Twitter / MelissaBachman
Watching the news in this year's last trimester, you got the sense the world was going down in flames. Terrorism, mass-shootings, ludicrous presidential candidates, diplomatic malaise. The aftermath of some of these ailments gave way to memorable television moments. Here, some of my most noteworthy television moments for 2015.
Her name's Melissa Bachman. She kills wild animals on American TV for a living. Sometimes with a rifle, sometimes with bow and arrow. Then she killed a full-maned male lion, and posted a picture of herself, cradling her rifle, laughing triumphantly, while the once-magnificent lion sprawled dead at her feet. And all hell broke loose.
You can't watch the police riot at the G20 summit or the killing of Sammy Yatim in the bus on all those smartphones and surveillance cameras without believing that maybe, just maybe, the era of the thin blue line endlessly protecting its own might be ending. Not because the cops have cleaned up their act. But because now they're being watched.
So what's all this fuss the lefties are making about Prime Minister Harper trying to keep track of costs at the CBC by writing a few words into the back of his omnibus budget, Bill C-60? But what's the difference between a public broadcaster and a state broadcaster? I've worked for both. So I can tell you what's the difference.
During his first debate with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama seldom looked directly at Romney. He seldom contradicted Romney. He never raised his voice to Romney. He never really challenged Romney. So what happens in the second U.S. presidential debate? OBAMA GETS HIS MOJO BACK!!! He came out bristling for a fight. This time Obama's in charge. He dominates the fight, provides the drive, the passion. This time, no deference.
Well the first debate is in the books. And I'm using the term "debate" rather loosely here. Election season brings forth probably the best reality television there is for me -- though last night was sorely lacking. Thankfully, Twitter kept it highly entertaining because if it weren't for Twitter I, along with Jim Lehrer, would have nodded off 10 minutes in.
Most newspaper journalists aren't overly-fond of their publishers. Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger who was publisher of the estimable New York Times was always a splendid exception. In fact, he put his own freedom, and his newspaper's very existence, on the line because he believed absolutely in the public's right to know. Punch Sulzberger died Saturday and got a send-off few publishers anywhere have ever earned.
By now, you know most of the gory details of the damage. Ten per cent cut to the CBC. Blood on the floor. From some, wails of anguish. From others, roars of applause. The time of the great networks is over. The Internet and social media have won. But old media can save itself through storytelling.
The War of 1812 presentation is a painless history lesson that changed the direction of both Canada and the U.S -- and was completely unnecessary. As one soldier of 1812 laments, it pitted people of the same background against one another. For what? No one is sure.