#138 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: nu-leftism, the CBC, and the Ersatz Nation

If there is a single body I hate more than English Canadians, it’s the nu-left. Usurpers, heretics, idiots, clods – the commercialized, professionalized camel-splooge that constitutes modern political action on the left. The Left proper offers an incredible collection of deep, thoughtful contemplations of the relationships between people in every possible subdivision and structures that dominate our daily lives. It is the job of political life to my mind to collect and compile the genius around and apply it to current conditions. One of my favorite lines from any book ever comes from Fahrenheit 451. In the scene, Faber (the elder-teacher figure to main character Montag; also the name of a pencil-maker, now called Faber-Castell) “Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people’s faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me”. This, alongside Zizek’s “don’t act; just think”, form a core of the mental environment that I live in to critique and expose.

The nu-left took these adages and shat on them. A banner reading “don’t think; just act” should be hung up in every student union office and meeting hall in North America. Rather than accepting the numerous humiliating defeats that comes with this sort of contestation and gleaning new empirical knowledge, reading more about the topic – the sort of stuff an academic Rocky film would put to “the Eye of the Tiger” in a montage – the nu-left chooses to clot about itself in an intellectual human centipede by bleating “oppression” and “patriarchy” without understanding what shades or forms of the concept they mean to employ. They hide in insulated Internet communities and rely on mass media and market power to make their point. By boycotting “offensive” material and denying the “right to forget” on the one hand and providing unlimited free marketing and hype through shitty social media on the other, the nu-left traded thought and contemplation for the ability to wield a monetary cattle prod.

This is to me unforgivable, blasphemous, sloppy, and dangerous. The purpose of meetings and social gatherings and intellectual discourse is to share observations and to spar. Sometimes I take contrary opinions up just to practice my trade and hone my skills; even if you don’t, the purpose of these conversations is to share knowledge and form new theories and models, not to raise money for yet another #endsomethingorother campaign and a pile of glossy posters slapped onto power lines. This is a subversive lumpenproletariat, not a genuine expression of forward-thinking. It fits nicely with the New Right in the United States in that both are fully monetized weapons employing a totemic and unquestioned market as the means to bring vague, unspecified “change”. Empirical research is unwelcome to the nu-left because feels are more important and empirical data is hard to come by. Bastardizing the process of knowledge transfer itself for the sake of sales figures and e-mail signups and “sticking it to” the other guy – this is my version of the money-changers in the temple.

How does this link to the CBC? Well, the CBC is riddled with nu-leftism. It’s actually one of the major reasons I hate nu-leftism; I figured out just how dangerous the thing can be when I saw the CBC picking it up. The CBC has plenty of incentive to adopt nu-leftism for two repulsive reasons: one, it’s a good way to hide the Apartheid state of affairs while pretending to care about race relations; two, it fits the company’s history of culture-saving bullshit. The former is done through a make-believe environment of openness towards immigrants (thus making Canada “multicultural”), and the latter through bad reporting. Both are arms of the nu-left’s way of doing business.

First, the race thing. The CBC’s report on equality (remember when I mentioned that?) holds this up as a testament to its greatness:

The representation rate for women in CBC/Radio-Canada’s permanent workforce has increased by 5% over the past decade (46.9% from 42.1%). There were 105 (1.4%) Aboriginal Peoples; 111 (1.5%) persons with disabilities; and 552 (7.6%) members of visible minorities occupying permanent positions in 2013. This is the first time that the number of visible minorities has surpassed the 550 mark. (are you brutal enough to read this tripe?)

But notes an essential limitation:

 With the help of our cultural census, we are expecting to achieve a higher response rate for employment equity. However, work remains to be done as self-identification information in our HR database still proves challenging to use: at the end of 2013, approximately 23% of our workforce had not completed the cultural census. (fuck off, it’s the same source as above)

And here our troubles begin. You see those numbers there? They aren’t the same across Canada or even across neighborhoods. Where I grew up I’d expect the reverse for visible minorities and Indians. I would use the census to find out but the most recent one is less than useless, so. At any rate, rural Canada is still predominantly white and Indian, and it doesn’t care what the Malaysian community thinks because to them Malaysia is a type of noodle dish. Being told that it’s normal to see a bunch of Somalis along the road is a falsehood to much of English Canada because the Somalis aren’t walking along the road in tiny shit-towns. Now, I don’t blame the Somalis or anyone else for not living in suburban sidewalk abortions – I suspect if I knew the full extent of how bad my options were between Somalia or small-town Ontario the one I’d pick is a bullet to the braincage. That and not speaking fluid English, which is required in anti-intellectual rural Canada because fuck getting better at anything.

So ramming immigrants into CBC viewers’ faceholes doesn’t help to do much because most people possess the amazing ability to look out their window and see that the thing on television isn’t true. But even when it doesn’t wholly work at culture-creation it does create an illusion of multi-culturalism which in turn provides perfect cover for long-festering racism against Indians. The logic goes thus: we spend so much on taking care of Somalis and Burmese and other migrants, so we obviously fund the Indians! Sadly, this is patently untrue. Pedestalizing brown skin and pretending that all of Canada is some sort of olive-toned wonderland allows everyone to comfortably ignore the Indian problem. We treat Chinese too well – therefore we treat Injins too well too! Thus we hear endlessly about whether we’re racists or what Canada did this week to fight racism while the instruments of Apartheid are put down and picked up every day in office buildings across this festering stink-pit.

In turn, the CBC pumps multi-kulti and nu-left crap because it came from – you guessed it – a fear that Canadians were accessing American radio content. The CBC was born specifically to be Canadian; it comes from a cultural project, like it or not. This has infected the CBC ever since, from Hockey Night in Canada producing caker hockey culture by glorifying contractors giving each other concussions for huge sums of money to meaningless TV dramas about small-town cakerdom (of course, with wildly inaccurate presentions of small-towns). The stuff is unappealing because it’s fake, but the falsehood is essential to maintaining the doublethink that keeps English Canadians thinking that they live in a real country so it continues.

This is the CBC’s treadmill for life. Because it can’t report honestly for fear of unravelling its useless Canadiana project, it is destined to be managed like a shitty Canadian business and to put out shitty Canadian programming. What started as a good idea simply got Canada’d – and the ironic thing is that it’s backfiring. By demonstrating falsehood the CBC does nothing but foster more suspicion and disdain. Small towns are idiotic, but if there’s one thing small towns know it’s their own town’s history. Seeing the national broadcast displaying what to that population is immediately apparent as fakery and lies about the condition the town itself conjures images of conspiracies and federal interference in their lives, meaning that dark assumptions are born and discussed through local channels. Thus they solidify, becoming ever-more insular and cliquish. forming another body upon which meaningless nu-left activism can feed off of.

The circle of Canadian life, ladies and gentlemen. Honesty? Inquiry? Fuck that! Dual make-believe! Urban centers can buy the nonsense about small towns being tolerant and polite, and small towns can entrench in their bad habits and reactionary sentiments for fear that the untrue presentation of themselves on the national broadcaster constitutes an agenda from those urban centers to change them. Meanwhile, the country fails and sparks and slowly creeps towards collapse while the CBC fiddles about with Tahitian sock-puppet presenters in an attempt to exchange needed conversations about Canada for idiotic flavor-of-the-week non-troversy.

Fuck, I hate it here.

#137 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: the Penultimate Post

I want to talk about whatever the flying fuck these are showing up in Inuit tap water. But shitty CBC crap is holding me down. I’ve made a promise to you people to talk about the nu-left at the CBC and believe me, there is a lot of it involved in the CBC’s narrative construction projects. But I want to highlight something very wrong with the nerve center of the CBC.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m both pedantic and a glutton for self-inflicted punishment. I also don’t mind getting my hands dirty and looking through the CVs of a whole whack of people. And that means that I dug through the entire senior staff at the CBC (well, those that I could find, at any rate) to see what their backgrounds are. The results…? Well, corporate shitheads. Yeah, because a media and news outlet is the same thing as a law firm or IBM or some impossibly shitty marketing firm. Only one person on this fucking list here even has journalism experience!

Instead, you have a mix of lifers on the business side of CBC (i.e.: not the content) and corporate executives, demonstrating that Canada has no fucking clue what a public broadcaster even is. Yeah, clearly business mergers are something that the CBC is going to have to perform regularly. I skipped Heather Conway because she got a whole post to how worthless she is.

Hubert T. Lacroix:

Just prior [to joining the CBC], Mr. Lacroix held the position of Senior Advisor with the Montréal office of Stikeman Elliott, a law firm recognized nationally and internationally for its business law practice. From 2000 to 2005, he acted as Executive Chairman of Telemedia Corporation and of the other boards of directors of the various companies in the Telemedia corporate structure.

Before joining Telemedia Corporation, Mr. Lacroix was a Senior Partner at McCarthy Tétrault, another major Canadian law firm, for 20 years. His practice was concentrated in business law, mostly in mergers and acquisitions of public companies, and securities.

Mr. Lacroix received his Bachelor of Civil Law (1976) and his Master’s degree in Business Administration (1981) from McGill University. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1977. (source)

Translation: this guy is a business lawyer in a business that doesn’t work like any other business he has ever worked at. Good pick for CEO, chumps!

William B. Chambers:

William B. Chambers was appointed CBC/Radio-Canada’s Vice-President, Brand, Communications and Corporate Affairs, on September 15, 2008. Previous to that, he had been appointed Vice-President, Communications, on January 15, 2003…

Prior to joining CBC/Radio-Canada, Mr. Chambers was based in London, where he was Managing Director, Europe, for Goldfarb Consultants. Mr. Chambers held senior positions with Molson Companies Limited, first as Director, Public Affairs, then as Vice-President, Corporate Affairs. He also occupied several positions within the Office of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, including Chief of Staff, Press Secretary and Official Spokesperson. (source)

Translation: worked for a company reliant on marketing because the quality of the product is terrible, then worked for a marketing firm that worked with De Beers (i.e.: the people who created the “overpriced diamond rings for marriage” racket) and is headed by a Liberal pollster.

Sylvie Gadoury:

Before joining the Senior Executive Team, Ms. Gadoury held the position of Associate General Counsel, Media Law, and Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator, from 2009 to 2015. She had previously served as Senior Legal Counsel, Media Law, since 1998. Prior to working for CBC/Radio-Canada, Ms. Gadoury practised law for a few years in a private firm, and later went on to work for the Canadian Department of Justice’s general litigation team. (source)

Translation: government hack who couldn’t deal with the private sektor and hurried back to government work. Interestingly, her team has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal – but there’s no mention of her having been called to the Ontario Bar. In Canada, 1/3 is amazing!

Steven Guiton:

Before becoming Vice-President Technology and Chief Regulatory Officer, Mr. Guiton was Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Officer, Media Technology Services, responsible for moving content across the Corporation’s national, regional, and local networks. Prior to that, Mr. Guiton was CBC/Radio-Canada’s Executive Director, Strategy and Government Relations. In his other previous positions, he had been Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, at the Canadian Cable Television Association, and Regulatory Vice-President at Unitel Communications Inc. (formerly AT&T Canada and now Allstream). (source)

Mr. Guiton holds an M.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a B.A. in Economics and Commerce from the University of Toronto; he also attended the University of British Columbia for doctoral studies in Economics.

Translation: CBC lifer with connections to the telecom industry that has so effectively shafted Canada for decades. Also, I love the “doctoral studies” minus the doctorate at the end. Next.

Louis Lalande:

Mr. Lalande has been in the news business for 25 years, mainly at Radio-Canada. Before joining CBC/Radio-Canada’s Senior Executive Team, he was Executive Director of Regional Services, which comprise television, radio and web services. Prior to that, he helped establish the Centre de l’information de Radio-Canada in Montreal where he was the News and Current Affairs Director for ICI Radio-Canada Télé and ICI RDI for more than two years, after having been Executive Director of Technical Production. Mr. Lalande stopped working for the national public broadcaster for a few years during which he notably created LCN, TVA’s all-news television channel. (source)

Translation: is it…someone appropriate for the job? Holy shit, folks! It’s someone with relevant experience!! Maybe this is why the French-language CBC is so vastly superior to the English one.

Monique Marcotte:

As of May 2015, Monique Marcotte, Executive Director, Corporate Human Resources Services and Strategic Planning, is serving as Acting Vice-President, People and Culture. (source)

Uh…what? Bless you, I think? By the way, that’s it on her page. Who needs any more information than that? Her Linkedin page says she’s been there since 2009. Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and call suspicious on this one.

Judith Purves:

Before joining CBC/Radio-Canada, Ms. Purves was a Finance Executive with IBM, holding a number of progressively more senior positions, most recently based in New York as VP and CFO IBM Global Financing. Other significant positions held include CFO of IBM Canada Ltd, IBM Global Services Pricing Executive and Chief Accountant IBM Canada. She has led a number of significant organizational transformations. (source)

“Global Services Pricing Executive”. On something that’s free to the public. Someone remind me again – what does IBM have in common with a public broadcaster? Oh, right. Nothing.

So there you have it – the nerve center of the CBC. With a list of corporate hacks and unrelated experience dominating the entirity of the CBC’s English contingent and most of the French one, nothing can possibly go wrong!  With this lot at the helm, the probability that Canada will right anything with its public broadcaster is comfortably low. Who needs reform when ignorance is cheaper and easier to put together?

Except Louis Lalande – that guy, if the content on French-language CBC is any indicator, is a goddamn boss. The music is absolutely appropriate for Mr. Lalande. Skill! Talent! Proven ability to plan and create! An angelic choir sings to the glory of the CBC getting one hire right. Obviously, he is French and therefore unacceptable to caker-logic, but I know better than that. Manage on, you elderly, silver haired Quebecois man. Manage like the wind.

#136 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: Rex Murphy is Pathetic

Rex Murphy sucked oil cock in what is perhaps the most embarrassing collection of throat-noises ever recorded. Are you ready?

Did you catch the beginning where he says that he’s not used to being in rooms full of competant people? This tells you two things off the bat:

1) Murphy doesn’t mind shitting in the trough he feeds from; and
2) Murphy is too senile to correctly distinguish between achievement and Canada’s business class

This keeps going in glowing terms, with Murphy’s ventriloquist-dummy face flapping up and down practically salivating over the prospect of licking these people’s shoes. You are heroes, Canadian oilmen! Heroes! Guardians of a new age! Your styles are impeccable, your footfalls leave gold in the trodden earth, when you go to Tim Horton’s all the donuts are there – you are heroes! And Neil Young is coming to destroy everything! Damn you, David Suzuki (who is a ponce, albeit a dishonest nu-left ponce as opposed to a dishonest, senile ponce a la Murphy) and your pesky environmentalists! Damn you!!

I don’t mind if you gave up on that speech there. I just watched 18 minutes of old-man fellatio and I will never get that time back. Think about what I do for you, readers. And really, if the guy did something other than awkwardly shove Canadiana into his tongue-thrusts he wouldn’t be a half-bad ranter. Certainly better than the cringe-worthy performances of people like Rick Mercer. But that’s not why we’re here. Sucking oil-peen is pretty old hat, really. And given Slippery Pete’s position I don’t expect anything resembling genuine broadcasting coming from the CBC. No – what I do have a problem with, and why I think Murphy is a pathetic joke, comes from his wasting of Cross Country Checkup.

Cross Country Checkup’s name is a pun – the goal of the broadcast initially was to explain public healthcare to Canadians as it was being implemented and later evolved into a call-in show that nobody could think of a better name for. It’s a show that requires quick thinking, an energetic voice, and the ability to run and think critically. Murphy has none of these. His primary technique for dealing with opinions he doesn’t like is to hang up on the person talking while mumbling. His voice sounds like what I imagine Ben Stein’s would after the latter attempted to rinse his mouth with lye. He writes abominable introductions like this. His idea of critical thought, as that piece points to (I listened to this fuck for 20 minutes – I’m not doing any more), is to simply repeat broad-stroke, unanswerable rhetorical questions with a different intonation and then have his three “experts” provide talking points while Canadians call in and repeat those talking points.

This is what passes for “sophisticated” commentary in Canada. Never mind that Rex Murphy is as into the muck as the dreaded AmeriKKKan journalists – he can pretend not to be and his apparent bouts of senility can be disguised as thoughtfulness, so let’s do that! And you know what’s really sad? This is one of the only channels in Canada through which Canadian fuck-ups are discussed. AmeriKKKa has tons of talk radio – most of it is hot garbage, but they all rail against reasons why the US is terrible and horrid and reasons why they have to improve and get better and somewhere in that crap-pile is a good idea. In Canada, our “hot conversations” are the tepid conjunction of a corrupt contractor, whatever three people he could pull together this week, and the occasional worthy caller who can then wrap their lips around Canada’s greatness.

So Murphy did unto the oil industry, so his callers must do unto Canada. Open wide!

#135 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: Kevin O’Leary is a Bad Person

I struggle to call Kevin O’Leary and his buddy Rex Murphy journalists. This is difficult because they’re both contractors to the CBC and thus can say anything without it being “the CBC” saying the thing. O’Leary is a special brand though, because he’s the guy behind what has been unironically referred to as the worst business deal in modern history – basically scamming Mattel into buying his overvalued scam of a company. His time at the helm of said company saw the place burn through a billion dollars in three years; his time at Mattel saw the only increase in money going to – you guessed it – Kevin O’Leary.

O’Leary acts like every caker MBA wants to – swaggering tough-guys who totally understand the whole thing and you’re just an idiot you guys. And he runs a reality television show called Dragon’s Den where he and four other caker businessfolk demonstrate their stupidity by refusing to buy anything that isn’t already making money, a practice you may recognize as pathetic. The thing is, Gordon Ramsay or Simon Cowell’s “be-a-meanie-on-TV-and-shit-on-people-for-views” is buttressed by skill. Ramsay is a God-mode chef with the restaurants to prove it; Cowell actually has a number of successful programs on the air and has found talent on stage. O’Leary’s claim to business savvy is being the guy with the croupier stick in one of the worst company buy-outs in history.

And that’s fucking dangerous. I mean, Gordon Ramsay’s textbook “rotten-meat-in-the-fridge” routine at least has a point – you can’t serve bum food. Likewise, Cowell bursts overinflated egos and bubbles that need to be bursted. O’Leary…just says the most absurd, meaningless, controversial shit alongside corrupt slimecunt Amanada Lang, who ripostes by pointing out, once again, that O’Leary is talking out of his ass. He offers bad advice (like “poor people should be poor because then they’ll be inspired to be richer”, a line you might misremember from a Pixar villain’s speech but which in fact comes from the Mouth of the Ape himself) while himself achieving little more than the near-bankruptcy of Barbie, tanking his self-named mortgage company in 2014, and the awesome feat of coming out of Celebrity Jeopardy with negative money. Yes – the plot to the SNL sketch about Celebrity Jeopardy almost happened. O’Leary was given $1,000 so at least he didn’t have to rob the Humane Society or whatever (something I suspect his gelatinous tendrils would have no problem doing). Clearly, this man is inept, incompetant, and boorish – using him for a show where people can get bad ideas and lose a lot of money really fast is clearly the best option! Fuck learning to cook from Gordon Ramsay – I want to learn the culinary arts from his admin assistant.

For its part, the CBC has covered its ass by leaving its ass hanging out of its trousers

Strictly speaking there is no violation of policy because Mr. O’Leary is a commentator. Freelance or not, anyone engaged by CBC and appearing on its programs must abide by the basic values of CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices. Once again, there is a potential confusion of roles. He is a commentator, and a freelancer, but he functions as a co-host on an information program  (source; emphasis mine)
How the fuck does “no violation of policy” and “confusion” fit together? Why do you have a ‘commentator and a freelancer’ co-hosting an information program when the guy’s resume suggests that he’s shit at business and his arrogance assures that he’ll be bad at newscasting? Again – you’ve given a quack a stage, you numbskulls. “Information” is supposed to mean “good information” – I trust O’Leary’s data as far as I can toss his corpulent ass underwater.
Now he works for Bell’s television company, which is a match made in heaven, really. Fuck Kevin O’Leary with a wrench made of bees.

#134 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: the Lame and O’Really Show

Amanda Lang and the story of how she still has a job is fascinating to me. She served as the foil to boorish Trump wannabe Kevin O’Leary – and when your job is “make the bonobo in the Trump costume seem clever” you’ve got problems. Leaving O’Really aside, we’re going to instead focus on the connections and culture of non-disclosure that broadsided her and thus the H.M.C.S. CBC, which is increasingly mired in scandal and honestly is starting to look a bit like a college production.

Also, yes – I know people want my comments on CBC bias. I want to change that terminology slightly, but I agree. The CBC is in the business of creating Canada through telling it what it ought to be. I mean, think about it – the CBC was born in part out of Canadian paranoia that AMERIKKKA and her deadly foreign broadcasts are coming to increase all of the portion sizes and make everyone interested in MLB instead of the NHL. Ever wonder why the CBC clamors to hire the brownest news anchors it can but how they all speak fluid, native English when radio stations that provide essential non-English language services for Inuit elders get zombified as advertising space for want of federal funds? It’s make-believe, folks! And we’re getting there.

When I go looking for muck in Canada, I start from the same place – families. We’ve discussed how family politics is endemic to and a toxic result of Canada’s extreme disorganization and bureaucratic confusion. And behind Amanda is…pappy Otto Lang whose infamous elimination of the Crow Rate subsidy brought tons of wealth to the TSX and the shareholders of the Canada-Pacific Railway at the expense of continuing the process of Western alienation.

The next place to look when I find family paydirt with connections to Canadian business is for links between that specific person and Canadian business interests. I found political interests, such as when she didn’t disclose that her brother was running against Jack Layton in a segment about whether Jack Layton was credible as a Party Leader. Yes, her brother was a Liberal. And then I found out that she was dating someone on the Board of Directors at the Royal Bank of Canada at the same time as she was sabotaging a story about abuses of the temporary foreign worker program by said. And then she got dinged for providing positive coverage of two insurance firms (Manulife and Sun Life – like there’s a difference) while taking paid gigs from them. Disclosing any of this would just have taken too much time out of her hard-hitting business journalism so she didn’t.

The whole family is a political powerhouse with journalists, justices, and business executives among the Otto children. And that obviously has nothing to do with the extent to which the CBC’s insular senior management is defending and protecting her. Their internal report was made public only after heavy redactions, including the entire section about conflict of interest. Obviously the sign of a body that values journalistic integrity!

#133 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: Tweety Petricic

Sasa Petricic hangs out in Jerusalem. He got arrested in Turkey during the Gezi Park protests of 2013. No particularly glaring controversy, solid jawline – the perfect newsman. I actually wasn’t about to write about this dude but he scored himself a complaint to the ombudsman that has some implications for the “oh-Jesus-race-to-the-Internet-Tweet-Everything” movement that is the CBC’s long-term survival plan.

Twitter and newscasting seem like natural bedfellows – the former is about slamming words together and hoping someone hears you, and newscasting is basically a stage for you to slam words together in front of a bitching backdrop. Hands-in-gloves, right? Flash the @handle at the bottom of your name, get some followers, throw news directly into the e-faceholes in real time. What’s not to love?

Well, ask Dr. Robert Wittes and he’ll have an answer for you. Apparently Sasa is big into the Twittering – in my research into the guy I found mention that he tweeted himself to freedom in Turkey, which is apparently noteworthy and in no way influenced by him being a journalist and a foreigner. Dr. Wittes took offense to this:

“Fighting for/ag #ISIS isn’t only combat drawing youth to MidEast. Many more foreign recruits to #Israel, inc Cdn”

And rightly so! What the fuck is this? Are you telling me that one Canadian is moving to Israel? Are you suggesting that Israel is actively engaged in combat against ISIS? I hope not because that isn’t true in the slightest. Newscasting made unclear, ladies and gentlemen! This is the guy who won Canada’s Canadian Screen Award for Best Reportage last year? Just because I’m an asshole let’s put that up against some Newspeak:

#Oldthinkers unbellyfeel @Ingsoc: rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling [link to some article]

Not quite. Ah, damn. But you see the problem with unreadable acronyms and – oh, that isn’t the problem? Apologies, Dr. Wittes. The problem here is the pretty obvious implication of Sasa’s tweet – that ISIS and the IDF are comparable. This is something that Sasa could have avoided by using a platform with the ability to communicate in more than 140 characters with slightly more care than one usually exercises pinching off a morning turd, but I digress. Dr. Wittes continues to bring the pain to Sasa-chan:

“If he meant it to be offensive, then he should be disciplined for anti-Semitism. If his offence was inadvertent, then he should be disciplined for incompetence.”

Ooooh. Shots fired! Here I need to depart from Dr. Wittes. The handwringing reply that Sasa is awesome and of course we at the CBC would never say that ISIS and the IDF are the same but his tweet was really clunky and awkwardly written but senpai don’t hate us is only interesting for the part about clunkiness. You mean that it can be hard to capture full shades of meaning when compressing thought into 140 characters of acronyms and confusion and that the opportunity for uh-oh is there? Well, the ombudsman thinks so:

One must indeed proceed with extreme caution when including ISIS and the IDF in the same 140-character sentence to draw attention to a newspaper article.

Hmm. Perhaps – and this is just me grasping at straws here – perhaps flinging the CBC towards digitization isn’t a great idea when your award-winning journalists can’t express themselves properly in the confines of one of the most commonly-used social media sites in the Western world? Is this one of those cases where planning for the transition and training people would have been wise? Who knew? Rushing to the Internet because it cuts costs and works effectively to bring information to people is fine – so long as the people in your employ know how to use them without sounding like idiots. This being the CBC…yeah, not quite there yet. #whoopsies!

#132 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: Qui Custodiet CBC.ca?

The CBC’s website is one of the few things about the English Canadian CBC that doesn’t make my skin crawl. Sure, it’s filled with tripe and prepacked articles from real news agencies but that’s basically the CBC anyways. It looks okay, the integration with CBC-Radio makes the one remotely useful part of the CBC’s Armada of Bullshit accessible to my Internet-wielding ass, and its comment sections are a reliable car-wreck of English Canadian inanity (honestly, I could just redirect you there and close shop; sooner or later that infinite monkeys flinging poo at infinite typewriters will fumigate the well of Canada’s sins and thus exorcise its fell demons). It’s a website – good job. Here’s a cookie.

But who in the evershitting hell manages that website? I Googled around to look for information about who manages, runs, and maintains the CBC’s family of websites. Since I couldn’t find that there, let’s go look at the sitemap, shall we?

And you know what I did for you? I went to go look around by clicking on every one of those fucking links there that could have a chance of housing the very basic information that I’m looking for. I clicked on them all with one very simple question in mind: “who is the head of the website design team?” If anywhere, you’d sign your own work, no? After looking at the toll for the e-troll under this collection, labelled “Image Research Library & Still Photos”, of “thousands of subject and biography files and books selected for their visual content…also [featuring] an historic serials collection, including the Eaton’s catalogue back to 1910” and whatever the fuck redirect site this was hiding behind the “Ad & Sponsorship Sales”, I set to looking under Corporate Info. Start from the top of that, I suppose. Like fuck if I want to see another redsplosion like “Ad & Sponsorship Sales”.

Right. Here’s where you go when you click “About“: a page using the same cascading icon diarrhea that Windows 8 was so loved for blindsiding people with. Our people, maybe? Let’s try ther..holy fuck you dolts I don’t want to see your maplewashed selfies Jesus fucking Christ have some respect. Every day brings something new, indeed. If I wanted cutesy pictures of twentysomethings pretending that the world is a glorious place I’d people-watch in a mall. Next click!

CBC Media Center“? Holy shit, that’s my main well of material for making fun of Canada’s mediocre television offerings! This is one of my favorite barrels on the whole of the Internet! And there’s a contact page on there! Sweet giggity, we’re in busin-oh. By “contact us”, you meant contact your brand managers? I want to talk to a brand manager as much as I do a bran muffin. I do like how news and current affairs got relegated to someone pulling double duty though. Good to know where the branding priorities are.

The link “CBC Museum” rushes me to a page that implores me to take a #museumselfie with Mr. Dressup’s Tickle Truck. I cannot express my combination of granite-shattering disinterest in complying with this and the deep, core-raking disgust I feel at the fact that this request was even made of me in the first place. Just, fuck you CBC Museum. I’ll stick to Mr. Rogers, who was a fantastic human being and who didn’t instruct me to take #museumselfies with an old microphone. Next.

Glenn Gould Studio“, you say? Well, sure – I can do Gould…aaand you’re trying to sell me tickets to a concert in Toronto. Amazing. Obviously this is important corporate info.

This section of the links to nowhere is getting dull, so let me slide down to the Contact Us page. I had forgotten that I tried this because it worked exactly as I thought it would. Foolish me, assuming that “contact us” would contain contact information. Here is my query:

And here are the results of said:

Amazing! And yes, I know how a search engine works. I tried every combination of CBC.ca, website, webmaster, manages, runs, hosts – everything I could think of. And it was awesome because:

Jesus Fucking Christ. Okay – after that torture, let’s get this other fucking heading over with. I’m already way over my usual word count here. And I was trying to write about the CBC.ca webpage and how it was basically not the worst. Too bad I don’t know who to thank save for Canada and I suppose the Instagram-bunch over in the “About” section.

Jobs“: I’m surprised this doesn’t just redirect to the EI office for your province. Went to their “contact us” and found nothing. Not the first place I’d look either but I said I would look everywhere and by fuck I’m going to.

This, by the way, is the “Contact Us” page I’m getting most often. I like Ombudsmen as a rule – they’re pedantic and probably hate what they discover about the world they live in just like me – but I don’t want to talk to their offices.  Both the “Corporate Info” (which is a redirect to the main page of CBC Radio-Canada because reasons) and the “Transparency & Accountability” page dump me here. Though the latter did direct me to a whole pile of CBC-made reports that I’m sure I’ll glean plenty of ammo from. Look forward to the “Equity Reports” comments where I get to shred the nu-left again!

CBC: Get the Facts” – that’s what I’m trying to do you asscheese! This is a context-less drop-down list of events that apparently have one thing in common – they make the CBC sad. Thrilling. You can’t even plead for your fiscal lives properly. I mean, when you’ve got logic like “[every] Canadian has access to one, if not all, of the broadcast consortiums’ stations” as a justification for the current model of scheduling leadership debates, you’re kind of forgetting the people who don’t have any access to television broadcasting and instead rely on the Internet.

Oh, and before we go, don’t forget this doozy: “[our management team] is guided only by the desire to offer a wide variety of quality Canadian programs, and we’re doing a very successful job of that.” Ask Jian Ghomeshi’s victims about the pure and noble intent of CBC management; when even the CBC admits that his handsy, “really get to know you” style was basically condoned by management you may want to avoid referencing the pure and noble intent of a whack of political appointees and lifers at the CBC.

Right, back to it. “Public Appearances” is one of those too-much-to-know things. Without a search function, what’s the fucking point? I don’t care that Mark Connolly was the host of the Kids With Cancer Leg Shaker Fundraiser on 30 May – I want to know what the fuck these people do and who runs the bloody website! I also want to mention that one of the reasons I hate endless babble about transparency is that it creates Rube Goldbergs like this – unwieldy spreadsheets with at once too much and not enough data. We’ve got everyone’s trips to the Canadian Fart Museum logged but dear Lord help us if we want to find, you know, useful data.

“CBC Shop”? Fuck no. I don’t wanna shop, and if I did I wouldn’t be looking at the bottom of the page for the store. “Help”? God-fucking-dammit it’s the same shitty search engine from last time! That’s not help, you fucks – that’s abuse! “Doing Business With Us” apparently means cringeworthy pseudobusiness-diagram with pictures of office chairs on them. Contact us? Are you here, website design dudes? Oh, you motherfucker!!

Holy shit! All I wanted to do was say that whoever’s running that show is doing an okay job and I ended up hating the CBC’s website and the stupid loop-de-loop gobbledegook that it seems to entail. Fuck you, CBC website design people! But I have one more button. And that button has the most beautiful word of all on it:


Sweet lords above. Thank God it’s you, middle-aged lady with wavy hair and Quebecois mullet-suit dude! No Canadian flag surprises? No fucking useless search engines that work as well as a Ford Pinto? Your Contact Us form is for the right people and you taught me that you’ve contracted out raking through the gunk that is the CBC’s comments section. Marry me, red pant-suit lady! Hear my pleas and answer my simple question!

Will I ever find out who runs the place? Tune in next time! I’m off to go make fun of equality reports.

#131 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: Slippery Pete

Heather Conway may be a student of the worthless Canadian business class and may have more background in spin than data, but she’s got nothing on the King of Slime Himself – Peter Mansbridge.

Peter Mansbridge was hired because of his voice. No seriously – he worked at an airport in Churchill, Manitoba when some CBC putty-launcher heard him doing an announcement on the intercom. Don’t take my word for it – read this glowing nonsense for yourself! And then read the Star’s report on Slippery Pete’s paid speaking gigs for big oil (“the CBC said it was okay so you’re all meanie poopieheads” is basically his response) and his fluffy-ass interview with Rob Ford who proved that, if nothing else, English Canadian businesspeople can be trusted to spout off laughable tough-guy talk while being propped up by the government.

But that’s not why we’re here. Sneaks and snakes are a reality of Canada that nobody can take away from it. What’s really special to me is that Peter serves as a sort of political Snuggee, a soft and understanding Dad-voiced friend in a media scene filled with meanies and bad guys. Did you literally smoke crack as a mayor? Come be absolved by Pete! Gotta look remorseful after the latest unwanted facts about Canada’s wicked past and useless present come to bite the cakers in the ass? Send Slippery Fucking Pete and he’ll knowingly frown with downcast eyes so you don’t have to feel the consequences of your shitty country’s horrible actions. Need some out-of-a-can-reverence for your revisionist event? Father Pete will bring the magic to your Canadiana bullshit with his dulcet baritone voice. If you’ve got money, the CBC has its favorite celebrity ready to come to absolve you and yours.

He’s like Oprah Winfrey but specially tuned for Canada in that he’s an old white dude who can basically do anything and get away with it because of name recognition. The fact that you donated the proceeds from a paid speaking engagement with the tar sands or the Koch Brothers doesn’t absolve you of the fact that you took money for a speaking engagement from the tar sands and a company ultimately beholden to the Koch Brothers. I don’t care that you get your money from elsewhere, Pete – but for the love of God please disclose that information when you’re reporting on something related to it. That’s basic journalistic ethics. It’s what Jesse Brown of Canadaland does. And you know what? While I often violently disagree with Brown and his guests, I respect him as a journalist and I read his remarks with interest because he has the courage to wear his potential biases on his sleeve.

This is, of course, in contrast to Slippery Pete, whose grandpa-face and a healthy dose of Canadiana clearly qualifies him as Chief Absolver of Canadian Sins. Does anyone remember when Walter Cronkite said this:

We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi’s winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that – negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate

This man, Old Ironpants (no, really), brought America’s defeat to the nightly news. He did it eloquently, prompting President Johnson himself to allegedly have said something like “if I lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America”. Somehow, given Slippery Pete’s “you’re poopieheads” response to being outed as a celebrity-for-hire-cum-journalist and this absolute joke of a speech, I doubt he brought ferric trousers to the CBC.

And that’s the way it is and has forever been in Canada.

#130 – Channel Surfing, Special Edition: the Seething Ball of Cack

What’s this? Another special series? Welcome to Seething Ball of Cack!

This time, because I don’t feel like reading more into Louis St. Laurent (fuck you, I’m getting to him), let’s grab our shotguns and head on out to the live-well barrel that is the CBC. This is too easy – Canada’s newscasters fail at providing full disclosure and management makes totally inappropriate choices for a national broadcaster. The lot of limpdick syncophants and the worthless bureaucrats that support them are a stain on a national broadcaster whose legendary ability to waste talent, time, and funds is already breathtaking to behold. From its heady days in the 1980s kicking ass at the Constitutional Conventions, the CBC has rusted into feel-good Candiana, mindless “reporting”, and worthless daytime drama. The collapse of the CBC has its roots in upper management and its news anchors and we’re going to go through them.

Before we begin, I want to say a few things so that knuckle-dragging Libertarian-types don’t misread me. First off, I have no problem with the concept of a publically-funded national broadcasting service. A national broadcaster has tremendous potential for good. I’ve sung the praises of Australia’s the Checkout before and here I’m going to do it again – spreading information about consumer law and other useful information from a source that isn’t total cack is a good thing. You remove a lot of confusion when you use a public broadcaster’s legitimacy to broadcast publically-relevant information; stuff like consumer law, or the state of a government program or department, or even information like how to do taxes (which, courtesy of Steve and his boutique tax cuts is a Kafkesque nightmare) are all good things that I have no problem seeing tax money flow towards.

I also don’t mind provocative films – documentaries that expose nasty problems (like, in fairness, those that the National Film Board puts out), pieces suggesting ideas through artistry, and breakout chances for newly-found talent. I’m okay with the way the French do their CBC because it is a combination of useful information, meaningful debates, and heartfelt performances. There’s a reason English CBC is trying to make a derivative of a Quebecois show and not the other way around. What I do have a problem with, however, are people like Vice-President and Director of English Services Heather Conway, whose list of shows for fall of 2015 includes shit like this:

Murdoch Mysteries,Coronation Street, This Life, Heartland, X Company, Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes, Dragons’ Den, Mr. D, Schitt’s Creek, Canada’s Smartest Person…Crash Gallery,  (source)

Good job, Conway – I don’t know what a third of those are and I think the average age group for the five-decade old Coronation Street is 120+. Also included are two incredibly washed-out programs (Rick Mucker and 22 Minutes of Agony) which should have had their cables pulled sometime after Terry Shiavo’s were. Heartland, X Company, and Mr. D sound like the title of a Tea Party blog, a shitty video game, and a pornstar respectively. Canada’s Smartest Person and Dragon’s Den are the same hurr-durr-look-at-the-stupid-people dressed up in some bush-league successes that the dreaded AMERIKKKA loves so much.

None of these are even remotely intriguing. Low-brow, pre-packaged, mushy, derivative, or just a straight-up crap shoot, the CBC’s English-language offerings are a comedic display of Sempai-notice-me. And behind them all, the one approving them is Heather Conway. And what experience does she bring? Outside of an art gallery, which is like television but the pictures don’t move,

Ms. Conway spent six years as Executive Vice-President at Alliance Atlantis Communications. There, she oversaw strategic marketing, publicity and on-air creative for 13 Canadian cable specialty channels, transformed the business model for channel distribution and increased subscription revenue. She later became Chief Executive Officer of Edelman Public Relations Canada. Earlier in her career, Ms. Conway held other senior management and consulting positions with TD Bank Financial Group, Hill & Knowlton and The Neville Group (source)

Oh, good. English Canadian media company, dynastic PR firm, shitty Canadian bank, another PR firm, and a temp agency. Because who needs any sort of critical thinking skills in the CBC’s upper management, right?