You may have seen so called “social experiment” videos by YouTube vloggers where unwitting passersby are punked into exposing their ignorance or bigotry.
In a mean spirited version of Ashton Kuscher’s Punk’d, the CBC Marketplace program managed to entrap a few rednecks into purchasing “racist” T-shirts as if that proves how deeply racist Canadians are.
Remember, this isn’t Rick Mercer’s comedic Talking to Americans: this is a supposed “journalistic” exposé by CBC Marketplace apparently intended to prove just how racist white Canadians are. Instead, it is a cringe worthy hit piece that is laden with logical fallacies – or what is now referred to as “fake news”.
The CBC doesn’t understand the Internet
Early on, the CBC host introduces us to James, a media analyst, who claims a 600% year-over-year increase in the amount of “intolerant language” used by Canadians online. This includes hashtags and phrases such as #whitepower and “make America white again”.
The problem with this type of crude hashtag analysis is that it doesn’t take into account the sentiment of the writer. These racist hashtags are most often used as mockery and sarcasm. Consequently, some portion, perhaps even a large portion of this 600% increase in “intolerant language” could be attributed to the anti-Trump demographic rather than the racists that the CBC T-shirts are targeting.
A quick search on Twitter reveals that the racist hashtags highlighted in the Marketplace video are more often used in criticism, not in concordance. For example:
Clearly, most of these tweets are against Donald Trump and against the racist hashtags. Certainly Donald Trump is a polarizing figure. However, the “Trump Effect” induced “hate speech” as the CBC calls it, is mostly coming from a vehemently anti-Trump audience.
The fact is, that it has become quite fashionable and socially mandated to call Donald Trump and his supporters racists, Nazis, white supremacists, etc. The vitriol is more often coming from the media and privileged classes such as actors and musicians like Madonna who recently expressed that she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the white house” during her widely publicized profanity laced speech in Washington. Violent hate fantasies like that are only tolerated when it is anti-Trump/pro-leftist. The regressive leftists rhetoric makes the Tea Party seem rather tame by comparison (and this is only the first week under the Trump Administration).
Violation of the CBC mandate
The “social experiment” style of hijack journalism, even by the CBC, is unscientific, anecdotal, and designed to guarantee confirmation bias. It is for people with a partisan agenda, which the CBC clearly has.
According to the mandate of the CBC:
The mandate of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC/Radio Canada) is to inform, enlighten and entertain; to contribute to the development of a shared national consciousness and identity; to reflect the regional and cultural diversity of Canada; and to contribute to the development of Canadian talent and culture.
The “Trump Effect” exposé seems to violate this mandate:
- inform: the Marketplace program is described as “Canada’s consumer watchdog reveals what Canadians need to know to protect themselves, their families and money from slick scams and misleading marketing claims”. By plunging into divisive politics using dubious and misleading methods, Marketplace has strayed very far from its stated purpose.
- to contribute to the development of a shared national consciousness and identity: the CBC should bring Canadians together, not engage in divisive identity politics and race baiting that emphasizes divisions and provokes offense.
- to reflect the regional and cultural diversity of Canada: diversity includes the fact that there is a range of political opinion in this country. This includes those who disagree with many in the media and political classes about the need to blame all problems on the euro centric foundations of our country. For regressive leftists, such as many at the CBC, the dogma of diversity demands that we have contempt and hatred for the culture that is the most free, the most egalitarian, and the most successful.
If the mandate of the CBC was to promote angry division in the country, then the “Trump Effect” is a great piece of propaganda. Fortunately, this propaganda doesn’t represent most Canadians and this is reflected in the down votes on the video (more than 6x as of this writing).
If you feel that the CBC is not living up to its mandate with this divisive programming and in other ways, the best way to get your message across is to file a complaint with the CRTC and the CBC ombudsman:
- File a complain at the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission)