Apparently unaware that its audience is made up of people who focus on how much better the CBC is than some unavoidably inferior American tabloid news station instead of how much worse anything it airs is than even the vaguest ramblings of Jim Lehrer, the CBC has decided to dress up in American right-wing grown-up clothes by allowing some really smug, annoying guy to say outrageous things. I am not going to make a snide comment about Peter Mansbridge at this juncture, as we all know that he is never outrageously anything.
The guy I'm talking about is Kevin O'Leary, a man who looks like a sleek and malevolent seal and has apparently made a career for himself out of making money (fair enough, I guess) and saying abrasive things he clearly think are hard to take because they're so steeped in bitter truth instead of because they're positively drowned in a sea of completely baseless self-regard.
For some reason, the CBC, desperate, perhaps, to employ someone who's not Nicholas Campbell or Eric Peterson, has allowed this man to appear on approximately 85 television shows. He's on Dragon's Den, where he dismissively tells people dismissive things and manages to be neither insightful nor funny, and on The Lang and O'Leary Exchange, which, when I thought about it all, I thought was a 1970s movie about hostage-taking.
The other day, he bravely faced off against Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges on the topic of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I say "bravely", because Hedges is obviously smarter, classier, and more celebrated than he is.
While watching this on the internet, I thought "Sun TV must have a larger set budget than I thought, and money for more than one camera-person." Then I discovered that my blessed ignorance of Canadian television had protected me from the knowledge that O'Leary was speaking as an employee of CBC. This is a CBC show. This man is employed by Canada's public broadcaster. He's not just biased, and combative, and insulting to his guest; he's also complacent and stupid and paid for with tax dollars.
The CBC seems to be trying desperately to make itself relevant by employing more and more abrasive, shit-talking, smug sons of bitches. I don't see why they don't just replace everyone with Don Cherry. Surely, that would be more cost-effective.