Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maclean’s is the real threat

Having just heard from newly-neocon Maclean’s magazine that they are declining to publish my response to a particularly execrable opinion piece by Andrew Coyne, I suppose I will have to publish it myself. Thanks heavens for the blogosphere. Now, will anyone notice?

Dear Editor,

Andrew Coyne sets up a classic false dichotomy in arguing against broadcasting regulation in the age of the Internet. ("The CRTC isn’t just a nuisance now, it’s a real threat," Feb. 25.) By framing the "conundrum at the heart of CanCon" as between two alternatives only – "was it about art, or was it about politics?" – he conveniently omits a third possibility that better justifies what he would remove. Canadian content regulations have always been more about preserving our culture, which is continuously at risk of being drowned out by the cacaphonous American media machine next door. Of course Canadians have no valid claim to producing better art than anyone else, but we do by definition produce better Canadian culture. Or, at least, we will as long as Canadian artists are allowed to flourish without being subjected to the type of deregulation Coyne urges. As for his contention that politics are behind CanCon, Coyne might be right. The
historical motive he ascribes to Canadian artists – "to instill the proper feelings of loyalty to the Canadian nation-state in its citizens . . . because that was where the money was" – is cynical in the extreme, however.

Marc Edge
Department of Mass Communication
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas

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