The State Media Institute

Many complain about the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which I prefer to describe as “State Media.” Given that the CBC is primarily funded by the Canadian government it can’t be more accurately described otherwise.

Now, even The Globe and Mail has joined the fray to cast a critical eye. John Doyle writes as a television critic in the linked article.

Doyle subjected himself to the personal agony of watching intently an entire edition of the flagship news hour program The National.

He emerged with an understanding of why viewers are fleeing; the program lacks coherence and bears little resemblance to what they’ve come to expect in a news broadcast.

This development comes far in the wake of Peter Mansbridge’s retirement as sole news anchor for what seemed like a career spanning four or five generations of Canadians.

His replacement by a team of four hosts for The National is an ostentatious and no doubt costly alternative to the usual news broadcast program.

That’s not the only evident change however, as John Doyle has just affirmed in his article. It’s the programming structure or format that is leading to increased complaints.

Doyle glosses over the list of program core topics, implying one can’t really quibble about what many regard as obsessive coverage of for example, “Indigenous” stories.

I try not to gloss over important concepts. The “roll call of topics” as discovered by Doyle includes eight: “Top Stories,” “Local,” “The National,” “Opinion,” “World,” “Canada,” “Politics” and “Indigenous.”

Except for that last topic these topics seem to follow the typical categories covered by news organizations appealing to a broad national audience.

Why does that last category rankle, as I think it does with many? One significant type of complaint addressed by Doyle concerned so-called Indigenous-related stories and mini-documentaries.

Doyle points out that these complaints about “Indigenous” stories are not submitted in a “rancorous, dismissive manner.” Rather, it seems viewers find this coverage “relentless” leading most to, as Doyle suggests, “roll their eyes.”

I offer that “Indigenous” is not a valid topic category and the CBC ought to be challenged on this point. Doyle excuses the “relentless” coverage of “Indigenous” stories as “simply part of the list of core topics for CBC News.”

That’s giving State Media a pass. I’ll defer to another time a discussion of why “Indigenous” is an invalid concept in this context and just observe that it need not warrant its own category in a news program.

So far at least, “indigenous” remains an adjective. It refers to things (nouns) which are native to a particular geographic area.

The haste to convert “indigenous” to a noun by the CBC is misguided. A quick review of the seven other topic categories would lead any thinking person to the conclusion that legitimate stories involving “Indigenous” could easily be included under almost any of the other categories used by the CBC. It might eliminate also the apparent compulsion to include such stories in virtually all broadcasts.

So what could be the motivation to establish this unique usage of “indigenous” in news broadcasts? Someone obviously has an agenda.

The CBC cannot pretend to operate independently in its judgment of newsworthy stories. There exists a compulsion, whether overt or in some unearned guilt-ridden psychology of CBC News executives.

The government of Canada appears obsessed with trying to remedy the wrongs of history by imposing obligations on present generations. There is no positive outcome possible by taxing or regulating present actions of Canadians to compensate the descendants of those who have been wronged in the past.

I don’t think it necessary to explain the aforementioned obsession. There is abundant evidence, not the least of which is the so-called Truth and Reconciliation Commission and subsequent initiatives to try to make amends.

The government of Canada finances the CBC. The CBC is regarded by its own executives as a “public service.”

When the government of Canada gives money to the CBC it must do so with conditions, express or implied. It’s ludicrous to suggest that wealth looted from productive Canadians and turned over to the CBC has no strings attached. If it did so it would properly be considered irresponsible.

The CBC is a government-created institution. It is financed by the State. As a media enterprise it is therefore the mouthpiece of the State.

The CBC cannot be trusted as an intermediary acting on behalf of the members of Canadian society, speaking truth to political power. It is the de facto State Media Institute and ought to be regarded suspiciously as such.

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