Is Canuck pubcaster CBC a hotbed of anti-Americanism?
In another diplomatic controversy stirred up by recently released WikiLeaks documents, that appears to be the view of at least one official at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. The official sent a cable to his superiors in Washington in 2008 blasting the CBC for its negative portrayals of Americans.
“The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) has long gone to great pains to highlight the distinction between Americans and Canadians in its programming, generally at our expense,” writes the official.
The document singles out the CBC drama “The Border,” a since-cancelled series about a Canadian border security force that featured storylines about CIA flights over Canada, U.S. schemes to steal Canadian water, “the Guantanamo-Syria express” and F-16s flying in for bombing runs in Quebec to kill escaped terrorists.
The memo goes on to suggest CBC shows “twist current events to feed long-standing negative images of the U.S.”
It even accuses mild-mannered CBC sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” of anti-Americanism.
CBC spokesman Jeff Keay begged to differ, saying CBC shows do not attack Americans.
“Plotlines from ‘The Border’ were drawn from real life, but the U.S. was not singled out, as there were lots of villains to go around, including Canadian ones,” says Keay. “There were also American ‘good guys’ represented. ‘Little Mosque’ has always been a gentle comedy which specifically makes fun of all kinds of stereotypes; Americans are not singled out. I would add that both programs have experienced strong sales in the United States.”