Canadians have a friend in CBC columnist Heather Mallick -- even if they don't know it: Her latest column for the Ceeb's Web site is so appalling that it might finally convince whoever is elected on Oct. 14 to clean house at 25 John Street.
A subtle, pervasive leftwing tilt in news coverage is one thing -- CBC viewers and listeners are used to that. But over-the-top, hateful anti-American speech, coming on top of Neil Macdonald's disgraceful spouting of debunked Sarah Palin conspiracy theories on The National last week, is another. The only advantages the taxpayer-funded CBC has in today's crowded media market are professionalism and staid credibility. Yet Macdonald and Mallick are turning the broadcaster into just another left-wing blog. Why, exactly, should Canadians be paying $1-billion for agitprop they can get from DailyKos.com or Rabble.ca?
Mallick's column -- "A mighty wind blows through Republ ican convention" -- advances two theses: (1) That John McCain's selection of 44-year-old Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his VP nominee was a crass gesture meant to appease the party's "rural," "unlettered" "white trash" base; and (2) that Palin herself is a tacky, badly dressed redneck who looks like a "porn actress."
Then comes the coup de grace -- Mallick's assault on Palin's family: "[17-year-old] Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the 'pramface.' Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family-obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting. What normal father would want Levi 'I'm a f--kin' redneck' Johnson prodding his daughter?"
Note well (as if you could miss it) Mallick's childish vulgarity, as well as her creepy allusions to the mechanics of teen sex. Also note the hypocrisy that attends Mallick -- a self-professed feminist and socialist -- as she dissects the appearance of Sarah Palin with the sort of predatory salaciousness that would make a frat boy blush; and then mocks Palin's unionized working-class husband as unfit for dinner-party society. Can someone please tell me why editors at the CBC would see fit to post this hateful speech on their Web site?
Mallick used to be someone in this business. She had a column in The Globe & Mail in which her playfully contradictory shtick was combining radical anti-American leftism with self-indulgent consumerism. But she flamed out from that gig (after writing a juvenile e-mail message mocking her boss), authored a book so poisonously anti-American that even the Toronto Star panned it and finally wound up with a last-chance gig on the CBC's Web site. Now she seems intent on blowing that, too.
As a stylist, Mallick is usually decent. But her content is haunted by hateful hang-ups about Americans, country-dwellers and the political right. Some of her obsessions are downright weird -- such as her prurient insistence that male conservatives embrace bad policy because they are impotent and horny. At a recent University of Toronto conference on abortion, I heard Mallick tell an audience that old men opposed abortion because they had a sexual need to "control" lithe young bodies. And so it didn't surprise me to see her casually describe Republican men as "sexual inadequates" in the first sentence of her Palin article.
Of course, Mallick should be at liberty to spout such nonsense: All speech -- including hate speech -- should be free. But Canadian taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize it.
Mallick's column is now making the rounds of the American blogs. What happens, I wonder, when Palin becomes VP (as the latest polls suggest she will) and Washington correspondent Neil Macdonald comes knocking to get White House access? Do you think it will help or hinder his chances that his network ran a column claiming the country's second-in-command looked like a woman paid to have sex on camera -- or that he himself spent five minutes on The National accusing that same VP of engaging in a massive conspiracy to claim her grandchild as her own? Will it help U. S.-Canadian relations that both of these unhinged smears were created and spread by a "national broadcaster" that operates at taxpayer expense?
The folks at the CBC might want to take care of their credibility problem before it's too late. Otherwise, I suspect, the next government will take care of it for them.
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