Why I’ve Stopped Listening To CBC Radio

(or, Why CBC drives me Batty)

First, I admit I love CBC radio, or at least I used to.

But like many a love affair, I am no longer attracted to the Mother Corp.

Call me a boor for changing channels, but I was compelled to do so.

Sitting at home with a glass of Oppoul red wine, Côtes du Roussillon Villages, 2009, in hand, I nearly spit out a mouthful having to endure another ear-injurious traffic report. Admittedly, I understand that road blockages are a serious threat to our air quality, but how many times must news of traffic jams on Montreal roadways be repeated, how many times?

What difference does it makes if 500 cars are plugging an off-ramp? If I had a heli-car, it might matter, but sitting at home in my easy chair hearing of it becomes merely audible aggravation.

I decided to clock the amount of time the local traffic reports consume. During the hour monitored, I counted more than 6 minutes of chatter by CBC’s traffic reporter Jeremy, chatter that I could not care less about. I posted my finding on Lockeblog.

There are likely hundreds of carcinogens being emitted by each car as they cut through my community, likely a few people killed by autos daily in Canada, yet the focus of CBC radio seems to be on reporting the congestion that repeats itself daily.

If I were sitting in a car on a highway that had been transformed into a parking lot, I would much rather listen to a new Canadian poem than a repetition of the repetition of the repetition of last year’s road report.

How many times do I need to know what Transport Quebec’s cameras are showing? How many times must I hear of an accident blocking traffic in the left-hand lane? How many God Damn times?

My first complaint to CBC provided no consolation. When I posted my findings online, I actually received a response by a CBC reporter. Regardless, they continue to ignore my contribution and feedback. I would say “Scrap the CBC,” but I know I would be considered a Conservative party extremist if I did.

One of the greatest thrills of my life was when I was invited to be on my favourite CBC radio program, As It Happens. I can still remember the date, September 21, 2009. My criticism of CBC radio is thus tempered by a heartfelt 3 minutes of ego massage.

However, if the federal government is considering chopping the CBC budget, please start with the traffic reports. Let listeners be given traffic report freedom—the right not to be assaulted by futile and vacillating accounts of road conditions. Maybe, just maybe, if there is a catastrophic incident, a road report might be appropriate. But reporting daily blockages that are an inevitable occurrence, why?

For motorists and wine drinkers alike, listening to a humorous, thoughtful, insightful, or tender poem would be of immeasurably more benefit than hearing about a minor fender-bender on Autoroute 15, northbound.

It has been said that the CBC possesses a Liberal bias—not so. They possess an anti-poetic bias. Six minutes per hour of traffic reports and nary a mention of poems, poets, nor poetry. No wonder poetry is dying in Canada. It is being choked out by the vacuous voices of traffic report repeaters.

The CBC will not likely mention that it has been 70 years since Earle Birney’s first book of poems was published. Why? Simply because they are too busy reporting on the slick road conditions caused by rain, snow, and Winter. Must we be reminded that Winter causes hazardous road conditions? Come on CBC!

Sadly, Canada’s Base for Culture, for me at least, has become associated with another road update in 10 minutes.


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