An Open Letter To CBC Haters Everywhere.

Hello there, you angry, angry souls.

It’s 2017, there are literally a million targets more deserving of your ire and scorn in Canada alone, to say nothing of the United States of Donald Trump…

But what do you choose to do? You direct your rage at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, an organization whose sole purpose is to be a voice for all Canadians, even those who would fear and hate it. Social media has become mankind’s greatest communication tool but do you use it to achieve something positive? No you publish posts, tweets, Instagram memes, et cetera in the hopes burning the CBC to the ground.

But to be fair, you also publish dick pics, increasingly-bizarre cat videos, and body shaming crapola. So there’s that.

 

But ask yourself this: What would you do if it all ended tomorrow?

Think about it. What if the Trudeau government pulled every dollar and let Canada’s network fade into history? Who would you hate then?

Of course, right now you’re thinking:

“I don’t hate the CBC… I hate what it stands for!  I hate that it’s a tool for corrupt government officials with secret agendas.  CBC is riddled with left-wing bias in its news coverage!”

“Why is the Government in the broadcasting business in the first place?  They’re competing unfairly with the private sector!”

“CBC receives advertising and cable/satellite fees greater than CTV and Global… PLUS they get more than a billion dollars of our tax money!”

There may be some logical, coherent arguments behind these and many of the cases directed at abolishing the CBC – but I refuse them all. Removing CBC from the playing field would leave Canadians watching networks owned and controlled by the private sector. And those guys aren’t exactly choir boys, to say the least..

Are there corrupt govt. officials and executives in the CBC with hidden agendas? Of course! There are corrupt souls in every organization; I once knew a Director of Purchasing who deliberately bought the cheapest items in order to come in under budget and receive an annual bonus. He saved the company a ton of cash… which they then spent on ambulance rides and lost wages due to accidents caused by cheap, faulty equipment.

As for why the government is in the TV/radio biz in the first place: Who can argue that a nation’s citizens deserve a place for their stories to be told? This goes for all of a country’s citizens, by the way. Take a good look at the average North American network and you’ll see just how far we have to go as a society. We may not keep people in literal chains anymore… but that doesn’t mean everyone is free.

As you may have surmised by now, I’m not exactly what you’d call an “intelligent” man. I have a degree in journalism, a field many consider to be as honorable as pimping these days. I’ll never be able to go toe-to-toe with most of the CBC’s critic in a battle of intellectual wills.

But so what? I pay my taxes. (I hate it but I do it.) I’m a Canadian citizen. (As far as anyone knows.) And so I’m a part owner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and as such, I’m as entitled to my opinion as you are.

 

If this isn’t a good use of my tax dollars… I don’t know what is.

And so here is my final argument. If each of you looks back at the collective days of your existence you’ll see it: That moment when a CBC program touched your life. You may have been a child watching The Friendly Giant or a teen watching Degrassi Junior High. Or perhaps you watched the 9/11 attacks unfold on your nation’s network. You may even have been inspired to help change the world by David Suzuki, or to launch your own business on Dragons’ Den.

For me it was King of Kensington starring the late and incomparable Al Waxman. Every day I’d eat my dinner in our basement rec room and watch as Al solved his neighbors’ problems (after making them worse with his initial efforts). Without going into too much detail, let’s just say my childhood was filled with more darkness than light and the CBC helped balance the equation. Beatings, alcoholism, sexual assault, and thoughts of suicide before even having one’s first kiss are not exactly the Canadian equivalent of The Wonder Years.

As a grown man with a family of my own I watched my father-in-law slowly succumb to the ravages of disease to the point where his only window to the world was his television. (To be exact, my TV in my living room which became his bedroom for five years.)

The fictional world of Murdoch Mysteries became his shining light; several times a day he’d escape the reality of his mortality by losing himself in the adventures of Detective Murdoch. The darkness of his illness was cast away by the bright light of the collective efforts of Yannick Bisson and Company.

My family owes everyone at the CBC, from head of publicity, Katherine Wolfgang, to every member of the Murdoch crew, a debt of thanks that we can never fully repay.

As a writer I’ll never be good enough for the CBC, but that will never stop me from defending the network with every breath in my flabby, balding, Canadian body.

So the next time you lash out at the CBC, stop and think about where your rage is really coming from.

See you in the lobby and on the CBC kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
This entry was posted in Hotel Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to An Open Letter To CBC Haters Everywhere.

  1. colemining says:

    Bravo, Hooky! ALL of this! Definitely my favourite post of the day. We would be a much poorer nation without our CBC.

  2. 1jaded1 says:

    I miss CBC.
    Hockey Night in Canada was must-see…. You tell em.

  3. Peter M says:

    Glad we could make your father’s last days brighter. No higher compliment or honour

  4. I don’t get to see the CBC so I have no ire. I enjoyed the post though.

  5. D. Parker says:

    Hooray!!! This is amazing, I’m off to share!!! CBC Rules!!!

  6. Marion Hardy says:

    Bravo Hook. As you already know I firmly believe Murdoch Mysteries saved me and gave me back my life – drug free. But long before that I loved the Friendly Giant and grew up with the CBC. These haters need to examine their own souls!

  7. The poor CBC really does get it from all sides and sometimes for good reason. Any journalism requires full research and sometimes, unfortunately, that is lacking. For the most part though, I think the heart of the employees on the front lines genuinely want to do right by their fellow Cdns.

    I do have to laugh at anyone who refers to it as a media leaning ‘lefty, leftist, libtard’ and all those other liberal-oriented euphemisms, considering it’s mostly Harper Con appointees runnin’ the joint.

  8. StillWaters says:

    Well said, Hook. I grew up on Friendly Giant. Image, a children’s show with jazz music! I thought that was the coolest thing, and still do.
    CBC TV fills a vital need by giving Canadians a look at their country, something that those bastions of Canadian culture, CTV, CityTV and Global, do not do with any regularity. With them it’s buy an American show, it gets cancelled, buy another American show, it gets cancelled, etc., etc.
    Carry on blogging!

  9. I’ve never had any time for those who knock national broadcasters. We have the same over here with the BBC. It’s the news source that’s most trusted in the UK, but there are still those who call it biased. It’s curiously only biased when it puts out something the accusers don’t agree with.
    The BBC’s dramas are still a wonder of the modern world, there are documentaries on an extraordinarily diverse range of topics. Of course, there’s also The Great British Bake-Off, but I can’t have everything my own way.

  10. umashankar says:

    That is a stirring defence of your national channel. Out here in India many have stopped watching the Government channels but every bit you said about the public and private sector interests is true. Personally, I am not a fan of either and rarely watch television unless Australian cricket team is receiving a drubbing at the hands of the home team.

  11. kunstkitchen says:

    At least you don’t have a leader who is going to do away with all the arts and humanities funding in your country…which includes public tv and radio funding. 😦
    People have no idea what they are getting into when they give the air time over to the money people.

  12. charflew23 says:

    As a super fan of CBC this warms my heart…I see your passion Hook.

  13. Rosemary says:

    I know it’s a late post, blame the GI issues my grandson shared with me. Bless his gaseous little heart. Anyway, the CBC has saved me on many a late night, boring weekends, and summer nights when reruns in the good old USA are like eating too much oatmeal. Great piece. Any chance you can edit it and send it to Washington, D.C. in time to address Trump’s intention of getting rid of PBS? Thanking you in advance…..

  14. I’m just happy they made MM and I get to see them! YAH! Thank you for your support… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s