Over lunch recently, a CBC television journalist outlined to me some of the stories she has put together for upcoming broadcasts. A segment of which she was particularly proud included an interview with the Chief Exorcist at the Vatican, and the increased frequency of demonic possession around the world. What excited her most about this segment was the date it was then scheduled to air: "I told my producer -- we have to do it on Easter Sunday!"Â Â I have not seen the interview in question. That said, I suggested to her that, on a day when millions of Canadians revere Christ's triumph over death, it seems insensitive to broadcast an update on the devil's progress.
"All right, then," she answered with annoyance, "What would be on your approved list for CBC Sunday?"
Interesting, that. Always, we are told that the CBC is the people's broadcaster, owned by all Canadians. Yet when I, a Canadian taxpayer, posit that a segment about demonic possession is inappropriate programming on the holiest day of the Christian calendar, the reflexive response is a who-do-you-think-you-are, sarcastic rejoinder, as though I should have no say in the matter.
I suggested a church service, or even something with no religious connection at all. For Heaven's sake, they could just replay Chicken Run, which is shown on CBC half a dozen times on any given weekend (see what a billion taxpayer dollars buys you?).
But then, this is the network that marked the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with a special investigationÂ into whether the terrorist attacks were an inside job by the U.S. government (CBC gave "both sides" of the story -- note to our national broadcaster: both sides of bollocks is still bollocks). They will do as they please with our tax dollars.
Theo Caldwell, National PostÂ Â
A good piece of challenging writing there.
What's frustrating me plenty these days is some of theÂ strange decisions being madeÂ over at CBC 2. Come this September:Â
Mornings (6-10): Less classical, more light contemporary like Diana Krall and Joni Mitchell. About half of the music will be Canadian. No decision yet on who the host will be.
Mid-day (10-3): Entirely classical, both recorded and live music. About 40% Canadian content.
Drive time (3-6): No classical â€”Â instead, a wide variety of genres from world music to blues to contemporary. The show will spend more time on emerging artists and recently released songs. Â
When I moved to Prince Albert there was no CBC 2 here, and thus no classical music options at all. I wrote letters, and emails, and I remember the day CBC 2 came to Prince Albert. What a day that was.
Now, the good quality announcers and their programs seem to be leaving in droves, abandoning the mother ship like she's sinking like a rock.
And we will be left with more mainstream noise, less options, and the decisions being made in another land.
I used to be a great supporter of CBC, and when some of my tax dollars went towards it, I was great with that. Given the directions they are moving in, I am less and less supportive of them. In fact, maybe it's time for them to raise their funds on pledge drive weekends.
At least that way we may occasionally see some locally made Television.