Reality Therapy

The odds are always in favour of failure, as Dr. William Glasser will tell you, if not life itself as it does every day. Success can only be drummed up up to a point.
But predicting is a mugs game. There’s no way anyone knows the future for sure, let alone that it really really was true that the entire economy and government was a sham. Who knew?
Everyone. And kept their mouths shut.

Doyle takes the provocative (hey, this is after all about selling newspapers), yet mild risk of predicting the end of CBC Television.
And no surprise, he contradicts even that view by concluding that his prophecy for the CBC TV is that it will be … wait for it … “Same as it ever was”.

But CBC TV will not fail, even if it deserves to.
Nor will it be the “same as it ever was’ because it was once really great, though that seems a long time ago now.
It was great because in part it was the only game in town. It didn’t have to compete with anything else. It could concentrate on just putting on good shows, the best they could figure out to do, while still trying to figure out how to use the medium itself.
But that changed, especially with the growth of two other aggressive networks who didn’t have to worry about offending the government. The success of private businesses is always in the best interests of the government, a nosey Fifth Estate is not.

The rise of the internet put further pressure on the CBC, or maybe a better analogy is that it let the air out of its tire. With a vastly growing field of choices people were less and less interested in or impressed by the CBC. And nor did they need the CBC as much any more, except for news. And that’s good enough coming from the radio.

Everyone knows that CBC TV is in trouble (and yes, it’s all George’s fault), and that was true long before the recession.

So change is inevitable.
But another change overtook the CBC that was not inevitable.
And it is what has hurt the CBC more deeply and profoundly than anything else.
The campaign to become popular.
Not good, just popular.
And we saw the result, as John describes in his article.
The CBC lost credibility. It became a disappointing joke. The country experienced a slow souring about the way they were seeing themselves being portrayed on the air.
As wannabe rock stars, whether pushing aside The National in favour of The One or the relentless hyping of a cheap show and declaring George and all that he is as being the embodiment of the soul and spirit of the CBC.
A bubblegum journalist gets all the attention.
The CBC throws their fortunes and brand into one basket. A basket lined with Strombo 8 X 10 glossies.
No wonder the real reporters are so lifeless and disinterested. They don’t matter any more.
In its drive to become popular, the CBC ignored its soul, ignored the real reason it even exists.
To make us proud.
Not to make us think it’s all just a game of people prefer one color branding over another and want lots and lots of jokes and sexy melodramas.
The CBC is not that good at that stuff.
Please don’t tell me The Border was good. The most obvious thing about it was that it was never good enough. It was no Da Vince and it was certainly no American contender.
All the CBC has become good for is hockey and news, the two things it can be the very best at doing.

I predict that CBC TV will never be the “same as it ever was”.
It can’t survive that way.
And it will survive because we will insist that it does. And will do it ourselves if we have to.
But it will also have to get real. And that goes for George too.
As soon as he figures out what the term means.


  1. Aigle
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 7:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I have no real opinion about Tod Maffin. met him once, seemed nice. No real like nor dislikes.


    Re: Promoting our web content on other venues.

    Has anybody been watching Toronto’s CP24 recently? How about Friday-Monday when “Corner Gas’s” finale was essentially pimped out as a news item?

    I had to make a venn diagram to figure out who got what when CITY-TV got parceled out. I had a friend from Roger’s try to explain it, I’m still not sure how it works out.

    But I did see a slow increase of “check our webwatch” memes creep on air over the last few months and the past week’s Corner Gas-gate has all but made me write off this new incarnation as embarassing.

    Please, let’s not go there. For us, I worry when I see all the new “branding” images inside the building.

    Ummm, they look pretty pricey and we already know where we work. Will the eventual finale of “Being Erica” be a topic on “At Issue”?

    Please, no more Kool-aid. I have no problem with blending ourselves on the different platforms but it would be a relief to see a channel not obeying the Maggoty cross-promotion schill-out.

  2. Allan
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And to suggest he doesn’t is even more deluded.
    He’s actually one of my favorite media people.

    In fact, these days, he’s more widely read than a certain so-called “influential blogger” who claims he is “a national CBC broadcaster, a podcasting pioneer, and a popular blogger whose posts are followed by thousands of people in the media, tech and business worlds.”
    Can’t imagine why The Lavin Agency hasn’t updated their profile of … is he still employed by the CBC?
    Where’s that “thousands of people” blog Tod is always bragging about?
    Does the CBC have some understanding with Maffin that he will soon be on the air again?
    Has anyone in Vancouver heard a broadcast with him in the last six months?

    Oddly, I seem to be the only person taking an interest in him.

    Odder still is how the CBC, while pouring millions into a web presence, almost completely ignores the web and web culture in its news coverage and programming content.
    They’re happy to fund original print content for the web, but no original video.
    And they are completely ignoring all the Nerd Conferences that take place, oblivious to the fact that there is a substantial audience for news about nerds and bloggers and techies.
    It seems like ages ago that the CBC discovered Facebook and then mounted an “experiment”, which apparently resulted in their losing complete interest in social media.

    It would be very cool to see these inside CBC’ers like Hersh and Matt and Gorbould who are clued in being interviewed about the changes and ideas occurring on the net, and really just how it impacts everyone’s life in some way.
    Of course ideas like this are a dime a dozen,

    Tod is another idea man, but he’s pretty much run out of them.
    Did you know that “In 1999, Maffin launched, an artificial intelligence firm that led to his meteoric rise in popularity as a technology futurist.”?
    And to this day many people still associate Tod Maffin with the term “artificial intelligence”.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If you think Allan works in media, you’re as deluded as he is.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:45 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    (Allan is obviously connected with that stinky show in some way. Never mind.)

    Umm… how many Little Mosque writers are Muslim? They write in “Islam Face”.

  5. Allan
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:40 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Mosque was a pretty amazing thing to make work.
    That it happened and was so well done, is the one certain thing that this country can be proud of in recent years.

    Stursberg made an interesting remark on the radio the other week, saying that CBC TV broadcasts an all Canadian line-up of content between 8 PM and 11 PM.
    Seems he could not bring himself to justify what happens each night after 11.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:13 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yeah, except the guys who did Amos & Andy were white.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 10:10 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    "Amos & Andy" was phenomenally popular too. Same type of show.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “And yet 830 000 or more tuned in for the finale.”

    That’s still below Stursberg’s million viewer cutoff. Does he even talk about that anymore?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 9:47 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And yet 830 000 or more tuned in for the finale. A big jump. Why? People are stupid? Or is it that they advertised a story that maybe people were curious about, and tuned in to see?

    That’s not “fewer and fewer”. That’s “up and down.” So easy to hate. So hard to actually, you know, analyze.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted April 15, 2009 at 4:49 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The show has never been in the least entertaining. It’s only about mandate. That’s why fewer and fewer people tune in all the time.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Is that show a pile of down’s-syndrome excrement or what?You actually bothered to watch it? The jokes on you, buddy.

    Actually the joke’s on pretty much anyone who pays taxes. (Don’t take that as a knock at the CBC budget, all Canadian dramas have tax money behind them.)

  12. Allan
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    pretty rough language.
    So apart from having a large cast of some of the very best actors in our country, and story lines that often shed light on some aspect of the Muslim faith and even conflicting views within that faith, and how that faith adapts itself within the culture of a foreign country, what do you find the most troublesome about this show?
    I know there aren’t a log of great laughs, but there’s a measure of wit at least every now and then.

    With your description something must be really really wrong with it. The worst I can say about it is that I’ve lost interest in it, but others, infact a lot of others, still tune in.
    Are you so angry about it that it’s necessary to take away other people’s fun?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Let’s talk about “Little Mosque”.

    Is that show a pile of down’s-syndrome excrement or what?

  14. Allan
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 11:41 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thanks. Can’t help it, but trying.
    My fingers seem to have a mind of their own, without editor.
    Didn’t get none of that disciplined CBC training.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 9:39 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Speaking as one mentally ill person to another, you still don’t have apostrophe use down.

    In it’s drive to become popular, the CBC ignored it’s soulGah! It’s is not possessive, even though it has an apostrophe. It’s true! Apostrophes and possession are actually two distinct things! It’s a funny old world.

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