CBC? Not for me! - Macleans.ca

CBC? Not for me!

Stephen Harper says he prefers American news broadcasts to Canadian ones


You might assume that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be one of Canada’s most devoted news watchers. But you’d be wrong. Speaking in front of a Toronto business audience on Wednesday, Harper admitted that he prefers American news broadcasts to Canadian ones. “I tend to watch mainly American news,” the prime minister said, “because I don’t like to watch Canadian news and hear what Allan [Gregg, a pollster and CBC pundit who was in the audience] and everybody else is saying about me.” Unsurprisingly, NDP Leader Jack Layton was quick to contend that “Canadians ought to be concerned” that their leader “likes Fox News better than Canadian news.” Liberal MP Bob Rae also chimed in, calling the report “quite shocking,” because Harper has “an obligation to know what’s going on.” Industry Minister Tony Clement, on the other hand, thinks Harper may have been “exaggerating.” “We’re all news junkies, all of us are,” he said. “Come on. You know what we’re all about.”

Toronto Star

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CBC? Not for me!

  1. There are a lot of American things that Harper seems to prefer to Canadian ones.

  2. Ah, anti-Americanism! The only defining national trait Canada has.

    Well, that and Tim Hortons.

  3. I'm starting to like Harper. This is vaguely disturbing.

  4. I like him personally, but I hate his Red Tory policies.

    Oh well, hopefully he has a secret agenda for when he gets a majority. Nobody has dusted off the Reform stationary yet, so we're stuck for awhile.

  5. It's not just Harper that can't stand the CBC. I think the majority of Canadians would rather watch anything other then our tax payer funded Liberal info-mercial.

  6. ROFL – LMFAO = way to go harper .. just when you begin to start thinking he needs personality transplant he comes up with a sense of humour – this is so funny on so many levels it will drive the looney left compleletly crazy .. kinda like anything about Palin … and zinging Allan … what a hhot … To be honest I am glad that his hobby is staying on top of what the yankees are up to becuase as far as I am concerned any PM we have should be devoting a good chunk o time on this particular task .. and no doubt about it? let's be honest would you like to watch the canadian news and associated pundits tear you apart every night – Chretien and Mulroney din't why should harper he staff whose job it is anyways so wheres the story? .. betcha people think it's FOX he likes but what if he is a closet CNN'er?

  7. Who says he watches Fox? That's a huge assumption and considering what Fox stands for I"d go as far as calling it slanderous.

  8. Harper makes the news, he doesn't have to watch it. (Paraphrasing Bush from recent speech)

    And Harper also talks about watching it, he does not say anything about reading it. At the very least, Harper must have someone who goes through the daily papers in the morning and tells him the lay of the land.

  9. Good for him. I can't stand the anti-American, anti-capitalist, prissy, politically correct, junk that those lefty mind benders pass off as news.

  10. I guess he was just kidding around, but all this fuss about it must be making some Canadians wonder.

  11. its cool, if you watch US news they never mention canada unless there is a sensational crime or if they want to run down the health care system

  12. A LEOPARD obviously doesn't change its spots even if it is dressed in sheep's wool. Even in jest, such comments are treasonous–coming from the so-called TOP-DOG of Canada. No wonder the voters do NOT trust him to have a majority. He only wants to destroy what Canada is—sell it to the highest bidder so the crooked investors could gamble it into bankruptcy. Move to the US if you like it so much.

  13. America is a continent, not a country. Therefore America includes Canada and many other fine countries.

  14. Who is actually more Canadian? Ignatieff who came to serve his place of birth, or Harper who cares more about news in the US than in his own country?

  15. What's wrong with CBC? Instead of slandering it we should be happy of its existence. As a true service to Canada, the CBC keeps this country together from sea to sea to sea, with news and programs with Canadian content. One should feel more attached to this country, than when watching the huge amount of American rubbish weighed down upon us by most other TV stations.

    • I tried to contact the CBC re a news item and all I got was their centralized filtering over and over-with no response from them until I threatened to go to the president- so I just stopped watching and listening to everything CBC–except Saturday at the opera –there are many better sources for news and programming –They don't want to hear from anybody–they are more interested in putting out a their own narrow perspective –Why watch the CBC when you know what their views always are?

  16. If Canadian news was actually worth watching I might be upset with his comments, but since it is not I fully understand where he is coming from. Other than the local news I watch American news (both their national and local stuff (given our wonderful cable structure here in Saskatchewan I get local news from Boston – might go visit there this summer!).

    People need to get their heads out of the sand and be exposed to a much broader sense of the world. I love reading international(including US ) newspapers on the internet – you get a much broader view of the world (particularly for those newspapers that allow comments on articles) and you also realize that the spin that Canadian national news broadcasts put out is just that – spin.

    Politicians in particular need to get other opinions that just those from a small group of 'journalists' in Canada and their immediate circle of advisers. I think if Iggy had done that he might not have been so rash to suggest a little while ago that he was going to bring down the government (which of course he has now backtracked from).

  17. Harper is a pure unmitigated neo con and this is just more proof. He also prefers to appear on Fox because it is frequented by his kindred spirits.

    • how's that a bad thing, btw?

  18. Alan Gregg on CBC made a point about this. You have to take the whole context of the question to understand his answer! Since Liberals can't come up with anything creative policy wise they just have to settle for stuff like this! I support the Conservatives and the PM!

  19. Why was that anti-American? mattbin just made an observation; he didn't judge it positive or negative.

  20. I'm not sure why MacLeans useed CBC in the header — probably to provoke you con supporters — but harp said he didn't watch Canadian news, not CBC.

    Canadian news.

  21. Nice dog, but you're wrong.

  22. Most people that I know in Canada watch American news…I do love my CBC, thoug! Can't stand CTV.

    • Ah,but do they watch it while excluding Canadian news?

      Also, just in response to the whole "well maybe he gets his staff to pull together the necessary info" argument, I would think that he would get them to do that for the American news, and instead pay closer attention to domestic news. I'd prefer it if that were the case. That way, maybe he could find out about things like Suaad Mohamud or the Afghan prison transfer issues sooner than the Balloon Boy.

  23. oops. though…

  24. In terms of actual viewers, FOX news, CNN, CNBC… get less viewers everyday than PBS' Newshour with Jim Lehrer. For example, FOX news' morning news show has 1.5 M viewers. Now consider that America has over 300 M persons and we are now talking about half of one percent of the population watching this program

    Second, If one wants to assess the merits and value of the CBC versus say American news, then one should use empirical evaluations and not glib opinion based assertions which pander to your ideological biases.

    Consider the Iraq war coverage. News department in both countries were tasked with evaluating the actual events and statements by the Bush government. Across the board, American newsrooms (television and print) failed miserably and have admitted so. By the start of the war 70% of persons believed that Saddam Hussein was involved in 911 (both false). Pro-war versus Anti-war guests on US news programs were presented at a ratio of 99:1. Despite persons like Scott Ritter, a US marine and former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, stating that Iraq had destroyed 99% of its weapons, and Hans Blix, who stated that Bush and Blair were dishonest of their WMD statements, American news dismissed or ignored their criticisms.

    How did Canadian news do? The CBC called all the points. There were no provable links to Al-Qaeda, no supporting evidence for WMDs, the war was about oil and regional hegemony and not Iraqi freedom, and a majority of Canadians were against the war.

    A democracy cannot operate when its news systems are corrupted by propaganda, profit-driven ratings, and entertainment masquerading as news.

    Finally, Allan Gregg used to be a key member of the federal PC's from the 70's-90's. For Harper to admonish Gregg, a conservative who was actually born in Alberta and not a Toronto implant like Harper, says how distorted and thoroughly un-conservative Mr. Harper and his followers actually are.

    • Bravo sir, for a commentary that does not at all pander to ideological biases. Particularly the second to last paragraph.

    • Like I said. Kudos to you.

  25. Anti-American? So when America was imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood products, I'm assuming you felt CNN was providing more accurate coverage? When FOX was recently slamming Canadian health care, you were lining up to visit the Cleveland clinic at $50K a visit?

    Anti-capitalism? Wasn't it the US banks that nearly destroyed the world economy and needed a federal bailout? Wasn't it the auto-companies, the military industrial complex, big-pharma, insurance, and agri-businesses that lined up for trillions of dollars of hand-out from the federal government from money borrowed from the communist Chinese? How could anything go wrong with America's first MBA president: DUH!.

    Lefty? All the major TV news stations are owned by demonstrably right-wing pro-Republican corporations: GE-NBC, Disney-ABC, NewsCorp-Fox, Viacom-CBS; Time-Warner-CNN.

    Your assertions are the typical "junk" espoused by the small-minded, intellectually shallow, incurious, right-wingers that know a lot about nothing.

  26. Stephen Harper must not be a real Canadian.

  27. Maybe the PM is onto something. American media reports less, questions less, and is more likely to be co-opted than any other media in the free world! A blessing for a Bushie like him.

  28. I should hope my prime minister, from whatever party, doesn't spend his time watching TV. A prime minister has work to do. Mr Harper, like all prime ministers, has staff to watch and read the news and to provide summaries.

    As for TV news, I would not be surprised if his favorite newscast is PBS Newshour. It is probably the highest quality news program along with the BBC world news.

  29. This article assumes that Harper (or anyone else) would get the real news from watching either Canadian or American television…

  30. Who cares. What's forgotten in all of this is that Harper doesn't need to watch the news himself. He has a team of people who watch the Canadian news, and he likely gets a digest of the highlights on his desk every morning.

    • You mean like he did for Suaad Hagi Mohamud where he didn't even know what his own minister was saying?

  31. I'm hoping this little tidbit of info negates the percentage points he gained in the pollsbecause he tinkled the ivories in public! Every Canadian should feel a sense of unease re this disclosure, we are hardly a blip on the American news network.

  32. i want to know if he watches "little mosque on the prairies" or not.

  33. I hope he watches Fox–they are the ONLY ones in North America who base their news on the facts and not emotion and propaganda. Migfawd, does that mean Bill Oreilly could be the next governor-general given this countries penchant for giving those jobs to the CBC.
    Such is the trouble with Layton and the rest of the left–they don't know what the truth is.

    • Uh. Not on emotion? Is that what it means when O'Reilly is yelling and cutting people's mics?

  34. Given Suaad Hagi Mohamud, evidence suggests otherwise.

  35. But people still have the choice on whether or not to follow what he prefer.