Most Canadians are fully aware that the government subsidizes our state broadcaster to a tremendous degree, but the COVID-19 situation has seemingly brought out the worst in CBC’s tendency to cozy up to the Liberal government.
In a new “analysis” column, CBC news correspondent Aaron Wherry states that the pandemic has “given Canadians warm feelings about the Government” and asks “can it last?”
I propose a counter-question to Mr. Wherry: How can the government be giving people any feelings? Is public perception not generally associated with how their performance is being covered by the media?
CBC’s coverage of the Trudeau administration’s COVID-19 response has been nothing short of lauding. Like seals clapping for fish, positive and neutral stories have been churned out on an hourly basis while critical coverage is almost impossible to find.
Headlines like “Pretty Good for Government” heap praise on the Liberals for the sloppily rolled out CERB while burying the thousands of vulnerable Canadians who have been screaming their frustration on social media under hashtags like #CERBwonthelpme.
CBC publishes articles who forcefully accuse Scheer and his family of dangerously breaking social distancing rules, giving only the smallest mention to Trudeau’s own violation of these sacred conventions of social distancing at the very end; in a tone which quiets down to a whisper by comparison.
Even in articles where CBC attempts to play the role of grown-up-journalist, its focus seems to be positioned towards protecting the Liberal government.
On April 10, CBC published a piece centred around government briefing notes which demonstrated unequivocal incompetence in the handling of the COVID-19 situation. The documents demonstrated the Liberal cabinet was sluggish, unwilling to act, trace, and even quarantine passengers from known coronavirus hotspots into March—all actions which could have curtailed the spread of the disease in Canada.
Rather than holding the government to account, CBC framed it as a “slow start” to Canada’s COVID-19 response, and ended the piece with a snazzy video of Justin Trudeau and some quotes from him talking about the “slow start” being a lovely learning opportunity.
Ultimately, Aaron Wherry’s column might have been better titled “CBC has given Canadians warm feelings about the Government,” because that is what has happened.
With limited critical coverage and a consistent parroting of official talking points, CBC is demonstrating clearer than ever that it is a well-funded propaganda outlet. During a pandemic, however, it is Canadians who are losing out by having their concerns and opinions suppressed and the information they truly need shoved on the back burner.