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CBC’s president is detached from Canadians and the reality they live

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Tait fundamentally doesn’t understand Canada outside of her well-heeled bubble

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At the same time as Canadians were finding out about the 800 job cuts coming to CBC, they were also finding out how out of touch CBC’s president really is.

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Catherine Tait made some tone-deaf comments while appearing on The Paul Wells Show podcast that was released at the same time the job cuts were confirmed.

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Wells noted in his podcast that Tait’s office had reached out to him last month to ask to appear but then insisted that he not release the episode until this week. Given her opening comments, it wasn’t the best PR advice.

“I remember exactly where I was,” Tait said when Wells asked her where she was and who told her that she would be getting the top job at CBC.

“I had treated myself to a Four Seasons Hotel stay in Los Angeles.”

The iconic Four Seasons Hotel brand is a symbol of opulence, of luxury. The hotel’s website describes their Los Angeles location as an urban oasis.

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“When you’re not out roaming the Hollywood Hills, shopping on Rodeo Drive and exploring our city’s notable art museums, settle in and unwind at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills,” the website states.

Not exactly the image you want to give off when you are announcing that 800 positions will be cut and 600 of the workers you are in charge of will lose their jobs — but that wasn’t the worst of it.

Tait showed that she just doesn’t understand Canada and why so many have turned against CBC.

Wells asked her if she regretted naming Pierre Poilievre when speaking out against his campaign to defund CBC.

“I understand that my remarks may have caused trouble for some of the journalists who have struggled to get access to this leader and others in the party and I regret that, of course,” Tait said.

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“Do I regret calling out the wrong of defunding the public broadcaster campaign? Absolutely not.”

Then, Tait showed her tone deaf side once again, explaining how she doesn’t understand how anyone could support defunding CBC and citing polarization.

“I cannot believe that in a world where polarization, where disconnection, where people are not convening in the public square anymore and civil discourse, that this would even be an option,” she said.

That Tait doesn’t understand that this position is an option for some people shows the disconnect between her and her organization and the Canadian public. There is a significant portion of the Canadian public who do not feel that they are welcomed in CBC’s corner of the public square, that CBC is fair to them, or that CBC reflects their view of Canada.

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CBC is part of the problem of polarization and disconnection because of how they present the news in this country. Whether it is partisan or simply cultural, CBC reflects an urban, progressive viewpoint more in line with the NDP and the left wing of the federal Liberal Party, and views Conservatives, especially those from Western Canada, with suspicion.

Has Tait even looked at the polling on this?

A poll by the Angus Reid Institute earlier this year showed that 36% agreed with the statement “The government should completely defund the CBC.” Those opposed to the statement stood at just 47%, with 17% saying they didn’t know.

Among Conservative voters, the people who don’t feel welcomed by CBC, 72% said they supported defunding all of CBC including 51% who strongly agreed with that statement. That so many conservative-leaning Canadians feel this way is a failure of CBC to properly reflect and represent the country.

Maybe if Tait spent more time in Medicine Hat instead of the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, she would understand that.

blilley@postmedia.com

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