Sunday, August 06, 2006

The CBC and the Nature of Things

This weekend I was asked why I was not blogging so much about the deficiencies of CBC reporting.
I had to think. My first response, after some thought, was that it has not been so bad in my experience lately. A second thought was that, caught up in CSI reruns, and old episodes of Law and Order (far more informative about the real world than my memory of the CBC) I had not seen much of it lately.
I think that the truth is a mix of the two.
About a month ago, ads began appearing about an upcoming episode of "The Nature of Things' (a show that used to be a science show until it was taken over by David Suzuki, and so is about something else now I cannot figure out but is mostly full of nonsense) which would focus on 'The Accidental Revolution', apparently a miracle of agricultural development that took place following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Russians suddenly saw no reason to piss away free oil on Cuba.
I had no plan to watch the show but someone told me it was interesting. And the first episode, at least the 40 minutes I saw, were sort of OK, if by 'agricultural revolution' one might mean the combination of marginal improvements on some of the very briliiant steps taken in the middle ages that did revolutionize agriculture at that time, combined with some privatization to motivate many many people to spend tedious hours producing crops. Totally absent from the show was any mention of actual agricultural yields (so far as I recall). Touched upon lightly at the end was a clear statement that this was a disctatorial government. Moreover, there were specious ocmparisons (well, false ones) of Soviet agriculture to today's Canadian style.
So yes, that was somewhat interesting.
The second episode began with a hagiography of Che Guevara, including an embarrassing interview between him and Knowlton Nash (well, it should embarrass Knowlton Nash and the CBC of the time). And I mean hagiography. Knowing something about Guevara, (see also this by Paul Berman) I found that I have little interest in the rest of the show.
OK so this is only a small bit of the CBC.
And I have yet to give up totally. But what a joke this is. Especially calling the show 'The Nature of Things'.
By the way, as I seek to find something else to watch, it slmost sounds like a show arguing that some new Cuban naturopathy is better than the medicine we have here. Well, I don't want them touching me. Which is gladly no problem.
And when I was a kid it was a science show. Shame.

UPDATE: I have finally managed to sit through the whole second episode, and I was slightly unfair above. But it is at times inadvertently hilarious - at one point Suzuki observes that the economy only works because of the black market, while at the same time pontificating on how wonderful the judgment of the Cuban leaders is. Are there NO editors at the CBC?


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