Sunday, November 09, 2014
Rex Murphy, Jian Ghomeshi, and the CBC Cult of Celebrity
It's hard to imagine a more ghastly thing to watch on a grim, grey, fall day in Harperland, than Rex Murphy on Jian Ghomeshi.
The only thing more depressing would be a Stephen Harper speech, or an ISIS video.
But I watched it anyway eh?
Because I'm really interested in what people who work at the CBC have to say about that scandal, after seeing that its hapless managers are claiming they had no idea that their big star was harassing women and bullying his staff.
CBC's executive vice-president of English Services Heather Conway is defending management's handling of the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, saying it was not the role of the broadcaster to investigate someone's private sex life.
And I have to say that for a Murphy video it wasn't too awful...
Even though, as he always does, he uses a lot of big words to essentially say nothing.
And even though, not surprisingly, he avoids the inconvenient truth. Management's cult of celebrity protected Ghomeshi, as it is protecting Murphy.
From being fired for shilling for Big Oil...
And his fellow climate change deniers in Con regime.
For what else can you call those massive posters of the CBC stars in the lobby of the CBC building but a cult of celebrity?
Which has been promoted by those managers for years, in a pathetic attempt to emulate the celebrity culture south of the border. And has only made the CBC look trashier and more American.
And more ominously, what message do those giant posters send to the people who work there? Does Heather Conway really not understand why they might hesitate to complain?
"We asked people if they had received complaints, we asked people if they had witnessed behaviour that was sexual harassment or violence, nobody said they had. We asked people who had received complaints from even outside of the CBC, nobody had, so we satisfied ourselves that the workplace was safe, that there were no complaints.
When so many CBC employees, especially the younger ones, are on short-term contracts. And even when thousands of Canadians complained about Murphy their complaints went nowhere.
The CBC defended his presence on the network's flagship news show. It claimed that absurd right-wing tea bagger, that homegrown demagogue, was above the basic rules of journalism, because he's on contract.
And even on the record of speaking engagements they promised to set-up in the wake of that controversy, he apparently rates no mention.
So he is free to preach the Gospel of Big Oil...
On and off the air.
And the disturbing question is, if the CBC treats its "celebrities" like gods, and nobody dares challenge them, what other crimes might that culture be concealing?
i. Will the external investigators limit the scope of their enquiry to complaints related to Jian? What if employees come forward with complaints about other CBC on-air persons?
ii. Has the CBC entered into contractual arrangements involving financial compensation for employees who have departed the corporation due to workplace harassment or improprieties on the part of high-profile on-air personalities including but not limited to Jian? iii.
If so, how much money have taxpayers spent on making amends for such workplace improprieties and have any offending employees maintained their positions, if not Jian?
Because I've heard some stories or rumours from some CBC staffers I know, that are deeply disturbing, and definitely should be investigated.
Yup. The CBC managers owe us all a better explanation.
Their trashy cult of celebrity may have led the corporation to a very bad place.
And of course it's still not too late to do the right thing.
And fire Rex Murphy...
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