Wednesday, July 28, 2004

---------The CRTC Repress-o-Meter Reading today: 8/10-----------

Raise my fist and resist Asleep,
though we stand in the midst of the war
---Rage Against the Machine, Township Rebellion

Question: Is the CRTC the militant wing of the CBC?

Spector decides today's the day to trot his mixed up defence of the CRTC. Is there any way to discern exactly why the CRTC is right to "flex its muscle"? Here's a choice outtake that makes no sense at all:

Some of the CRTC's critics condemn the use of prior restraint, arguing the commission has the power to cancel a licence if the worst happened on Al-Jazeera. That may be. But today, many are criticizing the commission for doing just that -- cancelling the licence of Quebec City radio station CHOI, which employs a potty-mouthed, abusive broadcaster.

Its exactly the same is it? The "UnPC-ness" of the CHOI station is akin to the "incitement of anti-semitic hatred". Yes, there is no room for nuance in this galaxy.

(In truth, I'd have preferred a series of graduated fines to persuade CHOI to clean up its act, but the CRTC does not have this power. As long as the licensing system established by Parliament remains in effect, the CRTC must enforce the conditions it sets. Cabinet intervention, which many in Quebec are advocating in the case of CHOI, would destroy the current independent system of regulation.)

Seems that he would have it both ways. "oh i'd prefer they would be nicer, but still its time they extended their reach..... besides, they don't have a choice".

What does this mean exactly? There is a problem here, whether or not the CRTC realizes it. It doesn't matter what the "policy" really is, the fact is that everyone but those cowering to Ottawa's extended reach (Ibbitson and Spector) realize that whatever the "policy" is, it has to be changed. Something has gone wrong. That's the fact of the matter. Whether the CRTC, the Government, or "governing body" of "directors" changes it is irrelevant. This system is broken. Its obvious. The government can point to any mushy policy section governing the CRTC that vaguely insinuates they can shut down a station and say loudly for all to proclaim:

"We have decided this policy is completely F****d up. We don't want unelected bodies running around taking away precious freedoms because of 50 complaints. That's ridiculous."

End of story.

but spector's not done:

Both liberal and conservative critics invoke freedom of the press arguments against the CRTC, but broadcasts are not like newspapers -- they use a public resource to distribute their content.

Oh boy, now we are getting desperate, no? Airwaves are a public resource? How precious? I guess anybody with a cellphone can be shut off by the CRTC, right? oh, but they are broadcasting. Big whup. Airwaves have been around long before the CRTC and they'll be there long after the "CRTC" is dead and gone. Guess what? there's a million channels. Its almost a commodity, which is exactly why people can change the channel if they don't like what they hear.

Getting back to some coherent analysis, coyne backs up the negative freedoms:

"Liberté! Je crie ton nom partout!"
-- Slogan of pro-CHOI protesters

Perhaps, in time, we will decide this was the moment the CRTC finally overreached: the Ceausescu moment, when the dictator, long accustomed to haranguing fearful crowds at his leisure, looks up in mid-speech to find he is being ... heckled. The sight of 50,000 people marching through the streets of Quebec City in protest at the regulator's closing of the city's largest radio station must produce a similar mix of feelings in the stomachs of the commissioners: shock at what has just happened, and dread at what comes next.

I say shock, because it is probable that it never occurred to them that their edict would excite such popular revulsion. That is what was so significant about the decision. It did not happen by oversight, or by some peculiar alignment of circumstances. It happened because it was so perfectly reasonable -- because to a certain group of people it was the most natural thing in the world to shut down a radio station that displeased them.


Yes, speaking of tyranny.... in Vancouver the CRTC is located inside the CBC building. Armslength my ass. These guys are part of the same clique and it shows. They have the same left wing, statist view as the CBC

What is in the interest of the CBC, who crowds out TSN?

What is in the interest of the CBC that tries to take out a national icon, Don Cherry, because of his "un-PC ness". Sound familiar?

Filion, meet Cherry. Cherry, Filion.

What is in the interest of the CBC when right wing francophones start speaking up?

Its not a conspiracy theory when these guys are in the same infrastructure, using similar means, have the same views. I'm thinking that the CRTC is to the CBC what the IRA is to the Sinn Fein: the militant wing of a political mouthpiece.

okay, yeah its a theory, but this kind of BS is totally wrong. I'm all amped up!

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