Sept 15, 2008
I picked up this column from Andrew Krystal in my aggregator this evening, but when I went to respond on his blog website - nothing. The column was gone, like it had never existed. And you have to figure it's down because someone made him take it down.
Overall, I think his major point - that CTV has a Conservative bias - is accurate. But I completely disagree when he says that local CTV newscaster Steve Murphy is objective. He should hear the howls of protest when Murphy takes a decidedly right-wing slant on the issues "around here."
Anyhow, for those who missed it - and I'm guessing that would be everybody - here's Andrew Krystal's full column, brough to you through the magic of RSS syndication:
Why CTV has sold its soul to the Conservative party
Fox News is alive in well in Canada – it’s called CTV. And while I have the utmost respect for local reporters and the objectivity of Maritime CTV News Anchor Steve Murphy, the rest of the boys –and Jane Taber – in Ottawa and in Toronto are, figuratively speaking, bought and paid for by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
One reporter, Robert Fife, in particular, is making Harper’s Christmas card list – and Stephen knows who’s naughty and nice.
Here’s the reason CTV has a pro-conservative bias: killing the CBC.
CTV would love it; they would be all over the CBC’s demise like a fat kid – or a political analyst — on a smarty. A majority Harper government would ensure a Harper jihad on the public broadcaster: selling it off, or turning it into a non-profit PBS, either of which would be non-competitive.
CTV execs simply steam and go into orgiastic fits of chewing-on-furniture apoplexy over the idea that they have to compete for ad revenues with the CBC.
The CTV execs also have a point.
Former CBC chair Patrick Watson has said to me many times that he feels the CBC has lost its way. Take, for example, the salacious nose-to-the-coffee-table series “Secret Lives of Hockey Wives”. The drug-strewn sex-fest was T&A at its finest/lowest. The fact that public money goes toward lowest-common-denominator titillation, is beyond me.
The CBC is missing its mark in not approaching the stories that are unique to this country — and ennobling — not exploitive girls-gone-wild TV with a hockey “overlay.”
There are many other examples of CBC’s own soul-less sell out: running U.S. movies, etc. But that is the point. By going after private sector money the CBC reduces the tax payer burden.
The predicament of the CBC, and where/what its “soul” is, its purpose, direction and so forth, is an ongoing debate; and that there should be a cultural revolution from above, decreed by Harper, shuts down an evolution that should be internal.
And in the calling out CTV for what they are, a network in the Conservative fold, it must be said that the CBC have, for many years, been complicit in abject Liberal bias. You’ve heard of red necks? Well, at the CBC, they are pink.
There is no question that there are very few Conservatives in the ranks of the CBC. The BMW socialists who make up the CBC ranks foam and fume over Harper’s financial cuts to the arts, and the fact that Harper feels that films like “Young People F___ing” shouldn’t receive public funding (and they shouldn’t.). If you want to make soft core, pay for it yourself.
Regarding the debate over censorship, the left wing arts community did socially Conservative Canadians a disservice by not engaging in a dialogue over censorship and public funding. The reason: the arts community is sickeningly sacrosanct and patronizing in the moral superiority of its amorality; just because the protagonist is a hooker on heroin, doesn’t make it art.
So, what did Stephen Harper do, what was his reaction to an outraged arts community to the question of censorship (hell, I can’t say the word “shit” on the radio, so censorship does exist, and it’s not too bad) well, he cut everything. Rather than get into a debate over social standards Harper said “F- you”, and pulled the plug on arts funding.
But the debate over the CBC, and the left-wing arts community, and bias in the media when it comes to political commentary and reporting, comes down to coming clean with viewers, and coming to terms with what your bias is.
CTV, Robert Fife, et al, want, in their heart of hearts, to see the Conservatives win this election. Just look at editorial decisions on CTV: in news order on the campaign trail they run a clip of Jack Layton ahead of Dion — despite the fact that Dion is the opposition leader.
CTV needs to come clean and admit it is Canada’s FOX News in the same way Wolf Blitzer and the rest of CNN should admit to their lack of impartiality and openly embrace their editorially flagrant fellatio of the Democrats.
And we all know about the CBC.