Thursday, April 13, 2023

Megaphones and Intelligence

Elon Musk and Pierre Poilievre have labelled the CBC the enemy. Bruce Arthur writes:

In a reasonable world, the CBC makes for an odd enemy. You can argue about how it is run, sure: ask the opinion of just about any employee of the CBC, then sit back and crack a beer. You can have an adult conversation about the CBC’s value and impact as a catch-all competitor to media across Canada, and the parameters of its mission, and all that. Debating the CBC is a shared Canadian pastime, and we don’t have enough of those left.

But labelling the CBC as an enemy is something else entirely, no matter how much you miss Don Cherry. Labelling Canada’s public broadcaster as an enemy of Canadians is a different kettle of fish, indeed.

Which brings us, regrettably, to the leader of Canada’s Official Opposition. Last week Twitter owner Elon Musk slapped new labels on the BBC and NPR accounts, calling them “government media”; it was Musk’s own version of the labels the previous Twitter regime had applied to places such as Tass, the Russian-controlled news service, or China’s People’s Daily, or Iran’s IRNA News Agency, which are called “state-affiliated media.”

The comparison between public broadcasters and Tass is ludicrous:

Tass, People’s Daily and IRNA are literal organs of the state, under full government control. The BBC and NPR — and the CBC — are independent entities that receive government funding, but have editorial independence. If you can’t see the difference, please consult an optometrist.

It’s predictable, though. Since buying Twitter, Musk has leaned heavily into easily disprovable right-wing conspiracy theories — for instance, he promulgated the repellent lie that the home invasion attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of prominent Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, was a gay tryst gone wrong. Equating the BBC and NPR to state propaganda was in keeping with Musk’s fart-cushion childishness of late, and his habits.

Pierre Poilievre has habits of his own, and an audience to court. So he posted an open letter to Musk.

“We must protect Canadians against disinformation and manipulation by state media,” wrote Poilievre. “That is why I’m asking @Twitter @elonmusk to accurately label CBC as ‘government-funded media.’ It is a fact. And Canadians deserve the facts.”

It's pretty clear: There is an inverse relationship between the size of the megaphone and the intelligence of he or she who holds it. Empty barrels have always made the most noise.

Image: WNYC


Cap said...

Pretty ironic for a guy like PP whose entire adult income has been government funded. Maybe Musk ought to put the "government-funded media" tag on PP's Twitter account.

Graham said...

pp is the little jerk kid in the school yard who likes to snitch on others for the smallest infraction but only if it makes pp look good in some way. Here he is virtue signalling to his base and again threatening the cbc with what he could do were he elected. That he keeps working against Canada and it’s institutions, in public, is most definitely weaselly. His base may be content to hear this bunk, again, but most people like the cbc and listen and/or watch it or look it up online. At worst people are indifferent to it.
It may keep his base happy but I don’t think that kind of talk will win him many new votes. It will certainly give ammo against him or should he win and do as he says will give a ready made election plank for any one running against him. Personally I think it reflects poorly on him and just makes him look small and mean and silly.

Owen Gray said...

In PP's case, that's truth in advertising, Cap.

Owen Gray said...

As a politician, Graham, PP is a failure. He can't grow his support.

Lulymay said...

How can PP grow his support when he, himself, has clearly shown he hasn't matured to an adult level yet. As Graham commented "pp is the little jerk kid in the school yard who likes to snitch on others..." is a very apt description of Mr. Harper's protege.

Owen Gray said...

Graham has it right, Lulymay. Poilievre is a kid who hasn't grown up.

Toby said...

Elon Musk has a lot of gall calling BBC and NPR "state funded." Without government help Tesla would probably have died on the drawing board. Should we call Tesla "state funded"?

Owen Gray said...

Interesting, Toby. Wealth and Hypocrisy appear to go hand in hand.