Target du Jour: The CBC
Okay, never mind that multi-billion-billion dollar meltdown on Wall Street last week (described by some as the potential “death of capitalism”) that our own economy missed by a “close shave,” or the somewhat horrifying $22 billion forecast coming out of Dalhousie University about long term costs of the war in Afghanistan, or the latest victim of the contaminated meat scandal maybe arising out of our own misguided venture into the whacky world of deregulation (that’s so yesterday) ; and instead, let’s focus our attention on the really important issues of the day, shall we?
I refer specifically to the latest Outrage du jour from the right, that being the remarks made by Heather Mallick in a recent “beyond vicious” column on the CBC’s website. And of course, by “recent” I mean weeks ago, that was until it got picked up by Fox News and thereby suddenly assumed global importance — at least to the nattering ninnies of negativism, somewhat better known as “The Blogging Tories” — Steven Taylor’s clearinghouse for the opinions of the mentally unbalanced. Well, let’s go to the video first…
Goodness me, can you imagine anything more incredibly vile or heinous? Let the shaming and scolding begin! And… we’re off the races. At Crock-of-the-Matter (where commentary and opinion have sex, apparently), superannuated political busy-body and notorious Harper fellatrix Sandy Crux quite predictably conflates the CBC (a crown corporation) with the government in a ridiculous hypothetical “what if” false comparison and uses Mallick’s injudicious remarks to blast “most in the media” who Sandy thinks “need a reality check” — which you can get here, by the way… although you can only use the information for good and not eeeeeevil, otherwise it’s a violation of copyright; or something.
Over at Blue Like You — a waystation for refilling your hand baskets on the road to Hell, apparently — its passive-aggressive proprietor rolls out of bed to deliver an “Important Note to U.S. Readers!” informing their otherwise troubled minds with the soothing news that “Heather Mallick and the CBC do not speak for me!” Phew! That’s a relief to know.
Light comedy aside, the trumped up outrage is of course just another opportune moment for people like Sandy, Joanne and their camp followers to briefly unleash the seething visceral anti-CBC furies that dwell inside them, much like the flesh-eating “people under the stairs” in the film of the same name. It doesn’t take a great deal of “nutpicking” to run across comments like this:
Firing all the staff at the CBC is NOT the solution. Or at least not the entire solution. The CBC should be dismantled the equipment destroyed or sold off shore, the building sold or demolished and legislation passed prohibiting severance pay for all of the fired people, THEN publicly funded broadcasting should be constitutionally banned. The CBC or its equivalent must never be allowed to be resurrected again.
I’m sure there are probably much worse solutions envisaged for the folks at the “mothercorp” but I really couldn’t be bothered to go venturing further. What all this “outrage” misses it seems is the fact that, as was pointed out in a letter re-printed by Jonathan Kay in the National Post this morning, the heading “Analysis & Viewpoint” more than suggests but is a plain statement of fact: this is merely the opinion of a single writer and in no way at all should it be necessarily be construed as being the “official” position of the broadcaster. Sure, it’s a controversial opinion, but what’s wrong with that? Indeed, as the CBC executive notes, it’s part of their mandate and obligation under the federal Broadcasting Act to “offer a range of views on matters of public interest and concern.”
Are people like Sandy, Joanne, et. al., seriously suggesting that all “opinion” expressed on the CBC should conform to some state-approved party line? I suspect that this would be fine with them, provided that the “state” in question was the Harper regime and the CBC was simply churning out propaganda in “Pravda” like fashion. But let’s say that’s not what they have in mind… what then? A state broadcaster that more cautiously restricts the opinions expressed to ensure that that some churlish, reckless loudmouth doesn’t offend our largest trading partner? That is, of course, presuming that anyone concerned themselves overly much with what Heather Mallick may say or write.
Well, we could go on with this hypothetical exercise at great length but to little point; the bottom line is that the aforementioned ninnies want nothing less than the abolishment of the CBC and the reason for that is that they simply cannot stand diversity of opinion. It’s ironic really, considering that otherwise they fancy themselves to be champions of “free speech” but when it comes to actually practicing it on our public broadcasting systems, this concept rankles them no end. Anything that deviates from the “shining path” of their ideology or that fails to sufficiently pleasure their sensibilities must be exterminated.
At the risk of being regarded as somewhat hyperbolic, it’s another fine manifestation in my opinion of the “eternal fascism” described by Umberto Ecco. In Laurence Britt’s redefinition of that tract, control of the media is an essential feature of the fascist mindset and agenda. To people so disposed in their thinking, independent broadcasters like the CBC that may not always be politically compatible with the power elite are a potentially harmful conduit for dissent — something that must be crushed at all costs.
Or perhaps not… Maybe I’m reading far too much into their reaction, which could just be the knee-jerk response of a couple of remarkably dull, insipid individuals to some silly, hysterical rubbish broadcast on Fox News.
Update: Heh. Heather Mallick is un-American!