The obscenity of CBC turkey drives

Phony annual charity drive illustrates how little has been done to reduce poverty

Nothing is more obscene than the pampered people at CBC with their annual do-gooder turkey drive. CBC wastes it’s considerable resources attacking the wrong end of the stick.
Do they think one turkey at Christmas will alleviate the crushing weight of poverty or is this all just another WKRP radio station publicity stunt?
If the folks at CBC really carried about Christmas and the message of Christ, they would use their considerable resources to report stories about the reality of PEI’s poverty problem.
A short stint of real reporting at CBC would inform the public and embarrass the government into fixing the problem once and for all.
Dr. Robert Coull wrote that charity drives make him angry. “The need for charity is something that makes me very angry.  It reminds me that our society is unjust.  The poor continue to be poor, while the rich get richer.  Rich people ‘feeling good’ about giving a few dollars or a few hours of their time to the ‘deserving poor’ is something I would love to see the end of.”  
Dr. Coull says that taxpayers waste tens of thousands of dollars on health care when people living in poverty can’t get simple medical assistance. “I regularly waste tens of thousands of dollars of tax payers money admitting patients to hospital because they could not afford a $60 prescription.”
There’s a story for CBC to report – “doctor says healthcare costs inflated by misguided social welfare poverty”.
Nope, CBC reporters, producers and cameramen are too busy dropping turkeys from helicopters into shopping mall parking lots like WKRP’s Les Nessman.
Dr. Coull of course is “from away” and doesn’t understand the need to bury PEI’s real social problems with institutions like CBC charity drives and politicians primping for the press.
Isn’t it wonderful that Islanders open their hearts at this time of year and give a turkey?
Not really, it’s the Scrooge goose, a balm for petty bourgeois indifference to society.  How much does it cost 3,000 Islanders to feel poverty is licked? CBC puts the price at about $35.
But we can’t expect CBC to advocate on social issues can we?
Why not, they waste the taxpayer’s money advocating on behalf of sports teams, local business, rock bands, the arts community and every other personal interest they have.
CBC are supposed to be reporting the news. If a reporter tried to cover the “poverty beat” they would be impolitely told to get real. CBC reports the news it wants to filter not the real stories of Islanders.
Last week when the Social Development committee at the Legislature reported on PEI’s social welfare problems, the story didn’t get a blip at CBC. Considering it was a story they didn’t need to research – Legislature reports only need to be summarized and a video clip recorded in the CBC lobby – they could have covered it.
Before that they could have reported the meetings of the Social Development committee in depth, including some people centered background stories. CBC could have explained that 60% of people on social assistance are there because they are disabled and can’t earn a middle class income.
Of course, we know CBC don’t report on Islanders with disabilities – unless they are “special sports” athletes. I’m not guessing about this. Two CBC producers told me that CBC leaves the disability stories to Disability Alert and NJN Network.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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