“Government Broadcaster Running Interference For PMJT At Every Turn”: Former CBC Journalist Rips Network

“I’ve been reluctant to refer to our public broadcaster as a government broadcaster but this sealed it for me – it has become the government broadcaster running interference for PMJT at every turn,” said Alan Fryer.

When people criticize the CBC, some respond by claiming that only right-wing Canadians have a problem with the network.

That response omits CBC’s horrible ratings, a sign that much of the public has simply tuned them out, despite being forced to pay for it regardless.

Yet, in a recent series of Tweets, Alan Fryer a former journalist with both CBC and CTV who has worked in Montreal, Ottawa, Moscow, Washington, and Toronto, ripped into how the network covered Green Party Leader Annamie Paul’s denunciation of Justin Trudeau.

Here’s what Paul had said about Trudeau not being an ‘ally’ or ‘feminist.’

“To PM Justin Trudeau I say you are no ally and no feminist. Your deeds and words over the past weeks prove that definitively” – Green Leader Annamie Paul”

Yet, as Fryer noted on CBC’s The National, Paul’s remarks on Trudeau weren’t covered.

As he slammed the network, Fryer didn’t hold back:

“Excuse my fucking language but I cannot believe what I just saw on @CBCTheNational. The coverage of Ms Paul’s remarkable news conference today had no fucking mention in the lead story of her full frontal attack on PMJT. Not a word. Disgraceful.”

“I’ve been reluctant to refer to our public broadcaster as a government broadcaster but this sealed it for me – it has become the government broadcaster running interference for PMJT at every turn.”

“This is the clip that any reporter doing a proper job and NOT working on behalf of the government would have used in their lead story:

Paul to PMJT: “You are no ally and you are no feminist”

That clip wads absent from the lead story on @CBCTheNational.

Why?”

“For 35 years – from local small town reporter to foreign correspondent – I lived and breathed journalism. Sometimes to my detriment, it became the love of my life. Nothing was more important than getting the story and getting it right. That and holding the buggers to account.”

“Don’t get me wrong, there are many fine journalists and opinion writers still doing that important work every day and you know who they are, you see and read many of them here but, man, it’s getting harder.”

“I got out 12 years ago and have never regretted a day I spent in the trenches. But I weep for the profession today. That’s it. Thanks for indulging my rant.”

Credibility

Fryer speaks with a lot of credibility, as someone who has been in the media for a long-time and has personal experience with the CBC.

Thus, he cannot simply be dismissed as a ‘disgruntled conservative’ or someone who opposes taxpayer-funded media for ideological reasons.

With that noted, it is instructive that his criticisms of CBC very much line up with what many other critics of CBC say, showing there is a deeper truth that is being noticed by many different Canadians.

Justifying taxpayer-funded broadcasting

The general ‘justification’ for forcing Canadians to pay for CBC has been that CBC is all that stands between Canada and the deluge of ‘American culture.’

Well, considering how CBC spends a disproportionate amount of time covering American politics (they were just as Trump-obsessed as most US networks), and considering that their coverage often heavily relies on American news sources to begin with, and the argument that CBC preserves Canadian culture goes out the window.

That can be further explained by the fact that CBC has terrible ratings, falling behind other private Canadian networks, showing that government funding isn’t necessary to get people to watch Canadian news, and may in fact be counterproductive.

If CBC was serving such an essential function for Canadians, wouldn’t more people be tuning in?

And, there’s an even bigger problem.

Bias

Critics of CBC often refer to it as a ‘state broadcaster,’ ‘government broadcaster,’ or ‘state-controlled media.’

Supporters of CBC prefer the term ‘public broadcaster.’

The battle over defining CBC is important because it defines the terms of the debate and how the network is perceived.

A ‘public broadcaster’ would – in theory – take public money but be as neutral and unbiased as possible, doing everything they could to prevent even a hint of bias or favouritism towards any particular political party.

By contrast, a ‘state broadcaster,’ ‘government broadcaster,’ or ‘state-controlled media’ would represent the government forcing people to pay for what is in effect a propaganda machine directed at manipulating them.

We would be paying people to try and influence our minds in a particular political or ideological direction – which is completely at odds with how a truly ‘public broadcaster’ should act.

So, for us to witness Alan Fryer say “I’ve been reluctant to refer to our public broadcaster as a government broadcaster but this sealed it for me – it has become the government broadcaster running interference for PMJT at every turn,” demonstrates that there is a growing acknowledgment that CBC can no longer be honestly referred to as a ‘public broadcaster.’

State-controlled media

Canadians really need to consider what this all means.

In authoritarian, anti-democratic states, state-controlled media is one of the key levers of power for the government.

More ‘sophisticated’ authoritarian states have moved beyond outright lies and denials for the most part (though they still indulge once in a while), into more of a pattern of manipulating the truth, telling part of the story and spinning the rest.

Part of that tactic is censoring true opposition, while allowing token opposition to remain, so long as it doesn’t really push back on the dominant ideology or ruling class in the country.

And, ‘softening’ up negative events, or casting them in the most positive light (as CBC did with Annamie Paul’s comments about Trudeau) is a key tactic of state-controlled media.

Those who work for the CBC, and Canadians in general, must reflect on what it means to see the network drifting towards the propaganda tactics of authoritarian nations, and realize that if the choice is between being forced to pay for our own propagandization, or defunding CBC, defunding is by far the better choice.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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