CBC continues it's bizarre behaviour

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!"  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 investigation 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 Post  


A good piece of challenging writing there.

What's frustrating me plenty these days is some of the strange decisions being made over at CBC 2. Come this September: 
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 — 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.  

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.


<Rant Over> 







  1. It's funny you rant about this, because I read this story over on Wendy's blog too, and I had the exact opposite reaction. Given that the above editorial is from National Post, I sorta expected that type of reaction to CBC's programming. Anyway, I especially like the mix of music planned for 2. Our household is CBC friendly, to say the least, though. I'm on a first name basis with Peter, George, and Evan.

  2. I too think CBC is on the right track, including its airing of controversial material, such as was the case on the 9/11 anniversary.

  3. I wouldn't write off the editorial simply because it's published by The National Post, unless they have some kind of blanket anti-CBC policy.

    If what CBC reporter is recorded as saying is at all accurate, it appears her intention was to be deliberately antagonistic, which doesn't seem appropriate for a government media outlet.

    My two cents based on little knowledge of the whole thing.

  4. While I don't particularly care what they broadcast on Easter Sunday, when I read that first quote my mind went quickly to BBC, which I have been listening to more and more. It seems they are quite bold, compared to the CBC. Running Thought for the day, and morning prayer. Services at local churches, and The Bells of the day. All that they run on their national stations.
    The local BBC stations run worship music, modern and ancient, services and church news. It's surprising to me.

    And re. the music, is it just different tastes?
    I love that when I just need some thoughtful music that has lasted the years, I could turn to CBC. Used to be CBC 1, late at night with its light classical fare, and it was a great way to end the day.

    Then that was taken away.

    Now CBC 2.
    Yesterday evening the announcer compared the new girls group she was playing, with the Spice Girls.
    Oh man oh man oh man. (And I like the Spice Girls! Spice Up Your Life baby)

    But I can get that elsewhere.

    I am a big Joni Mitchell fan, and Jazz is like my second or third language, but Tom Allen in the mornings is just a treat. Smart, insightful, with stories that are interesting, and good music besides.

    Maybe it's all just personal taste.

    I do wish CBC would put some money into shows made here on the prairies, rather than just Vancouver or Toronto etc. I like The George as much as anybody (well except Becky I suppose), but when the stories told and the little weather or cultural insights are so tied to a region, that frustrates me. This is a national Broadcaster. it should be more national.

  5. I really like a lot of the programming on CBC (radio more than TV), but I don't believe it should be funded from the public purse. It is unfair competition for the private broadcasters. I believe the CBC should be removed from the public trough and forced to compete in the marketplace, perhaps using a PBS-type model. I would send in a contribution.

  6. I miss the classical stuff at night. Tonight i wanted to listen to something - either classical or jazz or even some easy listening but what was on CBC was really off the wall and not what I needed to keep me awake on the ride in from Waskesiu. Quiet was better than the rain and paper music that I got. I like innovative but I like classical a lot more.

    And I don't mind at all that the station is funded by tax dollars but then keep the quality high and yeah we need Canadian content but not only that.


I'm moderating all the comments these days.