At Issue: Staying Awake

Nothing on the telly last night, so I casually switched to CBC’s The National for masochistic kicks. I tuned in during the “At Issue” panel, which the CBC calls “Canada’s most watched political panel,” which after only a few minutes of observation led me to conclude that it’s Canada’s “only” political panel.

The term "watched" is also suspect.

The term “watched” is also suspect.

Feast your eyes on this riveting display of punditric power (which, apparently, won’t embed in this WordPress app).

For the viewing-impaired or MotherCorpophobic, the panel features four “opinion makers” agreeing with each other while the ponderous Peter Mansbridge solemnly posits mumbled queries in the manner of an Oxford don, albeit not as electrifying.

Wouldn’t it be a lot more interesting if there was, you know, a variety of opinion on this opinion panel? Even the token “conservative” here is arguing for cap-and-trade on carbon. Say what you want about Sun News, but those low-budget personalities are at least interesting and, I might add, not afraid to debate with those with opposing viewpoints.

Next up on the Sun News Network

“Next up on the Sun News Network …”

The only saving grace on The National is, of course, Rex Murphy, who actually has an opinion and isn’t afraid of sharing it, as last night’s performance shows.

In three minutes, Murphy made a stirring argument highlighting the general permeance of the papacy and Christianity in Western civilization, and offered up a swift rebuke to those who would rather mock the institution and its associated beliefs because these do not conform to the supposed modern mindset. Though he didn’t mention the recent controversial remarks from Thomas Mulcair on the suitability of an evangelical Christian charity doing work in Africa, Murphy provided an indirect response on a intellectual and philosophical level by illustrating the enduring depth and cultural resonance of Christianity in our society.

So there.

So there.

Murphy doesn’t seek to conform (he once defended the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming to a lunch with the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists I attended), and as such provides an almost singular point of opinionated illumination on the dark, drab CBC.

Why some of the $1.2 billion in annual taxpayer dollars can’t be used to find more than two individuals who thwart the official party line is beyond me.

Though not for a lack of trying

Though not for a lack of trying

Still, there’s no reason for me to turn back to The National any time soon. I get my news from a multitude of varied sources who are, at the least, moderately interesting. I don’t have to agree with everything my news offers, but I want to be challenged.

And, no, the challenge of staying awake during The National isn’t enough.

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