What rubbish, you might ask?
I think it has been well established that Andrew Scheer is a deeply conservative Christian who, unlike Justin Trudeau, actually believes what his bible says. There are millions of people in Canada who are very much like Andrew Scheer: they are Buddhists, Christians, Daoists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and so on. They believe certain things and their religious values make them, in some part, who they are.
But I wonder when Rosemary Barton will ask Justin Trudeau if he has any core, defining belief, any value that he cannot trade away to win a vote here or there. I wonder when Rosemary Barton will ask Jagmeet Singh about the Air India bombing in 1985 and the Khalistan movement. I wonder when Rosemary Barton will ask Ahmed Hussen how his views on same-sex marriage and the rights of Canadians differ from Andrew Scheer’s. Or when are Rosemary Barton and her colleagues going to ask every party leader about the definition of sin? A question, and it’s one I agree that Andrew Scheer has fumbled, has now become an issue … but only for one leader. That’s rubbish, not journalism.
I need to be clear that I am not complaining about media bias. I have said, many times, that:
- I know the media is biased;
- I expect the media to be biassed because it is a very human business and humans are biassed by nature;
- Some of the media is biassed for and against different movements and political parties ~ some, here in Canada, is biassed for the Conservatives and against Justin Trudeau; and
- I actually respect media outlets that make their biases public.
My complaint is that you and I have to fund, through our taxes, a network that, it seems to me, allows its employees ~ partially and indirectly your and my employees ~ to act as shills for
one party one person. I do not object when e.g. Lorrie Goldstein and Brian Lilley bash Justin Trudeau (and Liberals everywhere) relentlessly because there is not a line item in the federal budget which says that every single Canadian, man, woman and child must pay $25+ to support the Sun chain of newspapers. You and I don’t have to support the Sun or the Star or Maclean’s or L’actualité or CTV or Global. We can choose to buy a copy or to watch their commercials … or not. But we do not have that choice with the CBC. We are obliged to support it, no matter what … and that means that we are required to help pay Rosemary Barton’s salary, which makes her different from e.g. Heather Mallick at the Star. I think both Misses Barton and Mallick are the very antitheses of what I hope journalism means but I don’t have to pay for the newspaper in which Ms Mallick’s trash is published. This is, therefore, yet again, a plea to defund parts of the CBC.
I don’t want the CBC’s funding to be reduced to just enough to support RCI and CBC Radio (English and French and some aboriginal language services, too, where warranted) just because Ms Barton is a Trudeau shill. I want the funding model changed because it’s 2019 … it’s no longer 1932 and we simply don’t need a full service, over the air and cable public broadcaster. I believe that the CBC broke with the ideas of e.g. Sir John Aird and Graham Spry in the 1990s when the CBC stopped being a traditional public broadcaster and decide, instead, to be something like CTV … at that moment the Chrétien government, which was in power, should have pulled the plug.
Times have changed, the media is in the middle of a massive change in how it can be funded. There is, no doubt, some role for government because an informed public is vital to a democracy.
Rosemary Barton is not the problem, she isn’t even a very big part of the problem; she is just a symptom of a system that is collapsing under the weight of its own, internal contradictions. The CBC cannot be a public broadcaster without speaking to and for the whole of the public. It decided, in the 1990s, to become a publicly supported but generally commercial entertainment service, with a strong information component ~ to support its demand for public subsidies. It ended up being in the infotainment business and that is not what Canadian taxpayers should support. The CBC has lost its way … it is time to out all of its TV service and most of its news service out of their many miseries.