CBC = Conservative Broadcasting Corporation
What’s been called the “largest protest in human history” almost didn’t make the news.
Mexico saw upwards of 90,000 protesters out on the street before their presidential elections of July 1, 2012, with students, union workers and activists calling for “authentic democracy”. Following the July 1 elections (which saw Right-wing PRI leader Pena Nieto win) tens of thousands more came out en masse to protest against the Mexican media. They accused the media of helping Nieto illegitimately win his presidency by favourably portraying him in their news coverage. Even though the media tried to suppress coverage of the massive protests, pictures and articles showing its size and magnitude hit newspapers and websites across the globe...as did allegations of Mexican media corruption.
This is the first time that Mexico - and the rest of the world - has seen protests of this scope pledging to fight the lies and manipulation propagated by media. But it isn’t the first time that media has been named corrupt and nefarious. Most major media outlets are owned and operated by multi-billionaires - people like Mexico’s Ricardo Salinas Pliego, a Forbes-listed “world’s richest individual” and the man behind notorious Televisón Azteca.
Here in Canada, we have strikingly similar stories: The Globe and Mail, for instance, is owned by the Thompsons, Canada’s top-earning family; so the Globe’s editorials favor the Harper government. It’s no surprise that the richest people on earth will do anything to maintain their position atop the pile - including publishing lies and telling half-truths in order to keep the pro-business parties in power. They’re all pals, scratching backs and greasing palms.
But what’s surprising is that we, the citizens of Canada, are forking over millions of our hard-earned dollars in order to endorse and proliferate conservative ideology. We’re talking about public-owned CBC Television. In particular, Peter Mansbridge’s The National and Evan Solomon’s Power & Politics, two shows that daily showcase the viewpoints of Right wingers, all discussing the affairs of government – not in a critical, informative sense...more in the way CNN brings on a Democrat and a Republican to argue over nothing.
For example, Mansbridge flies to England to suck up to both Harper and the Queen. But when have we ever seen Mansbridge talk to a group of workers on the line fighting to keep their jobs? Why isn’t a worker’s fight for survival just as important as coverage of the Queen walking around in her fancy hats? Or, here’s one, when have we ever seen Mansbridge put a hard question to Stephen Harper? The term “fawning” or “groveling” pops to mind when we see Mansbridge in one of his smiling interviews with Harper.
Evan Solomon’s Power & Politics is just as offensive: a panel of the media “elite,” all representing biased news organizations, pretending to be objective, never leveling real criticism at a government that’s hell bent on destroying what little democracy we have left.
The real danger is that we’ve become accustomed to this. We can only fight off the bastards for so long, of course, and then even Mansbridge and Solomon seem to be a normal part of life, since their opinions are the only ones we hear, see and read.
We’d do well to rip a page from the Mexican situation. Their huge protests are a testament to hope, to the very real possibility of change. It’s in the air and it’s all over the globe. We cannot and we will not be silent. If 10,000 Canadians took to the streets holding a placard of Mansbridge and the CBC, protesting a corrupt media and demanding that the CBC start reporting on issues that truly affect them, you can bet we’d see a change in reporting. Otherwise even the CBC will remain in Harper’s grip.