Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Americanization of Canadia Media

Our national media in Canada have always had its share of fiscal conservatives and dogmatic free marketeers, and CBC is, contrary to what its detractors say, is no exception. What we didn't always have in our national media, however, was the loud, confrontational, sound-byte-driven drivel that passes for news in the United States. That seems to be slowly changing. For example:

"Listen, don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like a left-wing nutbar."

The statement itself betrays a mind that was not in gear before its owner engaged his mouth. There is only one way to take a statement like "you sound like a left-wing nutbar." Kevin O'Leary must have thought he was delightfully clever when he put that one together, and must have been rather dismayed when Chris Hedges both gave him the verbal thrashing he richly deserved, and, having made his arguments clear, made it clear what he thought of the "Lang and O'Leary" exchange.

Recently, CBC distanced itself from remarks made by Don Cherry, the star of its Hockey Night in Canada sideshow "Coach's Corner." Of course, anybody in Canada who doesn't live under a rock has some idea of who Don Cherry is, and the remarks he made about fighting in Hockey shouldn't surprise anyone. Everyone knows that Don Cherry is there specifically to entertain, not to inform.

CBC's News programming, on the other hand, should be there to inform. Yet O'Leary's attitude towards his guest as well as the garbled attempts he made at responding say far more about the CBC than anything Cherry said.

Will CBC distance itself from O'Leary as well? Don't hold your breath.

Perhaps, given the attitude of the Harper government towards public institutions in general, their silence has some wisdom in it.

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