11.29.2016 05:16 PM

On the CBC: ten reasons why I like it

A dishonest non-entity who is running for the Conservative Party leadership has a strategy: to yank every fire alarm she comes across.  Her latest stunt? Kill the CBC.

She’s lying, of course.  She was previously in power for many years, and did nothing – absolutely nothing – about the CBC.  In fact, she made certain to appear on CBC as often as possible – more than most of her colleagues.  She’s lying.

So, I won’t even dignify her, or her proposal, by using her name.  But I give her credit: she’s got the mouth-breathing types braying and screeching about the CBC.  Again.

Now, back when Sun News Network was around, I used to go on there all the time to say how much I loved the CBC.  My objective was to give my pal Brian Lilley the vapours, and I think I succeeded.

But, like it or not, the “whither the CBC” debate is upon us, again.  So, I thought I’d stake out my own position.  Here, then, is my ten-point list about why I adore the CBC.  Clip and save.

  1. The CBC is one of the few things I pay the government for that I like.
  2. The CBC is one of the only things I pay government for that isn’t subject to taxes and user fees after the fact.
  3. The CBC goes where the private sector folks don’t, and won’t (ever).
  4. The CBC is the only institution – and I include government in this sweeping generalization – that provides Canadians with a true sense of the rest of the country.
  5. The CBC does mostly good shows – personally, I think the morning radio side of the business is really, really good.
  6. The CBC is popular – it cleans up with the aforementioned morning radio shows in just about every market, for instance, because everyone agrees their product is simply a lot better than the competition.
  7. The CBC is giving us solid news coverage when the self-bonusing bastards at Postmedia, et al. are closing up shop everywhere.
  8. The CBC is particularly needed when we are more at risk at being swamped by the cultural juggernaut to the South than ever before.
  9. The CBC’s supporters, like Friends of the CBC, have done the polling – and the research shows the vast majority of Canadians value the CBC (and particularly its local content), big time.
  10. The CBC provides value – and, apart from health care and the CBC, I don’t feel like I get much back anymore.

Now, various assholes will say I’m saying all this stuff because I’m a writer for CBC.  Well, I’m not.  (I did one thing for them, and I don’t presently plan to again – among other things, I get more than 3.5 million visitors on this wee web site every year, inter alia.)

Anyway.  The CBC is here to stay, dishonest CPC leadership candidates notwithstanding.  Because, basically, there’s more of us than there are of her.



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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Obviously, it shows that her late mentor is no longer with us…I would be surprised if he agreed with such a rabid strategy.

    Will we see pitchforks and torches in the streets — as Cruz suggested — if she goes anywhere in the CPC leadership race?

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    Tim says:

    I’m all for the CBC when it comes to news/documentary products. I very much appreciate the tone and non sensationalized reserve of their non fictional story telling and advocate for more in this area.

    What I don’t need is Murdoch mysteries, Heartland, Anne Murray Christmas specials, Rick Mercer, This Hour, Royal Canadian Crap Farce or a spotlight for some other artist that couldn’t get traction without the state backing them. I don’t need sheltered cultural overlords pretending that this type of content is as funny or on par with the content Canadians with more talent are making in the American market. The last funny show on CBC was Kids in the Hall and that was a Lorne Michales split run.

    PBS and NPR do amazing things on a fraction of the per capita budget and I’d like to see the CBC take best parts of those models. If the CBC got rid of all the crap they produce they could run the commercial free network they want another $400 million for.

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      The Doctor says:

      A good, thoughtful comment. I agree, it is amazing how many bad, lame comedies and dramas the CBC does. Especially in this Golden Age of television. I think part of the problem on the comedy front is that the best comedy and satire is irreverent, in the best SNL/National Lampoon tradition. And I think irreverence is just not in the CBC’s DNA. The CBC and the people who oversee and run it are, as a general rule, too politically correct, uptight and bien pensant to do anything truly irreverent.

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      Dan Calda says:

      The CBC ranks 16/18 for per capita funding from all the democratic countries that fund public broadcasters.
      NPR has been neutered by Koch/Murdoch affiliated Board Members.

      The CBC is one of the best public broadcasters in the world…working on a shoestring budget…so typically cheap Canadian. But now more then ever…it is a threat to Trump Nation.

      Mad Max is a bigger threat then Her Highness…the ultimate elite.

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      pat says:

      Only station available, depending on where you are at, when you drive across Canada. And when you drive across Canada you get a feel for the diversity of both natural beauty, and people, and for the importance of the CBC in reflecting how culturally, and naturally rich we really are –

      Just like we need pipelines to get to get to the sea, we need the CBC to bring the ocean to the prairies, and the prairies to the ocean, and the mountains and the lakes – It’s a big country that needs a great national broadcaster to remind us of what we are – all of it.

      Also, the archives are great for putting it all in context – old speeches, and stories – cool stuff.

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        pat says:

        Only thing is they should carry, or make a deal with Global and CTV to carry more Raptors, and Jays games – Both great teams that you never get to watch unless you have the right cable package.

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    Charlie says:

    I concur with most of your sentiments here. Most importantly, that the CBC is here to stay and that any idiot suggesting otherwise is being deceitfully dishonest.

    Having said that, there are changes that I would like to see come to the CBC and where I think conservatives could better their focus energy as opposed to bitching about perceived biases.

    Number 1: Content – Truth be told, the CBC airs a lot of shitty television. For example, with maybe the exception of Coronation Street (which, for some reason, has a large and passionate fanbase), the plethora of drama series that is aired on CBC are trash. There exists no audience that warrants the air time given to these drama series. Of the many comedy series, there are maybe half that are good.

    Number 2: Target Audience – If the objective here is to increasingly cater content to millennials then it has been an abject failure. Again, with the exception of a few comedy shows that garner the attention of Canadians and that may carry a uniquely Canadian angle, I don’t see the CBC remotely meeting their desired market. Personalities also matter and the CBC can build on some good ones like Rosie Barton, but theres a big gap between what the CBC wants and where they are.

    Number 3: Focus – Way, way too Toronto centric.

    Number 4: Board – Good god, what a homogenous collection of people. New people with new ideas are desperately needed.

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    Tim says:

    Just to chime in again… while I don’t agree with everything you say, Warren I’d whole heartedly support you being given some kind of a program with other good talking heads. Perhaps with peter’s departure you could purge some of his panel.

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    Ridiculosity says:

    Here’s an idea, given the recent turn of events south of our border…

    How about we all agree to stop talking about HER? And writing articles about HER. And responding to posts about HER.

    If the American media hadn’t been so focused on talking about HIM, he wouldn’t have won – the exact same fate I wish on HER.

    Why give free press and publicity to someone you oppose? Why play into Nick Kouvalis’ twisted little hands?

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      dave constable says:

      …so the idea is to give HIM the same treatment Sanders got.

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    BreakTheMedia says:

    CBC News is establishment news media paid for by taxpayers. It’s an abomination. (Andrew Wherry? You gotta be FK.)

    Hopefully Kevin O’Leary will do the right thing and kill it off when he becomes prime minister in 2019. Give the money to the rich in the form of more tax cuts. Better than paying for their propaganda legitimized by democratic ownership.

    (BTW, all these Liberals opposed to electoral reform will get a nice tasty treat in 2019. Maybe then they’ll figure out that all it takes for a Con to get a fake majority on 40% of the vote, is to get the 40% of Red Tories and hardcore cons to vote for him. I.e., someone who has some leadership abilities. Over the past 80 years, the Cons have only been united under BM and SH. Next: KOL.)

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    Bill Templeman says:

    Good on you, Warren, for speaking up when Kellie Leitch is spewing her fact-deficient sound bites about dismantling the CBC. While I can’t speak for CBC Television as I don’t watch it, CBC Radio is a national treasure. Amazing variety of programming, most of it high quality. Budget cuts have resulted in too many repeats. However, Conservative friends point out the CBC’s bias against Conservative and conservative ideas. Definitely a problem that could be fixed. CBC could use a lot more business content and analysis. Explain the solitudes to each other. Their online services are getting better all the time.

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      Kelly says:

      During the Harper years cbc radio tried many many times to get Conservatives to come on the air but Conservatives refused because they new their ideas weren’t supported by most people and they wouldn’t hold up to professional journalists because they were bad, often stupid unconstitutional ideas. Instead they would call into “reporters” a radio station CDUM in toadsuck Sask who wouldn’t ask any real questions because the recent broadcasting correspondence school grad making poverty level wages by the station owner (Who was likely the local car dealer) would be star struck by Jason Kenney.

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    patrick says:

    The CBC has good shows and bad shows, like any network, what disappoints me is that with public funding they aren’t more daring in their choices since it isn’t beholden to stock prices, advertisers and the drooling view point of geriatric owners.
    The lunatics who claim bias are the ones who confuse letting someone finish a sentence as political correctness; questions asked instead of hurled with spittle and venom as coddling and not endlessly repeating a believed incoherent dogma as criminal favouritism.
    A public broadcaster is just that, for the public, all of it not just a favoured bit of current outrage.
    The most important thing is providing a news source that is beholden to no one interest or person, with a wider and deeper expression of the world we live in than is provided by the owned networks elsewhere.
    If anything we should be demanding and encouraging more from the CBC, not less.

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    I Would Have Voted Trump says:

    35% of Canadians are small “c” conservatives. There might be another 5-10% that lean right. So let’s say about 40% of the country are centre-right.

    Don Cherry, Rex Murphy and Kevin O’Leary… that’s it for conservative viewpoints on a network that has pretensions of representing “Canada”. Three lonely souls amongst of constellation of left-wing journos and Toronto-centric artistes.

    Let’s be honest; there is a clear conflict of interest; government paid journalists and comedians will always side with the party or parties that promise more funding for the CBC. It’s a wonderful propaganda machine.

    This Hour has 22 Minutes, besides not even being fractionally as funny as other leftist comedian “news” shows like Oliver, Colbert or Stewart was disgraceful in its treatment of Rob Ford. Disgraceful.

    Mansbridge, the old fool, practically fellated Trudeau in his one-on-one interview.

    Macdonald is so pro-Palestinian/anti-Semitic it’s an embarrassment he’s allowed to continue to report on foreign affairs.

    In this day of the internet, smart phones et al, there is no need for a government funded Toronto-Montreal media network that ignores the viewpoints of 40% of Canadians.

    Bernier is right – let CBC go the route of PBS/NPR and become a public-affairs network with donations constituting the bulk of its funding.

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      Kelly says:

      Probably 80% of private broadcasting is right wing. So what’s your point? Do you work for Bell? Sheesh.

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    Jimmy says:

    The CBC also acts as a stabilizing force for journalism, providing a stark contrast for the private sector networks if any of them start trending towards buzzfeed-like “news”.

    Also after seeing that charlatan Trump elected to the Whitehouse, with many pointing to the decline of an effective media as one culprit, I really don’t see how some suddenly think now would be a good time to gut a major Canadian news network.

    I’m a Conservative and generally in favor of smaller government policies, but definitely not this one.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Thanks to an online calculator, I found that $1.1 billion today, at a 3% inflation rate, converts to roughly $3.6 billion 40 years from now. Very rough mental math suggests to me that over that period the CBC will set Canadians back something in the order of $80,000,000,000…and if they get their way with another $300,000,000 handout starting this year, that total will grow exponentially.

    What to compare that to…hmmm…I know! $40,000,000,000 over 40 years for 65 copies of the F-35 fighter jet, which would be Canada’s first line of defense of the nation. FIRST LINE. Lose control of the air, the battle is all but over, as any historian will be happy to point out.

    Now, who pretty much led the charge in fanning the flames of controversy over the price tag of protecting Canada for the next 40 years? Yep, you guessed it.

    National defense and safety of our nation over the next 40 years? Or the dubious joy of being propagandized, too often hardly even subtly, by a taxpayer funded broadcaster?

    You know, considering that the CBC pays its bill off the public dime, I don’t think it’s too much to expect fair, balanced and thoroughly unbiased news coverage.

    But that’s not what we get, is it? Honestly?

    Not even close. ANd I’m not even going to get into it…it’s old stuff that’s been expounded ad infinitum until hell won’t have any more of it, both here and on a thousand other forums. Suffice to say, it’s so slanted to the left, even CNN or MSNBC would blush.

    And that’s the point, right? CNN and MSNBC pay their own bills, so at least they have an argument, lame as it is, as to how they choose to present themselves.

    Having taxpayers pick up the tab for this crap is, as mentioned above, an abomination upon the citizens of the nation.

    CBC never darkens my living room, save for a hockey game. And if I had my way, I would have my cable provider delete it from my service with the appropriate credit on my statement. But I can’t do that, because it’s not an option, because…conveniently enough for the CBC…that’s the law. Which explains to a great extent why they in the first place get away with providing crap and biased reporting.

    Sooner they’re gone, the better, IMHO. That Canadians are forced to pay for this crap is a travesty and an insult.

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      doconnor says:

      Over the next 40 years, the danger of Canada being culturally overwhelmed is far greater then it being militarily overwhelmed. (Maybe Trump will prove me wrong.)

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    Ron says:

    The only bias I see from the media comes from outfits like Brietbart, The Rebel and Fox.

    The main difference ? The CBC does not mix politics with religion.

    Maybe people like Whatsername would be happier if we only got our news from CKCB.

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      Mariane says:

      CKCB in the ’80s: “The Dominant newsvoice of Simcoe County!”

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    BillBC says:

    I loved CBC2, and listened to it all the time, until it ruined its programming by aiming it at a supposedly hip demographic. Goodbye Mozart, hello Algerian hip hop. So that was the end of that.

    Since as you say, all other commercial broadcasting is awful, I just listen to CDs while driving…and streamed content at home. Don’t need the CBC.

    I get my news in print. No more Mansbridge.

    CBC TV dramatic programming is just awful. Someone mentioned Coronation Street. Isn’t that British?

    As for “The CBC is the only institution – and I include government in this sweeping generalization – that provides Canadians with a true sense of the rest of the country.”….I guess this depends on where you live. I’m from BC, and to my ears it sounds like the voice of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor, over and over again….

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      cynical says:

      I live on the Sunshine Coast and to me it sounds like Canada.

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    Doris says:

    “What I don’t need is Murdoch mysteries, Heartland, Anne Murray Christmas specials, Rick Mercer, This Hour, Royal Canadian Crap Farce or a spotlight for some other artist that couldn’t get traction without the state backing them.”

    Maybe you don’t but the rrest of the world loves them – great moneymakers

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