Recently, my wife and I went to a department back-to-school party in the states, and had a lovely time. It's always funny to me to listen to Americans meeting Claire because they tend to speak very highly of Canada, perhaps a bit more than is really necessary. I don't think they're being insincere, mind you; I just find that Americans, particularly liberals, tend to romanticize Canada a bit. In response, Canadians tend to complain about the weather in Canada, to knock themselves down a peg. It's very bizarre.
Anyway, they were telling her that they love to watch the Canadian news because they think it's much better than the American newscasts. "Oh, it's much more intelligent and informative!" they claimed. I have to take their word for it, since I don't really watch the CBC too often, and otherwise, we just get CNN and CNBC, which are pretty dire. Besides, the CBC is the state-funded newscast, which would seem to raise questions of its own. And, to give you some idea what an avid television watcher I'm not, I don't actually know what the other local stations are. So, mostly I took what they were saying with a large grain of salt.
The other day, thinking of what they'd said, I decided to do an experiment. I watched a half-hour of news on the CBC: they were discussing the serious military battles going on in Pakistan with a Pakistani diplomat, followed by a discussion of what the West should do in Afghanistan with a scholar on the region. I then turned to CNN and watched for about twenty minutes: they were talking about some little brat in a balloon. This had turned out to be a publicity stunt, that they had passed along uncritically, and they were now asking if the parents should be held accountable for something or other.
I think I sort of see what the people in my department were talking about.