Musings —11.06.2011 07:50 AM—
What happened to it? Couldn’t find it, but Will at NNW did!
I like the CBC.
There, I said it. Right here in the Sun, I caused to be published the words that dare not be spoken. I said SOMETHING NICE ABOUT THE CBC. IN THE SUN.
If you are now experiencing chest pains, permit me to now cause you even further distress: happy 75th birthday, Mother Corp. May you have many more.
Now, the fact that (a) I was able to have the above words published and (b) that I am still, improbably, employed by Sun News should tell you a thing or two. One, it tells you that the Sun doesn’t censor opinions. When I wrote for the National Post, for example, editors would kill any column in which I expressed a kindly word about the CBC. They wouldn’t even let me quote other people saying nice things about the CBC.
Two, nobody in Sun management (including our baby-faced overlord, Kory Teneycke, who himself used to appear on CBC with some regularity) has issued a fatwa on the CBC. Like the newspaper that first bore the Sun name – which celebrated a 40th birthday this week, CBC, thanks for not bothering to send flowers – we don’t take ourselves too seriously. If you’re a man, and you want to dress as a woman and go on TV to mock the CBC, we will happily accommodate you. We’re not the Parliamentary channel. We enjoy a bit of fun, particularly when it involves on-air cross-dressing.
That all said, the CBC – like us – is not perfect. It makes mistakes. For instance, it made a mistake when it offered a job to the former leader of the separatist Bloc Québécois, right after the election campaign. That was dumb.
Also dumb was the decision of the CBC’s ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ to ambush Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at his home. As the Sun’s Bolshevik-in-Chief, I heartily detest Rob Ford. I think he is a knuckle-dragging, red-necked mouth-breather. But it was dumb to go after him where he and his family live. Among other things, it achieved the impossible: it made Rob F***ing Ford look like a sympathetic figure.
In fairness, the CBC is an institution that employs thousands (and thousands, and thousands) of human beings. Human beings are flawed, ipso facto, CBC is flawed.
But there’s a reason why we at the Sun get miffed about the CBC. It’s the same reason the folks I know at CTV, Global and other private broadcasters get miffed: the so-called State Broadcaster© gets the support of The State, and we don’t.
With its legislated access to the federal treasury, the CBC is in a position to do things others can’t, as former Sun man Michael Harris recently pointed out in iPolitics. Like, undercut us with ad rates. Like, buy the latest in technology, while the rest of us wield cameras with the precision of a Fourteenth Century woodcut. Like, popping down to Hollywood to use their funding advantage to bid for episodes of, say, The One: Making of a Music Star.
When I used to work for no less than Jean Chretien, we would marvel as journalists trooped in for press conferences. CTV would show up with a cameraperson, a reporter and (maybe) a sound person. CBC, meanwhile, would descend with a small army: CBC radio (French and English), CBC TV (French, English, local and National), CBC Newsworld (and its French equivalent) and maybe even a producer or two. Without disclosing any confidences, I can tell you that my former boss – like the bosses at the Sun, CTV and Global – wasn’t impressed.
Times are tough, Mother Corp. The rest of the world currently has to make do with less, and it’s not fascism to suggest that you do so, too.
That said, let me repeat: I LIKE THE CBC. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. AND…
[Editor’s note: we at Sun media wish Mr. Kinsella the best in his future endeavours.]