Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I'd like you to clear something up for me. Is Michael Hlinka a brilliant Swiftian satire of self-righteous college Republican idiocy, or is he actually as stupid as his radio column would suggest?
The net result of his diatribe this morning attacking the NDP's proposal to curtail exhorbidant ATM fees charged by banks as being "against freedom" is this:
1) I hadn't heard of this idea, now I have, and
2) I think it's fantastic. Go NDP.
The language he used was notably dimwitted. His 'gotcha' moment was when he said that you wouldn't pass a law preventing pizza places from charging a delivery fee because there'd be no more pizza places. There are two notable problems with this:
1) If ATMs didn't charge fees for withdrawals over $20 like pizza places offer free delivery for orders over $20 he might have a better analogy, and
2) If I could call up the Royal Bank and say "hey, send a guy over with $200 in cash, k'thanks" I would absolutely pay a delivery fee for this service. Banks don't do this. Michael Hlinkka is an idiot.
My other real problem with this radio column was that it was written specifically to attack, in blatant terms, a proposal by one political party. One line, and I'm quoting, is "and speaking of losers, that's a nice segue back to Jack Layton, Judy Wasylycia-Leis and the Canadian people". Hurling insults at a political party on free air time provided by Canada's public broadcaster is grounds for a CRTC complaint.
Which CBC VP felt that our morning show needed this childish form of balance, anyway? Who exactly was it that thought that the road to success in broadcasting in canada was to emulate John Stossel and his crusade to protect entrenched corporate power?
Someone's been ego surfing.