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Politics and its Discontents: Mansbridge Revisited

The other day I posted a report on Peter Mansbridge speaking out against cuts to the CBC and the unprecedented secrecy that pervades public institutions under the current federal government. I gave some praise to the broadcaster for finally speaking out about important issues that potentially affect all of us.

My friend Dave, from Winnipeg, sent me an email last night that offers a different perspective on Mr. Mansbridge’s foray into important commentary. With his permission, I am posting it below:

Hi Lorne,

Caught your blog piece about the recent conference in Winnipeg. While the theme was important and more (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Peter Mansbridge Speaks Out

Readers of this blog will know that I am a frequent critic of both the CBC and Peter Mansbridge. Both ‘institutions,’ in my view, often fail to live up to the standards ethical and brave journalism demands. They have been far too passive, even complicit in, the Harper regime’s scorn for the so-called ‘state-broadcaster.’ And of course this disdain has culminated in a series of deep and devastating funding cuts to the CBC that threaten the very nature of its existence.

A new dynamic is perhaps now at work. Stung by the latest cuts, have both the corporation and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The CBC Ombudsman Makes Her Ruling

As reported by Andrew Mitrovica on iPolitiics, the CBC ombudsman, Esther Enkin, has finally reached her decision on the many conflict of interest complaints lodged against Rex Murphy and Peter Mansbridge.

Briefly, here is what she said:

“Given that Journalistic Standards and Practices spells out a commitment to independence, and the Conflict of Interest guidelines encompass perception of conflict as well, it is inconsistent with policy when CBC news and current affairs staff accept payment from groups that are likely to be in the news.

She has a somewhat timid suggestion for CBC management:

“But since taking money leads (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: CBC’s The Current: The Ethics Of Journalists And Paid Speaking Engagements

While I and others have written about Rex Murphy’s close relationship to the oil industry, a relationship that appears to be in direct conflict with his position at the CBC, Peter Mansbridge has also been embroiled in controversy recently because of a speech he give to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Indeed, and somewhat parenthetically, The Star’s Heather Mallick has a blistering assessment today of Peter’s moonlighting activities.

So what constitutes proper and improper speechifying? Yesterday on CBC’s The Current, a good debate, guest-hosted by Jeffrey Kaufman, took place. Kaufman, a former Canadian journalist now working in (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Last Night’s At Issue Panel

The comments of guest panelist Althia Raj, from The Huffington Post, are worth the price of admission here as she declares, in no uncertain terms, that The Fair Elections Act is legislation aimed at voter suppression. In reaction, the attempt at stoicism by Peter Mansbridge, currently embroiled in his own controversy, is also noteworthy, in my view. The fun begins at about the 12:30 mark:

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Alberta Diary: Revelation CAPP paid Mansbridge, defender of Murphy’s speaking fees, brings simmering controversy back to boil

CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge, back in the day before he could seriously contemplate receiving a $28,000 speaking fee just for flapping his gums over dinner. (Photo found on the Internet.) Below: Similarly compensated CBC commentator Rex Murphy, presumably at about the same moment in history. Below that: Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith’s enthusiastic review of Mr. Murphy’s remarks to an oil industry audience and a shot Mr. Mansbridge’s appearance before CAPP from the group’s Facebook page.

There he is, not quite as large as life and rather blurry, but nevertheless front and centre on the Facebook page of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Future bleak for Brent Rathgeber’s CBC disclosure bill; perhaps less so for Rex Murphy’s commentaries

Your blogger with CBC commentator Rex Murphy, quite possibly on his way to a speaking engagement with the oil industry. Below: the same blogger with Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, who has a date with history next week; the controversial Press Progress Rex Murphy info-graphic.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

MP Brent Rathgeber’s private member’s bill, the CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act, is scheduled to be back before the denizens of the House of Commons on Wednesday night.

Bill C-461 has no chance of passing in the form the Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament desires for (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: At Issue: Harper’s Obfuscation

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers the following definition of obfuscate: to make obscure; to confuse. As an intransitive verb, it means to be evasive, unclear, or confusing.

I suspect that those engaged citizens following the details of the Senate scandal that continues to dog the Prime Minister and shows no sign of abatement would agree that both forms of the verb apply to the sad Nixonian performance of Stephen Harper and his operatives. During both Parliament’s Question Period and TV interviews with the likes of his Parliamentary Secretary, Paul Calandra, the refrain is always the same: “I told Mr. Duffy (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Christmas presents for politicos: Joe Clark and Brad Lavigne launch new books in Edmonton

TweetThe Christmas season is nearly upon us, and what better time than the present to purchase some new reading material for a political junkie or policy wonk dear to your heart. Authors of two new books about Canadian politics will be speaking about their new books and signing copies in Edmonton in the coming weeks. […]

somecanuckchick dot com: Senator Wallin seriously contradicts Wright-Duffy timeline…

Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Senator Pamela Wallin aired the evening of Thursday, June 13th. [ Transcript ]

What about the Conservative caucus? Was that your decision or was it clear to you they wanted you out?

It was clear to me that they wanted me out. That was, a phone call comes and you’re given an hour to resign or you’ll be fired, for lack of a better word.

Is that what happened?

That’s what happened.

From whom?

From the leadership in the Senate and from the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff. So, you know, that’s — I understand, that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: "I Take Full Responsibility"

There, Pam Wallin said it, and like all politicians who trot out what has become but a tired platitude, she would now like all of us to tune in to another channel. (How about we devote ourselves to really serious matters, like that dastardly Mulcair showing such flagrant contempt for all that is holy?)

Those who are strongly constituted can watch the wayward woman from Wadena justify herself in an interview with Peter Mansbridge. (I confess I have not worked up to watching it yet – wonder if Peter asks her about her strategy in recently resigning two (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: The Synchronous Decline of Peter Mansbridge and The CBC

I admit that I stopped being a regular viewer of the CBC years ago; I think the catalyst for my disaffection was its transparent policy of appeasement (under the pretext of balanced reporting) of the Harper regime which, of course, holds its funding strings. Especially evident in its flagship news program, The National, hosted by that one-time icon of journalistic integrity, Peter Mansbridge, the Corporation has become a parody of itself. And as I have written in past posts, Mansbridge himself has to take the bulk of the blame for its sad decline.

On February 8, The Star’s Rick

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Synchronous Decline of Peter Mansbridge and The CBC

The Ranting Canadian: CBC’s Peter Mansbridge coulda bin a contender: Salutin

CBC’s Peter Mansbridge coulda bin a contender: Salutin:

As a follow-up to my post about former fluff broadcaster and current fraud artist Mike Duffy, here is a link to a Rick Salutin column about the fluffy news reader Peter Mansbridge, and about the decline of CBC news in general. As a bonus, here is my own take on Mansbridge.

Peter Mansbridge: big voice, big disappointment

Over the past decade or so, TV news anchor Peter Mansbridge, of the tax-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), has become a shell of his former self. He may have been a serious reporter

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: CBC’s Peter Mansbridge coulda bin a contender: Salutin

LeDaro: CBC’s Peter Mansbridge sings Gangnam Style

Peter Mansbridge busted out his best dance moves in a parody video of the South Korean pop song Gangnam Style, alongside members of the Ontario-based Stratford Shakespeare Festival.UN chief Ban Ki-moon did not want to left behind. . . . → Read More: LeDaro: CBC’s Peter Mansbridge sings Gangnam Style

Impolitical: The Harper interview

A few thoughts on the big interview last night between Harper and Peter Mansbridge on the National…

This interview seemed to have two parts to it. The primary focus was Europe, as it rightly should be. This took up more than half the interview. The European situation is a reflection of the years we’re living in. We’re in post-2008/2009 recession times that, as Harper notes, are turning toward recession once more. What happens in Europe in the near future could shock the world economies again. There’s a good analysis in the New York Times today on what could happen in

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: The Harper interview

Impolitical: Mansbridge and Harper tonight

Why is Harper smiling so much during discussion of a topic that is dead serious? Is Peter Mansbridge getting under his skin? Nice preview of a rare Harper interview on The National tonight.

Given that Canadians don’t get many opportunities to hear the Prime Minister in such candid venues where he actually has to answer pointed questions, such interviews are always a must see.

Politics and its Discontents: Mulcair’s Dutch Disease Comments: A More Rational Assessment

Despite the near-hysterical reaction of certain CBC broadcasters to the comments made last week by Thomas Mulcair about how tarsands developments are inflating the value of the Canadian dollar, thereby weakening our manufacturing sector, there are those who are able to more objectively assess his comments. One of them is Lawrence Martin.

In his column today entitled Ottawa’s industrial policy divides Canada against itself, Martin observes that we made progress in the decades before 2000 in moving away from an economy based on resource extraction. Using figures from Jim Stanford’s research, he reveals that well over half of Canada’s

. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Mulcair’s Dutch Disease Comments: A More Rational Assessment

Politics and its Discontents: The Powerful Stench Of Obsequiousness At The CBC

With the polls revealing that the NDP, under leader Thomas Mulcair, is enjoying 34% of popular support while the Harper Conservatives languish at 30%, it is probably no surprise that the CBC is once again polishing up its apples in yet another desperate and misplaced effort at appeasing its political masters. Having recently had its budget gutted, I guess it was too much to think that the Corporation would have found its spine and at least proceeded with a measure of dignity and integrity toward its ultimate doom under the Harper regime. Last night’s At Issues Panel revealed that to

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Politics and its Discontents: Rick Salutin Today

While the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge may often pronounce ponderously and authoritatively on issues, there is another source of information that should, in many ways, be taken more seriously, says Rick Salutin in his column today.

Well worth the read. Recommend this Post