It was bad enough three private television stations aired in the Vancouver market (CTV, Global and CHEK) abandoned their integrity and embarrassed themselves by giving Premier Gordon Campbell a full 12 minutes in the middle of their major evening NEWS shows to make a partisan, political speech … unedited and uninterupted and unchallenged.
What the spineless wankers or partisan corporate bean-counters, who now run these stations, don’t seem to undertand is that the major evening news is the ONE PLACE viewers have, until now, always expected to be able to turn to and see top quality journalism, telling the truth about what’s going on in our society … all of it delivered clean, spin-free and laid out in honest, critical stories by highly principled reporters on an indepndent, totally UNCOMPROMISED show.
Not any more!
In my view, CTV, Global and CHEK Wednesday night abandoned these principles, turned their backs on their viewers’ right to expect only real reporting …. and prostrated themselves on the alter of partisanship and political promotion for Premier Gordon Campbell and the Liberal government..
And Thursday morning, I would submit, CKNW was even worse.
There was talk show host Bill Good, introducing “special” extended coverage on the economy … not only completely filling his own three-and-a-half hour show, but also Christy Clark’s two-and-a-half hour show that would follow that.
Now it IS possible CKNW had those SIX HOURS of special programming on the economy “and it’s impact on you” planned for days or weeks … nothing to do with the premier’s speech Wednesday night. If so, they should be still embarrassed: so late out of a gate that opened weeks ago!
But if their “special” programming was timed purposely to coincide and follow the premier’s address, then they should really hang their heads in shame. They would have been guilty of largely”hyping” for the Premier and his pre-election campaign .. a horrible, pandering partisan posture for a once-proud news leader.
Whatever the reason behind its timing, the CKNW “special”, in my view, was little more than a day-long promotional feature, adding weight and credibility to Wednesday night’s partisan political speech by Campbell.
And how ironic, it all started with a 12 minute interview with the Premier “in the hot seat”. Well, someone apparently forgot to turn the seat “on”: all I heard was a gentle Bill Good interview with the Premier … no heat, no fire, not even any smoke.
And it all got worse after that!
After 9 a.m. … NW’s “special” turned to a segment that Good said was organized with substantial “help” from NW financial host Michael Campbell. Geez!!!
It’s well known that Michael is Premier Gordon’s brother … but THAT is not what turned me off! Have you listened to Michael’s NW show? In my personal view, it is the worst, one-sided apology for corporate greed and excess I have ever heard on Canadian radio.
For the next hour … we heard Campbell, financial analyst Michael Levi (who I totally respect) and two bank investment officials talk (all of them from what I would describe as a conservative point of view) about issues facing investors … offering basically nothing I could detect as new … just the same old talk we’ve already heard so many times over the past several weeks.
But it all enhanced the sense that we were now somehow dealing in detail with very important economic issues… all helping I believe, to boost the impression that the premier’s speech was a real “happening”! (Rather than have any labour or social community group types on air to question the whole event.)
And it went, on and on. After 10 a.m. more investment types, one suggesting this is even a good time to buy stocks (with what?) and after 11 a.m. real estate, business and retail experts rounding out Good’s economic “special”.
But what was missing was ANY discussion of the impact our troubled economy is having on those who feel it most: people earning minimum wage or just above; those facing such high cost of living they have been already forced (before the current economic disaster) to live three or four or more to an apartment; those who can’t even afford monthly bus passes to get to/from work; seniors facing higher than ever living costs on fixed ..or dropping incomes, or facing higher prescription drug costs; or students; or single parents struggling just to take care of themselves and their kids .. with no hope of ever “investing”. Their plight was totally ignored.
In fact, the CKNW Special was, I felt, largely a “let them eat cake” look at what’s going on in BC today.
Disappointing too, that on the Good show, all three and a half hours of it … they didn’t have ANY interviews with ANY expert I would describe as having a left-wing perspective at all. (Did Michael come up with all the invited guests? LOL)
They finally got to NDP Leader Carole James in hour four … interviewed by talk show host Christy Clark (a former Campbell cabinet minister … to be sure, but who conducted I thought a very fair interview.)
But the whole event was so one-sided, I felt, that I would put it down as little more than an effort to promote and advance Gordon Campbell’s pre-election posturing, which I believe CKNW fell for, hook, line …. and stinker.