Dr. Dawg

The CBC and Pierre Karl Péladeau's thin skin

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That fellow running Quebecor can dish it out, but he seems to have a serious aversion to taking it.

He’s threatening legal action against the CBC for having the gall to respond to his company’s ongoing attacks and petty harassment.

Endless Access to Information requests have been filed against the CBC by local Quebecor outlets. The usual astroturfing has been going on as well. Péladeau wants access to protected information from a competitor: but where is his own disclosure? Why did it take the CBC to crunch the numbers and discover that you and I are being forced to subsidize trash like SunTV to the tune of $500 million?

But the CBC is supposed to hold its tongue and take it, or else.

This isn’t the first time the Quebecor chief has wielded his big legal stick to silence his critics. Four years ago, an exasperated CBC editor used the word “voyou” in a newspaper interview to describe Péladeau’s cessation of payments to the Canadian Television Fund.

The word has been translated in the English media as “punk,” although “thug” may indeed be a better translation. Here’s the context.

“Il (Pierre Karl Péladeau) se promène comme un voyou, et il est en train de faire dérailler un des systèmes télévisuels qui a le plus de succès dans le monde.”

[He (Pierre Karl Péladeau) is conducting himself like a thug, and he’s on the way to derailing one of the most successful television systems in the world.]

Unbelievably, this resulted in a $700,000 lawsuit in which Péladeau claimed that the word implied dishonesty on his part. It doesn’t, of course. It’s just a generic term indicating strong disapproval, in this case of Péladeau’s heavy-handed tactics, not much different from calling him a “bastard.”

The matter was settled out of court earlier this year, however, and a grovelling apology from the CBC was extracted. Whew! Imagine if he’d been called something serious—like a “vocal Taliban supporter.” :)

Bullying worked that time. Let’s not allow it to work again.

Remember, folks, that we own the CBC. Péladeau is trying to shut us up. Don’t let him. Keep the inconvenient facts before the public. And send a letter of support to Mother Corp, telling her to stick to her guns. She could use a little cheering up right about now, as the well-organized thugs of the Right howl for her blood.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on October 22, 2011 12:03 PM.

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