Saturday, 14 January 2017

Another Blatant Conflict-of-Interest is Ignored on Our National Airwaves. Has CBC Radio's "The House" Let Us Down Again?

by Larry Powell

Will the CBC ever learn?


More than five years ago, the radio program "The House," interviewed their "go-to" guy on just about everything; corporate apologist and big-shot business tycoon Derek Burney (l.), a former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. and adviser to Brian Mulroney.  He sang the praises of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline (extremely controversial even then) and railed against the "violent emotion" being used by environmentalists to oppose it. He never gave, nor was he asked to give, examples of what he meant by violent. Neither did he nor the CBC ever mention that he (Burney) was then (and may still be, for all I know), a director of Trans Canada Pipelines, proponents of the project! It was only after I made a formal complaint to the CBC ombudsman that they apologized for the "oversight." 

Fast forward to this morning and, lo and behold, the same program interviewed the same Derek Burney! This time, in a spiel reminiscent of Nazi-appeaser Neville Chamberlain (the UK's PM at the start of the Second World War), Burney laid out his own blueprint for "getting along" with the incoming Trump administration. Once again, no mention of Burney's business interests! 

Do you suppose Burney just might have an ulterior motive here? Perhaps he doesn't want us to do anything that would rock the boat, or move Trump off his position of support for what is likely still one of Burney's pet projects, the Keystone XL pipeline?

In this age of fake news and rampant conflicts-of-interest, surely the CBC can do better. 

Ya think?

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