If they could truly understand him, the citizens of planet CBC might learn something about “their eerie uniformity of views” as described by Robert Fulford. But I won’t waste a moment of my time hoping for that.
CBC people know that Canadians have freedom of speech, in theory, but no one wants to encourage too much of a good thing. There are limits, and soon everyone understands them. Those who step outside the limits look at best eccentric, at worst dangerous.
In their own quiet way, CBC people have become a remarkable cult, the proprietors of a vast reservoir of smugness they are incapable of recognizing as such. For generations, they have been constructing a body of impregnable, self-regenerating opinion. As employees they are pre-selected and their views are pre-recorded, like most of their programs. A single rule governs all personnel selection: Like hires like. That principle, followed for seven decades, produces seamless intellectual agreement in all corners of the staff. Occasionally a few oddballs somehow slip through the screening process. They are allowed to hold unofficial views, providing they have the good sense not to express them. Otherwise, the CBC encourages everyone to speak up.
They embodied what an American critic once defined as “the herd of independent minds.” Listening to them filled me (though I barely sensed this at the time) with negative energy. The more I heard them speak, the more skeptical I grew. Eventually I realized that the opposite of whatever these people believed was at least worth serious and sympathetic investigation.
[Another Hat Tip to my wonderful sister-in-law, Marje, for the link to this story.]