by Harvey Oberfeld
Februaryi 13, 2023
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is on to something.
Canadians by the millions have tired of the CBC: television ratings for its local “news” coverage across the country have long been in the dumps; its once-venerated The National is now a disgrace; and the $1.7 BILLION the CBC receives annually from taxpayers through federal government funding sure does seem a waste to many.
“At an April rally last year, while he was still battling to be the leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre slapped his thigh along with the hard syllables of the most popular chant among the event’s attendees.
“De-fund the C-B-C. De-fund the C-B-C. De-fund the C-B-C,” according to an article a few weeks ago in The Hub, a public policy forum.
(Read more about that here: https://thehub.ca/2023-01-09/pierre-poilievre-wants-to-defund-the-cbc-heres-what-that-may-look-like/.
It’s not just political rhetoric: defunding the CBC is an idea that 46% of Canadians now support “strongly” or “somewhat”.
“A recent poll found that 31 percent of Canadians strongly supported defunding the CBC, while 15 percent of Canadians said they “somewhat support” it. On the other side, 24 percent of Canadians strongly oppose it, while 13 percent somewhat oppose it,” The Hub reported last month.
Poilievre has clearly touched a nerve … or lots of nerves … with not only Canadians, but at the CBC as well.
Last week, CBC/Radio-Canada president Catherine Tait took public aim at Poilievre.
“There is a lot of CBC-bashing going on – somewhat stoked by the Leader of the Opposition,” she told The Globe and Mail’s Marie Woolf. “I think they feel the CBC is a mouthpiece for the Liberal government.”
“Ms. Tait must realize that it is more than a little unsettling for Canadians to hear the head of the CBC express political opinions that could raise doubts about the public broadcaster’s neutrality,” the Globe lamented.
COULD raise doubts???
Have Globe editors … and other media … not been watching and listening to the CBC???
Readers of this Blog will know I, with 38 years as a REAL journalist, with more than my fair share of regional and national awards, have repeatedly in recent years decried the CBC’s bias, even referring to it as “the unofficial voice of the NDP.”
And The National is among the worst!
In fact, I would point to The National over the past seven or eight years as 20 minutes of Canadian/world news from an NDP perspective, followed by 40 minutes of advocacy propaganda … again, all of it from a one-sided, biased, far left point of view.
Their favorite propaganda pushes, over and over again: First Nations’ advocacy ; abortion/women’s rights; gay/transgender campaigns; climate change.
The fact millions of Canadians support right-to-life for the unborn; don’t fully buy into the First Nations’ residential schools agenda seeking money, money, money; don’t support the “woke” sexual revolution campaigns; or are suffering a very heavy impact from the Liberals’ climate change/carbon taxes … get little (some believe no coverage at all) from Canada’s PUBLIC broadcaster!
So it’s more propaganda than news … despite the CBC’s own Journalistic Standards that state: “We are committed to reflecting accurately the range of experiences and points of view of all citizens. “
Just focus on the CBC’s pro-Palestinian coverage …. ALL of it, I would describe as pushing a HEAVILY and CONSISTENTLY one-sided, biased, activist anti-Israel perspective.
It has all added up … I believe disgracing basic journalistic standards that REQUIRE fair, full coverage of both (or several) sides of contentious issues.
And it has been going on at the CBC for several years now.
Here’s what I wrote in 2017: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/cbc-the-national-less-news-and-more-propaganda/.
My criticism was vindicated: in 2019 http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/western-alienation-cbc-fails-its-national-mandate/; in 2021: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/cbc-moves-mountains-to-steal-dead-sea-scrolls-away-from-israel/ … and last year again: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/cbc-found-guilty-of-failing-to-live-up-to-its-own-journalistic-standards-and-practices/.
Yet, things at the CBC in fact have gotten even worse!
This past Summer, CBC brass even gave the “green light’ to CBC “journalists’ who had signed an “open letter” supporting what Honest Reporting Canada had described as “blatantly one-sided, pro-Palestinian” analysis … even proven falsehoods … regarding the 2021 Israel/Hamas war.
Read about the CBC’s disgusting stance here: https://honestreporting.ca/cbc-reverses-policy-allows-journalists-who-signed-anti-israel-open-letter-to-cover-israel-related-news-stories/.
It’s VERY CLEAR to me: NO REPORTER/JOURNALIST should take on ANY public activist role, sign ANY petitions, participate in ANY marches, protests, campaigns of ANY sort … while still WORKING as a supposedly fair, unbiased news person, producer or manager!!!
In fact, while I covered politics … municipal, provincial or federal … I didn’t even vote! (But haven’t missed an election opportunity since.)
Real reporters can do all those things (even write a Blog!) after they retire or move on to non-reporting/news management employment … but should not take on ANY activist role while employed as SUPPOSEDLY unbiased observers/reporters.
The CBC has clearly lost its way.
Poilievre should VOW to take on the CBC’s BIAS as well as funding.
I’d bet that would score VERY HIGH in public polls!
I believe there still IS a valuable role CBC could/should play in serving parts of our country under-served or ignored by the profit-driven private broadcasters; I believe the CBC has and could continue to provide an important role in advancing Canadian cultural values and events; I believe the CBC used to … and could again … provide a fair, unbiased Canadian perspective of world events …. ALL for a lot less money than the Mother Corp now costs Canadian taxpayers.
But first, heads must roll … among top and middle management, and also to get rid of activist reporters who disgrace the craft of REAL journalism.
Trudeau won’t do it: hopefully Poilievre will … if he gets the chance.
Harvey, no question about everything you’ve raised. I do sense, the great Canadian unwashed are beginning to tire of the non-stop Aboriginal onslaught for reconciliation and as you put it: money, money, money. Recent examples of pushback: West Vancouver’s new Mayor has forbidden the reading of Aboriginal land aknowledgment before each council meeting, and the recent decision by the Province not to fund an Aboriginal-led proposal for the 2030 Olympics, citing other priorities like health care. The CBC has one agenda, the taxpayer another.
Time for a change in the “mother corporation” both in content and funding.
CBC should switch over to a viewer funded status, much like the PBS but without any government or corporate sponsor
CBC should become neutral in its reporting, no agendas, no biased reporting, “just the facts ma’am” to quote an old TV show.
If I want political propaganda, I can tune into their websites, same with the social engineers agendas.
Of course, ALL upper management must be pink slipped
So true Harvey, a complete waste of taxpayer money
The CBC, is no longer an honest purveyor of journalism. It’s a leftist propaganda unit that is not only a puffer for the Federal Liberal Party of Canada and any NDP subordinates including provincially, but is anti-Canadian, anti-Caucasian, anti-traditional values, Chriotophobic, anti-nuclear family values and would champion Canada becoming the new MARXIST STATE with a DEAR LEADER to pander to and for as well as to worship.
Please, Mr. Poilievre if or hopefully (I have to include the word if as I no longer have great faith in the Canadian electorate voting out our current trash PM and his Libtard government) when you become our next PM, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, Privatize and or break up the propaganda unit for the left, CBC network.
Hell, even our private broadcasters are leftist leaning, woke, idiot, schlock and conmen, but they still do have to make a buck, where as the CBC never has to and it sucks off the public taxpayer tit forever.
Maybe 50-60-70+ years ago there was a purpose for the CBC as Canada had very little electronic media choices, but that ship sailed oh now 25+ years ago.
Why not put an end to the CBC experiment and sell it off?
Then investigate upper executives for Crimes Against Humanity.
I used to be in favor of privatizing the CBC (or at least its TV units), but it’s become so “woke” and liberal-biased in recent years under GQ Trudeau that it’s beyond fixing now, so I’d now prefer to see it abolished altogether.