The Confusing Clarity of John Doyle

The CBC is not entitled.
The CBC is entitled.
The CBC is a vital public broadcaster.
The CBC has gone Hollywood.

And that settles that.


  1. Allan
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 10:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    A year ago you wouldn’t have heard these arguments about the CBC being at a crossroads, and nothing has changed about the CBC.
    Had the economy not tanked, the CBC would have balanced the books at year end, and probably boasted about higher audience numbers than the year before.
    So why does the CBC now suddenly have to make up it’s mind about it’s identity?
    It’s identity has been the same for at least the past ten years.
    An identity that has largely been accepted and encourage by both Parliament and the population.
    Is it not parliament that has forced the CBC to “go Hollywood” and get off the dole?

    Doyle states:
    – The CBC is not entitled to be protected from the reality that all media companies face.
    – CBC is entitled to request special funding as part of the federal government’s stimulus spending
    – CBC provides, among other things, an amazing level of service in French. And, as you and I know, that service is not going to disappear. Ever
    – it has increasingly positioned itself as a commercial broadcaster in search of hit shows and big ratings successes.

    Seems to me that it’s Doyle who can’t make up his mind.
    He says, not entitled IF it’s gone Hollywood. Well has it, John?
    He doesn’t say WHEN it’s gone Hollywood.

    It’s Doyle who’s avoiding the question and the Make-up-your-mind time.

    Any executive at the CBC can see that Doyle is just trying to stir up conflict, and purposely ignoring the reality we all see about the CBC, and why commercials are there.

    So the CBC is in a tough spot right now, and after many years of arrogance and we-know-best, it’s not surprising that people now want a pound of flesh to get even.
    But it’s a lot like kicking them when they’re down.
    A temptation that’s harder to resist when it’s the big bully finally lying on the ground.

    It is not the CBC’s fault that it’s going broke. I wish it were that simple, so that we could re-aling the course it has taken lately, alienating and disappointing audiences. But the hockey revenues are used to cover a lot of mistakes, and they’ve been allowed to get away with it for a long time.

    The CBC has come knocking on our door with the news that it’s broke, and Canada has decided it’s time we re-assessed the goals of the operation.
    It’s the country that needs to make up its mind about what kind of public broadcaster they want to fund, how much service and what kind, since it looks like we have a long-term problem on our hands.

    So who is it really that “wants it both ways”?
    Doyle supports giving the great national treasure whatever money they need right now, but apparently on the condition that it become more Canadian, as with shows like Intelligence, Being Erica and JPod, which simply were not able to sustain themselves no matter what the CBC tried.

    Going with American shows is a desperate move that I’m sure is embarrassing to management. They’d love nothing better than a slew of home-grown hits across the board, and then be able to lord it over the other broadcasters for being so much more patriotic than they are with their House and Two and a Half Men, etc.
    But good luck to anyone who thinks they can create a sure-fire hit show. The odds are against it, but the CBC and Canadian artists keep trying.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 12:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The article is entitled, “CBC can’t have it both ways”. Doyle suggests there are two paths for the CBC. A choice needs to be made; one way or the other. The point of the article is clear to me. Whether you agree or not with Doyle’s article, I don’t understand how it confuses you.

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