Not outraged, overly surprised or angry – I’m disappointed, as in let down – the feeling you got as a kid when promises gave way to reality and circumstance. Wishing with all your heart explanation and apology made sense of crushing disappointment – wanting to trust the bearer of bad news because you loved and counted on them, yet knowing deep down unconditional faith could be shaken. That moment when young perspective feel victim to harsh reality.
Peter Mansbridge is chief correspondent for CBC News, The National, a position of “news anchor” held since 1995; the longest running anchor in Canadian history, a household name for decades – the voice of Canada – an icon representing fair unbiased journalism, the epitome of a nation set apart by our conviction and principles. The face of CBC, an organization I’ve championed for honest reporting in our misinformed, media circus world.
All grown up now and not so naïve as to think any news corporation actually escaped government, corporate or religious tentacles – news of Mansbridge accepting healthy pay checks to speak at oil and gas interest extravaganzas left me questioning my Canada.
CBC is a government funded “crown corporation”. Established in 1936 with radio, adding public television in 1952 – under direction of a president, appointed by Canada’s Governor General on “advice” of the Prime Minister – CBC (despite supplemental advertising money) is ultimately controlled by Federal dollars. Canadians have become so accustomed to cultural, artistic and no nonsense investigative reporting – we forget who signs the checks.
Getting back to Mansbridge – Canadian tongues are wagging over reports his presence is for sale as key note speaker to oil and gas interests. For a price, which he defends as “being entitled to activities in my private life”, Mansbridge head lined the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) at an Investment Symposium in 2012. Reports have him cashing a check from Cenovus at the Association of Canadian Oil Landmen in 2011. CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson stated Mansbridge is “encouraged” to speak, and all speaking engagements are cleared with CBC management.
Hmm – ponder that a moment; correct me if I’m wrong – management (our government) encourages Mansbridge – arguably one of the most recognizable Canadians, to accept money for speaking in the interest of energy shenanigans. The same government hell bent on rolling out the red carpet to foreign investment, environmental white washing and “end justifies the means” tactics.
Far from being in any position other than gut reaction – this is one disillusioned Canadian with less than fuzzy feelings towards my formerly sacred CBC.