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Who pays for SREDA?

The mayor is off on a trade mission to China.  SREDA points out that they are paying for the mayor’s portion of the trip which is true. 

SREDA and the Mayor’s press release fail to point out that the major portion of SREDA’s funding comes from…. wait for it… the City of Saskatoon.  It includes three members of city council on its board of directors as a result.

To be honest, I don’t care of the city pays for Mayor Atchison’s trip to China or not.  He’s a good salesperson and networker and will do a good job in representing the City of Saskatoon and it’s business interests but it bugs me that we play these games instead of coming out and just saying what is going on.  Taxpayers are paying for part of the trip.

Of course in the process of answering Jennifer Quesnel’s questions about the trip, SREDA CEO said this.  Someone needs to let SREDA know that as a partially taxpayer funded organization, people are going to care how that money is spent.

The Best & Worst Political Strategies of 2012

I am really late on this one but it’s a great segment, including the world political strategists of 2012.

The Harper Government Assault on Science

Please read Allan Gregg’s amazing speech.  Here is a part of it.

My concern was first piqued in July 2010, when the federal cabinet announced its decision to cut the mandatory long form census and replace it with a voluntary one. The rationale for this curious decision was that asking citizens for information about things like how many bathrooms were in their homes was a needless intrusion on their privacy and liberty. One might reasonably wonder how knowledge about the number of toilets you have could enable the government to invade your privacy, but that aside, it became clear that virtually no toilet owners had ever voiced concerns that the long form census, and its toilet questions, posed this kind of threat.

Again, as someone who had used the census – both as a commercial researcher and when I worked on Parliament Hill – I knew how important these data were in identifying not just toilet counts, but shifting population trends and the changes in the quality and quantity of life of Canadians. How could you determine how many units of affordable housing were needed unless you knew the change in the number of people who qualified for affordable housing? How could you assess the appropriate costs of affordable housing unless you knew the change in the amount of disposal income available to eligible recipients?

And even creepier, why would anyone forsake these valuable insights – and the chance to make good public policy – under the pretence that rights were violated when no one ever voiced the concern that this was happening? Was this a one-off move, however misguided? Or, the canary in the mineshaft?

Then came the Long Gun Registry. The federal government made good on their promise to dismantle it regardless of the fact that virtually every police chief in Canada said it was important to their work. Being true to their election promises? Or was there something else driving this decision?

Then, came the promise of a massive penitentiary construction spree which flew directly in the face of a mountain of evidence indicating that crime was on the decline. This struck me as a costly, unnecessary move, but knowing this government’s penchant to define itself as “tough-on-crime”, one could see – at least ideologically – why they did it. But, does that make it right?

Then came the post-stimulus federal budget of 2012 which I eagerly awaited to see if there would be something more here than mere political opportunism.

It was common knowledge that this government had little stomach for the deficit spending that followed the finance crisis of the previous years. And knowing that the public supported a return to balance budgets, it was a foregone conclusion that we were going to be presented with a fairly austere budget document. That the government intended to cut 19,000 civil servant jobs – roughly 6% of the total federal workforce – might have seemed a little draconian, but knowing what we knew, not that shocking.

As part of this package, it was also announced that environmental assessments were to be “streamlined” and that the final arbitration power of independent regulators was to be curtailed and possibly overridden by so-called “accountable” elected officials. Again, given the priority this government places on economic, and especially resource development, this was not necessarily unpredictable either.

`But when then the specific cuts started to roll out, an alarming trend began to take shape.

  • First up were those toilet counting, privacy violators at Stats Canada – ½ (not 6%, but 50%) of employees were warned that their jobs were at risk.
  • 20% of the workforce at the Library and Archives of Canada were put on notice.
  • CBC was told that it could live with a 10% reduction in their budgetary allocation.
  • In what was described as the “lobotomization of the parks system” (G &M – May 21, 2012), 30% of the operating budget of Parks Canada was cut, eliminating 638 positions; 70% of whom would be scientists and social scientists.
  • The National Roundtable on the Environment, the First Nations Statistical Institute, the National Council on Welfare and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science were, in Orwell’s parlance, “vaporized”; saving a grand total of $7.5 million.
  • The Experimental Lakes Area, a research station that produced critical evidence that helped stop acid rain 3 decades ago and has been responsible for some of our most groundbreaking research on water quality was to be shut down. Savings? $2 million. The northernmost lab in Eureka, Nunavut awaits the same fate.
  • The unit in charge of monitoring emissions from power plants, furnaces, boiler and other sources is to be abolished in order to save $600,000.
  • And against the advice of 625 fisheries scientists and four former federal Fisheries Ministers – saying it is scientifically impossible to do — regulatory oversight of the fisheries was limited to stock that are of “human value”.
  • To add insult to injury, these amendments was bundled in with 68 other laws into one Budget Bill, so that – using the power of majority government – no single item could be opposed or revoked.
  • On the other side of the ledger however, the Canada Revenue Agency received an $8 million increase in its budget so that it had more resources available to investigate the political activity of not-for-profit and charitable organizations.

Ok, so now the facts were beginning to tell a different story. This was no random act of downsizing, but a deliberate attempt to obliterate certain activities that were previously viewed as a legitimate part of government decision-making – namely, using research, science and evidence as the basis to make policy decisions. It also amounted to an attempt to eliminate anyone who might use science, facts and evidence to challenge government policies.

So much for journalism

For most of us you are either for or against CBC but it doesn’t matter what you think of the CBC, you can’t pretend to think this qualifies as journalism by the London Free Press.

CBC Money DrainCBC bureaucrats, production people, and journalists are feeling a little cramped in their 23-storey broadcast palace in Montreal.

Earlier this month, the federal government asked developers and others for information about the redevelopment of the CBC tower that dominates the corner of René-Lévesque Boulevard and Papineau Street in Montreal.

Federal documents indicate the 1970s-era Maison Radio-Canada "doesn’t provide enough flexibility for CBC technical and office space requirements."

So, Crown Corporation executives are pushing for a $1.6 billion public-private redevelopment of the property, which would also provide its French operation with bigger headquarters through "a new construction on the existing site or a major retrofit of the current space."

The feds have also asked for companies with expertise in "engineering, architecture, and interior design² to propose a full technical plan for a redeveloped Maison Radio-Canada."

The City of Montreal says the redevelopment would also include 2,200 new housing units plus new retail space.

Taxpayers subsidize the CBC to the tune of $1.1 billion annually.

Personally I think the CBC does a horrible job of explaining it’s $1.1 billion subsidy and I know that Quebecor is upset about it but I am not sure that using that term palace, inserting the subsidy line into most of their stories or using a graphic depicting a CBC Money Drain contributes anything or makes me want to take Quebecor seriously as a new outlet.

If I was Quebecor I would be more worried about my mediocre website, irrelevant news channel and editing like we see above and be less worried about what CBC’s future plans are.

What’s Wrong with Television Journalism

Wow, what a post by Kai Nagata

Aside from feeling sexually attracted to the people on screen, the target viewer, according to consultants, is also supposed to like easy stories that reinforce beliefs they already hold. This is where the public broadcaster is caught in a tough spot. CBC Television, post-Stursberg, is failing in two ways. Despite modest gains in certain markets, (and bigger gains for reality shows like Dragon’s Den and Battle of the Blades) it’s still largely failing to broadcast to the public. More damnably, the resulting strategy is now to compete with for-profit networks for the lowest hanging fruit. In this race to the bottom, the less time and money the CBC devotes to enterprise journalism, the less motivation there is for the private networks to maintain credibility by funding their own investigative teams. Even then, “consumer protection” content has largely replaced political accountability.

It’s a vicious cycle, and it creates things like the Kate and Will show. Wall-to-wall, breaking-news coverage of a stage-managed, spoon-fed celebrity visit, justified by the couple’s symbolic relationship to a former colony, codified in a document most Canadians have never read (and one province has never signed). On a weekend where there was real news happening in Bangkok, Misrata, Athens, Washington, and around the world, what we saw instead was a breathless gaggle of normally credible journalists, gushing in live hit after live hit about how the prince is young and his wife is pretty. And the public broadcaster led the charge.

He continues with this.

Jon Stewart talks about a “right-wing narrative of victimization,” and what it has accomplished in Canada is the near-paralysis of progressive voices in broadcasting. In the States, even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace admitted there is an adversarial struggle afoot – that, in his view, networks like NBC have a “liberal” bias and Fox is there to tell “the other side of the story.” Well, Canada now has its Fox News. Krista Erickson, Brian Lilley, and Ezra Levant each do a wonderful send-up of the TV anchor character. The stodgy, neutral, unbiased broadcaster trope is played for jokes before the Sun News team gleefully rips into its targets. But Canada has no Jon Stewart to unravel their ideology and act as a counterweight. Our satirists are toothless and boring, with the notable exception of Jean-René Dufort. And on the more serious side, we have no Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow. So I don’t see any true debate within the media world itself, in the sense of a national, public clash of ideas. The Canadian right wing, if you want to call it that, has had five years to get the gloves off. With a majority Conservative government in power, they’re putting on brass knuckles. Meanwhile the left is grasping about in a pair of potholders. The only explanation I can think of is they’re too polite, or too scared. If it’s the latter, I think it’s clear enough why.

My political worldview

CBC's Political Compass

Economically (apparently I prefer deficits) and on defence spending I agree with the Conservatives but on Senate Reform, Quebec, and Moral Values, I am with the Liberals.

It’s kind of a fun survey but I realized that locally I find myself politically at odds with four of the city councillors at the left end of the political spectrum and yet I would vote for each of them if I lived in their wards.  I explain that in that all four of them do a really good job of communicating their positions, do their jobs with integrity, and have the best interests of the city at heart so there is more to voting than 30 questions that determine my political ideology.  It’s the same reason I voted for Eric Cline and now for Cam Broten.  It’s also why local campaigns matter.  It’s a fun tool though and I agree with Warren Kinsella that it shouldn’t be taken that seriously.

As for local campaigns, Kelly Block and Nettie Wiebe are running in Saskatoon Rosetown Biggar.  As always, the race will be too close to call.  The Liberals are running Lee Reaney and the Green’s are running Vicki Strelioff.  Neither will make an impact in the campaign and as far as I could find, neither have a campaign headquarters.

Christmas Gift Guide: Gift Ideas for the Sports Fan | 2009 Edition

Readers of this blog know that I am a big sports fan.  As a sports fan I know how hard we can be to shop for and along that line I have some suggestions on what to get for your favorite sports fan.  Just a tip.  If you don’t know what his or her favorite teams are, find out before buying for them.  While that Vancouver Canucks shirt is a great deal, I’ll never ever wear it, no matter how much I love the person who gave it to me.  If you are wondering how deep team loyalty goes, I’ll let Rick Reilly from ESPN explain it to you.

The “If Bill Billicheck Coached in the CFL” Rider Hoodie :: With a pair of scissors, you can convert it to a short sleeve model as well.   You can get one of these for any CFL team at the CFL store but let’s be honest, you only need a Saskatchewan Roughriders one. | $89.95 (Can) at the Rider Store

Saskatchewan Roughrider Fans Gather Here Wall Sign :: Not only does this sign look great hanging on your wall, it also let’s your brother-in-law from B.C. know that if he comes over on game day, he is going to get a big wedgie from your friends. | $29.95 at the Rider Store.  Around $25 at other sports collectible places.

Notre Dame Football T-Shirt and the Notre Dame Football Sideline T-Shirt ::  I know the Charlie Weis era has been hard for Notre Dame football fans but better times are coming (we hope).  Either way a Notre Dame t-shirt for you or someone you love shows that you are no bandwagon jumper and you are in this for the long haul, no matter how many times in a row that USC beats Notre Dame.

Saskatchewan Roughriders BBQ cover :: I have one of these at the lake and not only does it look cool, it is a really high quality barbecue cover and is the envy or Rider fans at Arlington Beach. | $69.95 (Can) at the Rider Store but quite a bit cheaper at Canadian Tire.

Calgary Flames Upgrade Crew T-Shirt :: The Upgrade Crew Tee, part of the Reebok Face-Off collection, features:

  • 100% cotton jersey
  • Team name and logo screen printed across the chest
  • Reebok logo located on the left sleeve
  • Ribbed crew neck

Sure you can an Edmonton Oilers version but why would you want to be seen out in public in one? | $24.99 (USD)

Hockey Night in Canada Retro Puck & Stick Rug :: While Gary Bettman doesn’t respect the traditions of the NHL, that doesn’t mean that you can’t.  Check out this retro Hockey Night in Canada welcome rug which would look great every Saturday night as you host your friends and family for the Hockey Night in Canada double header.  Now if we could only find a way to automatically mute the television whenever Kelly Hrudey comes on. | $39.99 (Can) from CBC Shop

A customizable NFL team t-shirt or hoodie from NFL Shop.com.  These are great looking short and long sleeve shirts that have customizable front, back and sleeves.  They start about $20 for a basic shirt and can go up to $40 by the time you are done finishing it.

A pair of RB/WR NFL gloves :: If the person on your shopping list played high school football or above, there is a good chance he or she had a pair of these.  While they won’t keep you that warm, they are a great three season glove that can be worn while biking, hiking, or calling plays during the big game from the sideline.

If your better half is like Wendy, they get a little tired of all of this sports stuff laying around.  The Saskatchewan Roughriders have a solution in the form of this great looking gear locker.  This Gamebox fits perfectly in any den, sports room, office etc and is designed with the highest attention to detail and quality. The easy-to-clean Roughriders Gamebox is scratch resistant, and is decorated with the vintage Roughriders logos, enhanced with the 13 man logo and provide the official licensed word marks. Dimensions: 34″w X 18″h X 18 1/4″d | $249.99 (Can) from the Rider Store

Spalding NBA sized Street Basketball :: You need a decent quality basketball for when friends come over or when you step outside and address the 4 for 56 three point shooting streak you are on.  You could use the Spongebob Squarepants basketball your kid bought at Wal-Mart or you can ask for a decent looking Spalding basketball.  While your game may have gone missing, at least you can look like you can still execute a pick and roll, even if you can’t. | $19.59 (USD) from Amazon.com

SIGMA BC906 9-Function Topline Wired Bicycle Speedometer :: The ability to monitor individual rides, and overall training schedules is important to the serious cyclist. The BC 906 tracks your trip, your overall speed, distance, and riding time as well as allowing you compare your actual speed with your average speed. Complete functions include: clock; actual maximum and average speed; comparison of actual and average speed; trip and total distance; trip and total riding time; language selection (seven languages); and low-battery indicator. Also, the BC906’s small, low-profile keeps wind resistance to a minimum, its twist-mount, no tools required design ensures quick installation and its included 3-volt lithium CR2032 battery provides long-lasting power. | $20 (USD) at Amazon.com

Sportscraft Pubmaster Dart Board :: The official size 18-inch dartboard has traditional colors with steel tensile steel spider and high visibility numbers. You can throw either steel or soft tip darts at the bullseye!  Plus with no one really knowing when or if the economy is going to come back, having bunch of friends over for a night of darts is a lot cheaper than a night at the pub or doing much else now that I think of it.  The great thing about darts (and bowling) is that you don’t have to be good at it to have a good time playing it. | $19.99 (USD) at Amazon.com

Speaking of having people over, air hockey is another one of those games that one doesn’t have to be good at to have a good time playing.  Check out this free standing game for some good times.

If you have been to Mosaic Stadium, you know there are two temperatures.  Too hot and too cold.  The Saskatchewan Roughrider store has what you need to survive game day.  Here is your official Saskatchewan Roughrider thermos and water bottle.  Fill it with what you see fit.

University of Saskatchewan Huskies Basketball/Hockey Game Tickets :: It only costs $10 for adult tickets for Huskies basketball and hockey tickets.  While watching a game at Rutherford Arena takes some courage and a seat warmer, watching games at the PAC is starting to have the feel of big time NCAA college basketball.  If hockey is more your style, tickets for the Saskatoon Blades cost $16.57.  My point is that while NBA, NHL, and NFL tickets are really expensive in this economy, there are some great other semi pro, college, and minor sports that are really cheap and a lot of fun.

Christmas Gift Ideas and Gift GuidesIf I missed anything or if my suggestion made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list of Christmas gift guides here.

The Regina Dome

The Carrier Dome

CBC is quoting the NDP in saying that a new domed stadium would cost $600 million and I can’t see it as Ford Field only cost $430 million and is twice the projected size but whether or not they are right or wrong, I am not sure a dome stadium is a good idea for Regina or Saskatchewan. 

  • In a good season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders play 11 home games.  I can see the Riders fill a small Carrier Dome type stadium with 40,000 people for 10 of those games (one is a home exhibition game).  The University of Regina Rams would play four games a year there but in front of crowds that may not pay for the cost of opening the building so I won’t mention that.
  • Mosaic Stadium is not a nice stadium and I can’t envision a scenario where you could renovate it and bring it up to standards that Rider Nation deserves and wants.  We don’t want a lot but Mosaic Stadium offers even less.
  • There would be some more top flight concerts but how many bands can fill a stadium that big?  Three or four a year?  I bet it is closer to one or two after the original rush.
  • There would be some conferences but Regina is no Las Vegas.  How many conferences or trade shows will need that much capacity and Regina doesn’t have a lot of excess rooms already.

As a football fan, I prefer open air stadiums.  Yes playoff games in Regina are horrible to play in and attend but so are games at Lambeau Field, Commonwealth Stadium, McMahon Stadium, Gillette Stadium and a lot of other cold weather venues.  While Mosaic Stadium is a horrible place to be when it is cold, it is amazing to be outside in the summer.  Like BC Place, while you gain something in the fall, you lose something in the summer.  Plus, football is supposed to be played outside.

As a taxpayer, I am not so worried about the capital costs as I am about the ongoing operating costs.  Cities infatuations with domed stadiums seems a lot shorter than with traditional stadiums (anyone screaming to replace Notre Dame Stadium (built in 1930) or Wrigley Field (built in 1914, last cleaned in 1919), while how’s that abandoned Silverdome (built in 1973, kicked to the curb in 2008) doing?  Domed stadiums have not aged well compared with open air ones and tend to be big financial sinkholes, if you doubt me, I have two words and one link for you, Olympic Stadium (which seemed like a brilliant idea at the time).

If I was calling the shots on this, I would proceed slowly with the hope of building a stadium that stands the test of time rather than something that barely makes 30 years before the call for replacing it begins.

Mark: Media Critic

With Oliver having his seizures, Wendy and I decided to cancel our anniversary plans and go out for lunch instead.  It didn’t seem fair to make sitter deal with Oliver if he had a seizure.  Now Mark had chewed on his Nintendo DS stylus and while he didn’t tell me about it, I did notice it while we were at the cabin and after mocking him for it, I went out and bought a replacement for it.  EB Games didn’t have the ones he wanted so we checked out Wal-Mart at Preston Crossing.  We had some success there and Wendy suggested we go for lunch at Chili’s.  I didn’t really want to go but it was our anniversary so as is normal, I do what was the voices in my wife’s head tell me to do.

Lunch was just horrible.  We went in, ordered our drinks: a Ginger Ale and a Diet Pepsi and waited for 52 minutes until they came to the table.  Our meal came over an hour after we ordered and was lukewarm.  I should have sent them back but I was hungry and decided to eat it.  Big mistake. 

The burger was cold, the fries were cold, the gravy was cold.  It had obviously sat for a while.

Fast forward to that night, Nathan and Krista came over for coffee.  Around 10:00 p.m. I said to them, I wasn’t feeling well and as they left, I said to Wendy I needed to get some Pepto Bismol.  I never got around to it.  Before I could say anything, I was violently ill for over the next 9 hours.  It was food poisoning and it was the worst of my life.

I wasn’t happy with Chili’s and the next day Wendy called up the manager.  First of all she couldn’t even to get through to him but after she told the hostess that she was looking to sue the restaurant and wanted to know who to talk to, she got through. 

To his credit, the manager was both horrified, apologetic, and tried to make it right.  He offered us gift cards (thanks but no thanks), took notes, and did everything that he could do other than make a time machine and go back into time.  While my culinary feedback is not often taken seriously by our  kitchen, I do see how hard they work at making sure no one ever gets sick and a new staff + someone not doing their job = someone getting sick.

Bill-Belichick Well I took off Monday and came in raring to go on Tuesday.  Since Denver had beaten San Diego on MNF, I was wearing my Denver Broncos hoodie in honor of the Bill Bilichick coaching tree.  My voice still sounded horrible and I had dark circles under my eyes from being sick on Sunday night.  I didn’t feel that bad but I looked just horrible.

I was busy getting caught up with work when my boss mentioned that Jennifer Quesnel had called about the YWCA’s announcement that they turn away 10 people a night.  She asked about a couple of things and then returned to tell me that CBC was coming by right away and she needed me to do the interview.  I was the same guy that everyone was telling me how horrible I looked, I sounded horrible, and even at the best of times, I have the looks for radio.  Sometime in the morning I was drinking a frappachino while being bumped and I managed to spill something on my Broncos hoodie. 

Now to be honest, I have always enjoyed working with television crews because they always come to our location to shoot the footage.  It’s a lot easier to explain what we do to someone who is actually there and you know when you are on camera, you are being taped which is a little more relaxing.  I got burned a couple of years ago by the Star Phoenix when I was extremely clear that I was on background and they attributed it to me by name (the quote wasn’t damaging but I was livid afterwards).

So I did the interview and I wasn’t going to watch it or even mention it to anyone but someone at work squealed to Wendy who mentioned it to Mark.  So CBC News came on and the segment ran and I cringed when I was on.  Just I was turned the channel, Mark turns to me and grills me on everything that I said, how I said it, and even the shirt I wore).  After putting me under fire for a minute, he goes, “Well it was okay, I guess.  It wasn’t your best interview.  You should have told a joke.”  It was at that time I realized that my son was destined to end up being one of those talking heads who comments on the President’s tie after the State of the Union address.  No wonder Stephen Harper doesn’t like to watch Canadian news, his kids probably rip him apart when they see him on television.

Where have I seen this photo before the Toronto Star used it tonight?

I was on David Olive’s excellent blog tonight, the Great Recession and I was reading that Saskatchewan was celebrating our entry into Confederation today.  We joined it back in 1905 and have won three Grey Cups in our time as a province.

I was noticing the great looking photo of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.  You can see it in context here.

Hey look, the Toronto Star used a photo of mine without permission. 

It reminded me a lot I took of the Saskatchewan Legislature building back in 2007 while with Mark and Wendy.  A quick look around on Flickr… ohhh, here it is…  I’ll put a photo paper border on it here… upload it my site… there it is…

The original image of the Saskatchewan Legislature

Same legislative building, same wind, blowing the same flags, same people playing on the same dead grass.  I think it’s fair to say that it is the same image.

Just a second, let me check the copyright on this image.  The good news is that it is Creative Commons.  The bad news is that it has some conditions.

  • Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

  • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

I missed the attribution and I don’t remember giving anyone permission to use it commercially.

I am probably a little sensitive to this because last week, CBC Saskatchewan also needed to use a photo of mine for a story they were running.  A quick email was all it took to get my permission free of charge and I would do it for any media outlet. I really wish the Toronto Star had extended me the same courtesy that the CBC did.

Update:  The Toronto Star got back to me and I gave them permission.  In hindsight I should have asked it in return for a little less Maple Leaf coverage and a little more coverage for the rest of the NHL but why ask the impossible.

Now on Twitter

The last couple of days  I have been having a running discussion with Karen over at The Hedge Society on Twitter about why Apartment Therapy doesn’t use Twitter.  Several of my favorite design sites all use Twitter and I follow many of them over at The Cooper Cabin.  During our discussion made me realize that I use Twitter to follow friends but a lot of media sites as well.  I follow ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, The Star Phoenix, the New York Times, and CBC Saskatchewan, on Twitter along with other media sites.  Apartment Therapy slags Twitter a couple of times on their sites and maybe Biz and Ev have ugly apartments but whatever the reason, it seems odd that a media site whose bottom line depends on page views, would turn reject a free way to get more page views, retweets, and buzz about their site.

I started to think about how I rely less on RSS and more on Twitter to follow sites and decided to put JordonCooper.com on Twitter.  My personal Twitter account will always been me talking about whatever I am thinking about in 140 characters.  The JordonCooper.com Twitter account will be automated and generated by the RSS feed and content on JordonCooper.com as it is published to the site.  Not quite a media empire but hopefully it will make it a little easier for those of you who are fans of the site and also diehard Twitter users.

This isn’t the only place where we tweet around the house, you can follow the entire household on Twitter

Public Broadcaster = Public Parking

Inside the CBC has a wonderful post showing a CBC van parked illegally in a fire lane.  While the photos are kind of funny, it’s the sense of entitlement in the comments that are worth reading.  It also reveals that our tax dollars get spent on paying CBC staff parking tickets.  I don’t know about your employer but mine would look very harshly at parking illegally in a branded vehicle and most definitely not pay my parking fines.

Live coverage from your living room

CBC’s live coverage and play by play of the Olympics will be done from Toronto.

CBC-sports-logo It’s this: A good number of the on-air people covering the Games for the CBC, TSN, NBC, BBC and other international broadcasters will not be in Beijing or anywhere near the Olympic city. They will call events off a monitor from their home studios.

The CBC’s play by play for women’s soccer is being handled by Nigel Reed and Jason De Vos. But they’re not in Beijing. They’re announcing the games from Toronto by watching the games off a TV monitor.

The other events that the CBC will announce from Toronto are sailing, equestrian, weight lifting and Taekwondo.

In some cases, there are logistical reasons for calling these sports from a studio, but mainly it’s a money saver.   Joel Darling, the head of production for CBC Sports, said the fact the women’s soccer team will play games in four venues would have made travel difficult and expensive for a play by play team.

“There was the cost involved of moving (Reed and De Vos) around inside the country,” he said. “And there’s no point in sending them there and calling it off tube.”

Darling said the BBC announcers are calling the men’s soccer tournament off a monitor from London.

The CBC will use the BBC and TVNZ (New Zealand) feeds for men’s soccer — another money saver. NBC’s play by play teams for weightlifting, equestrian, softball, soccer, tennis, baseball, handball, table tennis, badminton, fencing, archery, shooting and field hockey will work out of New York.

This seems like a bad commercial for HD.  I can understand why they are doing this but having your game announcers at home rather than around the team they are covering (in the case of women’s soccer), you do lose a lot in terms of coverage, conversations, and the athlete’s perspective.  For me personally, it is just another way that this version of the games seems to be the worst in a long time. 

We talk about how China’s human rights record, links to the genocide in Darfur, and Tibet hurt the reputation of the IOC.  Doesn’t CBC being apart of the whole spectacle that is the Olympics hurt it’s reputation when covering Darfur or human rights issues?   Same with all of the media outlets and Olympic sponsors actually.  Doesn’t it say that we care about human rights unless there is a lot of money to be made.  Back when the announcement was made it was said that the games would change China but in the end, it seems as if the IOC itself made the concessions.