Well, I have a guilty pleasure which I indulge in which results with me having the tele on now and again. The other day I tuned into my mind numbing delight a little early and the CBC news was on. They were about to break for a commercial and were announcing the upcoming 'stories' (which is of course better described as 'fables' and 'tales'), but I digress. So, the little blonde announcer says:
"Coming up, Iran test fires NUCLEAR missiles!".
My head jerks around, since of course I am not in the room, but making a snack to go with my other little secret.
Was this a 'Freudian' slip?
The next day, while doing some mundane office work, I thought about it again. So, I called our local CBC, to inform them that I noticed such a glaringly false statement and that they should be more careful as many people are easily fooled!
The result of my conversation with this unknown CBC entity on the telephone went something like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to point out a terrible error which occurred on your news broadcast last night.
CBC: (briskly) And what was that?
Me: Well I noticed that leading into the next segment before a commercial break your announcer stated that Iran had test fired nuclear missiles. This is not, of course, true and should be addressed.
CBC: I have the script, I can't see that here. Let me try to get up the video. It was clearly just a mistake - every one makes them you know.
Me: I imagine it was a mistake, but why then was it not corrected when the programming resumed?
CBC: I can't seem to get the video running... it was just a simple mistake, let me see the transcript again. People will know that it was just a word misspoken, I don't see why you find this such an issue. I can't get the video going (muffled typing sounds)
Me: Don't worry about your video, and I realise people make mistakes when broadcasting the news live - but surely others there would have heard her and she could have said something. That's all I'm saying - especially when there is such a war call for invading Iran, who doesn't have any nuclear weapons - it was kind of a big mistake.
CBC: I still can't get the video to work. Look I don't know what you want with this, she made a mistake it was unintentional, (getting huffy and quick now). Are you implying it was on purpose?
Me: No, I'm simply pointing out that this kind of mistake given the subject is rather grave and should have been corrected immediately.
CBC: (cutting in) Well people would have seen the piece after and realised that it wasn't a nuclear missile. It was a mistake, she simply misspoke and that's all there is to it.
Me: Well, thanks for your time and I do hope something will be done, but of course I don't think it will. Good bye.
I couldn't stand it any longer - if she'd said well I can't get the video to work one more time I think my head would have caved in. The clear message I got from this whole endeavour, was:
1. She didn't even believe me that it was said (continually referring to the video and script).
2. She saw nothing wrong with this simple 'mistake' which everyone makes.
What is wrong with this picture?
Well, aside from being impolite and gruff with someone who is paying her wage, she is basically accusing me of lying by repeating that she cannot find 'evidence'. She is also brushing aside and making excuses for a gaff which really should have not gone unnoticed by a so-called professional news service. I have seen them correct themselves before over far more mundane occurrences (i.e. not warmongering) immediately. So, why not this time? Her defensiveness throughout the entire conversation made me think that they knew full well what had been said, and just didn't care since it fulfills their objective of drumming along to the beat of the war machine.
I don't think I actually expected anything more, which is too bad of course, but cynically true.
The other thing which really was indicative of the level of service we get from OUR public news service was the total lack of cordial and polite behaviour on the part of the person I was speaking with. She was unprofessional and lacked any kind of common courtesy in dealing with a member of the public. This is quite typical of many government run offices that I have encountered over the years.