Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Complaint Letter to CKNW

Dear Sirs,

I write today for two reasons. The first reason is to let you know that you have lost me as a listener -- I largely stopped listening to CKNW in September (excepting Chuck Adler and Roy Green -- although their time slots are not conducive to me listening very often, or usually for very long periods of time). The second reason is to lodge a complaint, over an incident today, which exemplifies the reason for my departure from your once fine radio station.

1. Signing Off. Let me preface this by stating that I am 38 years of age, and have been actively listening to CKNW since approximately 1991, essentially during my post secondary education years (B.A. Hons., UBC, 1993). I cut my talk radio teeth on the likes of Rafe Mair, Phillip Till, and many other fine hosts, and became a loyal listener of your station. I am the kind of listener I would think a radio station would want to keep. Over the past couple of years, however, I have been listening less, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I found the flavour of the daily weekday shows to have turned into vanilla bland events, which I can specifically trace back to the sacking of Rafe Mare a few years back. I didn't always agree with Mr. Mair, but he was a fair-minded host who did not shy away from honest debate. However, currently I simply can not be engaged by either Bill Good, or Christy Clark for any length of time. I loved Adler in the afternoons, but he was inexplicably moved out of the afternoon slot after only a brief period.

The second reason for my departure ties specifically into your host, Bill Good.

2. Lack of integrity and hypocrisy. For the most part, I have found Bill Good to be a plain vanilla, inoffensive, and generally uninteresting program host. The exception to this is his coverage of the theory of man made global warming (hereafter referred to as AGW), which is biased, hypocritical and often beyond the pale. My first experience with this was perhaps two or three years ago, when a caller was talking to Mr. Good and, quite politely I might add, suggested that Bill might want to invite Tim Ball on his program to discuss the skeptics' view of AGW. Before the caller could finish his point, Mr. Good cut him off, and tersely spat out, "TIM BALL IS NOT A CLIMATE CHANGE EXPERT!" Mr. Good's vitriolic response came out of left field and was completely unwarranted by the caller's tone or suggestion.

A similar event occurred today. I would not have heard it, but for its a mention on a prominent Canadian blog. I listened to the segment on your audio vault, and was dumbfounded by the bias and hypocrisy exhibited by Mr. Good. The hypocrisy was such that he maintains a standard for AGW skeptics he is prepared to have on his show that he does not maintain for AGW believers. Mr. Good stated, and I paraphrase, that he will only consider for his show AGW skeptics who are bona fide climatologists. Yet, his guest this morning, Guy Dauncey, himself is not a climatologist, but was provided the whole hour to present his case in support of AGW theory (one wonders if the irony is lost on Mr. Good). And, while not stated, Mr. Good implied that finding such an animal (both climatologist, and AGW skeptic) was nigh impossible. Indeed, a two minute Google search yielded the name Dr. John Christy, AGW skeptic, and holder of a PhD in atmospheric sciences (of which climatology is an aspect). In fact, there are hundreds of experts in the field who do not support the current alarmist view of AGW.

As for bias, Mr. Good has the right to maintain editorial content over his program. This I do not dispute. But to completely, and deliberately exclude the other side of the debate is beyond the pale. And, accepting a few calls, limited to a minute or two at most, from AGW skeptics is not providing acceptable balance. Furthermore, Mr. Good likened skepticism of AGW with believers of a flat Earth. How insulting. Insulting people like me, who are at least as informed as Mr. Good on the subject, is simply icing on the cake. Mr. Good could take some lessons from other radio hosts, for example, Roy Green and Chuck Adler, who are AGW skeptics. Neither shuns AGW believers, who are welcomed on their show. Sure, the guests may get a rough ride, but it's always respectful, and the audience can make up their own mind. Mr. Good, on the other hand, is content to simply shut out the other side, and dismiss them as "Flat Earthers." I personally find it offensive that Mr. Good takes it upon himself to (attempt to) make up my mind for me. Contrary to the alarmist dogma, the science is not settled. Shutting down debate has only shut me down as a listener, and I would hope, most other fair minded people would respond the same way.

So, today's foray into CKNW's audio vault has re-confirmed my decision to leave CKNW, made about two months ago. This is on the heels of my tuning out of Canadian television news media (CTV, CBC, et. al.) about 18 months ago. I now tune into your competition out of Bellingham, Washington (AM 790).


A disappointed former listener,
Colin Gartner
Mission, BC

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