Twitter, Elon Musk, CBC and the federal workers’ strike are all connected.
Stay with me, here.
A few days ago, Twitter’s troll-in-chief, Elon Musk – who attended Queen’s University in the early Nineties, and we suspect only ever listened to the privately-owned CKWS – slapped a label on CBC’s Twitter account. He’d done the same thing to PBS and NPR and BBC, but how he labelled CBC caused a great big stink up here in the Great Blighted North.
Musk affixed “government-funded media” on CBC/Radio-Canada’s Twitter account. It was partly true, because a big part of CBC’s budget comes from the federal government, as it did under socialists like Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper.
Much stürm und drang ensued, with a spokespersonage at Mother Corp. huffing and puffing about Musk’s mischievousness. “Twitter can be a powerful tool for our journalists to communicate with Canadians, but it undermines the accuracy and professionalism of the work they do to allow our independence to be falsely described in this way,” said CBC spokesman Leon Mar.
CBC thereafter announced it would be “pausing” its tweets on its corporate and news-related Twitter accounts. Musk, who most days strongly resembles a walking Irish bar fight, changed CBC’s label to “69 per cent government funded.”
With a war still raging in Ukraine, mass-shootings happening in the U.S. every single day, A.I. replacing humans, starvation and genocide reigning in Sudan, and – closer to home – China undermining our democracy, it’s comforting to know that the biggest news story is what Elon Musk calls public broadcasters, isn’t it? Yep.
So, let’s get serious for a moment and recall three unassailable facts, all addressed to the CBC.
One: good folks at the CBC, be under no illusion. Every sentient being in Canada knows you are government-funded. Saying you are “government-funded” isn’t news, as it were. It’s factual.
Two: CBC apparatchiks, was Musk implying that you are biased in favour of the government led by Justin Trudeau? Of course he was. Big deal. Millions of Canadians, Pierre Poilievre among them, say you favour Justin Trudeau several hundred times a day. Just as many say that this newspaper isn’t his biggest fan, which possibly has a partial ring of truth to it.
So what? Readers, viewers and listeners know what our biases are when they read/listen/watch us. Give them, us, credit for a modicum of intelligence, would you?
Three: CBC tall foreheads, take note – Elon Musk is, as noted, a troll. Like Yours Screwly, he likes irritating people. He likes provoking a reaction, even if it’s negative. In particular, he likes taking perfectly good social media platforms and reducing them to rubble, and he’s damn good at it.
Having a guy like that as a critic? That’s a badge of honour, boys and girls. If any label should be on your Twitter account, it’s that: “Elon Musk doesn’t like us.”
Which leads us, in a typically-circuitous route, to this point, addressed mainly to conservatives who have made it this far in this proudly-biased opinion column: I’d wager every single one of you is “government-funded,” too.
And, if you posses a Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or (God forbid) TikTok account, you should ‘fess up, too. If you’ve ever gotten something because of the Canadian Pension Plan, or Old Age Security, or the GST/HST credit, or Canada child benefits, or veteran disability programs, or treaty annuities, or any direct deposit whatsoever for any federal program whatsoever, ever, you’re kind of “government-funded,” too.
And – this where the aforementioned strike action comes in – you’re not going to be getting any of that “government funding” again anytime soon. Sorry. That may make you unhappy, and it should.
This final fact will make you even unhappier: guess who has received at least $4.9 billion in government funding since 2015? You guessed it: Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity.
You know, Elon Musk’s companies.