State Broadcaster My Ass!

When Conservatives attack the CBC using the argument that it competes with privately operated media they are deliberating clouding an important issue: the control of information.

Corporate media is no more threatened by the CBC than by any other public institution. Furthermore, the two operate on completely different premises. Corporate media is in the business of delivering you, the consumer, to lifestyle industries who pay millions of dollars for access to your attention (and libido). Their irresistible mix of sex, gossip and nostalgia is not the product but the bait.You are the product!

The public broadcaster's very mandate is to provide a stage for Canadian talent and ideas, and to provide a Canadian perspective on politics, culture, and world affairs. Music, drama, documentaries and news are purposely produced and arranged to reflect a Canadian identity, one that arguably did not exist before the creation of the CBC. Most of what we have learned about ourselves is due in large part to the CBC.

The accusation that the CBC is somehow subverting society with its liberal bias is sky high rhetoric. While those in the arts perhaps have slightly more liberal views on certain issues there is no evidence that the CBC is any more liberal than the society its programming reflects. On the other hand corporate media like Quebecor does have a blatant right wing bias and an obvious mandate to control the language of public debate and further the interests of corporate power.

The public should be alarmed and appalled by the fact that its own government is openly attacking and slowly dismantling one of our finest public institutions, one that stands with our parliamentary democracy, the justice system, and publicly funded health care and education, all of which are being similarly eroded and devalued. When your own democratically elected government begins to remove the mechanisms by which you are educated and informed of its actions it is indeed time to raise the alarm.

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