of themselves as the rugged, individual doing it for him or herself as though all the services and systems provided through a collective system of taxation and expenditure had absolutely nothing to do with their being able to function in any manner whatsoever beyond that of a bundle of fear curled up in a cold room.
And that is what this sell job has deprived us of understanding. If we view our homes as being the interconnected system within with which we all function and interact, as opposed to the singular pod to which we all retreat, we could greatly enhance our collective quality of life.

I've just finished Margaret Atwood's Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Well worth the read. She has caused me to want to go back and read some Mythology.  Maybe that will keep me off babble. The book, by the way, was part of the CBC Massey Lectures.

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Thank you for your last contribution, Laine. It is the perfect opening to put this thread back on track. Sven's deliberate derailment should be ignored from this point forward.

~yawn~ 

________________________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Fidel

George Victor wrote:

The Conservatives have more to spend, Fidel,  because they collect more aindividual  donations (the average was $97 Edit:  $97 was the average for Obama) than all the other parties combined. They have very efficient IT networks - like the committed Christians.

Yes, it sounds like the Liberals are missing corporate donations the most. But Conservatives are mimicking Republicans with funding from individual donors. And we can be sure they are all taxi cab drivers and Canadians on lower incomes for sure. 


 New federal Canadian political donations and funding system still has big loopholes but still better than before - August '08

I think what has amazed our two oldest political party strategists about the NDP is how many people on low  and modest incomes donate to our  party.

Quote:
The Conservatives HAVE "recovered from Brian Mulroney's legacy" by combioning CRAP with PCP  - and more. We just have to become better at organizing - and informing. A recession tipping toward economic depression  should provide opportunities, one would think.

I think the longer the recession lingers the less chance that Harper and his big money campaign team will appeal to very many more than 22 percent of registered voters. They really wanted to put a grab on a surer things with a half decent phony majority, because the Harpers had a very good idea of what was probably about to happen in the U.S., a country that Canada's trade is intimately tied to since Mulroney's CUSFTA and Chretien's NAFTA and deep integration since then. Canadians didnt know Brian Mulroney in 1984 and handed him a true majority. Like English voters, I think it's true of Canadians that they look for reasons to vote conservative. I just dont' think they'll be handing the Harpers either a true majority or a phony one anytime soon.

Aristotleded24

Sven wrote:
The capitalist society that we have has made huge strides forward for the average person.

No, that is false. The capitalist system we have in place has been so for the country's entire history. Were were the huge strides forward for the average person from 1867 to 1940? Never mind history, anecdotaly we know that there was a great deal of poverty pre-WWII. Why? Because an elite wealthy few called the shots. During the Depression, people suffered greatly, and most historians credit WWII as ending it. Which was the case. But what happened is that people saw the government neglect them only to spend money to fight a war. Well, they were angry, and they demanded better. Ever heard of the demonstrations of the 60s? That's where they came from. The elite allowed living standards to rise, but only in response to public anger and out of fear of the Bolshevik Revolution making its way to this side of the Atlantic. Speaking of Bolsheviks, the USSR provided a convenient way for any forms of socialism to be dismissed and for capitalism to be held up as superior. This was also accompanied by a relentles propaganda campaign which convinced people that their advancement was due to their own hard work and not as a result of the social changes that were happening. If hard work is all it takes to advance a population, why was it only in the post-war period that average people gained the most ground? Or are you suggesting that people didn't work hard throughout the 20s and 30s?

Fidel

And some Americans were led to believe that their economy continued to be a purely capitalist one after FDR.

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