PHOTOS: BBC listeners, suitably equipped because they think they’re listening to Ezra Levant, tune into my words of wisdom from Canada. Actual 21st Century “media consumers” may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The weather in Britain … way better than here in Alberta … and a small digital bit of post-media cultural ephemera.
What blogger could be offended by a call from the BBC World Service to offer up his opinions on the issues of the day?
Certainly not this one, even if the timing of the interview, 9:15 p.m. in Edmonton, should have been a tip-off. We are talking about 4:15 a.m. in London, so not exactly the morning drive show, if you know what I mean. But – hey! – the BBC has a lot of listeners and as they used to say about the need for the sun to be over the yardarm before one could satisfy one’s need for refreshment, it’s always morning drive time somewhere!
I mention this only because I’m too tired to write the serious piece about Alberta labour law and the Parkland Institute I’d been hoping to do, plus my last morning drive show interview on CBC Edmonton AM went over pretty well. But that was about the St. Albert city councillor who threatened to cut the public library’s budget by $100 every time some citizen emailed him to ask for a new branch library, and with material that good, how could anyone go wrong? I mean, seriously?
Plus, the BBC had interviewed me once before when I was apparently the only commentator writing in the English language who had noticed on a big WWII anniversary that Russia had actually played a fairly large role in that war … who knew? … which seems for some reason to be no longer part of the official Western media narrative.
Still, the topic last night was an important one – what Canadians think of yesterday’s federal government announcement on the timing and mechanics of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada – and it didn’t occur to me to wonder why the BBC wanted to talk to a blogger in Alberta, of all places.
Anyway, I was checked out at some length yesterday morning by an extremely professional BBC producer, who in addition to expressing his deep sympathies about the weather out here, presumably passed on some kind of note about what I was likely to say. Apparently, however, the presenter did not, as we say in Canada, get the memo.
At any rate, he introduced me, the blogger from Alberta, Canada, and promptly asked me to explain why I was so extremely unhappy about the government’s decision to bring refugees to this country?
But I’m not unhappy about it, I exclaimed. Quite the contrary, indeed, I cheerfully explained. We’ve done it before in Canada – we’re historically a very generous country – and it’s worked out very well for us.
A brief moment of stunned silence emanated from the further side of the Atlantic.
“It said ‘blogger’ here,” the presenter finally said, rather stiffly, I thought, revealing in a few words what has become of the media in the 21st Century. “I simply assumed…”
Don’t hold me to these quotes, by the way. The paraphrase is accurate enough, though, even if the words are not precisely verbatim.
The horrifying explanation for the call to a blogger in Alberta, of all people in all places, then dawned on me as the presenter plummily thanked me for my contribution and swiftly disconnected: They must have mistaken for another Alberta blogger who doesn’t have very many readers and isn’t taken very seriously by anyone.
In other words … They must’ve thought I was Ezra Levant!
Good Lord! If only I’d realized in time. Can you imagine the fun I could have had?
This post also appears on Rabble.ca.