Andrew Coyne is no fan of the CBC -- even though he appears regularly on the public broadcaster's At Issues panel:
As I’ve noted on other occasions, whatever once may have been true, the case for public broadcasting has collapsed, along with the rest of the broadcast regulatory apparatus. The spectrum scarcity and other technical limitations that in the past made broadcasting a textbook example of market failure have disappeared, as in time will much of what we now know as broadcasting. It serves no one’s interests — viewers, taxpayers, or the CBC itself — to carry on as before.
Nothing like the BBC for Mr. Coyne. But, this week, when Fred De Lorey accused the Mother Corp of "strong arming" his party, Coyne had had enough:
How did the CBC try to “strong-arm” the governing party? How did it seek to “dictate” what “Conservatives can say or do”? It wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. That is, its chairman, Tim Casgrain, did. Mr. DeLorey does not mention that Mr. Casgrain was a Conservative appointee (and Conservative donor).
Neither does he mention, when he says the letter “attacks all Conservatives” — it does no such thing — that it was written four years ago.
And the nature of this “attack”? Mr. Casgrain went so far as to complain that the campaign the Conservatives were then waging against the CBC, in “fund-raising letters” and “talking points distributed to Conservative MPs,” was “unfounded in fact” and “wilfully destructive of an asset of the Crown.”
Mr. DeLorey does not mention the subject of that campaign, which was not a generalized complaint of bias but a specific demand that the CBC fire a pollster, Ekos Research president Frank Graves, because of a single ill-advised remark in an interview — not on the CBC but in an interview with a newspaper columnist — in which he had suggested the Liberal party ought to launch a “culture war” on the Conservatives.
Mr. Graves, one of four pollsters in the CBC’s employ, had apologized for his remark. No evidence was produced of bias in his polling work — indeed, he was a sometime supplier of polls to the Conservative government. And yet the campaign had continued. So far as it seeks “to influence the content of programming or determine whose views will or will not be represented on its airwaves.” Mr. Casgrain wrote, the government “comes dangerously close to intruding on the independence of the broadcaster.”
The Paranoid Party is now in full bloom. They are certainly not conservatives:
They are not interested in changing government, but in occupying it. The Conservatives are the “Ottawa elites” they decry, only they hope to dupe their supporters, for whose intelligence they evidently have abiding contempt, by keeping an army of convenient whipping boys on hand. And why not? It’s worked so far.
Occupiers not Reformers. That is the lie at the heart of the "Harper government."