Ever since the CBC was hit by the Ghomeishi scandal, and now the Amanda Lang Affair, the CBC haters in this country have been having a ball.
Trying to use the scandals as just another excuse to kill the corporation. For those Cons hate it so much with a zealotry that borders on insanity.
But what I find even more disturbing is that some progressive bloggers have been throwing up their hands and declaring that the CBC is beyond saving, and should simply be scrapped. Just like that.
I won't mention their names for I have no desire to publicly embarrass them. But I do think they need to be reminded that the CBC, flawed as it may be, is still a precious Canadian institution that should not be destroyed that casually.
And what also needs to be said is that the CBC is NOT its Con board.
Nor is the CBC some of its hapless bosses, who operate in an incestuous bubble of a management cult, and are so detached from reality they apparently think it's OK for their "stars" to make even more money with speaking engagements.
As long they list them.
And who pamper those "stars" like gods. Make them think they can get away with anything. Even though they aren't the CBC either.
Not Jian Ghomeshi, not Amanda Lang, not Peter Mansbridge, the supreme god of them all.
And certainly not Rex Murphy...
The ratty little right-wing demagogue, climate change denier, and shameless oil whore, who should have been fired by those useless managers long ago.
What the CBC is, are thousands of ordinary employees who do a creditable, occasionally brilliant job of operating radio and TV and internet networks that must span a giant country in two official languages. While receiving a pitiful amount of support from taxpayers.
Thousands of writers, camera people, editors, technicians, and others who work hard for the little money they receive, and in the case of the young the lousy contracts they are given, to do the best job they can.
But who those progressives I mentioned before, would throw into the street. Just like that.
Even though they should know that they include people like Kathie Tomlinson...
The hardworking reporter who broke the story on the foreign workers at the Royal Bank, stood up to the pressure from Amanda Lang, who should have been told to mind her own
And who when asked to comment on this outrageous memo from the CBC News honcho Jennifer McGuire.
It is unfortunate that our internal processes are fodder for external debate by people who have their own agendas. If there are any concerns about what we put to air, by all means take them forward and let's have a robust discussion. Half-truths based on anonymous sources is not going to achieve anything constructive.
Did also have the courage to make her feelings clear in this interview.
As a result of this, many people - including me - are asking one simple question. Why it is ever OK to have any perceived conflict of interest, under any circumstances? This is not about Amanda Lang. It is about the long standing belief most journalists have - that conflicts should be avoided at all costs or explicitly declared up front.
I come from the ranks of reporters who would go to a news conference and not even take a muffin or a cup of coffee. These are deeply held views by the vast majority of journalists I know. I heard a lot of people saying that today.
And by so doing did credit to herself, to the best principles of journalism, and to the CBC I admire, and the one worth saving.
And for those so-called progressives to call for it to be so casually scrapped, for the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater, is simply outrageous.
For it only plays into the hands of Stephen Harper who was recently quoted as saying this:
"First we’re going to get them on their knees and then we’re going to restructure them.”
And has been slowly strangling that national institution, as he strangled our precious National Film Board, from the moment he came to power.
The CBC can and should be saved. It can be better, it can and should be more edgy and creative. We can fire the Con board and some of its hapless managers. We can get rid of some of its swaggering gods. And rein in its wretched American-style celebrity culture.
But none of that will happen, nor will the CBC get the money it needs to be excellent.
Until we start at the top and get rid of this monster...
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It can be said that the real head of the CBC is harper Simon. Like the rest of the country, he's re-shaping it into his image, the almighty great economist, strong stable majority, whatever he fashions himself as, that's what the CBC will become. It's no accident that interviews with Peter Mansbridge are akin to a porn fluffer, soft ball questions, no deep thought, no analysis of his record. CBC is however wrought with a bizarre culture, one that will not deal with egregious policy breaches of its stars. That there still sending out desperate tweets to say how "false" the accusations are to dear Amanda speaks volumes and quietly throws good journalists like Tomlinson under the bus. I agree CBC ought not to go away, but its board and management really should be thrown the door even if it costs most of next year's budget to rid them of this rot.
Many progressively like me are tired of the Liberal hacks at the CBC cheerleadering for Trudeau and acting as the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, so I will not miss the CBC if it gets sold.
The only way to save the CBC is to clean house throughout most of it getting rid of the Liberal and Tory hacks and various patronage appointments. Of course at that point there would be little left at the cbc.
True be told the CBC should be turned into a Canadian Netflix like service.
all the CBC board of directors are now con donate club members. Its over the CBC is now CTV or Sun News
Agreed, Simon. CBC is a mess, but the mess was created by the Cons on purpose, in order to kill it. Progressives cackling for the end of the CBC are aiding and abetting in what would be Harper's greatest victory, if he can pull it off.
One of the reasons that Canada has been so successful as a democracy is due to the fact that Canadians have supported a public broadcaster with a vision of in depth reporting and digging down to the bare bones of issues that impact on our democratic traditions.The Harper governments aim of destroying the CBC is despicable and reprehensible as it tears asunder what has been a voice of reason and critical thought that citizens require in order to glean the truth and transparency that we have cherished and that has made our country strong and our voice heard worldwide. It is shocking to here that certain progressives have given up hope and their willingness to defend this institution - it would certainly be great if you could provide some links to these folks so that we could open up the necessary discussions that should be taking place.
The only valid argument for saving the CBC is that it has a MANDATE, coast to coast to coast, to be there for all the people of this country, to disseminate information (however flawed that process might be these days..) and news for the entire country, especially those less well-served by the media as it exists today..
Let's be honest here, if all CBC did was make such turgid dramcoms as Republic of Doyle, King of Kensington, etc etc I would say toss it, too...
But the fact that anyone anywhere in this country has access to what is going on in their own home area as well as the rest of the world is what is really critical..the National Voice, as stilled and pre-programmed as it has become, is still the National Voice, like it or not, and every person in Canada has a right to that, they pay for it, they voted for it, and they should receive it.
When I first came to Canada, back before you were born, Simon, CBC was my lifeline to my new country...I got introduced to hockey (and educated about its intricacies by the great teacher Howie Meeker) and for the first time in my American-born life, found news that actually covered the rest of the world, not just Canada...I learned many things from all the news programs like W5, Fifth Estate, etc....
I rarely watch it now...even their local news program is so 'controlled " I can barely stand to watch it and I'm spoiled to a certain extent by my local Island news, which not only covers local affairs but all of BC, and Canadian as well as world events, all without the slightest bias to the Cons..so refreshing..
Do I think that CBC still has a place for the dispensing of info in Canada? Absolutely, if, and only if, the Cons are beaten in the next election..
Understand this - Emperor Steve will never do away with it completely as it is the perfect propaganda machine to dispense his drivel..and all at our expense...otherwise he would have to pay a commercial station even more to do his dirty work...
Simon look here and see how many CBC board of directors are CPC donors:
It the CBC is being manipulated into a Harper-con propaganda machine most unfortunately and sorry because of that I gotta run to the toilet and heave...
A well-considered defense of the CBC, Simon. As much as i respect your passion and your views, however, I can't help but think that the budget cuts and the Con border members are only symptomatic of a deeper malaise at the Corporation. It seems to no longer have any real sense of purpose, embracing trends that it thinks will give it ratings instead of promoting and extolling a unifying national voice. Management is clearly a reflection of that shallowness, but when you take away vision and replace it with management decisions driven by expedience instead of principle, I'm not really sure what there is left to support.
The CBC board of directors is made up almost exclusively of harper appointees, so whatever is wrong at the CBC has the approval of the Cons.
The CBC is a wonderful media organization vital to the Canadian identity. Just get rid of the clowns who break the rules and the union needs to start acting like a union and represent their members.
Of course the damage needs to be undone but to throw in the towel is to roll over and give f*cking Harper another victory. Once it's gone, it will never come back - at least not in my lifetime and unlikely for the next generation.
I am so sick and tired of the CBC being hung out as a divisive shiny bright object to distract the NDP and Liberals from the real threat, Stephen Harper and every single last one of his policies.
I don't watch tv so I don't know what CBC tv is like. I listen to CBC Radio One, which has a lot of good stuff on it. It could be even better. In-depth news, culture, good music, science programs, history, comedy, more stuff like that.
hi bcwaterboy....you're right Harper is the real head of the CBC, and like everything else he touches he has corrupted it. But as I said in my post, the place is still full of creative people most of whom hate Harper with a passion, and as soon as a progressive government is installed it can come to their rescue...
hi Gyor...I can't believe that an NDP supporter would shutter the CBC and turn it into a pay service. The fact is the CBC is still a national institution, and the NDP gets more airtime on it than it does on any other channel. What corporate channel I wonder would have run the Tommy Douglas story?
hi Steve...no it isn't. The CBC still has the best new service in the country, and since I know some of the people who work there, I know that it's an anti-Harper bastion. Leave the workers alone, and fire the managers and the Cons...
hi anon...the Cons have done all they can to control and demoralize that institution, and progressives who give up on it are only playing Harper's game....
hi anon...You're right, the CBC is one of our creations, like medicare, that helps define this nation and make it different from the Americans. I wonder what those who call for it to be destroyed ever wonder what it would be like if all we had was the corporate media. I don't really want to single out any progressives for not supporting it, just register my disappointment...
hi mizdarlin...maybe it's because I'm from Quebec, but to me the CBC has always been an institution that has best reflected our country, and helps bind it together. It may be horribly flawed by the lack of vision of those presently in charge of it, but it still has the potential to be really great, and it would be tragic if it was lost. It is also the best TV news service in the country, with some of its most talented reporters and producers. For who else would have broken the foreign workers scandal, or sent reporters like Adrienne Arsenault to cover the Ebola story. Not your local news program. If we start dismantling our national institutions we will end up dismantling this country, and it will be as Harper wants it, just a collection of provinces...
hi mogs...as I pointed in my post, the Con board members are NOT the CBC. The CBC is thousands of young and old workers who hate the Cons and are being victimized by them. To throw them casually into the street would be totally unfair and a crime against Canada...
hi Lorne...I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. Thanks to the incompetents and Con clowns running it, it has temporarily lost its way. It's fixation with ratings is deplorable, but that's because it has been forced to rely on commercials because it gets a miserly $29 a year from taxpayers, which places it at the bottom of the list just above the United States. With a bit more money and more inspired leadership it still has the potential to be great. And what we are supporting in the meantime is the least corporate driven media organization in the country, and a great national institution. If progressives are also willing to dismantle national institutions then what sets them apart from the Cons, and what kind of country will we end up living in?
hi e.a.f...yes the Cons control the board, and can influence management, but the CBC is still one of our most precious creations, and it deserves to be defended. As do their workers who are being treated badly by the Cons and their own bosses. As soon as we get rid of the Cons we can start rebuilding the CBC along with the rest of the country...
hi Beijing...I agree with every word. Destroying the CBC would only please Harper, and would be another nail in the coffin of this country. It really is tragic and I simply can't believe that I am having to defend it and its workers from progressives. This country has truly been corrupted beyond belief. But all the more reason to fight even harder to try to get it back...
hi Hugh...I don't watch much TV, or listen to CBC radio, except when I'm in a car. But CBC radio sounds to me like Canada, and CBC TV has the best news service in the country, and when a big story happens nobody can match it. And national institution should be defended by progressives, not attacked...
Simon, I consider myself progressive, but I can no longer support an institution that lacks decent standards. Workers at the CBC need to rise up and tell their managers they will no longer work for the CBC unless Amanda Lang is demoted:take a stand now, or continue to dwindle.
I hope you have seen George Monbiot's article? He's progressive, no?
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