On one hand, it’s sad. Whether you like the CBC or not – which either depends on your taste for television or your taste for the political spectrum – it’s never easy to see a company forced out of the market, and that’s exactly what the Canadian government’s $115 million in cuts to the country’s public broadcaster does.
On the other hand, it does beg the question: “Do we need the CBC anymore?”
We won’t take sides on this one, but we still don’t feel it’s an irrelevant question. After all, without money, it dies. And, without Hockey Night in Canada (which may be a real possibility one day), it dies. Without talent, it dies… and, talent has been leaving the CBC like lice leaves its first host.
Yes, the CBC is essential to Canadian culture. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. This is a company, after all, that coined its own nickname. “The Corporation.” The balls on these guys…
Of course, in many ways, it is essential, and it would be a pity to see the CBC destroyed simply out of political leaning. Just because your dad is telling you to shut up and get a job doesn’t mean that you should become a “Conservative” and start bashing Canada’s only public broadcaster because that’s how your ideological framework was suddenly shaped out of the blue one day.
We can’t make decisions like these based on principle, and there is a difference between that and pragmatism. The day we start making decisions about the principle of public money is the day we become the United States. And, really, that’s what defendants of the CBC are probably afraid of.
The CBC shouldn’t go just because it is being paid with public money… the CBC should go, like any other network should go, when it refuses to provide the service it intends to, and when it no longer is profitable – financially, or socially.
Yes, The National and Hockey Night in Canada and Canada: A People’s Heritage are landmarks. They are cool, in some kind of dopey, nerdy way. They really, and truly, do further Canadian culture by reminding us of where we came from and what we once were. Yes, they lightly airbrush the parts with Indian Residential Schools, Japanese internment camps in British Columbia, and the Komagata Maru… but, it’s not the United States, at least, right?
The United States’ version of nationalism breeds innocent phrases like “restoring” the country and “re-taking” the country… and it leads to calls for passionate, modern forms of violent racism and Tim Thomas-induced metaphors to the Holocaust.
That said, while programs like that are important to Canada in the same way that PBS is important to America, isn’t the CBC misfiring just a little bit? Aren’t they a little dislodged from the original platform that justified the hundreds of millions of dollars they get as a government payout?
If the CBC really represents all of Canada, then wouldn’t we be able to catch something other than a Toronto Maple Leafs game at 7 p.m. on a Saturday? If everything on the CBC was really important to maintaining our culture, then what do you have to say about the 30-minute, non-laugh fest that is Little Mosque on the Prairie? Or, Being Erica? Or, Redemption Inc.?
Can you explain to me how the CBC is different, in any way, from any of the other private broadcasters that it claims are destroying its business? And, if the CBC refuses to hold itself to the standards that it was created on – that is, as the national public broadcaster of Canada – then why should it get a free pass?
White Cover Staff
White Cover Magazine is the "foremost" source for "male" and "female" things in the world today. Kind of. We have Sports. Movies. Arts. (What are Arts?) Television. Music. And, of course, a critical look at everything in the world of Journalism, Sports Journalism, and News at large.
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