Many of CBC news stories on the trial of Robert William Pickton begin with the following warning: “The following story contains language and descriptions that may be offensive to some listeners.”
When I hear this, I am always left wondering just who might not be offended by the graphic and bloody details of this saga.
After listening to CBC’s latest story on the trial of the pig farmer charged with murdering 26 Vancouver-area women, I had these thoughts.
But first, I feel obliged to warn you that what you are about to read contains graphic and harsh language and may be offensive to some readers, especially those readers who balk at the notions of direct action, civil disobedience, protest and boycott.
So here we go.
Corporate executives and other in-house idiots at CBC should be hung out to dry for the sensational way they have chosen to grab the attention of their listeners.
The writers and thin-brained announcers who read this drivel should be chained to the rafters upside down in the hopes that some sort of sensibility — we would dare hope for some compassion — drain down into the brain.
But since there is as little chance of that happening in my lifetime as there is of Pickton being innocent — I would encourage (and I am about to use the “B” word here) Canadians to boycott CBC until further notice.
I would also think (and I am about to use the “D” word here) it would be useful to demonstrate in front of your local radio station as yet another way to call attention to needless sensationalism.
Radio, it seems, has chosen to go the way of television. Radio big-wigs have decided that by detailing for its listeners the macabre details of murder, mayhem and dismemberment of disenfranchised women, listeners will tune in and ratings will rise.
I have reached my limit.
So here is my plan.
Today, June 29, I will officially turn off CBC radio as my way of having a voice. Perhaps I can make a difference toward bringing it to its senses.
I of course know what this means. I will be doing without the CBC programming which is intelligent, creative and well produced: The House, Writers and Company, Tapestry, Massey Lectures, Global Village and Jonathan Goldstein’s witty 30 minutes of Wiretap.
This is the price I will have to pay to boycott the station and I am willing to pay the price.
So in the great spirit of the 1960s — turn on and tune in — I now add turn off. In solidarity with the women Pickton has confessed to slaughtering, and in support of their families, my radio goes silent.
Now the big question: How long do I continue my boycott?
What do you think? Is 30 days long enough? Sixty perhaps?
Let’s begin with 30.
OK! I’ve got my calendar out now. On July 28, I turn it back on.
Many readers must now be thinking to themselves, what good can come from one individual boycotting CBC? Will it really change anything?
Maybe, if a few others join me, but even then, maybe not.
The point is I will feel good about exercising the power I do have. I can chose to listen or I can pull the plug. No one is forcing me to listen to witness after witness describe the horror we humans are capable of inflicting on one another.
Jurors, on the other hand, have no choice. During opening remarks, Justice James Williams stated that evidence at the trial will be “graphic and distressing.”
Williams went on to say, “I think this trial may expose jurors to evidence that will be as bad as a horror movie, and you won’t have the option of shutting off the TV.”
But I am not on this jury. I cannot decide the fate of Pickton. That responsibility is left with the jury and to the jury alone.
Given this fact, all that I need to know as an informed citizen is the final verdict: guilty as charged or not guilty.
What I can speak to is the outlandish way CBC is treating this case. And I do have the option of shutting off the TV and the radio. Today I choose this option. I would encourage others to join me for a radio-free month.
I encourage you to join me in taking control of what you see and hear. We have the option.
And while we can debate the right of CBC to broadcast what it sees fit, we have the right — some might say the responsibility — to take things into our own hands.
Today the boycott begins.