Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Conservative Broadsided Corporation

                                                               updated below

Noam Chomsky : "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

All graphics from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting

I get Dr Dawg's point : "Dismantle. Then remantle out of new material" 

But I'm afraid once the goal of dismantling is achieved, there will be no remantling.
More likely, just as the dismantling is almost complete, the Cons will opt for keeping a severely controlled ConBullshitCorp limping along under an ever diminishing mantle as a useful and somewhat less ridiculous version of SunNews.

CBC is really just a reflection of our society at large - a whole lot of self-serving repetitive corporate-driven drivel interspersed with occasionally rewarded bright sparks of public-spirit, principlesand courage.

So how about we support those who splash some much-needed cold water on CBC from time to time without actually drowning the CBC in the Cons corporate cronies' bathtub :

Friday Update : Progressive Economics Forum : The CBC - the Corporate Broadcasting Corp.

Good overview of Canadaland/Amanda Lang controversy and CBC's pro-corporate evolution from former CBC insider Bruce Livesey

Predictable response and hit piece on Canadaland from Globe and Mail: 
Journalist Jesse Brown is quick to expose the failures of Canadian media. But what about his own?

Canadaland's Jesse Brown responds by publishing email exchange between himself and author of G&M hit piece. Ha!

Saturday update : Amanda Lang's softball CBC interview with Royal Bank CEO Gord Nixon on TFWs and RBC/iGate in-and-outsourcing in April 2013 was revisited when Canadaland revealed Amanda Lang is in a relationship with RBC board member Geoffrey Beattie.  
I don't really care who Lang is doing.
My own interest in Lang stemmed from her outrageous G&M opinion piece, also from April 2013, defending outsourcing while attacking her CBC co-worker's TFW coverage as "a sideshow" - a mere 10 days before Lang's scheduled keynote address at an iGate/RBC sponsored conference on outsourcing. 

Dear G&M : re your piece on Canadaland's Jesse Brown yesterday and your many "disclosures" including one on Lang's piece for your paper.
You missed one. 
The US Security and Exchange Commission - General Electric 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders lists Lang's beau Geoffrey Beattie as "a director of the Globe and Mail" in addition to being on the board of RBC. That bio is also repeated here.
You're welcome.
Tuesday update 
George Monbiot at The Guardian : Our ‘impartial’ broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite reviews the CBC debacle

Frank KollerCBC Ombudsman Declines To Review Conflict-of-Interest Policy Violations


Michel said...

Consider that the Marni Larkin that sits on the board of directors for the CBC is this Marni Larkin:

Anonymous said...

It seems as if the graduates of the special education class, the kids that rode the short school buses and wore hockey helmets even though they weren't on the hockey team, have somehow taken over the governance of this country.

Hugh said...

I listen to CBC Radio One often. There's lots of great stuff on it. Could it be even better? Sure.

I don't watch TV so I can't comment on CBC TV.

Unknown said...

Ya Alison CBC is being turned around to a Harper propaganda machine...

Endless bull fuck twittery out of the PMO and kitty loving Harper the man himself I gotta puke now Harper and kitties?

Cocoabean said...

(I can't stand Harper or the Conservatives.)

But, OTOH, if broadcasting is privatized we wouldn't be paying coercively via mandatory taxation for the CBC...

Is there something wrong with a free market in media?

You now, the funny thing about "cartels" and "monopolies" is that they don't occur in free markets: they come about through government protection of favoured sons from competition.

Kev said...

While it has become nigh on impossible to defend the CBC these days, defended it we must.

Once dismantled there will be no putting it back together again thus we must keep it on life support until we find a government interested in supporting a renewal

Alison said...

Kev : Agreed. Absolutely.
I don't do tv but when I listen to CBC radio I am alternately bored, exasperated, and impressed - which is probably a testament to their breadth of appeal. OK - mostly exasperated - and no coverage at all of their latest debacle.

Cocoabean : I get that the mandatory tax is what offends you here but $34 per capita, or whatever the updated amount is now, is considerably less than what any other pay-per-view corp media charges.

Is there something wrong with a free market in media?
Not at all. Canadaland for instance is financially viable on 800+ paid subscribers but it doesn't presume to have a comprehensive national or international scope. NaPo and the G&M which do so presume, otoh, have partnered with corporations to coercively bring us the *news* those corps want us to have, and to me that is far more damaging to the notion of a free press than the piddling per capita tax we pay CBC.
I'm guessing you know Adam Smith argued in Wealth of Nations that a free market economy actively encourages monopolies. Governments are supposed to prevent this by preventing cartels from shutting out smaller competitors from forming; once upon a time they did so somewhat - now, not so much.

Mogs : CBC rank and file employees might yet fight back - we'll see. I don't see them thinking that quietly protecting the dubious privileges of Mansbridge, Murphy, and Lang is supposed to be their main contribution to journalism.

Hugh : CBC should dump tv altogether and concentrate their resources on radio and online platforms. They won't, but they should.

Anon: Ugh on your short bus slagging. I'm *short bus* compared to most people I know.

Michel : Oh my. How very ... motivational.

RossK said...

Thanks Alison for (once again) doing the heavy lifting.

Time to go and give Mr. Brown and company a little moola.


Anonymous said...

I understand why people have problems with the CBC, but they're really the best of the mainstream broadcasters in Canada to me. At least they try to make Canadian content instead of just airing mostly TV shows from the US like CTV and Global. Some of their journalism is pretty good too. I like Marketplace and the Fifth Estate.

Unknown said...

Listen Alison I love your blog and have followed you since "Sixth Estate" um James Rickards book I have read and as you are so analytical I would like to pass it on to you. There are four pamphlets that go with it.

You have my private email send me an email and give me a general delivery address and I will forward them to you. My lady and I have changed our "paper" into "tangibles" because if he is right paper is about to die. I knew this was coming because I am pushing 60 but did not know when.

I will now spell out my analogy we as workers are being asked to fuel an economic train that is going over a cliff...


Alison said...

Hi Ross!

Mogs: Do you mind if I decline? Not only do I not have enough "paper" to worry about, I don't have your private email nor do I give out my own.

Anonymous said...

Great work as always plumbing the depths of inter-connectedness Alison.

I find the GM puff piece and the CBC reaction has been completely inadequate. I wasn't surprised to see the primary business reporter was literally in bed with business. Not that it's a bad thing, but journalistic integrity should at least be something considered in the equation on who should be reporting on it. I find the CBC has too long held on to the idea of having a celebrity journalist when accurate and hard-hitting journos should be what is favoured.

It's the optics of having the main journo objecting to a story for no good reason when it's a perfectly reasonable, timely, and objectionable practice of under-mining Canadian jobs for a reduction in wages.

I actually rode the short bus in my younger years (long bus couldn't turn around and on a particularly long route with few stops) and find the whole mention of them in relating them to tardiness and mental disorder repugnant and beneath the quality of most of your readers.

Unknown said...

No worries Alison! Why would I mind? Everyone has a right to their own freedom and privacy even though the Harper-con government does not think so.

I still believe in that right to personal freedom.

Mogs Moglio

Anonymous said...

G&M gig also stated here:

You rock Alison

Anonymous said...

Jeeesus you people, CBC broadcasts across 5 time zones in 4or 5 different languages at 34 or whatever fucking dollars compared to Great Britain at about $95 for one time zone and one language and we have snivelers like this coccabean moaning about the private assholes taking over. Even with the CrapCon bullshit going on they somehow still manage to provide better programming than u will ever find in the private sector. The thing that scares the shit out of me the most is that Closet Stevie might get back in again to really finish off what took a 148 years to build, Get your head out of your asses.


Anonymous said...

Andrew Mitrovica is disputing your claim about Beattie being on the G&M board.

Alison said...

Anon@8:05 : Really? I wonder where Mitrovica is getting that from.

As linked in the main post above, here is Beattie's bio at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation in Canada where he has been a director since Sept 2012. [bold:mine]

"Geoffrey Beattie is the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Capital. He holds a law degree from the University of Western Ontario and previously served as a partner in the Toronto law firm Torys LLP before joining The Woodbridge Company Limited, where he has been President since 1998. The Woodbridge Company Limited is a privately held investment holding company for the Thomson family of Canada and the majority shareholder of Thomson Reuters, where Mr. Beattie is the deputy Chairman and Director.

Mr. Beattie also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Royal Bank of Canada (where he serves as the chairman of the Risk Committee) and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. In addition to his public company board memberships, Mr. Beattie is a director of the Globe and Mail, and a trustee of the University Health Network in Toronto.

Mr. Beattie joined the Jeanne Sauvé Board of Directors in September 2012."

His bio at the UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION for re-election as a board nominee for General Electric in 2013 is similarly worded.

Anonymous said...

Judging from his wording, AM doesn't seem to understand that a board of director gig can be accompanied by another board of director gig...

Beijing York said...

That Marni's Magic video is frightening, Michel. Yikes, a pyramid sales pusher on the Board of Directors of the CBC. Makes me wonder about all other Harper appointments across the board, not just the CBC.

I too fall in the camp of supporting the CBC despite the hatchet job being done by the current government from the inside and corporate bought private monopolies on the outside.

Anonymous said...

Monbiot at The Guardian linked to you today, Alison.
Our ‘impartial’ broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite

Beijing York said...

Brava, Alison! You are making a huge difference and the circle keeps growing.

Monbiot did an excellent interview on this past Sunday's "Tapestry" on CBC Radio 1. (Hearing such excellent programs and interviews is what fuels me in my fight to preserve the CBC.)

Alison said...

BY and Anon@5:31 : Tah very much! Great piece from Monbiot. Added to post along with CBC Ombudsman's response today to Frank Koller's request for conflict of interest review.

Also ... re the link to Canadian Friends of Broadcasting and their list of CBC Board of Directors' yearly financial contributions to the Cons. Aside from Cecil Hawkins 2013 contribution, their tally stops at 2012. According to Elections Canada list of 2013 contributors, Remi Racine, Cecil Hawkins, Edward Boyd, and Marni Larkin also contributed in 2013.

Hugh said...

Anonymous said...

Amanda Lang takes to the Globe and Mail again today to say that if we don't trust her, it's our fault not hers. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Lang: "I fully understand my obligations. Because of that, it is painful to me that public perceptions of my integrity may have been compromised because I have been accused of acting improperly by allowing myself to be seen to have been in a conflict of interest."


Anonymous said...

Holly Stick here:

Yeah, that convoluted wording is really special. And funny thing, she didn't mention iGate!

Anonymous said...

Holly Stick here again; lots of news today including this column by John Doyle:

and talk about how to save the CBC:

Alison said...

Holly's links :

John Doyle: CBC’s Amanda Lang problem should end with this: Resign

The Tyee: Would Funding Boost Save the CBC?

Appalling that Lang refers to public outrage as 'malevolent' and is being defended in this by CBC brass.

CBC is our public broadcaster and Lang is CBC's top business reporter. Regardless of her cancelled iGate gig, RBC and G&M connections, insurance corp promos and attempting to denigrate Tomlinson's reporting in the G&M as "a sideshow", the fact that as CBC's premier biz person she thought RBC bringing in offshores to be trained by RBC people before they got canned was not a story CBC should run is just atrocious ...and she's still defending it.
This I think is what has really pissed people off.

Anonymous said...

CBC editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire on Jan.12: "CBC News had no prior knowledge of Amanda Lang writing the editorial for the Globe and Mail in 2013. That matter was dealt with at the time and Amanda recognized that this was a breach of process."

So what about this new piece by Lang in the G&M? Seems like Lang is pretty confident CBC rules don't apply to her.

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