To anybody following CBC TV’s news and current affairs over the past five years, it’s no surprise that far from tilting leftward, the Mother Corp gives disproportionate access to Conservative politicians, as noted in Peter Stursberg’s book (see Charlie Smith’s article in the Georgia Straight). An even broader concern is how CBC is framing issues. For example, neoliberal commentators like Andrew Coyne have virtually free rein for free market fundamentalist rants, including presenting the Occupy and Quebec student protests as problems to be managed rather than as legitimate movements for social change.
The myth of “left liberal media” is relentlessly promoted by those with a vested interest in shifting the political goalposts further to the right. Democracies need strong independent public broadcasters, but CBC is not well fulfilling its mandate to represent fairly the political diversity of Canadians, including the nearly one-third of voters who made the NDP Canada’s official opposition last year. As the slogan of the recent online campaign says, it is indeed time to “reimagine the CBC.”