Friday, December 18, 2009

Copenhagen and the HarperCons

As John Ivison reports in the National Post, “Stephen Harper trudged up the steps of the plane taking him to Copenhagen with the reluctance of a Jenny Craig client learning to love lettuce.”

And then sums up with, “Not only does Mr. Harper find himself obliged to support such a process, it sounds very much like he might have to sign up for a carbon tax to help pay for Canada's contribution to the climate protection fund.”

Well guess what. That’s what happens when you ignore your responsibilities and choose to follow instead of lead – you have no choice but to tread in the footsteps of the lead dog, and you don’t get to pick who that is.

The Harper Conservatives – and it must be said, the Liberals before – have done their best to ignore the climate change file as it is widely viewed in political circles as a no-win issue that will ultimately pit energy-producing provinces against energy-using provinces. This need not be so, but certain lobby groups have a vested interest in maintaining the big lie. And so, instead of assuming the lead years ago, Canada now finds itself in “me too” land, with no influence, no credibility, and no choice.

Way to go guys, you make us so proud.


“Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.” – John Gardner.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CBC, what hast thou wrought?

Broken CBCIt’s a few weeks now since the much ballyhooed facelift at CBC News. Although my first impressions were less than positive (to be charitable) I decided to give them some time to shake the bugs out and for me to get accustomed to the new shows and format.

Well CBC, your time is up, and if anything the more I see of the changes, the more I dislike what you’ve done.

What finally put me over the edge was watching The National last night. It was actually painful to watch Keith Boag, one of the CBC’s better parliamentary reporters, doing a fluff story on Tiger Woods’ indiscretions from LA. Tiger doesn’t even live in LA for Pete’s sake, so you can tell how much hard news there is for a veteran reporter to cover in the City of the Angels. Putting Boag on that beat is treading dangerously close to constructive dismissal in my opinion – but perhaps that was the plan all along.

And consider some of the other changes. Evan Solomon, a terrible interviewer who doesn’t hesitate to let his biases show, gets to replace Don Newman (another long-term, highly skilled veteran) on Power and Politics. Connect with Mark Kelly is a total dud in which his talents are sorely wasted. Local supper-hour newscasts now span 1 1/2 hours of the same stories being repeated over and over for those with short attention spans. And finally will someone PLEASE give Peter Mansbridge a chair!

Nope I’m not impressed. CBC you’ve created the Spruce Goose of network television news. Time to toss it on the woodpile and get back to focussing on content and quality rather than trying to be CNN north.