Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Great Neutering...How Long Until The CBC Makes Like NPR?


National Public Radio is but a shadow of its former self.

Need proof?

Check this out from author (and known troublemaker) Barry Eisler:

Recently, I had the good fortune to be invited by NPR to submit an essay on a favorite thriller of mine. I decided to write about George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is both an excellent thriller and an increasingly powerful and relevant political warning — a combination readers of my latest novel, Inside Out, will know I find appealing.

Though I’m of course pleased that NPR decided to run the essay (which you can find here, along with an unrelated radio interview I did with Michelle Norris on All Things Considered), I’m also disappointed that NPR insisted on watering down the essay through successive drafts. The NPR editor I was in touch with, Miriam Krule, found the first three drafts "too political" (my response — that an essay on Nineteen Eighty-Four that’s too political is like an essay about the Bible that’s too much about God — was unpersuasive)...

{snippety doo-dah}

...NPR wasn’t objecting to my argument (Nineteen Eighty-Four’s political warning is relevant today); they were objecting to my evidence (Tom Friedman et al’s mistakes are disposed of as though via a memory hole; NPR and other named organizations are using government-approved Orwellian language). This matters not only because an argument’s persuasiveness depends (at least to a rational audience) on what evidence is offered in support. It matters too because preferences like the ones Ms. Krule expressed tend to reveal an otherwise hidden media ideology...

Many, myself included, now call NPR the  'Nice Polite Republicans'.


How long will it before the CBC becomes the 'Conservative Broadcasting Corporation'?


When will Mr. Harper finally pull the trigger and make Mr. Frum The Younger the Chairman of the Board?



Anonymous said...

Yes, the CBC is starting to feel like an arm of the Conservatives.

Perhaps I missed it, but has a high profile Canadian spoken out?

A few short years ago George Ray, who is as American as Mom and apple pie, and who has been associated with KCTS9 for 35 years, made an announcement that was in stunning contrast to his role as KCTS Cooks anchor/host--he sat stone-faced and told his viewers that a documentary profiling the experience of returning U.S. veterans of the Iraq war had placed PBS in dire jeopardy of having federal funding pulled.

PBS is still here, so I am assuming the gov'mint pissed off the wrong George.

We sorely need a Gordon Pinsent or ? Donald Sutherland? to stand up for the Mother Corp.

I spent many a gloomy Sat. aft cooking, folding laundry etc...cheered by George's enthusiasm for the home recipes cooked on air by KCTS 9 viewers.

Sadly Hooked

Check him out:

Earth-father George:

Norm Farrell said...

Public broadcasting has long been under attack in the USA and that's created fear in the management suites. The result is dumbed-down programming and pulled punches.

Juan Cole provides an example in PBS and the Koch Brother Scandal (plus “Koch Brothers Exposed”):
"PBS declined to show “Citizen Koch, a documentary about the Wisconsin public union issue, treating the influence of the dirty energy magnates who are destroying the world through climate change and funding climate change denial, among the various other nefarious things they do. This according to the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer. It points to the dangers of declining public funding for institutions such as PBS in favor of corporate sponsorships and the donations of the rich. No wonder investigative journalism is an endangered species!"

Many PBS offerings have embedded advertising and numerous messages from sponsors. I can put up with that but I despise the lengthy infomercials that, if not dishonest, even dangerous, are of questionable value. More on this subject from

KCTS Infomercials, Supported by Viewers Like You

Efforts to weaken public broadcasting are gaining strength in the UK where the BBC is under sustained attack, accused of "deep liberal bias."

The one-percenters are not satisfied with having corporate media as obedient lapdogs, they want to stamp out other voices as well. Britain's Conservative government is now planning to impose cultural, political and economic views by censoring the internet so that unwelcome opinions are curtailed.

Yes, the CBC is declining but one still finds outstanding work. This morning I listened to Michael Enright talking to Canadian Paul Saltzman about Last White Knight and the filmmaker's decision to seek out Ku Klux Klan member Delay De La Beckwith, one of a group who beat him for being a 1965 civil rights activist helping register blacks to vote in Mississippi.

Powerful stuff.

Norm Farrell said...

I should add the link to Enright's talk with Saltzman. It was first broadcast last February and remains worth listening to now.+++

Filmmaker Paul Saltzman's Last White Knight

Sean Holman said...

As a regular podcast listener, I find much of NPR's programming operates at a higher level than the CBC's does. Indeed, I would argue that the CBC is often too conventional, too safe and too Toronto/Ontario-centric. Don't get me wrong. I'm a supporter of the public broadcasting. And I think there are some good people working there. But I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about the Mother Corp. if I felt they were making the best use of the resources they have available. And, at the present moment in time, that's not what I see as happening.

kootcoot said...

"Britain's Conservative government is now planning to impose cultural, political and economic views by censoring the internet so that unwelcome opinions are curtailed."

This will(or is being) be done, in Vicky "babysitter impregnator" Toes style with the pretense of protecting children from porn.

RossK said...


Ya, PBS is still here.

But so is the 'Corporation for Public Broadcasting' which has been 'GOP'ed to the point where they dig those 'bias ratings'.


Thanks Norm - agreed


Sean and Norm--

I think both still do some excellent work...Especially in the stuff, most of it pretty nichey, that is best podded...It's the deterioration of daily current events programming that I find most distressing.

Locally, nothing is more glaring than the CBC's egregious provincial politics coverage and the, essentially, complete lack of municipal coverage.



I hear you.