CBC should have left State of the Union to U.S. networks

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
February 6, 2019 - 5:07am Updated: February 6, 2019 - 3:18pm

KAMLOOPS — THAT’S TWO HOURS we’ll never get back.

Did you watch the State of the Union address last night? If you were tuned in to CBC News Network, you had to.

Donald Trump spent most of it bragging about what he’s done for the American economy and urging everybody to work together. “Tonight I ask you to choose greatness,” he said, then got a quick shot in against what he called “ridiculous partisan investigations.”

And, of course, there was The Wall. “I will get it built,” he declared.

After each sentence, either the Republicans or the Democrats stood to applaud, depending on who agreed with him.

And we Canadians watched, and afterwards we watched Stacey Abrams, a former candidate for governor in Georgia, respond on behalf of the Democrats.

Why? Because CBC News Network deemed it more important than Canadian or international news, and gave it full coverage from start to finish.

Trump never even mentioned Canada, though he did refer to NAFTA in passing. He also ranted against the threat of socialism, an evil he promised would never befall America on his watch.

His speech writers tried to make him sound presidential, putting words in his mouth such as “We must set our sights on the brightest star” and “we must go forward together” and “we must choose between greatness and gridlock.”

But Donald Trump is no John Kennedy, nor Martin Luther King, nor Franklin D. Roosevelt and certainly not Winston Churchill. Trump could make “I have a dream” and “we’ll fight them on the beaches” sound dull.

Time to declare independence from our fixation with American politics and focus on a few things here at home. Please, CBC, don’t ever do that again.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.