Columnists are paid to be controversial, so it should not have surprised me to read Globe and Mail columnist Russell Smith praising the announcer-free-all-CDs-all-the-time programming playing on CBC Radio Two during the current lockout of CBC and Radio Canada workers.
But as the spouse of someone who works hard as a producer at CBC when there isn't a management-imposed lockout (maybe I'm a bit biased), I was both annoyed and a bit offended. He came off as an arrogant turd making a snide point about radio programming at the expense of all the people who are walking a picket line. They are off the air because they were locked out about a minute and a half after management was legally allowed to close the doors to employees.
In today's Globe, Smith reiterated his contention (paid sub. required after 7-10 days) about the programming direction Radio Two should take, but also apologized for appearing insensitive to locked-out workers:
"So, to those people I offended who make intelligent radio and television, and who are now in the unenviable position of being without an income, I apologize."
Damn straight. I don't think journalists have to spout the union line in this dispute, but the CBC staff rightly feel defensive when columnists take potshots at:
- the institution the employees have devoted their careers to, and
- the employees' role in the dispute.
Smith doesn't have to apologize about his programming preferences, but I appreciated his apology for appearing to be insensitive to all the CBC types who are involuntarily off the job.