Friday, January 24, 2014

Is Rex Murphy CBC's In-House Tipping Point?

Rex Murphy gives curmudgeons a bad name.  The jumped-up little shit has exploited his perch at the CBC to promote outrageous climate change denialism.  Murphy, whose educational background lies in English literature, skilfully never allows science to inform his opinion on matters such as global warming.  In short, he's a hack.

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.


Lorne said...

I have long-maintained that the CBC has been following a policy of appeasement for some time, Mound. Rex Murphy is perhaps the leading exemplar of that policy.

Jim Parrett said...

Also, Conservatives can do whatever they want. People are too afraid to fire incompetent, senile pundits.

The Mound of Sound said...

To me any news organization that has a cranky old guy whose background is in English literature setting up straw men to attack a powerful scientific consensus on a scientific question has forfeit its credibility. I stopped watching
CBC a few years ago. I just don't see the quality there that I've come to expect from BBC.

When I made my own transition from radio to television news, I realized from the outset that TV news was by far the weaker media for conveying information and ideas. It was weak enough then but it has steadily worsened with the passing of just a few decades.

Dana said...

I've suggested elsewhere that from now on whenever referencing this person we do so with the homonym "Wreck Smurfee".

If we can generate this usage widely enough it may make him a figure of ridicule sufficient to the mother corp seeing more benefit in losing him than keeping him.

Just a suggestion.

Elliott Taylor said...

For my money Kevin O'Leary is still worse.

Edstock said...

What a picture — ya just wanna bitch-slap the little git. Full wind-up, too. Rax comes on, I switch to Radio 3.

The Mound of Sound said...

I understand what you're saying, Elliott, but my money is still on T-Rex.

Yes indeed, Ed, you do want to bitch-slap the little jerk.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ed, in High German, the term is
"Backpfeifengesicht" which, translated, is "a face in need of a fist."

Anonymous said...

That bozo sold (long before climat change issue) his mouth to the establishment to promote
"mushroom farming" to the masses.
Keep in the dark and feed bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2

Rex Murphy defined by his own words;

March 17, 2012

Oil sands are a triumph for the human ‘environment

Murphy even has the temerity to write this;

"The shameless and high-gloss National Geographic put out a hit-issue deploring the oilsands as the ultimate “polluter.”

Shameless states Murphy, while authoring an extraordinarily shameless bit of quasi journalism. I caught that article while slumming at the National Post one day and I've never read anything from Murphy in its entirely since.

Owen Gray said...

I wonder how many Canadians are like me. I stopped watching -- and listening to -- Rex a long time ago.

kootcoot said...

Well, I didn't have to choose to quit watching the CBC as they decommisoned my local transmitter and wouldn't give it to our town (after all we DID PAY FOR IT didn't we?)they needed the money to build a new radio studio in Kamloops I guess, though the existing Kewlowna one was serving cowtown at the junction just fine, why not Cranbrook, to get an Albeta perspective?

Anyway I would like to add Stephen (not so) Smart, our BC CBC Legislative reporter whose wife has a most likely higher paying job working for the criminal organization otherwise known as our BC LIEberal Government. Though complaints have been made to the CRTC the CBC ombudsman sees no conflict there, I guess you have to be deaf, dumb and blind to get that postion.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 2, thanks for the link. Reading that really made my skin crawl.

Owen, I stopped watching Canadian TV news many years ago. CBC, CTV, Global - they're beyond mediocre.

Koot, at least you didn't miss much when they pulled the plug.

Anonymous said...

Thought you might be interested in this recent article calling Murphy out.