Well, you couldn’t call this unexpected. With Stephen Harper’s Tories enjoying a secure majority, Canada’s ownership class feels emboldened to step up its efforts to import the heavily slanted, nakedly ideological Fox News model of right-wing broadcasting to this country. A major part of this effort is to attack, and if at all possible discredit, whatever institutions stand between them and complete, unaccountable control over all news and opinion.
And so this week, we are treated to the spectacle of Pierre-Karl Péladeau, owner of Québecor, Sun Media and the Sun News Network (aka Fox News North), unleashing his tame attack dogs to give the CBC a good old-fashioned mau-mauing. Of course a right-wing media baron like Mr. Péladeau hates the CBC: it’s an independent media outlet with secure public funding that doesn’t push the opinions he would have all media pushing, if only he could get control over them. The real danger here is that this campaign will go some way to advancing the general right-wing narrative that will make it easier for Harper to defund, or even try to privatize, one of our best national institutions. I hope the CBC can survive with its identity more or less intact.