Behind The CBC's Hit Piece On Medicare: The Bias, The Blank Spots And The Damage

Posted on Saturday, January 07 at 10:32 by BC Mary
The villain in the piece by long-time documentary filmmaker Robert Duncan, is Tommy Douglas. Duncan claims "we've been swallowing the Medicare myth, saluting an emperor who has no clothes (over a picture of Tommy Douglas) Big surprise Tommy, a parallel private system already exists." The attack on Douglas is ironic because just before this program was broadcast, the CBC postponed for two months a mini-series on Douglas's life set to air a week before the federal election. The combination of the two decisions provoked a storm of protest. Complainants had a right to be annoyed. The video was financed largely by Canadian taxpayers through the Canadian Television Fund ($135,000), Knowledge Network (unknown amount), and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and Film Incentive BC (substantial federal and provincial tax credits). The people who want and benefit from Medicare unwittingly financed this attack on it. Eva Czigler, acting head of CBC network programming, wrote a boiler-plate response to the complaints. The Douglas program was pushed back until March because of the "appearance of partisanship" if it was aired during the election campaign, she wrote. Fair enough. The Douglas program, Czigler explained, emphasized Tommy Douglas's "profound commitment to socialism" and would surely be lambasted by the right. But Medicare, Schmedicare, a film advocating a full-blown, two-tier system of health care, which is promoted by only one party, Stephen Harper's Conservatives -- even though they are pretending to support Medicare during this election -- must be non-partisan. What's going on at CBC's headquarters in Toronto? Donald Gutstein is a senior lecturer in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University


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