Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rick McGinnis reviews Brian Lilley's CBC Exposed

...The corporation’s cavalier use of public money is the meat of Lilley’s book, as he details how the CBC has used its billion-plus dollar budget to expand beyond its mandate and set up a digital music service, competing unnecessarily with private businesses in the same over-serviced market. They’ve also dipped into their funding to finance campaigns against the adversaries they’ve created among private broadcasters and cable companies, as well as paying for a private party at the Toronto International Film Festival to fete George Stromboulopoulos, host of a CBC chat show and one of the broadcaster’s stars. (As I write this, Stromboulopoulos has announced his move to US cable news channel CNN, whose own viewership has been shrinking to approach the same cozy numbers George will have enjoyed at the CBC.)

While funding all of this and more with taxpayer money, the CBC has been pointedly unwilling to share details of its own spending, pleading the need for journalistic immunity and protection from their competitors in the media marketplace. Even when ordered to make their operations more transparent by the government that acts as a conduit for their funding, they’ve delayed and obfuscated at nearly every opportunity, a tactic embodied by CBC president Hubert Lacroix, who arrogantly told a House of Commons committee in 2011 that “we believe that only a judge should have the right to demand the disclosure of information that relates to our creative activities or is journalistic or program related.”

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