Friday, 30 December 2011

The People's Corporation Loses the Common Touch

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Dear Editor,
It's sometimes referred to as "the people's corporation." I don't believe the CBC deserves that endearing title any longer.

Just last night, we were treated to another spectacle on "The National."

Each member of the high-profile "At-Issue" Panel, to one degree or another, pooh-poohed almost every question posed by viewers as part of a year-end special.

No, they chimed, there is no serious gap between the rich and poor in this country. On the contrary, Andrew Coyne informed us, huge progress is being made in reducing poverty in Canada. 


Rex Murphy seconded the motion, reminding us, we've actually never had it so good! (Rex seldom opens his mouth but to change feet!) 

No, the Occupy Movement has had no real impact. (No one offered, of course, that this might be because blind, narrow and stupid politicians refuse to recognize good, new ideas even if they are there for all to see.)

No, paid corporate lobbyists aren't really all that bad, either.  (Try reading
"The 10 Worst Corporate Lobbyists" & see if you agree.)

And no, there are no major problems with our present, non-elected Senate. (Never mind that it is now dominated by trained Harper seals, some embroiled in blatant conflicts of interest, which have dragged on, unaddressed thanks to an impotent "Ethics Commissioner.")

And no, a switch to proportional representation is just not in the cards for Canada. The panel's inference seemed to be, we probably don't need it anyway, because we are all in such darn good shape without it!


So who are these panelists, anyway?

Well, Andrew is a columnist for the ultra-conservative National Post and son of James Coyne, former Governor of the Bank of Canada. While these things should not, in and of themselves, disqualify him as a "man of the people," they sure do make it harder!

Rex is a courageous defender of multinational corporations, a vicious critic of environmentalists and climate scientists, and a mass distributor of false information about global warming. (When not appearing on programs on CBC Radio or TV, he also contributes to the same, right-wing paper as Andrew, the National Post.)
Rex Murphy caricature (L.) courtesy of By the Bay Art Studio 

Chantal Hébert, also a print journalist, has been a voice of reason before. But lately, she seems more interested in protecting the status quo, including our antiquated electoral system, than anything else.

Bruce Anderson, the "new guy," is not even a journalist. He apparently has a background in public relations. And we all know PR people are never known to "spin" the facts.

Sadly, it was Peter Mansbridge himself, (CBC photo r.) the panel moderator, who put the icing on the cake. Apart from a weak attempt to reign in Andrew on the rich-poor topic, he failed to mention that, earlier this month, he had himself reported: "The gap between earnings by the rich and the poor is widening in almost all OECD countries, including Canada, where the top 10 per cent of Canadians earns 10 times more than the bottom 10 per cent." 

(Please also read: "Canadian CEOs vs. the 99%. No Contest When it Comes to Pay.")

For whatever reason, I believe the CBC (esp. TV news) is fast losing its "common touch," retreating instead into a comfortable and smug cocoon of self-importance. Sadly, it too seldom speaks any longer for ordinary Canadians and too often for those who can already afford to speak for themselves.


I would expect this of "the corporate media." 

The CBC is supposed to be different.

Larry Powell
Roblin, Manitoba CA

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