CBC now produces news, culture, TV shows, comedy, sports, and much more. But most of it isn’t very good. Take for example the CBC comedy show “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” The show is an extremely poor man’s version of Saturday Night Live. Scroll through its Twitter account, and you’ll see comedy “gold” like “PM Trudeau says he brought up tariffs to Donald Trump during Paris dinner. It was either that or let Trump talk about how he won the midterms.”
CBC loves to make fun of conservatives, and sometimes that’s deserved, but conservatives frequently complain about the network’s left-wing slant, and for good reason. Take for example CBC’s coverage of Canadians right-wing political maverick Maxime Bernier. Bernier is a libertarian, populist Member of Parliament (MP) who left the Conservative Party to start his own right-wing party. In an interview on “The Weekly,” host Wendy Mesley repeatedly asks Bernier about his supposed connection with the Koch Brothers, just because 13 years ago he worked for a think tank that receives Koch funding. Mesley’s repeated insinuation of nefarious links to the Kochs sounded more like progressive activism than journalism.
Shortly after this event, another prominent CBC reporter, Rosemary Barton, suggested without evidence that Bernier had deliberately timed criticisms of multiculturalism to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that resulted in the murder of an American woman. Bernier denied these absurd allegations, but Barton refused to back down and defended her claims because Bernier refused to give her an interview to talk about her conspiracy theory. Former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a particularly frosty relationship with CBC, and recently snubbed CBC from the media tour for his new book on populism. CBC insists its content is always unbiased, but the consistent criticism it gets from one side of the political spectrum suggests otherwise.
But so what if CBC leans to the left? Lots of outlets have political slants. The key difference is that a public broadcaster receives funding from taxpayers. CBC does some excellent journalism, but it also does some mediocre work. Both Canada and the United States protect freedom of the press, but this gets muddier when public funding is involved. Government-funded speech is supposed to be non-partisan and non-ideological. Yet bias is sometimes unavoidable, and when government funding is involved, perceptions of bias become more salient. If you’re someone that dislikes the CBC, it’s easy to dismiss their good content as simply ideological propaganda. And if it’s poor quality content, it’s easy to point to it as an example of “liberal bias.” In this way, state-run media fuels distrust in both journalism and the government.
So if President Trump is truly concerned about America’s global image, he might want to look in the mirror. But if Trump really is serious about creating a state-run broadcaster, he might want to look at Canada—CBC should give him good reason to think twice.
© [Town Hall] (https://townhall.com/columnists/youngvoicesadvocates/2018/12/03/president-trumps-governmentrun-tv-network-is-a-terrible-idea-n2536893)