Friday, May 22, 2009

Rogers Cries Foul Over Save Local TV Stunt

Has there ever been a bigger false cause in Canada than CTV`s "Save Local TV" campaign? What the hell am I saving again--the right for rich guys to simulcast Lost?
It just doesn't pass the sniff test, especially with the cable companies, who have decided to call CTV on it: today, Rogers, CTV`s old business partner Bell, Telus, Cogeco and others filed a complaint with the CRTC charging that CTV has violated the Broadcasting Act by by airing one-sided and unbalanced coverage of its own advocacy campaign. Read the entire release here.
The cable guys charge that CTV is simply trying to pressure the government--through the regulator--"to impose a TV tax on Canadian consumers"--in other words, to buckle under their relentless campaign for a chunk of the carriage fee booty.
The cable guys have seized upon the fact that CTV has shamelessly stooped to forcing their propaganda message onto their newscasts.
And they are. This afternoon I saw Ann Rohmer shilling for the phony baloney open house on CTV-owned CP24, urging viewers to get behind the cause, like they were saving baby seals or something.
"This is a blatant violation of respected journalistic principles," says noted consumer advocate/Rogers flame thrower Phil Lind. "The public should expect better and not be manipulated with one-sided reporting masquerading as 'real news'. No advocacy group should be able to hijack the newscasts of Canadian broadcasters, and that is especially true when the advocacy group is the broadcaster itself."
So guessing we won't see Phil at the open house in Agincourt Saturday (11-3).
CTV does need to have its pants pulled down over this silly stunt. The "Save Local TV" ads are icky, like watching those Harper "Just Visiting" smears against Michael Ignatieff. You can't help but think all this cunning and effort and money and promotion could have gone into something more positive--like creating the next Corner Gas.
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