Monday, September 12, 2005

CBC: mindless and pompous at the same time

George Jonas, in article at the National Post, on his 35 years stint at the CBC:
The CBC's dramatic programs throughout the 1970s and 80s were for the most part indigestible blobs of stodgy sententiousness offered as "social relevance" and covered with thick sauces of leftist sentimentality. During my tenure, Canada's public broadcaster specialized in shows that managed to be earnest without being serious and trendy without being innovative or original. If America's low-end television was mindless, coarse or "violent" during the same period, it was generally fast-paced and fun to watch (or at least mildly diverting). The CBC, taking what it thought was the high road, combined vulgarity with stuffiness. Being mindless and pompous at the same time was a challenge, but CBC programmers responded admirably to it.

The leftist sentimentality Jonas speaks of was and still is a direct consequence of the ideological stances of its staff:

To say that most people in TV public affairs were NDP supporters -- as the newspapers put it from time to time -- was the least of it. Current affairs types were not mere social democrats, but committed opponents of free-enterprise liberal democracy. There were probably producers in public affairs who might have drawn the line at working for the Soviet Union as agents of influence, but they would have been regarded by their colleagues as right-of-centre.

Jonas' description is no mere historical exercise, it's still pertinent today: the diversity of political leanings among its employees amounts to the variety of shades of the same color:
moderate left, hard left, and the loony left.


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