Jian Ghomeshi drinks neo-con Kool-Aid

Print Friendly

CBC funding sinks under Harper Conservatives

CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi typically waited until the 29 minute mark of his 33 minute interview this week with Heritage Minister James Moore to ask about budget cuts to the CBC, Canada’s largest cultural institution. Moore quickly confirmed that the CBC was again on the chopping block. His excuse was that the “CBC certainly has to do its part” to help balance the federal budget by 2015. So, the Corpse can expect a cut of at least five per cent, even though as figures compiled by the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting plainly show, total parliamentary funding for CBC is already at its lowest in a decade because of repeated, ongoing cuts by the Harperites and their predecessors.

Moreover, since 1991 when a new Broadcasting Act imposed the requirement that the CBC be both a strong national and regional broadcaster, the Corporation has lost about $455 million out of its annual parliamentary grant, a figure which represents a whopping cut of some 39 per cent over the last two decades.

CBC funding 1990-91 to 2009-10

Ghomeshi listened meekly as Moore spouted  total bullshit: “The idea that the CBC can’t find five per cent of efficiencies within the CBC to give back to the broader economic framework, I think, is silly.” He also failed to challenge Moore when the smooth-talking, Conservative claimed that the highly reliable Friends of Canadian Broadcasting lie to the public about the Harper government’s record and its many anti-CBC statements.

CBC journalists consistently pull their punches when politicians like James Moore mislead the public on CBC funding. They rarely, if ever, try to put things in context, leaving CBC audiences in the dark about the dismal state of affairs at the country’s largest journalistic institution.

The effects of the CBC cuts are there for all to see: The increasing commercialization of public broadcasting, the dumbing down of the news, the virtual disappearance of arts programming from CBC television and the  sagging internal morale. All underline the fact that the CBC is dying the death of a thousand cuts.

Yet you’d never know that by listening to Jian Ghomeshi rapping timidly with the glib James Moore.

About Bruce Wark

Bruce Wark is a freelance journalist and retired journalism professor who lives in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. He taught the history and ethics of journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia for 15 years. Before that, he worked for 19 years at CBC Radio news serving as a producer in charge of such network programs as World at Six, World Report and The House. He also produced Media File, a national program that looked critically at the performance of the news media. Along the way, Wark also worked as CBC Radio's legislative reporter in Ontario and as its National Reporter in Canada's Maritime provinces.
This entry was posted in CBC, CBC Radio, CBC TV and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.