The bell tolls for the national broadcaster
For the past number of years, the radio of my car has been steadfastly tuned to either 96.9 or 102.5 FM, more commonly referred to as CBC Radio One and Two, respectively. Canada lives there, if you’re to believe the radio stingers that usher in every newscast and commercial break. Now, during the summer months, the CBC takes time to give its regular hosts some leave. In their absence, new programming takes its crack at the radio big time.
Generally speaking, these shows are a departure from the regular programming on the national broadcaster. It was during one such program that I realized that the CBC is slowly poisoning its own well.
I have to admit that I was only marginally paying attention to What a Waste, the new show dedicated to exploring the ways we’ve shat on the planet, and what the environmentally minded can do to help the situation along.
It was near the end of the broadcast that someone suggested that if your municipality does not have a city composting program, then you should go to city hall and demand one be instated because–
It was then that I turned the radio down. I imagined that somewhere in Ottawa, an office full of pop-eyed, sweaty Conservatives were doing the exact same thing. I wanted to hear what silence sounded like on Radio One. We may not be far off from that reality.
The CBC recently announced that, by the year 2020, 1500 jobs will be cut from the corporation, and there will be a massive shift from radio and television broadcasts to streaming and mobile media.
Of course, this can be attributed to the Big Bad Wolf of Sussex Drive (that plastic little fart Stephen Harper), whose government has slashed away at the CBC like it was Jason Voorhees high on some king hell crank.
But, enough nonsense for now. With that announcement came the online petitions and the social media slactivists in their droves. I’ll admit, I signed the petition. I love the national broadcaster, when it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
Let’s not pretend that the CBC is infallible in all of this. What makes a Conservative more nervous than the abortion and marijuana debates? Spending money on social programs, specifically ones that deal with the environment. Giving voices to “muzzled” scientists. Fair and equitable elections. All things that the CBC has been too keen to rub the gigantic nose of the Conservative government in.
The CBC has to understand that, unlike its big British brother, it is not untouchable. The government still controls the purse strings very tightly. If it falls in a barrel of shit, it’s going to come out smelling as such.
We’re about to crash headlong into a change of government, and the CBC has to stay alive for at least that long. I’m not saying that our national broadcaster shouldn’t report on big stories, but it shouldn’t, at least for the time being, dedicate whole hours of programming to things that directly piss off the ruling majority of Canada.
You know what they say: mess with the Conservatives and you’ll get spoken to softly and whacked in the back of the head with the big stick of budgetary constraints. I just hope that it won’t be too little, too late for the CBC come October 2015.