Kim Jong Il Watchâ„¢ (1)

You know that favourite trope of Randroids, Reformers, and red-meat eaters – that the CBC is a “state broadcaster”?

It took mere days for somebody to play that card in the comments section. And it keeps coming up. In fact, it’s been a dependable slug in right-wing-assholes’ Saturday-night special for ten years.

How do I know? I searched the Canadian Newsstand index for all such occurrences since 1998. (This is not “Googling.”) The subculture that decries abortuaries but dearly wishes the electric chair (better yet, the noose) would finally return to this God-forsaken land has really been wearing out those Scrabble tiles.

Canada is a state and the CBC is a broadcaster, but the CBC isn’t a state broadcaster. It’s a public broadcaster. The sitting government of the day does not use the CBC to directly transmit its diktats to an oppressed citizenry. I haven’t been to North Korea, but I have read Welcome to Pyongyang, and lemmetellya, Fort Dork doesn’t look anything like the deserted marble palaces of Pyongyang.

But to these people, the station that gives Rick Mercer a show without even asking him to pull his teeth out of the water glass on the nightstand is no better than an apparatus of Kim Jong Il. The curious thing is that these same people complain the CBC is too left-wing and unpopular. They never level the same complaints against, say, CBCR3 or RDI, but we know already that consistency is not their strong suit.

Here we begin a series of postings that excerpts the bons mots of the writers who pride themselves on having such a strong grip on reality they know two things for sure: Santa Claus never shimmied down the chimney when they were kids and the Canadian Broadcorping Castration is nothing but a state broadcaster.

Today, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition takes the floor and makes the rational case. We begin right where you expect us to begin… with Antonia Zerbisias.

  1. “A Harper win is party stopper.” Antonia Zerbisias. Toronto Star. June 22, 2004. p. C06

    The latest news to tumble off the Stephen Harper Conservative bandwagon reveals that, not only would he allow the raining down of more U.S. signals, but he would also scrap the CRTC.

    That would hand over broadcast licensing directly to government – just like they do in banana republics where dictators decide who owns the TV stations.

    Think about that. If, say, a newscast runs an unflattering report about el presidente, then yank goes the licence. And Conservatives now call CBC a “state broadcaster”?

  2. “Culture, arts again abandoned in Liberal vision.” The Spectator. Mar. 4, 2000. p. W02

    This government has never been able to gets its collective head around the idea that there’s a difference between a state broadcaster and a state-controlled broadcaster. Perhaps [Robert Rabinovitch] was glad to be ignored by [Paul Martin] after all.

The real fun begins tomorrow.

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