On the Mediocrity of the CBC – Redux   Leave a comment

From Exploding Pizza to Vibrating Sphincter: The Changing Logos of the CBC...

From Exploding Pizza to Vibrating Sphincter: The Changing Logos of the CBC…


I received some feedback to my post, “On the Mediocrity of the CBC”… Great!

On the plus side, nice to know that two people, I’ve no idea who they are, read this article somewhere, and took exception to it, and even told me!

… This encourages me… I was thinking about dropping this project; now I’ll have to keep blogging in the hopes Sex Diary will one day amount to something… Thus I’ve decided to start the 2014 Season with posting a rebuttal to these two, upon whom I will bestow the pseudonyms “Mary” and “Joseph”, whom I take it, are liberal-leaning and left-wing. Used to be one of those. I’m a libertarian now. A left-leaning libertarian to be sure.. but a libertarian nonetheless…

On the minus side, with all due respect… I think… Joseph and Mary? In my humble opinion…? You just don’t get it.

The program was great. It is your inability to listen that is worrisome. If you just want to have your thoughtless and narrow minded opinions reconfirmed, why bother turning on the radio? Guitar playing is probably a better path for you to learn something new.

— Joseph, February 2014

I thought my post spoke for itself, however, I’ll summarize. My points in “On the Mediocrity of the CBC” were these:

•    The CBC was an agency I trusted, and valued.

•    About September 3, 2013, I was listening to a documentary about the treatment of prisoners and of the Evils of Solitary Confinement.

•    When they came to their reporting of Jack Henry Abbott, already knowing this person’s story, I started paying serious attention, and was immediately aware of serious shortcomings in their recounting of same. It made me angry, because I found their reportage to be dishonest and manipulative. At no point was it mentioned this individual was an habitual, violent criminal; that he murdered an unemployed actor working as a waiter, simply because he was in a snit; and it seems to me knowing why he was imprisoned in solitary in the first place has a direct bearing on whether I should feel compassion for his plight.

•    Thus I went on to investigate their coverage of Susan Rosenberg and Greg McMaster, discovered further horrendous examples of “lying by omission”, and as a result I have become completely disillusioned with the CBC.

And for this, Joseph tells me I’m “thoughtless and narrowminded” and  complains of my “inability to listen”?

Joseph: I listened to that shoddy piece of trash three times, in its entirety. Carefully. And I won’t deny it: Nothing brings out my Inner Redneck quite like asshat, bleeding heart sniveling about “Prisoner’s Rights.” And all of my friends I spoke to about “Alone Inside” reacted pretty much the same way as I did; to quote one of those friends: “Fuck ‘em!”

Have you ever been the victim of criminal behaviour, Joseph, or been in any way a party to it? I have. Several times in my life. For example I remember many years ago visiting my brother in hospital after he was attacked from behind, beaten and robbed, on the streets of Toronto. The perpetrators were never apprehended, but if they had, and had wound up in solitary, and had then been interviewed on CBC whining about how unpleasant their situation was, of the lasting psychological scars given them… how do you think I should feel? What do you think I’d have written then?

Let’s say the people being interviewed on Ideas were Charles Manson and Paul Bernardo, but that their crimes were in no way mentioned. A lot of people nowadays have never heard of either I imagine, their crimes being now 40 and 20 years ago respectively. Can you imagine the outrage for such a person, to have listened to a load of self-indulgent whining from these monsters, and then digging up some factoids on Wikipedia about them and finding some horrible truths? That is how dishonest “Alone Inside” was. And how contemptuous of its audience.

I also won’t deny that I was angry to discover my trust had been betrayed. But please do not tell me I’m ignorant and narrow-minded because I object to being lied to.

“The program was about the impact of SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, NOT about the individual cases of those who have experienced long stretches in solitary. Perhaps re-listen to the programme with different expectations?”

“Also, you don’t show much tolerance and compassion in your comments about Ashley Smith, whose initial “crime” was to throw crab apples at a postman. To suggest that she “made the choice” to be moved countless  times from prison to prison and spend 27 months in segregation, is to show profound lack of understanding of both what it means to be a young and foolish teenager and of our dysfunctional correctional system.”

— Mary, January 2014

What impact is there to speak of, other than of individual cases? Again: My point in writing this article was that Brett’s reporting was dishonest. She drones on at great length about the anguish these people are experiencing. But she never mentions why they are experiencing it, nor of the ruined and devastated lives these people have left behind them, which are absolutely germane to our considerations — Vis, my brother in hospital with broken bones. They brought their situations upon themselves, they’re getting a semblance what they deserve, and “Frankly, Scarlett my dear, I don’t give a damn” and I resent the implication that I’m uncaring in general, because I don’t.

As for Ashley, and being “a young and foolish teenager”? First of all, that story about the crab apples was from CBC’s The Fifth Estate… Likely… enough said… ?… Meanwhile I have an acquaintance who about the age of 17 stole a car. “How long did it take them to arrest you?” I asked Fred 30-odd years later… “oh, about 45 minutes” he replied with a rueful grin… He was in jail for 5 – 6 hours before his dad came to bail him out, and his reaction at the time was: “I’m never doing that again!” — and he hasn’t. Only took Fred half a day to get it. Ashley spent a month in reform school to start with… and she still didn’t get it…

And don’t say I don’t understand, because like Ashley I too was a troubled youth; target of bullies, fag-baiting — lots of it — psychiatrist twice a week, psychoactive medications, suicidal idiations, the whole nine yards. It sucked, and the pshryncs didn’t help much: What I needed at the time was encouragement, strength training and boxing lessons.. didn’t get ‘em… Was told instead I was mentally ill, would likely never be right; it’s only taken me 40 years to crawl out of the hole that asinine nonsense put me in… And while psychiatry did both Ashley and I a profound disservice… that said: The ugly truth is, sooner or later you have to face up to reality and your shortcomings, solve your problems, on your own; lick your wounds, and get on with it. That sucks too. It’s called “Maturity.” But Fred did it… I did it (eventually)… How is it Fred and I could learn from our mistakes, and Ashley would not?

Finally, both of you: Think instead of the people who deserve our compassion: The victims of criminal predation… I’ll leave you with this wee ditty by Stan Rogers, since Mr. Erhmantraut’s soliloquy and my post made no impression on you.


Posted February 19, 2014 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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