It’s crucial for Canada that the CBC survives

It doesn’t bother me so much when someone holds the opinion the CBC should make its own way without public funding.

That’s their opinion and they are welcome to it.

What really pulls my chain was the vitriolic and uninformed manner in which some position their argument.

To dismiss certain CBC television shows is a complete misreading of the cultural importance of TV shows like The Rez and other Canadiana content shows.

Anyone who calls the CBC essentially worthless has not listened to it very much.

It is hardly special interest programming.

It is wrong to equate losing the NHL broadcasting rights to Rogers as an axehead putting the CBC out of its misery.

There is no axehead but there are 1,000 knives doing their individual best to bring the CBC to its knees.

There seems to be a trend here.

As Rick Mercer’s television rants against Stephen Harper and his Conservatives grow more rancorous, the CBC’s fortunes plummet.

It wasn’t long ago Mercer was a guest in the PM’s house and met the cat. I am certain he will never gain entrance again.

How could one not enjoy CBC radio?

Besides being excellent radio it is also advertisement-free.

Nothing could be better than not having to hear repetitive advertising for things I don’t use, or am not interested in.

I listen for news reports that provide excellent field reporting and in-depth conversations that take me deeper into the stories I am interested in, rather than the surface gloss provided by commercial radio.

Programming like The Debaters and This is That, while very Canadian-weird, are very entertaining and widely popular. My favourite This is That skit was the small town council in North Dakota that renamed itself Banff, Canada, North Dakota to attract more tourists to their community.

Who doesn’t enjoy Dave and Morley’s stories on Sunday’s Vinyl Café.  The syrupy storytelling of Stuart McLean is so Canadian that the Vinyl Café road show fills every theatre it visits during its tours.

My favourite Dave and Morley story was when Dave, mistaking Rabbi for Rabbit, wore a pink rabbit suit to a friend’s son’s Bar Mitzvah.

Corny but still very Canadian.

There is more to CBC than people talking. There is also music, every type of music.

How many Canadian musicians have gotten airplay on CBC with Jian Ghomeshi on Q, or with Sherly Mackay on North by Northwest.

For right-leaning special interest listeners, CBC radio has Rex Murphy at the helm of Cross Country Checkup, a weekly program where Rex slips his right wing views between comments by guests and avid listeners.

The CBC has been criticized for only appealing to a certain demographic (apparently not the key demographic) of people who still cling to the ridiculous idea the CBC somehow provides a “Canadian identity.”

To me “Canadian identity” is fading fast in today’s political climate.

Thank goodness CBC stands firm, if not a little tattered, from the onslaught.

Paul Fletcher is former Duncan city councillor who writes monthly in the News Leader Pictorial.

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