Slowly but surely the government is gathering the media into its ghastly embrace

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Canada's mainstream media bought and paid for by government - YouTube

Andrew Coyne

by Andrew Coyne

April 1, 2021

I don’t want to alarm you, but you might like to know that the federal government is about to take over the media.

Perhaps you will think I am exaggerating. But before the spring is out, based on its own announced timeline, there won’t be a patch of grass on the media landscape – broadcasting or newspapers, digital or analog, curated or user-generated – that the government does not either regulate or subsidize or both. If takeover is not the word, what is?

Broadcasting, of course, fell to the state long ago. Every minute of every hour of every day of what is broadcast on Canadian radio and television is overseen by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), with its sprawling mandate to protect the public from material that is harmful, degrading or American. Though since much of the content it scrutinizes, classifies and regulates in such detail has already been put through the bureaucratic wringer at the front end via various subsidy councils, it hardly seems worth the effort.

The results are about as dire as you would expect – an industry that, after many decades of state nurturing, remains largely alien to the public it allegedly serves. Still, in television’s technological infancy there was probably no escaping this sort of thing. The relative scarcity of spectrum, and the industry’s abject reliance on advertising, for lack of any means to extract payment from viewers, made for a small number of stations, all showing much the same unadventurous fare. Regulation and subsidy were an attempt, however clumsy, to mimic the diversity of offerings in a well-functioning market.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. The ONLY reason this is happening is because the FAKE NEWS is dying. No one trusts the FAKE NEWS anymore.

    Soon innovation will completely replace the FAKE NEWS and it won’t matter what Justin Khazar Castro does because the FAKE NEWS will no longer be in business.

    FULL DISCLOSURE – I am currently working on an innovative product that will help with the goal of distributed news that will replace the FAKE NEWS.

  2. “protect the public from material that is harmful, degrading or American”

    Love the American part. I’m sure China is OK though. Lol

  3. Oh and I suppose those pesky gates at the Peach Arch, “May These Gates Never Be Closed”, will be locked up tight soon.

  4. I made the mistake of flipping on Global News yesterday (I’ve stopped watching all news for a year) and saw perhaps the SINGLE WORST pandemic panic porn peddled Keith Baldry editorialize on how he thinks the borders will not open until fall because “it’s too dangerous”. I used to respect Keith and his political analysis, but he’s over the top hysterical now. It makes you wonder (in combination with Dana Gee’s comments about being fired to create more Pandemic Coverage) whether this is actually a mandate from above. “If it scares, it airs”. That’s this last year in a nutshell, and the biggest reason why we are where we are. An endless cycle of unscientific fear mongering, scary variants, and oppressive lockdowns.

  5. Thank you John Dough. I too used to like Baldry, but lately he has become a complete spokesman for the Liberals and their leader Captain Crayon. So bad, when Crayon does another impossible goof Baldty will say. “It doesn’t matter, he will win the next election anyway.” Baldry has even developed a swagger . I think he has a sore right arm from reaching around and patting himself on the back.

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