Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Canada's Chief Television Regulator Doesn't Like Television?

Denis McGrath who writes TV and about TV is concerned. Apparently he doesn't think that it's a good sign that the Michel Arpin, Vice Chair for Broadcasting of the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commision (Head TV guy at the CRTC) doesn't like television.
"Arpin: I'm a news and documentary consumer. I'm not that interested in televised fiction or even feature films. I would prefer to read a novel.
It doesn't really mean that he doesn't like television. I'm a bit of a news junkie myself and read far more than I watch TV, but then I'm not the chief regulator of television in this country.

There is some talk at Complications Ensue: The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog about going all Yan Martel on his ass - sending him entire series of Canadian programs on DVD. I have doubts though that if he would watch them if he doesn't like television (just like I suspect that Mr. Harper hasn't read any of the books sent to him).

I don't think that this job requires that Mr. Arpin be an advocate. However there are few enough original Canadian series produced that he should at least not dislike television. If only he'd said "I don't like reality television" then we'd be in business.


Dwight Williams said...

This is indeed troubling.

However, I think that Alex and Denis have, between them, worked out a good plan for providing a remedy to this particular affliction and its notable aflictee. Might I suggest that they run with it, and we'll see how it works out over the next twelve months?

DMc said...

Justin thanks for the link. However, the point of the full piece isn't necessarily that he should like television; it's more evidence of an ongoing pattern of behavior by Mr. Arpin where he shows open contempt for anyone who makes, likes, or wants to talk about Canadian television.

In this case, his sentiments aren't as important as the casual disregard and arrogance that leads him to feel he can make those statements without consequence. He's a mandarin, he's untouchable: and we all must listen to him. The other way round? Not unless you happen to own a TV network.

Justin Beach said...

Frightening, but pretty much in keeping with Harper's approach to culture. It's also very short sighted considering that (I believe) in 10-15 years "Owning a TV Network" won't mean anything more than "Have a really good, reliable internet connection and some content" - http://www.publicbroadcasting.ca/2009/01/convergence-complete-internet-coming-to.html

Dwight Williams said...

Disturbing in any case.