OTTAWA — CBC programming is decidedly anti-American, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
A cable from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to officials in Washington says CBC, "the state-owned” broadcaster, "has long gone to great pains to highlight the distinction between Americans and Canadians.”
The diplomatic note goes on to say "the level of anti-American melodrama” reached new heights with the launch of the show The Border.
The Border, which launched in January 2008, was billed as a show about the fight against criminals and terrorists at the Canada-U.S. border.
But American officials viewed the show differently. They called the show Canada’s answer to 24 without "that Sutherland guy” and felt the CBC was pushing a storyline that the real fight was with shadowy Americans working with the CIA.
"Many of the immigration team’s battles end up being with U.S. government officials, often in tandem with the CIA-colluding Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS),” the cable reads.
The cable lays out several plot lines that portray Americans as arrogant, overbearing and generally not concerned with respecting Canadian sovereignty.
In one episode, an American official calls in a U.S. air strike to take out terrorists whose plane had crashed in Quebec, but the plane is actually an American "black-ops” plane taking Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Syria for torture.
“The degree of comfort with which Canadian broadcast entities, including those financed by Canadian tax dollars, twist current events to feed longstanding negative images of the U.S. — and the extent to which the Canadian public seems willing to indulge in the feast — is noteworthy as an indication of the kind of insidious negative popular stereotyping we are increasingly up against in Canada,” the cable said.
CBC cancelled The Border earlier this year.
The cable cites several other CBC shows as examples of anti-Americanism, including Little Mosque on the Prairie and a miniseries called H20.
Other cables released involving Canada dealt with U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Ottawa in February 2009.
The embassy in Ottawa told Washington that having Obama visit Canada so early in his presidency would “do much to diminish — temporarily, at least — Canada’s habitual inferiority complex vis-à-vis the U.S. and its chronic but accurate complaint that the U.S. pays far less attention to Canada than Canada does to us.”
Another cable sent during Canada’s 2008 federal election called the U.S. “the proverbial 900-pound gorilla in the midst of the Canadian federal election.”