Simon Fraser University communications prof, Robert Hackett, argues that Murphy demonstrates how badly CBC's journalism standards need overhauling. He contends that Murphy illustrates the slippery slope by which a public broadcaster can be deformed into a state broadcaster.
Why is it that Rex Murphy appears regularly on the network's flagship news program, while voices of environmental sanity like David Suzuki or Naomi Klein don't?
To be sure, CBC is still capable of the excellent watchdog journalism for which it has been renowned in the past; a recent collaborative series on offshore tax havens is an example. But informed long-term observers like the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting worry that faced with political and funding pressures from the federal government, CBC is at risk of sliding down a slippery slope, from a respected public broadcaster, to a state broadcaster on an increasingly tighter leash to the government of the day. Off the record, respected CBC journalists talk about "leftwing phobia" and political timidity at the level of management.
If we want a society alert to the danger of climate change, excessive dependence on fossil fuel exploitation and consumption, and the violation of aboriginal treaty rights, then revitalizing CBC's journalism needs to be part of a more hopeful picture.
For all his vaunted intellect, Murphy's ranting about climate change, his raw denialism, is eerily similar to Donald Trump's. Having an intellect is one thing. Leaving it at home when you go to work is another.