Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Log 277: “It’ll be the last time,” mutters Chris Hedges in face of Kevin O”Leary’s insults

Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges: Image via Wikipedia
I came across a fascinating example this week of how the CBC’s love affaire with right-wing populists can deprive us of the diversity of opinion that the CBC was established to encourage.
I am not a watcher of the Lang and O’Leary exchange, but I happened on it while flicking the dial tonight, and came across the last few minutes of an interview they were doing with the redoubtable US social commentator Chris Hedges. He was explaining to O’Leary and Diana Buckner the objectives of the many thousands of people who have joined the Occupy Wall street movement. What he was saying would not come as any surprise to anyone whose eyes and ears are open to what is really happening in the recent economic meltdown, which has exposed so cruelly the corruption, greed and dysfunctionality of capitalism, but it all seemed to come as a new idea to O’Leary, who became so agitated as Hedges began with his impressive dismissal of the corporate mind-set that he interrupted testily by saying, “You sound like some leftist nut-bar.”
At this point, justifiably, Hedges said that normally he did not accept invitations to speak on television programmes that could be expected to engage in personal abuse. He was interested in discussing the issues. And he went on to say that corporations don’t produce anything….
“Oh, really?” said O’Leary, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Of course not, said Hedges. He was, he said, talking about the financial gamblers who appear to have taken over the economy, and continued with his root-and-branch denunciation.
“So you want to do away with all corporations?” blurted O’Leary. “Where are you going to get a job? What would you do with Goldman Sachs, for example?”
Hedges told him in words of one-syllable. They should be prosecuted, because their sale of mortgages to people whom they knew could never repay them, which they then gathered into funds whose failure they then bet on, was fraudulent.
Buckner thanked him for giving his views, and Hedges muttered, as he took his hearing instrument out of his ear, “It will be the last time.”
Now I am sure I am not alone in believing that Canadians would be much better served by hearing regularly from Chris Hedges, who has an eloquent and challenging criticism of American society, than they are by the ubiquity on CBC screens of Kevin O’Leary, with whose brash arrogance the CBC seems to have fallen in love since they discovered him in the Dragon’s Den program.
I can only speak personally, but I find everything about O’Leary, his persona, his opinions, his overbearing manner, to be extremely off-putting, especially his constangt reiteration that only money matters, that nothing else in life is important, an opinion so idiotic that it amazes me that the CBC can’t get enough of him.
If there is anybody with some sense among the CBC brass, he or she will recognize this exchange between O’Leary and Hedges as a warning sign that it is time for the corporation to rediscover the impartiality that once allowed them to broadcast the widest possible range of opinion, unfortunately now denied to us.
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