COVID-19, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Media, Montreal, Opinion, Television

Dear CBC: Time For Balconville

hudson-players-club

Dear CBC,

While many areas of the country take the first tentative steps in reopening during the novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic, the ‘Stay at Home’ edict is still deemed to be the best way to stem the spread of the virus.

People who would have traveled will be unable to do so. Those who prefer the ‘staycation’ kind of holiday will be limited in what that can do

As we begin to experience summer weather conditions the natural tendency is to start thinking about vacation. It certainly cannot be denied that we all, but particularly those providing  essential services, have earned a good rest. However, as with virtually all aspects of life with COVID-19, things will be different this summer.

People who would have traveled will be unable to do so. Those who prefer the ‘staycation’ kind of holiday will be limited in what that can do, given the cancellation of festivals and other annual events.

So, we are looking at spending time locally, with our neighbours. For those with access to balconies this is the year to spruce-up your perch and spend as much time on it as the weather permits. For those without that option, social-distancing in parks is probably your best bet.

It would appear that for many Canadians Balconville is…the best vacation option for this coming summer

It is with this in mind that I write to you, the national broadcaster, with a suggestion. I believe this would be an ideal time for someone with the wherewithal to produce a televion version of David Fennario’s classic play Balconville.

It would appear that for many Canadians Balconville is, whether they want it or not, the best vacation option for this coming summer.

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Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Bound; CBC Hones Bias

Toronto Maple Leafs win Stanley Cup in 1967 (Bob Olsen/Toronto Star) – I did look for a colour photo but …

There won’t be any need for Viagra or Cialis in Toronto today. The beloved Maple Leafs have secured a spot in the National Hockey League playoffs. This will have the folks at the CBC in absolute raptures as post-season play returns to Canada’s largest hockey market. Big audiences mean big bucks.

I am happy that the long-suffering hockey fans of Toronto can get their hopes up; as they say, anything can happen in the playoffs. But what I am not looking forward to is the irksome pro-Toronto bias of the CBC.

The fact that the Leafs are marking a half-century since their last Stanley Cup victory makes their appearance in the playoffs just a wee bit sweeter. One good playoff run leading to a Cup and fifty years of futility will be erased. Never happened, a mere blip. Hockey will have been invented in Toronto on that day.

I am happy that the long-suffering hockey fans of Toronto can get their hopes up; as they say, anything can happen in the playoffs. But what I am not looking forward to is the irksome pro-Toronto bias of the CBC.

Let me state clearly that I harbour no belief that the NHL itself is in anyway biased towards the Leafs or any other team. Many will make that assertion but it is just silly. The NHL is a major business entity that would never stand for it. The officials are professionals who call ‘em as they see ‘em, both ways.

Tony Kubek (L) and Curt Gowdy

That having been said, the CBC most definitely proudly wears a huge Toronto tilt on its sleeve. Note that the broadcasts of hockey on the ‘national public broadcaster’ (i.e. the one supported by all Canadians tax dollars) are supposed to be neutral. Think back to before the current days of sports specialty channels when NBC’s Game of the Week was the only national baseball broadcast. Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek would pop up on our black and white television from a different city each week, depending on the importance of the game. They provided play-by-play and colour commentary from a neutral perspective. They were NBC announcers, not Yankee or Red Sox or Dodger announcers. Hired guns if you will.

Sometimes watching a Leafs game on CBC can give the viewer the impression that the announcers are watching a different game altogether … It borders on the infantile

Sometimes watching a Leafs game on CBC can give the viewer the impression that the announcers are watching a different game altogether. A Leaf player bumping an opponent is described as a ’massive blow’, a Leaf player down must have been tripped, almost every Leaf goal is highlight reel worthy by their standards. It borders on the infantile. Like Gowdy and Kubek on NBC, the announcers of Toronto Maple Leafs games on CBC are NOT working for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto Blue Jays announcers Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler work for Sportsnet specifically to do Jays play-by-play and colour commentary. Sportsnet is a private business. It is a whole different situation, even if the games are broadcast nationally.

However as a Montreal Canadiens fan perhaps I should keep schtum; who knows, maybe the Hockey gods don’t like the homer approach of the CBC and have been taking it out on the team and fans for fifty years!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Why I Should Succeed Peter Mansbridge as CBC Anchor

CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge

CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge

Dear Members of the CBC Anchor Search Committee,

In light of Peter Mansbridge’s recent announcement that he will be stepping down from the anchor’s chair on The National I began pondering who would be a suitable person to take over. I won’t say replacement as Mr. Mansbridge is irreplaceable. After significant consideration it dawned on me that the next anchor should be me.

… with the oft levied criticism that if you work at the CBC long enough you will eventually run the place, I imagine the committee will be looking outside the corporation.

Let me point out that I am a big fan of the CBC. Yet with the oft levied criticism that if you work at the CBC long enough you will eventually run the place, I imagine the committee will be looking outside the corporation. Allow me to point out that I have never been an employee of the CBC.

Like Mr. Mansbridge I too am shedding my once thick head of hair. I like to think that the old adage about grass not growing on a busy street is true. My balding pate and the innate intelligence it so obviously indicates are no doubt acceptable substitutes for my total lack of journalistic education or experience. An anchor needs common sense in large amounts. I do write a blog; but I am sensible enough to understand that self-publishing does not a journalist make.

As for television experience I have plenty: I’ve been watching it for most of my 56 years. One of my earliest recollections is as a four-year old boy running to tell my mother that my show had been taken off because something bad happened in Dallas. My show did not come back on for several days. Steeped in TV news am I.

This has resulted in my now owning several suits with perfectly fitting jackets, but pants that are a wee bit of a squeeze. No problem, the next anchor need only be concerned with looking sharp from the waist up.

In the early seventies we upgraded to a colour TV. It arrived on a Saturday and the whole family eagerly anticipated that night’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. During the first period friends more familiar with colour sets dropped in and pointed out that the red line looked as if it would burn your finger if you touched it, but not too worry as the blue lines were so blue they would provide a cooling effect. This was my introduction to the tint control. I think a good anchor understands that most things in life fit somewhere on a spectrum, it is all about hues and tints, not absolutes; black and white situations are rare.

I must own up to having added a few pounds to my mid-section over the past few years. This has resulted in my now owning several suits with perfectly fitting jackets, but pants that are a wee bit of a squeeze. No problem, the next anchor need only be concerned with looking sharp from the waist up.

My balding pate and the innate intelligence it so obviously indicates are no doubt acceptable substitutes for my total lack of journalistic education or experience.

I understand that Mr. Mansbridge has afforded the committee ten months to find his successor, so there is no rush. But should Donald Trump be elected President of the United States I feel there will be some major media openings south of the border. Therefore if you could let me know as soon as possible what my chances are,  if I am to be short-listed, it would be much appreciated. If not I can turn my attention to positions with our neighbours.

I thank you for your consideration of my application to be anchor of The National, and await your reply.

Sincerely,

DCMontreal

 

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Rio Olympics Coverage: Kudos to CBC Et al.

The Rio 2016 Olympics are now in the history books. The horrors that some feared would befall the games did not, thankfully, seem to materialize. I am a big fan of the Olympics for several reasons but primarily because they give me an opportunity to see sports that I rarely see other than during the Olympics – team handball, field hockey, and table tennis (certainly not the ping-pong of your childhood) to name a few.

If there was a snag it was that I felt the  co-hosts of the midday show, Andi Petrillo  and David Amber,  never seemed to gel, leaving this viewer feeling awkward at times.

In Canada the rights to broadcast the Olympics belong to the CBC through 2024. But the CBC partners with other Canadian sports channels to provide great coverage. At any given time, from about seven in the morning until well after midnight viewers had a choice of up to six English channels presenting live events, and several more in French. A handy graphic appeared from time to time in the upper right-hand corner of the screen informing viewers about what was on the other channels at that time. Because of the one hour time difference between Rio and eastern North America live events could be aired in their entirety, which is much better than a series of highlights.

For now it’s back to watching that other great sporting event, the US election campaign! I hope CNN doesn’t forget me.

For the most part commentators worked in pairs made up of a professional broadcaster and a former athlete. While all were pretty good, some stood out. Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) who is the go-to guy for all things hockey was great doing Olympic swimming. Former Olympic medalist Alexandre Despatie (@ADespatie) co-hosted the French-language morning show, but also contributed to the English broadcast prior to the closing ceremony.

If there was a snag it was that I felt the co-hosts of the midday show, Andi Petrillo (@AndiPetrillo) and David Amber (@DavidAmber), never seemed to gel, leaving this viewer feeling awkward at times.

So I can take a break until 2018 and the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For now it’s back to watching that other great sporting event, the US election campaign! I hope CNN doesn’t forget me.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Trumpugees: News From the Not Too Distant Future

Click on the image below for news from the not too distant future!

CBC

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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CBC Fires Jian Ghomeshi Based On “Information”

Jian Ghomeshi Toronto Star file photo

Let me begin by stating that when it comes to Jian Ghomeshi as a radio host, I can take him or leave him. I’m neither an adoring fan, nor do I have an axe to grind with the former host of CBC’s Q, a program Ghomeshi is credited with co-creating.

Like children in a schoolyard taunting “we know something you don’t know”, the CBC has turfed Ghomeshi without any explanation to taxpaying (ergo CBC supporting) Canadians other than the mysterious “information”.

As I write this Ghomeshi is the former host of Q given the CBC’s decision to fire him yesterday after 14 years with the national broadcaster, eight as host of Q. With that sort of background it must be something horrendous that has provoked the CBC to cut loose one of its brightest lights. In fact they have made this move because of “information” they have received about Ghomeshi. But they’re not saying any more than that. Like children in a schoolyard taunting “we know something you don’t know”, the CBC has turfed Ghomeshi without any explanation to taxpaying (ergo CBC supporting) Canadians other than the mysterious “information”.

Not surprisingly Ghomeshi is firing back by launching a $50 million lawsuit. It seems the CBC wanted him to go quietly; to say he was leaving for personal reasons. But he decided that as he had done nothing wrong he wasn’t going to jump, thereby forcing the CBC to push him.

… suffice to say Jian liked to play a bit of rough but consensual slap and tickle with consenting women.

In a world of social media and virtually instant communication the CBC lost round one when Ghomeshi took to Facebook and posted a long explanation. I won’t go into details here, suffice to say Jian liked to play a bit of rough but consensual slap and tickle with consenting women.  One of his former partners has been on his case and has made this alleged “information” known to the CBC that resulted in the firing.

If she is alleging that things were not always consensual, then it seems to me a court of law is the appropriate place to air her grievances.  And if a court of law determines she was right, then said court should deal with Ghomeshi. But secret bits of “information” are far from being sufficient reason to fire anyone.

Why do we want professional sports leagues and, evidently national broadcasters, to act on allegations before the law deems a person guilty? Is one no longer innocent until proven guilty?

Recently many cases of alleged wrong-doing have spurred calls for the suspensions or firings of several professional athletes. With the exception of accusations that come with video proof, aren’t these people entitled to their day in court? Why do we want professional sports leagues and, evidently national broadcasters, to act on allegations before the law deems a person guilty? Is one no longer innocent until proven guilty?

In the wake of the two tragic deaths of Canadian soldiers on home turf, Canada has been praised for many things, including our openness as illustrated in the desire to keep The House of Commons accessible to all, while still safe. If the CBC does have secret proof of some sort of egregious actions taken by Ghomeshi, it behooves them to make it known or turn it over to the police. But to fire him based on information and hope he will go away is both naive and underhanded.

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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‘CBC Your News’ Rejects Terry Fox Fundraiser’s Story for ‘Unknown Reasons’

CBC_Reject

Writers get rejections all the time – or so I’m told, I of course have never tasted the bitter sting …sorry, got carried away there. But this one has me flummoxed. Recently I blogged about a man who has been raising money for various causes by running. His name is Carl Andersen and he is about to top 100,000 miles run. He has received numerous citations for his charity work, and in 2005 he received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. At the age of 78 he shows no sign of stopping; in fact he will pass this milestone while running in the annual Terry Fox Event.

Since posting this piece several media outlets have shown an interest in the story, and have contacted either Carl or me to arrange a chat. In an effort to raise as much money as possible through sponsorship, I passed along the information to CBC Your News, a site seeking local input. I included a link to my blog and a photo of Carl Andersen.

CBC_Your_News

The Terry Fox run is an annual event that raises money right across Canada. It seemed to me to be a no brainer that CBC Your News would post this item. But they chose instead to “reject” it.Yet even the email states that the reason for rejection is “unknown”.

Pity.

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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CBC Cuts Prompt Resignations; Your Move Mr. Mansbridge

When it comes to symbols, the ultimate CBC figure is long-time national news broadcast anchor and senior correspondent Peter Mansbridge. Will he stay mum, or take action? Your move Mr. Mansbridge!

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or CBC, is currently trying to deal with severe budget cuts that, once implemented, will lead to many employees losing their jobs. The once sacrosanct broadcaster is now a favourite target for government cutbacks, particularly when that government is conservative as is the case presently.

In the last couple of days two long-time senior CBC journalists, Linden MacIntyre and Alison Smith, have announced they will be leaving. Jumping before being pushed? Perhaps. But these two seasoned journalists will have little trouble finding fulfilling work with other media outlets. Their voluntary departures may well free up some cash to enable other, perhaps less prominent but essential, staff members to keep their jobs.

LindenMacIntyre

Linden MacIntyre

If this is the case, and these two have done the classy thing, what does that mean for other long-time, prominent CBC journalists? Will they be feeling the pinch, a little tightness around the collar, to follow in their colleagues’ footsteps and step away from the CBC? Is what started out to be yet another Conservative Party of Canada attempt to muzzle the national broadcaster going to become an issue of solidarity?

Will enough high visibility senior personnel follow suit to make a significant ratings difference that may have an effect on the bean counters? Or are MacIntyre and Smith the only ones willing to do what they can?

When it comes to symbols, the ultimate CBC figure is long-time national news broadcast anchor and senior correspondent Peter Mansbridge. Will he stay mum, or take action? Your move Mr. Mansbridge!

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Phil Robertson and Hockey Day in Canada

HDIC

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Sir Paul McCartney dances with who brung him!

McCartneyLast night the CBC ran an interview with Sir Paul McCartney, Rendezvous with Paul McCartney, that  included not only a sit-down chat with Genevieve Borne, but also some video of his backstage pre-performance rituals. I’ve seen several interviews over the years with Sir Paul and often found him to be just a wee bit full of himself. Not that he doesn’t have the credentials to look down on most in the entertainment industry, but he sometimes gave me the impression he felt his millions of fans were more of a nuisance than anything. But in the Borne interview he was anything but egotistical.

He appears to be fully cognizant of the “dance with the one that brung ya concept”

SgtPepperWhat I have always admired about McCartney is that while he has continued to develop and grow as an artist, from the Beatles through Wings and to the present, he hasn’t forgotten what got him here. His shows are still packed with songs from the Beatles and Wings. He appears to be fully cognizant of the “dance with the one that brung ya concept”!

Mind you, should McCartney echo some of his contemporaries and moan that his earlier work is “all so yesterday”, he has a point!

Of course he does have a bit of an advantage over many other artists in that the entire, now classic, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was studio recorded and released in 1967 after the Beatles had stopped performing live. On his current tour Sir Paul is performing Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! for the first time live.

Many performers come across as though their body of work is an embarrassment to them and they refuse to play old songs

Many performers come across as though their body of work is an embarrassment to them and they refuse to play old songs. Or if pushed they will play an almost unrecognizable updated version of their earlier work. Is it because they have “grown” that they no longer play them?

StingI recall reading once that Sting wasn’t overly fond of playing a number of the Police hits now. That was then, this is now, see how I’ve changed. There’s no need to do an entire show of old tunes, but throw in a few for good measure. After all, they brung ya!

Mind you, should McCartney echo some of his contemporaries and moan that his earlier work is “all so yesterday“, he has a point!

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