By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – It is intriguing to see local CBC broadcasters seeking, “favor by flattering people of wealth or influence,” as Webster’s New World Dictionary describes sycophants. That they do it in a very subtle manner, as they carry out their kowtower mission, should be a concern.
It is not unusual for sycophants to sagely craft their work so well that viewers become hard-pressed to even notice their advocacy.
A good example of such content weaved into news was presented on November 11 in a CBC report on a computer problem holding truck traffic at bay at the Ambassador Bridge. Trucks were parked along Huron Church for an estimated 13 kilometres. The situation provided a prime opportunity to embed criticism of the Ambassador Bridge’s operators and to pretend such situations will not happen when the new Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC), or the New International Trade Crossing as it is also variously known, is constructed.
Amy Dodge seemed quite content to take a side in the local bridge debate and to use her power as a trusted reporter to flatter the local political establishment by outwardly supporting the new bridge. However, by doing so, for all practical purposes, she excused herself from the realm of objective journalism.
During the 5:30 pm segment of the nightly news, Dodge the adulator, from her station on Patricia Street, out of the blue makes the unvarnished and unrelated statement that the backup has, “some drivers dreaming of the new bridge.”
In true sycophantic fashion, she neither qualifies her statement, nor does a proper investigation to back up her claim. Additionally, she doesn’t even acknowledge that the new bridge is the DRIC, the one said to be planned to land at property near Brighton Beach in Windsor, downriver from the current Ambassador Bridge, to carry travellers using the new Herb Gray Parkway to America.
It is genuine sycophantic reporting because, wink, wink, she assumes everyone knows what bridge she is talking about. The only problem is, she destroys any credibility she might have with the undocumented claim of new bridge dreaming drivers by not being able to find even one.
She does interview a road warrior who appears neither cognizant nor aware, his choice, that there is a new bridge planned. In an almost comedic way, David More tosses some kind of third option into the mix. He tells her he would like to see a bridge manufactured somewhere and then “dump it in the water and connect it on the US side, the Canadian side and let it roll.”
While not very convincing, it is tragically subliminal.
In her mind, Dodge probably thinks she has done one for the Gipper, the local political establishment, by baking a nice slam at the Ambassador Bridge into her noxious report by insidiously trying to build an argument that the delays of the day would not happen with the new bridge, the one flooding unknown drivers’ dreams.
She proves the flawed nature of her logic and argument by actually admitting the situation is the result of, “a nationwide glitch, they say it was a computer system that deals with the importing and exporting of trade.”
She makes no effort to explain how the new bridge would somehow be immune from a national malfunction affecting all border crossings.
Taxpayers fund the CBC in the hope it will provide their communities with reliable news coverage, not stuff prepared by sycophants. The way to change this is quite simple.
Machiavelli, in his book The Prince, advocated a course of action to deal with sycophants and flatterers.
There is no other way of guarding oneself from flatterers except by letting men understand that you will not be offended if they tell you the truth …
CBC’s local audience should send a few letters to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to tell the regulator that they will not be offended should the CBC elect to provide objective news coverage in the local broadcast area.
For more of the Rest of the News listen to CJAM 99.1 Monday evenings at 8:30.