I read Chris Zelkovich's column in the Star yesterday and it gave me a chuckle, that's what happens sometimes when newspaper guys write about the electronic media.
Zelkovich has jumped on the anti-cheerleading bandwagon. He doesn't think CTV should be leading the charge for Canadian accomplishment in Vancouver, preferring the old CBC way of playing it more up the middle.
What Zelkovich overlooks is that CTV is in this thing to make money, or at least keep the red as modest as possible. And it seems to be working because ratings are through the roof.
Zelkovich complains about "relentless plugs for upcoming medal ceremonies, reports on the wild-and-crazy pro-Canada crowds and a slew of commercials boosting this nation's hopes."
He wonders at times if he's watching the Olympics or a Tourism Canada infomercial.
I don't see the big problem.
CTV is doing what any private broadcaster has to do. They're playing to their audience to get ratings and I'll repeat, ratings have never been better.
Zelkovich thinks Brian Williams spent too much time on Saturday night telling us about Jon Montgomery's upcoming gold medal presentation and he thinks Jamie Campbell spends too much time talking about Canadian athletes on the ski slopes.
Sorry Chris, but I like it. When I sit down in front of my TV, and I can speak for my wife as well on this point, I want a clear indication of what my Canadian brothers and sisters are up to. I would have been pissed if I had missed Montgomery's medal presentation.
Thanks to Williams, I didn't
During the Olympics, Canadians tend to care about Canadians and I don't know about you, but that seem to be the most asked question from people I'm around when an event is unfolding.
"Is there a Canadian in this?" Or, "how'd the Canadian do?" How dare CTV actually give the people what they want.
But here was the most bizarre comment in Zelkovich's column. "A foreigner watching Saturday night's broadcast on the main CTV network might have wondered, whatever happened to all those self-effacing Canadians who avoid overt displays of patriotism?"
Who gives a flyin' turd what foreigner s think of a Canadian broadcast meant to serve Canadians? It's got to be one of the most ridiculous observations about radio or TV that Zelkovich has ever made, and believe me, there have been a ton of them over the years.
If anyone at CTV designed the broadcast to serve "foreigners" they would have had their ass kicked out the door long before the games started.
Are there flaws in CTV's presentation? Of course, you can't design anything of this magnitude without having some problems, but for the most part, the network has done a solid job and I'll repeat it one more time, if it's so bad in the eyes of Zelkovich, why are people tuning-in in record numbers?
Actually Zelkovich had to eat it a bit today with his latest column.
At the end, newspaper guy says, "call me a dinosaur, but I prefer the old-fashioned quiet Canadian patriotism."
Yea, and given CTV's ratings, you also subscribe to the old fashioned Canadian way of criticising success.
One thing I will give Zelkovich however, is this - following Jon Montgomery's medal presentation on Saturday night, during an interview Michael Landsberg for some ridiculous reason asked Montgomery to sing a few bars of O' Canada.
Montgomery had sung the anthem loud and proud on the podium so Landsberg's request ruined the moment. It was awkward, uncomfortable and stupid.