Tuesday, January 9, 2007

CBC Radio's Bad Taste

I normally like CBC Radio One, even more than CBC Television. Their newscasts tend to provide a lot more context on news issues than their boob tube counterparts. However, in reporting one particular story this morning, the scribes crossed the line of what's appropriate for morning radio.

Now, don't misunderstand me ... I'm all for free speech and a free press. But it's morning drive time and kids are often listening as their parents drive them to school. Or they may be listening to the radio themselves. So how to explain this:

First, in reporting on the birth of sextuplets in Vancouver -- a Canadian first -- the reporters relayed the parents are Jehovah's Witnesses. How that is in any way relevant to a medical marvel is beyond me. People of most if not all religions use fertility treatments -- even quite a few of my fellow Roman Catholics notwithstanding the Vatican's opposition to nearly all of them.

But then in the very next report, they began by mentioning the world's first IVF baby (Louise Brown) then did a 180 turn and changed the subject; talking about other parents faced with multiple birth situations (usually the result of fertility drugs), say five or more unborn children; and how many feel compelled to resort to "selective termination" to cut the number of fetuses down to just two in the interests of promoting normal childhood development -- even describing the drug typically used to achieve this particular form of abortion which just happens to also be one of the drugs used in a lethal injection.

This is not the place to reopen the abortion question -- I've addressed how I feel about it in the past (both personally and as a matter of public policy), although my views have shifted somewhat since then and I'll opine about in a future post. My question for now instead is this: Aren't there other shows on Radio One where this is a more appropriate forum for discussion -- such as The Current (when most kids are in school) or Ideas (in prime time)? And can we keep the religion out of it too? I don't mind the issue being raised, I only mind the timing.

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1 comment:

bogblog said...

The fact that the parents are Jehovah's Witness is of interest when children are at medical risk. Normally they refuse the use of blood products and that could be an issue with preemies.