CBC Bashing

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CBC Bashing

On November 13 Ottawa-based Free Thinking Film Society is holding and event at Library and Archives Canada billed as "The Biases of the CBC - Film and Panel Discussion."

Although we've seen the public broadcaster bite the hand that feeds it over the decades, regardless of the party in power, and pay the price of political interference (This Hour Has Seven Days controversy being the most memorable), I've never seen such a concerted effort to "go after" the CBC.

Scratching my head as to why the anti-CBC campaign on SunTV, in parliamentary committee and elsewhere. Why this relentless attack on the one main stream/corporate broadcaster who takes the role of the fourth estate at least somewhat seriously - holding governments accountable? The centrist, main stream and unchallenging reportage that too frequently bleeds through on CBC is also frequently supplemented with refreshingly investigative pieces about subject matter not meaningfully explored by other broadcasters; stories about social injustices, aboriginal realities, poverty, gender-based stories, government wrong-doing, media-related issues, stories that peel back layers of "other-thinking" people and movements. CBC radio does this well. Mostly. For me CBC is not consistent and hard-nosed enough when it comes to challenging the status quo, speaking truth to power, but among so-called mainstream media CBC is the only outlet that at least occasionally pursues alternative perspectives and uses its resources to go deeper and longer to produce more comprehensive, richer journalistic offerings than any other Canadian broadcaster (except TVO) that I am aware of. Minus the shrill hyper-partisan overtones. So, I'm looking forward to this event to discover what the persecution is all about.

When I posted this on the Free Thinking Film Festival web-site one commentator filled in some of the blanks that make sense. Terry Rudden commented:

"I think you're seeing a few forces at work.

a) An ideological axiom that wants to see the government extricate itself from every area not deemed absolutely essential.
b) A failure on the part of many ideologues to understand the qualitative distinction between for profit broadcasting and public broadcasting.
c) A very strong industry lobby against the CBC by its private sector competitors who resent CBC's dominance of the news sector in all major Canadian markets
d) A public broadcaster that has reacted badly to political pressure and funding cuts. Instead of retrenching to what they do best, CBC too often tries to compete for audiences with acquired crap and embarrassing attempts to compete for mass commercial audiences.
e) A conservative mindset that authentically does NOT understand the concept of media bias, or the strategy of seeking balance through the airing of multiple viewpoints."

All this said, I would be ok with CBC returning to its public broadcast mandate, a commercially stripped down CBC out of the entertainment business altogether that focusses exclusively on news, current affairs, documentary storytelling, international and investigative journalism. Things that CBC already does well.

But this unremitting offensive packaged with invectives rather than authentic inquiry and debate about the role of CBC's role as public bradcaster is disturbing. As a life-long CBC radio listener I thought I'd post this here to get a sense of how the community sees this never-ending debate about the CBC's place on the Canadian broadcast landscape.

 

outwest

I would change the wording of point e) A conservative mindset that authentically does NOT understand the concept of media bias, or the strategy of seeking balance through the airing of multiple viewpoints." to the following:

"A conservative mindset that FULLY UNDERSTANDS (AND SUPPORTS) THE RAMIFICATIONS OF ELIMINATING the airing of multiple viewpoints."

6079_Smith_W

I think the CBC should be held up to criticism and that all its biases should be pointed out. Although I don't think I'll be able to make it, I have no problem at all with the topic being discussed.

I agree with you that there is some very effective and critical coverage on the CBC - radio in particular.

THe only distinction I see is between those who think it is worth fighting to take public broadcasting back, and those who have given up on it. 

And sorry, I think if the battle is so desperate that we have to refrain from taking a fair look at things then we have already lost.

(edit)

Scratch that.....

I just went to the website, and it looks like that discussion is specifically about biases against Israel and conservatives. Talk about irony.

A fair look is one thing, but a hatchet job is quite another.

THis festival website is worth looking at, actually. Check out the rest of the programme, and the sponsors:

http://www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca/

 

 

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

THis festival website is worth looking at, actually. Check out the rest of the programme, and the sponsors:

http://www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca/

 

Surely you jest. It's all ultra-right-wing, extreme Zionist, Québec-bashing, neocon (National Citizens' Coalition etc.) garbage. I'm a little uncertain as to why anyone would even link to such shit here, quite frankly.

 

6079_Smith_W

dp

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Why yes it is. Yup. They are all there. And no, I don't jest.

Besides, this entire thread is about that event and its position on the CBC. Are we supposed to all just sneak a surreptitious peek at it and not tell each other that we did?

Don't know about you, but I think it is important to be as informed as I can about organizations like this, especially when they toss around buzz words like "free thinking" that will tend to attract a lot of impressionable people.

I'm also glad I visited the site to be aware of the people, the businesses and organizations which are supporting it. 

 

milo204

i agree with smith in the sense that in order to get a pulse for who/what we're fighting against, you have to see what their perspective/arguments are....

what i'm still perplexed by is that people still

a)buy the argument the cbc is "biased" or "left wing"...there's a staple of right wing commentators and perspectives on the cbc.  But i guess when most of the elites are THAT far to the right....just like the way the republicans chide dem's for being socialst when they're just a moderately less extreme group of extreme capitalists  

b)people can't see the obvious, that when it's cbc's direct competition trying to go after them, it's about money/market share not about bias or anything else.  Too bad years of for profit news has left so many people too ignorant to see this.

Tommy_Paine

Well, the problem is systemic.  The facts have a left wing bias, you see.

 

Gaian

6079:"I think the CBC should be held up to criticism and that all its biases should be pointed out. Although I don't think I'll be able to make it, I have no problem at all with the topic being discussed.

I agree with you that there is some very effective and critical coverage on the CBC - radio in particular.

THe only distinction I see is between those who think it is worth fighting to take public broadcasting back, and those who have given up on it. "
------------------
The CBC gets less support, per capita, than any other public broadcaster in the advanced world - not counting our neighbour to the south. Funding shortages have forced it to give up on most local broadcasting, although it is now intending to restore it to the Waterloo Region.

Radio One, Toronto, is the only radio station to catch when waking in the morning - no bloody commercials - and the only one to listen to at night. Now it's again the Massey Lectures on "Ideas" at 9 p.m.

You should listen in sometime, 6079. You would then know enough to not parrot the servile minds of functionaries for propagandistic lobbies and government functionaries. If they and their ilk are successful, then you are only left with the programs that private stations can justify to their sponsors.

It is so disheartening to see babblers piddling themselves at the prospect of the destruction of public radio...in the name of freedom.

6079_Smith_W

Umm....

Gaian, perhaps you should read what I said one more time before you start in with the personal insults.

 

Slumberjack

Gaian wrote:
You would then know enough to not parrot the servile minds of functionaries for propagandistic lobbies and government functionaries ..... It is so disheartening to see babblers piddling themselves at the prospect of the destruction of public radio...in the name of freedom.

In some respects we can liken CBC radio to those obscure places on the internet where for the moment, people are free to discuss practically anything...but still in CBC radio's case, all within acceptable boundaries of course which are never to be crossed. TV is a different matter entirely because of its lingering potential to reach into many more homes and minds. Here is where discussion has to adopt the expected look-alike conformity by reading from a universal script. Anything else would constitute a glaring contradiction to an expensive information campaign which has been decades in the making. Once a certain level of homogeny had been achieved through relentless pressure to conform to the existing norms, as with the case of CBC TV's journalism, commentary, punditry, and what not, where they have the distinction of voluntarily surpassing all expectations through an ever expanding lineup of sycophants and stooges; all that remains to warrant the attention of hostile business interests consists of an empty shell of a costly social program, providing little in the way of benefit to the general public that cannot already be replicated and distributed by private industry through numerous channels.  As much as we might chaffe at the prospect of paying twice to observe live mind-fucking in progress; through pay deductions at source and through our cable TV and satellite subscriptions; I suppose we should at least be open to testimonials from people who insist on re-introducing their imaginary friend who appears as a threadbare, see through security blanket.

Gaian

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Umm....

Gaian, perhaps you should read what I said one more time before you start in with the personal insults.

 

And this means????: "I think the CBC should be held up to criticism and that all its biases should be pointed out. Although I don't think I'll be able to make it, I have no problem at all with the topic being discussed."

I've read the bloody thing through more than twice.

6079_Smith_W

Gaian. 

I strongly support the CBC. And yes, no one is exempt from criticism. 

Ask before you open fire next time, okay?

 

 

 

OhSullivan

MegB

Gaian wrote:
6079: You should listen in sometime, 6079. You would then know enough to not parrot the servile minds of functionaries for propagandistic lobbies and government functionaries. If they and their ilk are successful, then you are only left with the programs that private stations can justify to their sponsors. It is so disheartening to see babblers piddling themselves at the prospect of the destruction of public radio...in the name of freedom.

Okay, you've managed to insult everyone with this post.  If you find you cannot interact here without insult, you cannot continue to post.  Final warning.

Slumberjack

Not quite everyone.  You're response though...can we can talk about that?

Gaian

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

THis festival website is worth looking at, actually. Check out the rest of the programme, and the sponsors:

http://www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca/

 

Surely you jest. It's all ultra-right-wing, extreme Zionist, Québec-bashing, neocon (National Citizens' Coalition etc.) garbage. I'm a little uncertain as to why anyone would even link to such shit here, quite frankly.

 

As Unionist says.

Gaian

Sj: :"...a costly social program, providing little in the way of benefit to the general public that cannot already be replicated and distributed by private industry through numerous channels. As much as we might chaffe at the prospect of paying twice to observe LIVE MIND-FUCKING (my emphasis)in progress; through pay deductions at source and through our cable TV and satellite subscriptions; I suppose we should at least be open to testimonials from people who insist on re-introducing their imaginary friend who appears as a threadbare, see through security blanket".

----

The conservative's motto:...we must cut taxes, and avoid copulation of our minds by sources not paid for by GM, GE et al. :)

6079_Smith_W

Well I agree with much of Unionist's assessment. 

The thing is that you don't get any of that information (and a good deal more) unless you actually go there.

Now I get the point about not wanting to spread propaganda, but really, it's pretty clear many of us here have gone and looked at it. What's the big deal? 

More importantly, if I were to tell someone that this group and this festival had a very clear bias I might just be asked why I think so. I would feel pretty damn stupid if I had to admit I was just going on heresay and hadn't actually seen it myself. As it is, I feel a bit odd passing judgment on documentary films based on only the titles and a short synopsis. That said, the fact their subject matter all seems to point in one direction is a good indication of where they are coming from.

In fact, the best advice I can give in a case like this is that people should go and look at it and make up their own minds about it.  A recommendation is fine, but ultimately you have a choice to make up your own mind, or let others make it up for you.

If I were there and was given a free ticket I would even consider using it (and who knows, maybe they will have to paper the room).

 

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

More importantly, if I were to tell someone that this group and this festival had a very clear bias I might just be asked why I think so.

Be my guest - refer them to the "Who We Are" page:

Quote:
[W]e celebrate the efforts of risk-taking documentarians whose work espouses the values of limited, democratic government, free market economies, equality of opportunity rather than equality of result, and the dignity of the individual, all underscored by a healthy and patriotic respect for Western culture and traditions. Although there are a lot of courageous voices in the non-fiction film industry producing thoughtful pieces of art which reject cultural relativism, central economic planning and American culpability for all that ills the world, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the listings for most art house cinemas. We’re dedicated to changing that by bringing these exciting and challenging documentaries to Canada’s capital.

Then look at the glowing tributes by Islamophobic provocateurs.

You would refer friends to this site so they can make up their own minds? You're afraid you'll come across as biased if you simply tell them the truth? You would accept a ticket and attend this obscenity?

If you must, refer them to this classic reference text:

6079_Smith_W

Yes, Unionist. Again, I agree with your assessment.

You may feel differently, but before I go speaking against something I certainly want to at least see some of the evidence myself. 

And if you want a good illustration, I think you made my point. Where do you think you got that quote from, and what would your argument be worth if you did not have it in hand? 

I think your second amusing example speaks to that.

(edit)

And yes, I can't see myself paying money for it, but if it were a freebee I'd go see a film, propaganda or not. I'd certainly be able to speak with a bit more authority about it.

 

 

 

milo204

i'm sorta with smith on this one.  i've never gone to a right wing event but i read right wing newspapers, think tank reports, books, etc. for the same purpose.  I can't criticize something until i've read it.  And you really need to see where the other side is coming from if you're going to have any chance of arguing against them.  

Chomsky has used this tactic with great success.  "fine, let's take the example YOU mentioned..." (uses the persons own logic to describe how they don't really believe what they're claiming...)

 

 

Gaian

Join the happy gang:

Hill Dispatches: Heritage Minister joins the gang-up on CBC

|

November 8, 2011

| By

Karl Nerenberg

|

Tory backbenchers have been using the CBC as a punching bag. Now Heritage Minister Moore has joined them.

Freedom 55

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I'm also glad I visited the site to be aware of the people, the businesses and organizations which are supporting it. 

 

Indeed. You have to know who, and what, you're up against. Earlier this year anti-racists in Ottawa succeeded in getting the Ottawa Folklore Centre to stop selling tickets to their events. Regrettably, the independent bookstore, Collected Works, subsequently stepped-in to fill the void.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

You may feel differently, but before I go speaking against something I certainly want to at least see some of the evidence myself.

 

You really don't get my point at all. Of course I read everything around - especially what the enemy has to say. But that doesn't mean we drag the level of discussion on babble down to this. Look at the opening post here. Someone wants to suggest that this Free Thinking crap is some legitimate arts organization (instead of being some near-fascist front) which has some critiques of the CBC. It would be like saying, let's examine Sara Palin and Rick Perry's ideas on health care and discuss them here.

I somehow think I'm explaining without being understood.

6079_Smith_W

If we want to get right down to it Unionist, I'm not the person who posted content (not that I have any problem with that if it is done in the interest of legitimate criticism, as you did).

For that matter, I think the opening poster sees some things differently than I do, but I did not get the impression that s/he was speaking in unreserved support of the event, but rather passing it on in good faith.

Personally, I'm thankful that it was posted, regardless of the motive, because I do like to know what these organizations are up to, and I doubt I would have heard about it had it not been posted here.

I get your point Unionist, but I think as with all things we need to keep it in context. No, I don't think we should get distracted by going through Perry's platform in detail, unless there was some valid reason to do so. 

That is to say, I wouldn't want to waste time on it needlessly, but I have no problem discussing it (presumably with progressive analysis) in as much detail as is needed -  if it is relevant to an issue we are discussing.

Back to this issue - You might also notice that in my first posts I thought it MIGHT be legitimate, until I went and visited the site. I found it quite interesting, and I posted a link - brief, and with just enough info to warn away anyone who might not want to see the offending matter. I did not start poring over the material in detail.

In short, it was there for anyone interested, and anyone else could leave it, and get on with the discussion.

We don't want to monopolize discussion with irrelevant and non-progressive matters, after all. Short of calling in a moderator to make a ruling on whether such posts are allowed, perhaps we should agree to disagree and move on before the threat of distraction becomes even more of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Come to think of it that would be quite the discussion.... though one for another thread. I get the policy about not linking to certain sites, but if there is a proposal to extend that to all non-progressive material, where does one set the bar? After all, for many people here the CBC itself is nothing other than a mouthpiece for the forces of oppression.

I can think of one specific link in which we got to hear some fine comments by Chris Hedges, but we also gave a free platform to the wit and widsom of Kevin O'Leary.

 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Far be it for me to pile on the CBC, but can anyone tell me when I might begin to receive their digital tv signal? I called their local affiliate in Windsor, where someone, somehow, transferred me to Heritage Canada, where I was punted to The National Broadcasting Palace in Toronto, where someone there (who didn't seem to give a rat's ass) brushed me off, while blaming the CRTC...meanwhile, I'm receiving PBS crystal-clear...from Detroit!

6079_Smith_W

@ autoworker

That's odd, because I actually remember digging up an online map with the proposed new signal radii, and I think there is actually a number for transmission. 

I do know that Saskatoon is slated to have no signal at all, though we are currently in a one-year reprieve. They were only planning to have signals (ANY signal.... not just digital) in cities with a TV station, and that doesn't include us.

Too bad. I don't watch much besides the news sometimes, and some documentaries, and the kids still like the morning programs when they aren't in school. But we have no plans to ever get cable.

Good luck.

 

Gaian

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

You may feel differently, but before I go speaking against something I certainly want to at least see some of the evidence myself.

 

You really don't get my point at all. Of course I read everything around - especially what the enemy has to say. But that doesn't mean we drag the level of discussion on babble down to this. Look at the opening post here. Someone wants to suggest that this Free Thinking crap is some legitimate arts organization (instead of being some near-fascist front) which has some critiques of the CBC. It would be like saying, let's examine Sara Palin and Rick Perry's ideas on health care and discuss them here.

I somehow think I'm explaining without being understood.

It certainly makes a CBC listener mighty uncomfortable, not understanding that one is being taken in by the "forces of oppression," and advised to seek safety in commercial radio. "After all, for many people here the CBC itself is nothing other than a mouthpiece for the forces of oppression."

All that blather from the Massey Lectures on "Ideas" last night, followed by an interview with an award-winning African American poet, all of it broadcast on CBC and National Public Radio and around the world...We are being duped by the forces of oppression, and have only to turn to the nearest commercial radio station for ...commercials, verifying the authenticity of our consumerist hearts.

When not turning to a neo-fascist group for explanation of that nasty public broadcasting company's evil intent. :)

And I do hope that the tone of this defence of Canada's public broadcaster is acceptable.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Double Post

autoworker autoworker's picture

@6079: I've been told that there is a digital signal, but it's weak for some reason.

6079_Smith_W

@ autoworker

Here is where I found the maps. Analog TV signal ranges are in black. Digital are in blue:

http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/dtv/coverageMaps.shtml 

 

Farmpunk

Autoworker, you have to scan, or re-scan your TV.  If you can get digital signals over the air from the US stations, then you can get the digital signal from CBC Windsor.  I believe the re-scan usually means people pick up the signal on channel 9.1.

I believe the digital signal is supposed to be stronger and give better picture quality.  

Slumberjack

Gaian wrote:
...We are being duped by the forces of oppression, and have only to turn to the nearest commercial radio station for ...commercials, verifying the authenticity of our consumerist hearts. When not turning to a neo-fascist group for explanation of that nasty public broadcasting company's evil intent. :) And I do hope that the tone of this defence of Canada's public broadcaster is acceptable.

What about the majority of the stuff that is unwatchable...CBC TV in its entirety for example...we're supposed to pay for the extra heaping servings of that shit beyond what we're already paying for through corporate tax breaks, which assist them with peddling similar shit on every other channel in the universe?  They throw a couple of bones out from behind the radio mic and we're supposed to dive headlong into the sewer to fetch them?

Gaian

Slumberjack wrote:

Gaian wrote:
...We are being duped by the forces of oppression, and have only to turn to the nearest commercial radio station for ...commercials, verifying the authenticity of our consumerist hearts. When not turning to a neo-fascist group for explanation of that nasty public broadcasting company's evil intent. :) And I do hope that the tone of this defence of Canada's public broadcaster is acceptable.

What about the majority of the stuff that is unwatchable...CBC TV in its entirety for example...we're supposed to pay for the extra heaping servings of that shit beyond what we're already paying for through corporate tax breaks, which assist them with peddling similar shit on every other channel in the universe?  They throw a couple of bones out from behind the radio mic and we're supposed to dive headlong into the sewer to fetch them?

No Sj, the majority of their stuff, like the majority of all TV, is for the great "oppressed", to borrow a term from this thread. Never watch the majority of the offerings. But boy do they ever manage to uncover some great stuff that makes the Cons squirm eh? Like that female RCMP officer (corporal) who had to go on leave of absence after 16 years of exposure to lecherous male cops? She took it to the CBC. Wonder why. And they DO try harder to produce "made in Canada" than the others.

And radio? I've just unearthed the 50 years of Massey Lectures...almost all audio-available on CBC.ca. Wonderful stuff. I can listen to that, while you fuss with the TV dial.

By the way, have you considered the idea that your dependency on the scatological might be related to your TV habits?

Slumberjack

Whatever the CBC once was has been drowned out by the cadence of its war drum. And yes I have, and found rather that it is specific to certain topics, and simply comes down to a matter of choosing from among the more optimum descriptive words which best befit the subject.

1springgarden

From its inception, CBC has been a massive psy-op on the Canadian population, designed to keeps the English and French populace pacified while the wealth of the country gets carried off by our colonial and corporate masters.  Or provide the rationalizations and 'embedded' propaganda for whatever military misadventures the Washington (or Whitehall) consensus demands.  Can the CBC ever challenge the government?  Has it ever challenged the relationship between the establishment and the colony's subjects?  The CBC has no more editorial range than the Globe and Mail and we are not taxed for the operation of the Globe and Mail.  The best I can say about the CBC is that it is pleasant and sometimes interesting.  But it has always been the government's puppet on a string.

If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media). 

Slumberjack

1springgarden wrote:
If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media)

 

6079_Smith_W

1springgarden wrote:

From its inception, CBC has been a massive psy-op on the Canadian population, designed to keeps the English and French populace pacified while the wealth of the country gets carried off by our colonial and corporate masters.  Or provide the rationalizations and 'embedded' propaganda for whatever military misadventures the Washington (or Whitehall) consensus demands.....

If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media). 

The Friendly Giant? Embedded propaganda? Say it isn't so!

Although on the subject of children's stories, I am not sure the only thing holding the alternative media back is the omnipotent, authoritarian hand of Mothercorp, and that our PM is just waiting until he starves it into submission so that he can redistribute funding to those authentic voices.

For that matter, I think we have alternative media which are alive and well right now. They aren't waiting to emerge. The best way to support them is to support them, not use them as a foil against public broadcasting.

 

Gaian

1springgarden wrote:

From its inception, CBC has been a massive psy-op on the Canadian population, designed to keeps the English and French populace pacified while the wealth of the country gets carried off by our colonial and corporate masters.  Or provide the rationalizations and 'embedded' propaganda for whatever military misadventures the Washington (or Whitehall) consensus demands.  Can the CBC ever challenge the government?  Has it ever challenged the relationship between the establishment and the colony's subjects?  The CBC has no more editorial range than the Globe and Mail and we are not taxed for the operation of the Globe and Mail.  The best I can say about the CBC is that it is pleasant and sometimes interesting.  But it has always been the government's puppet on a string.

If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media). 

The friends of a rising "Big Brother" can spring from anywhere, re-affirming the idea in 1984 that no culture is invulnerable.

But it still takes a monstrously naive - yes, even apolitical - perspective to advance the supposition, without any historical evidence, that "If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media)".

"No doubt". "Labour sponsored media" in the future,even as the Harper government attack shifts to the public sector unions. What a wonderful, make-believe world. And all those taxes to be saved in the meantime, too... Which will of course, allow one to shop until one drops. It all adds up, comes together, somehow.

1springgarden

Gaian wrote:
The friends of a rising "Big Brother" can spring from anywhere, re-affirming the idea in 1984 that no culture is invulnerable. But it still takes a monstrously naive - almost apolitical - perspective to advance the supposition, without any historical evidence, that "If the CBC gets de-funded I have no doubt that other more authentic and useful voices will emerge (eg labour-sponsored media)". "No doubt". What a wonderful, make-believe world. And all those taxes to be saved in the meantime, too...

Fair enough Gaian, I do in fact harbour some doubt as to what exactly might emerge to replace a dismantled CBC.  I don't have a crystal ball but given how little I view/listen to CBC I am willing to take my chances.  The CBC tv channel has gone digital signal only here and I haven't replaced the analog TV set yet, can't say I've missed having the CBC.

The best I can say for the CBC is that it is a 'uniquely Canadian Voice' in a world of media choice.  Since its inception in 1936 the CBC has been an important source of information and entertainment for Canadians.  The CBC has also been an effective vehicle for the Canadian government to enforce a national identity within and outside this country.

I think it is worth looking at the origins of the CBC to understand its purpose and I fully intend to hit the local library for a book on the subject.

In the meantime, I think the CBC is biased towards the government, capital and the establishment, and it is of dubious use to the left.  With the million-channel internet I don't need the CBC anymore for information or entertainment.

http://www.w4uvh.net/dxlatest.txt

Quote:
** CANADA. IDEAS PREVIEWS ON CBC RADIO ONE:

Monday, October 31 - November 4

THE CBC AT 75: TURNING POINTS IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING

The CBC was born into a country dominated by American radio. Canada
needed its own voice on the airwaves. Graham Spry, considered the
father of public broadcasting in Canada, described the need for a
public broadcaster this way: "the state or the United States." IDEAS
producer David Cayley examines crucial episodes in the history of the
CBC from its founding to the present. He deals with the corporation's
earliest days, the golden age of radio, the CBC's fight for political
independence, the origins of television, and the epic battle over the
controversial 1960s CBC Television program, This Hour Has Seven Days. 
The series features interviews with many of the people, including Spry
himself, who were instrumental in shaping the CBC from its very
beginnings to the present day. For more details about CBC's 75th
Anniversary visit the website

http://links.cbc.ca/a/l.x?t=jncickejakefhbfcmefiam&M=2&v=4

1springgarden

Gaian wrote:
DO try to connect with Radio One programming. Start this morning. Michael Enright (if we're lucky) on Sunday Edition at 9 a.m. EST. Ideas every weeknight at 9 p.n, EST. Go from there after consulting cbc.ca. Or perhaps you can suggest some commercial alternative...without those bloody commercials? I watch very little TV outside of news, because of them, the dramatic scenes always fading into dribble-proof panties for old farts.

Okay I hit the CBC Radio website http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ to check the schedule and, haha, first up on Listen to Past Episodes is a replay of The Current from Nov. 10:

Quote:
"Attacking Iran Scenarios: Sam Gardiner

November 10, 2011Radio

Today, we wanted to run through a variety of real-world scenarios triggered by the very real possibility that Iran is developing nuclear weapons capabilities. Sam Gardiner, a Retired US Air Force Colonel has taught strategy at the US National War College, he

:shakehead:

I don't see what the CBC news division is doing that is not being covered in the Globe and Mail.

I'm saying, it is a mistake for the left in this country to hitch its wagon to the CBC.  We will always be disappointed. 

Gaian wrote:
 Take a few minutes from TV watching sometime and try to figure out why it's Conservative governments - who get elected on offers of LOWER TAXES - that seem to want to end non-commmercial voices, along with taxes.?! quote: "I think the CBC is biased towards the government, capital and the establishment, and it is of dubious use to the left " It is certainly trying to avoid Conservative charges that it is biased toward the left. You're apparently not watching CPAC enough to know that that is happening. And again, probably you are ready to crapshoot as to the future of Canadian media voices, some sort of lone labour stranger riding out of the west to rescue us all from an emasculated commercial media reporting the news vetted by Big Brother.

Possibly Stephen Harper's government wants to take down the CBC because he sees it as a Liberal Party construct designed to forge a national identity distinct from the media behemoth to the south which Canadians would otherwise tune to, essential to keep the two solitudes together, etc.  I get that (for the last century), but we're beyond that in the million channel internet and so far this century the CBC has been functioning as a government propaganda tool.  Arguably, it has always done the government of the day's bidding.

All news is subjective - more so today than ever.  All news platforms have an agenda.  The CBC is not the voice of Canada's left.

Gaian

And Cameron in the U.K. wants to end the life of the BBC because ... (At a certain point you have to understand that voices, ideas, challenging the Conservative status quo are the reason behind attacks, whether that is liberal or Liberal source of ideas. "The left" should be able to understand the distinction if ideas mean diddly squat to "the left", and the freedom to work with them.

And the voice of "Canada's left" is.....?

Clearly you're not ready to explore it enough to find out. Dialing in to one episode of The Current and voila, that represents all CBC programming. Which is why "the left" hasn't a hope in hell of developing a national conscience, just a lot of hot-button, contemporary talking points,with all the depth of a pan of pee. As long as one can find one's entertainment - find gratification - somewhere in the commercial broadcast universe. Madison Avenue has done its work.

6079_Smith_W

1springgarden wrote:

Possibly Stephen Harper's government wants to take down the CBC because he sees it as a Liberal Party construct designed to forge a national identity .....

I don't think it is that specific, and I think he is a nationalist of sorts - but his idea of Canada is quite different.

I think he simply wants to control his message and silence all critical voices. Remember the press gallery boycott? Pre-submitted questions? Hand-picking the media they give interviews to? Pre-scripting everything down to the ties people wear, and muzzling anyone who might say anything off-message?

Of the mainstream media the CBC just happens to be one of the more vocal, and also one for which he controls the purse strings. 

And it's not just media-specific. Ending federal funding for government court challenges is just another aspect of the same thing.

But specific to the CBC,  I am sure he objects in principle to the notion of media funded by the public rather than corporate interests .

(edit)

And I am sure it galls him that the CBC is large enough that they have a national and international presence, and can afford to launch court challenges and access to information requests that some media cannot.

Gaian

1springgarden wrote:

"Possibly Stephen Harper's government wants to take down the CBC because he sees it as a Liberal Party construct designed to forge a national identity ....."

CBC was conceived by a failing Conservative government with the argument that Canada needed a national voice in the face of invading American ideas. Heck, it wasn't just George Grant that thought about the danger of U.S.control (allowed by Liberal economic thinking, in his mind).

By the way, you can dial up George Grant's ideas from his Massey Lactures: CBC.ca/ideas/massey lectures.
I don't believe CFRB offers that. Or any of the others, come to think of it.

Gaian

1springgarden wrote:

"Possibly Stephen Harper's government wants to take down the CBC because he sees it as a Liberal Party construct designed to forge a national identity ....."

CBC was conceived by a failing Conservative government with the argument that Canada needed a national voice in the face of invading American ideas. Heck, it wasn't just George Grant that thought about the danger of U.S.control (allowed by Liberal economic thinking, in his mind).

By the way, you can dial up George Grant's ideas from his Massey Lactures: CBC.ca/ideas/massey lectures. Don't have to bother about cracking a book.
I don't believe CFRB offers that. Or any of the others, come to think of it.

1springgarden

In the end I don't think Harper will de-fund the CBC as simply the threat of doing so has the CBC stepping lively to government priorities.  I think Harper may find having a government broadcaster to be useful if it reflects the government's priorities.  I know the CBC is supposed to be independent of the government, but that has always been debatable, especially now.  Even the US government is now looking at allowing a Voice of America -type government broadcast service within the US:

Quote:

From the Engineering Radio Blog

Voice of America, US government

In a somewhat surprising development, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, who oversees the operations of the Voice of America would like to repeal some parts of the 1948 Smith-Mundt act, which prohibits them from broadcasting domestically.  Does this mean that the VOA will become a government broadcaster like the BBC and CBC?  I don't rightly know.  ...  The BBG is also proposing defederalizing the VOA (AKA privatization).  Perhaps one of the current large broadcasters, e.g. Clear Channel or Cumulus will be interested in purchasing the VOA brand name.

With the repeal of the Smith-Mundt act, does this open the door for some form of domestic shortwave service?  

source: http://www.engineeringradio.us/blog/2011/11/trends-in-terrestrial-broadcasting/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EngineeringRadio+%28Engineering+Radio%29 

Okay, I may be getting onto a tangent talking about VOA, but I would hope you can see how the CBC can be easily criticized from the left.  For my part I can certainly see why Canadians value the CBC and wish to defend it, I have often enjoyed CBC pragramming myself.

Unionist

By the way, if you didn't just catch Prof. John Herd Thompson on [url=http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/shows/2011/11/13/post/]the Sunday Edition[/url], explaining and eloquently defending the role of the Wheat Board, you can look up the podcast later (or check out the third hour in time zones west of here) - it's worth a listen.

1springgarden wrote:
I get that (for the last century), but we're beyond that in the million channel internet and so far this century the CBC has been functioning as a government propaganda tool.  Arguably, it has always done the government of the day's bidding.

Not today it didn't.

 

6079_Smith_W

1springgarden wrote:

Okay, I may be getting onto a tangent talking about VOA, but I would hope you can see how the CBC can be easily criticized from the left.  For my part I can certainly see why Canadians value the CBC and wish to defend it, I have often enjoyed CBC pragramming myself.

I think that comment strikes a fair balance. I would add though that it goes beyond being "enjoyable". There are some within the CBC who work hard and are quite effective at holding the government to task.

Are there right-wing voices as well? Of course. For one thing, the CBC is under assault; I don't think anyone here is denying that. But beyond that, it is supposed to reflect the public. That means it doesn't just speak for you or me.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Of course CBC should be criticized from a left-wing point of view. Andrew Coyne? Kevin O'Leary? Don Cherry? But when we find ourselves advocating the same solution as their friends, you might take a second and double check your math. If you support public broadcasting as such (and perhaps you don't), then it's best to advocate reform before dismantlement.

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