CBC Radio Nerdz VIII

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I'm a big fan of the show.  I was never nuts for either Off or Budd, but if I had to choose I'd ditch the former not the latter.  I'm open to the new guy.

As an unabashed nostalgic, I like the predictability of AIH.  I must say, however, that the show is likely in need of an update beyond a new host.  The show, its format, and its writing (in particular) are sounding very tired.  This likely appeals to a majority of its listeners (including me) but I gotta admit it, it's old hat.  It would be interesting to see if there was data on listenership and any trends in that regard.  I wonder how long it will be until it has run its course.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Who are we kidding? AIH is on a time slot that is not going to be listened to by young people. Trying to appeal to that demographic is useless.

As for listeners, why chanage it up and get their core demographic upset?


Back in the early 70s when I was 12-13, I used to listen to As it Happens every night after supper, while I did the dishes.   I guess Babs Frum used to appeal to a younger demographic than do the current hosts.

George Victor

And there's just the possibility that the younger demographic today has more to entertain, divert, placate........zzzz Heck, there's the modern dishwasher, made in Germany, Italy, and until next year, Montreal.

George Victor

CBC Radio 1 Toronto "the Current" panel is discussing the death of middle class Toronto, the disappearance of a "middle", the growing impoverishment of the burbs. Sociologists. Political scientists, authors.

All explaining why Ford is in the catbird's seat. Leaving us open to further "opportunistic, facile populism."  People have "lost hope" that following generations will be better off.  The sociologists don't get to the reality of the economic change, of course...nothing like Reich and the new capitalism...particularly the investment capital variety. (Sounds a bit like babble, in that regard..Wink  Heck, someone even said that if a country adds 1 per cent to its population each year through immigration, it has to also be more concerned with education and health etc.

But, of course, one must not touch the category immigration.  Gets you suspended , if not banned.

For anyone interested in Canadian political reality. Hear how its about more than the political leaders, U.S. or Canadian.

George Victor

The Current then carried an interview with John "Rich Man's War" Trudell.  I am going to look for his writing and music. Helluva insightful take on our current situation... historically based and centered on social class, beyond simple cultural alienation.

Not bad stuff for an irrelevant network.  Not to be found elsewhere.


peter mansbridge is- the term 'interviewing' applies though i sorta considered something more xxx rated! - rex murphy, who had a heart attack and lookled into the abyss and...well both of these publicly funded cheaters should be peddling their butts on mike duffy's old corner (and mansbridge knows mister pig's gonna take care of him re the 'senate' when he abandons ship; though he shure mucked up ian hanomansing when that opinion-less bore was reaching for the brass ring a few years ago (mansbridge spent hours heating it up with a blowtorch, i suspect)

btw, "Frank' magazine was where these two bit media hirelings used to be exposed. I miss Frank magazine, still....maybe we outta start a 'Frank' magazine corner here at Babble to air all the ...for example-  didya KNOW Mike Harris collect $38k month pension from poor taxpayers while golfing with nazipooh buddies in ari-zoner? Or that 300 (plus) under forty years old policemen RETIRE evey year in Canada- and thus get to devote their $50k/year busybodies to advocating for rightwing reactionaries against socialism etc! Or that 911 was inside job? Or that $ tens/millions public funds are used to subsidise rightwing media, or that interest rates are literally TAXES on loans (which puts ursurious rates of the cc companies-run by rightwing goons- in different light), or that vast sums corporate funds are - a never seen before phenomenon- being used IN SECRET to prop up the stock markets despite worldwide disasterous economic indicators crying out for investment in jobs and so on!

Btw, rex looked and sounded like he knew he had sold out the Commons for mister pig- though peter mansbridge was all over the heroic suffering fellow (whose rex said, father was 'my age' in the early 70's more then 35 years ago! My foster dad, injured badly fighting fascism in WW2 , never even saw his 70th birthday...)


I could swear that CBC AM, CBC FM, and Radio Canada, right at this moment, are all playing the exact same choral piece. I could be wrong, I may be exaggerating a bit, but I think at least English and French FM are.

Which would be a minor complaint of mine, that CBC Eng and French FM do often have the same kinds of programming on at the same time. Like opera on Saturday afternoons.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I was somewhat enjoying CBC's Season in Song performance on Radio One until they featured freaking Justin Beiber singing a smaltzy song called "Prayer". Yuck!

George Victor

Hope you caught the late "Fireside Al" Maitland's yearly Christmas Eve rendition of Frederic Forsyth's  "Good Shepherd" .....

The Canadian Tenors drowned out Justin in Radio One's gathering of songsters...including  Paul the Ancient Anka.

R Killarney

I am so glad I found this site. Thanks to whomever set it up and links pages together (thorin_bane?)!


So much to say, so starting with the CBC highlight of 2010: Barbara Budd leaves AIH.

This was a huge deal for me, as I sum up my thoughts of her simply as "Smarmy Barbara".  The way she butchered Howden's delicate, playful, and witty humour was atrocious.  Bordering on comedicide.  A real crimedy.  Meh, I'm doing it just thinking about it.

A particularly vivid example for me was her reading O Henry's Xmas tale last year.


It's not that her broadcast voice isn't pleasant, when she's not hamming it up, but I think she was just ... there too long.  And perhaps I began noticing it when Howden began writing, but I'm not sure.


R Killarney

Anyone notice the BC "dream team" drive show hosts this week?

Stephen Quinn from On The Coast is guest-hosting The Early Edition, and Shiral Tobin, programme director of The Early Edition is guest-hosting On The Coast.


Stephen is witty and fun and took On The Coast from a show that was on the radio to a show that one had to listen to.  He was the story of ... whatever year he took over, 2008?

Shiral was a producer for Rafe Mair at CKNW way back.  Her on air personality is absolutely delightful to listen to.  Her vocal inflections are playful and I just find them utterly & ticklish.


Honourable mention to Matthew Lazen-Rider, producer with OTC who sat in the big chair one day this week.  He could also host his own show quite competently.


So, in summary, fire Rick Cluff and give his AM drive show to Shiral Tobin.  Win for listeners, win for CBC.

I could do a whole post just on my thoughts about Cluff, whom I think is trying for Larger than Life, but ends up, similar to Budd, as self-caricature.  Like Budd, I think he's just ... been around too long.

He's not bad with election night coverage, and his afternoon compilation of regional stories (The Word from Here?) is okay too.

R Killarney

Final post here for tonight.


Miyoung Lee hasn't been seen nor heard from since just after the Olympics.

She's a competent reporter, can't comment on her investigative skills, however I think she's one of the best news readers on the Mother Corp.  I think of her as an anti-Sandi Rinaldo.


A rather quick pace with, again, just-right vocal inflections without trying to "feel" the news for me.


Anyone know what became of her, or if she's coming back.  I'd tune in another station just to hear her read news.  Then I'd turn it back to CBC right away, of course.


Welcome to babble, remember to look at the policy lest you step on the wrong toes. We all try to keep things in a coherant order of some kind, but a lot of threads are throw aways or repeats so not all of them are as neatly catalogued as the CBC nerdz thread.

I try to practice decent neticate when possible. For Example when I link to another site, I like to take a paragraph or two and paste it here. Then use the quote function(BTW babble is sometimes goofy for functions) or Bold to make it known that is the snippet. Then comment back in regular font. Of course not everyone has to do that. I just find it better so people have an idea of what the link is for, and a snippet is sometimes good enough for deciding if its worth your time at the link or to continue the discussion here. For example the polling threads. Most people don't need to use the link with the numbers right there.

You may know all of this already, or have your own style that works. Anyway welcome aboard. Hopefully you find interesting conversation.

R Killarney

Someone posted a comment about visiting CBC's website and finding the page full of "thumbs up" votes, when they hadn't yet cast any votes.


I can confirm experiencing it, but not for a while now.



It has JUST happened to me (2010/12/31 14:01pst): I went to a comment page and found that I'd voted down two comments already. 

Fortunately I would've voted them down anyway, but it's a story about Xtra West's newspapaper boxes being vandalized and investigated as a hate crime.




It's happening again. CBC 2 and Radio Canada are playing the exact same opera piece right now. Same time and everything. Why would they do this?

George Victor


Desperately broke?


It's probably just an automated playlist, it being the holiday, but how hard can it be to use a different playlist at least Frown ?

George Victor

Michael Enright  this morning interviewed the first historian to win the "Nobel of the Humanities" :

Holberg International Memorial Prize 2010: Natalie Zemon Davis ...

Decentered history is one of Holberg Prize Laureate Natalie Zemon Davis's main interests. In a long series of books, such as Fiction in the Archives (1987), ...

The delightful 82-year-old, who, persecuted like her husand in the age of McCarthy, joined her husband and became a Canadian citizen after several years of teaching in the U.S. She's already given the bulk of the $800,000 prize to organizations in need.


Just bought a new phone this past weekend after a mishap involving some beer spillage. I'm very much a low-key cell user -- if it fires off messages and rings, it's good enough for me! But this new one has quite a few gadgets that my old one didn't have. One of these gadgets is an FM radio tuner, which means I can start listening to CBC radio on the go. I used to be an avid podcast listener, but as roles at work have shifted around slightly, I haven't had the time in the past year or so. I'm looking forward to being able to hear some of the changes that have taken place at the Ceeb in the last year and a bit (and hopefully that means being active on this thread again like I once was!)


Well I heard a new Ad for a crappyy new show. "Backbencher" All I know is I heard a woman yelling at the opposition bench being a bunch of treehuggers. This should go over well. They have destroyed CBC TV and are now going to finish the job they started on Radio 1. More docu-drivel on the radio...gee just what I asked santa for. Oh wait I asked for substantive news and less infotainment. I guess it was bizarro santa that got my message.

I was depressed hearing the ad and knowing the CBC is cricling the drain. It wouldn't take much for Harper to get his wish and see the CBC gutted. Those of us who use to support it can no longer recognize it as worth saving...damned if we do damned if don't. Save it and it becomes more of a propaganada arm, lose it and we will never have even a remotely central voice left in canada just corporate right wing lies and fluff.

George Victor

You are into capitulation, aren't you!  Cheer up. We'll toss the neo-con bastards yet!


Isn't Backbencher written by Wendy Lill, former NDP MP?



In Backbencher we follow the story of Nellie Gordon, a paramedic from East Nova in Nova Scotia who decides to run for MP on a whim and, much to everyone's surprise, gets elected. We go into caucus meetings, the hallways of Parliament and the House of Commons itself and experience it all from Nellie's perspective each and every episode.

Life as an MP is a physical, mental and ethical workout -- every day. And that's what this series is about, a view from the backbenches of the House of Commons; one woman's journey through the snake pit of Canadian politics.

Backbencher is written by Wendy Lill, the award winning Canadian playwright and two-term MP from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Script Editor for the series is Dave Carley.  The show is produced in CBC Halifax by Recording Engineer Pat Martin, Associate Producer Maggie Rahr and the Producer is Peggy Hemsworth. The Executive Producer is Tom Anniko.


Anyone hear the piece on The Current this morning about terrorism against Cuba?



laine lowe laine lowe's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Anyone hear the piece on The Current this morning about terrorism against Cuba?




I heard it. More like this please.

I suspect that [i]Backbencher[/i] might be good. I like Wendy Lill.


Didn't like the ad...I might give it a try,

R Killarney

This evening is Jeff Douglas's first day as host of AIH.  It's just approaching the end of part 1.

He seems to fit in nicely and handles the humour quite competently.  It was quite a story about hosts in various contexts - I wonder if they've been sitting on the story until today, just to welcome him.  Howden's writing seemed to shine through just fine.

I'd love to hear others' comments on the new host of AIH...  Meanwhile, I'll go back to listening after the break.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I only caught about 20 minutes if that of AIH, near the end. Sounded good but I guess I should catch a full episode before I weigh in on Jeff Douglas.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Backbencher is actually quite good, certainly waaaaaaaay better than Afghanada or Canadia 2056 and more compelling than Monsoon House. Apparently Nellie is a composite of a few MPs, one of whom may or may not be Megan Leslie.

Best news out of the Mother Corp. for the the new year? The Age of Persuasion returns this Saturday.


11:30 a.m. I can hardly wait, Scott.


Afghanada is terrible.  It's as if someone first came up with the catchy name, and then had to make a show around it.

I'm not a huge fan of As It Happens' writing, particularly with regard to the aww-shucks-I-see-it-comin'-from-a-mile-away humour, but I thought Jeff Douglas was competent and likeable.  He may grow on people.


Scott Piatkowski wrote:

Best news out of the Mother Corp. for the the new year? The Age of Persuasion returns this Saturday.

I didn't know it had gone. I hope 11:30am means our region too. I never got to hear it at either of its other times.

Backbencher has been running for a while now, hasn't it? I find myself listening in when I hit upon it despite the show's obvious desire to define the word "feisty".


OK OK ill give it a try. I remember hearing TAoP a few years ago when it premiered. Such an informative show. While it shows how ads work, it shows how ads work. Very instructive in how the other side wages war. You can actually see how this relates to things that come out of the PMO.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

I thought they'd be airing new episodes of Backbencher, but they are just repeating the first set of episodes. Cry


Dissenting opinion: I don't like Age of Persuasion.  I think it is a candidate for best produced show on CBC Radio.  It certainly isn't the most varied show on the airwaves.  

Let me summarize the next couple episodes: it's about advertising and messaging.  That's all folks.  Full stop.  

It's produced, I believe, by, gasp, a private ad company.  Talk about double dipping.  Make money in the world of advertising, then scoop some public funds, too, by telling tales from the world of advertising.  Quite a feat, really.

I think it's a decent show, and it probably has a place on public radio.  But that doesn't mean I like it that much.  Its production values trump its content.  Style over substance... something like... advertising.

I don't like Joe Canadian as the AIH host.  He sounds bored.

I note that This American Life is now being played on CBC, Sunday nights.  Weird how a show like this has been going on for so long, has been so celebrated and awarded, and has had some regular Canadian contributors... but there's nothing like it on CBC, with the same kind of content.  We get Age of Persuasion, instead perhaps, of innovative storytelling.

I'd be curious to know what CBC is paying for the rights to broadcast This American Life.  Maybe public radio orgs cut cheap deals with one another....  Hard to say.  

CBC has a new boss, too.  Kristine Stewart takes over, officially, for the recently departed King Richard Stursberg.  Stewart brought in Tudors, Dragon's Den, and I think played a role in late night Strombo.  Hopefully she was also part of the decision to cut Strombo down to a half hour a night, indicating she's at least willing to admit to a mistake.  She has a TV background, and what that bodes for radio is going to be interesting to follow.  


laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I don't know much about Kristine Stewart but her name seems familiar. Was she involved with private broadcasting? I  don't know why, but I keep thinking news when I hear her name.


ETA: correction on name


WOW farmpunk weird. AoP isn't just advertising. It shows how they manipulate their listeners and viewers. O Rielly even says as much. Its about how we are manipulated by flimsy pretense. He also gives interesting background on the ad campiahns and products. Like the real life Dr Kellog. Most of the ads are from a long time ago, so the production value costs are low, and teh companies aren't making money off the ads. Sometimes the old jingles are cool to hear like Tab or the first few Diet Pepsi. I remember those from when I was young. I was also sadened by cutting strombo. He is the closest thing we have left on the CBC to a progressive voice. YOu don't have to like his schtick, but the show is informative and has great guests. His chomsky interview is terrific.

The tudors is a great show if you like period pieces. The CBC are partly responsible for funding it in fact. Looking forward to the donald sutherland show pillars of the earth(i think)...though I wish dragons den had never ever seen the light of day. There is was to many of these jerks already. This is a show we imported from england I believe. I know they have one just not sure which came first. O'leary and company can go back to being jerk on their own dime.

I have a lot of other a programs that get under my nerves way more than AoP or Strombo and the Tudors. Start by pulling the plug on propaganada, get rid of Q or they could shorten it. The afternoon schedule is very hit and miss, and they are using repeat programming at night. Use to have northern lights. On TV...well I don't even watch much of CBC anymore because their news is now infotainment with gimics. Powerplay and Don Martin(CTV) isn't half bad BTW. I have never been a cournation street fan, but I don't begrudge the ex-brits here or people that got sucked into a 7:00 soap. AT least the characters are realistic.

But they don't even have much comedy left. The reality shows drive me crazy and so does jeopardy and wheel. Those are the time slots our comedies could go into. Spend time with the kids after supper then to the more dramatic or serious programs at 8:00(though here cory is on at 7 unlike nationally)...I still like marketplace and 5th estate. Doczone is good. I still can't complain about the CBC programs too much other than Dragons den or whatever reality program they have on like the town trying to lose 1 ton. Or the one when all the wives left town and all the men look like complete idiots because they only use moron footage.


Kristine Stewart was known as Kristine Layfield when she first joined the CBC some years back. She was previously head of lifestyle programming (read "developer of reality shows") for Alliance Atlantis -- and yes, that fact does indeed help one to understand some of the direction CBC programming has taken in recent years.


double post nuthin to see here whoops


Age of Persuasion just doesn't grab me.  I find the show repetitive.  It is very slickly produced, and more CBC shows should be paying attention to the way the show is put together.  Lots of sound, a emphasis on storytelling.  I think CBC Radio has gotten away from using sound in its non-news\current affairs shows.  A show like Spark, for instance, is just a boring talk show basically about the internet.  

Strombo, progressive?  Eeep.  Just because he wears eyeliner doesn't make him progressive, heh.  A friend of mine went to see his show being taped.  After the show was done, Strombo gave out prizes if people could answer questions about him: What's the name of my pet?  

Puke.  Get some more Cdn guests on your Cdn produced and funded show George, and I'll give you a chance.  An intimate interview with Hulk Hogan doesn't cut it for me.

Whoa, Thorin, an entire post about the CBC and not one mention of Evan Solomon?  Developing a soft spot?

Lifestyle programming...  I love that term, and thanks for the heads up asterix.  

Dragon's Den is a rip off from a BBC show, I believe.  I don't watch it, but I was at one of their pre-production events in London.  A crew came in and put a rather large group of prospective business people through a mock-trial.  It was really neat, and the people who came forward with ideas were engaged people, an oddball collection of inventors and space cadets.  

O'Leary is genuinely annoying.  He's now invading the radio, too, with some very bland investing and business tips.  I think O'Leary is a pretty decent interviewer the few times I've watched LandL Exchange.  He's snide with pols and businesspeople alike, and the Ceeb could occasionally use some attitude.



LOL re Evan...I am content knowing that most of his viewers dispise him. Check the CBC question of the day for P&P. I now am watching Powerplay when I can with Don Martin. He is more balanced than Evan..As Shatner would say "Is that weird or what?" Or rather points how awful that scumbag is.

Well Strombo is the one who advocated for Tommy Douglas as the greatest canadian. He was into punk music and anti-establishment even if he is part of it. If you watch his show he is always taking shots at Harper and Iggy. SO yes I would say he is progressive. He mentions our priorities on his show. And he regularly has canadians on. Michael Buble(sp) Eugene Levy, Gord Downie, Dave Thomas, Political figures. Hockey players. Just to name a few. He may not be a full blown socialist or marxist, but definetly closer to our side than One on One with peter "conservative softballs" mansbridge.

His interview of henry rollins was very enlightening. They talked a lot about Tehran and rollins trips to the middle east putting a human face to the people from those countries. The new format doesn't allow him the time he afforded his guests in the past.

I will give him a pas with the cult of personality crap. Look at colbert, its what made him famous. And I may not alwasy agree with colbert and stewart. They are more progressive than the sea around them.


Found a list of some notable guests.

Some of the previous guests have included: M.I.A., Eckhart Tolle, Chris Jericho, Tom Cruise, Bill Maher, Sarah Palin, James Cameron, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Marlee Matlin, Tim Robbins, Spike Lee, Ricky Gervais, Tony Bennett, Greg Kinnear, John Legend, David Byrne, former President of the United States Jimmy Carter, Larry King, LeBron James, Henry Rollins, Evangeline Lilly, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Alanis Morissette, Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Branson, Howard Zinn, Kings of Leon, Sean Avery, former Canadian Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Brian Mulroney, P!nk, Smashing Pumpkins, David Suzuki, Mike Holmes, Douglas Coupland, Naomi Klein, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Tammet, David Thewlis, Larry Charles, Dana White, Tony Robbins, Gordon Ramsay, Dave Salmoni and Adrien Brody.

George conducted the last public interview granted by journalist and social activist June Callwood before her death.


Oh you don't like spark...Thats one of the afternoon shows I like. I don't care for the Shelagh Rogers next chapters vehicle. I prefer her sounds like canada...but meh. Spark is techy and I like it.. I won't hear it much after this week though. I am suppose to be going back to work. And if I can manage to hide my MP3 PLayer I will back to books on tape.


Not sure why chomsky didn't make that list because I remember him being on via satellite. George Galloway has been on more than once. I know he did one on sat from the US, and was recently in studio.


Farmpunk...got my soloman complaint of the day. Not only is jackwagon Flannagan still on...you know haha lets assassinate people, but they now have a new right wing pundit. The new president of the NCC stephan taylor bleh! More stooges to spew conservtaive talking points. As if Tasha from the National Post didn't make me want to drop kick my TV along with 95% of guests on the show. Only people I like are Kaddy, Ian, Rob Russo, sometimes weston and delacourt when she gets on. Thats it out of some 25 regular guests. They almost never have anyone from CCPA but NCC, CTF, Bankers, Economists, CCC, BNFI(or whatever they rename it to) bullshitter MP's, and crappy CBC personal like Petty, and Hall....hey no problem. Dimitry Soudas come on whenever something needs to be "corrected" the guy has an open invitation.' Where the heck

Can't wait to vote out this government and replace this stupuid political show and bring back stable funding to the CBC. Maybe we can get some quality INFORMATION and less entertainment and damn stupid props by flannagan. My dad keeps cursing at me for getting his blood pressure up by turning it on when I am over for dinner. He hates the show almost as much as I do.


I was mildly shocked last night while listening to the presenter on the 6:00 news say, among other criticisms,  that Sarah Palin's "blood libel" comments had "sullied" the day of memorial for the victims of the Tucson shootings. 

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

The Age of Persuasion is also being played at 2:30 pm Thursdays.


Just turned it on. Thanks, Scott.


Here's a digital broadcast of last week's "The Age of Persuasion":



I heard this while driving to St. Brieux last Saturday, so what I'm hearing reminds me of the landscape near there.

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

clandestiny wrote:

When 'Enleft' (as someone renamed Michael recently!) reacted to a guest mentioning the 911 attack by suggesting the USA then attacked an innocent nation, the rightwing nut shooed away the insolent truth and insisted (paraphrasing) the attack was 'by arabs and as iraq= arab, then...etc'. note: we're tilting at windmills fighting the reactionarky rightwing!

On CTV 'question period" Jeffrey simpson debunked the 'teaparty movement' nonsense that the lapdog media proclaims as indicated by ROb Ford mayoral victory by pointing out the Rob ford phenomenon is almost entirely local- the rest of  muni's xcountry elected 'moderates'! Simpson looks like the rightwing lying liars he's linked with are starting to really annoy him (jane taber said 'i do' when simpson stated that he doesn't believe short term polls!) Taber should be embarassed. In interview with Mike Bullard last week she called Bullard an 'anamoly' when he said he thought there was alot more to the news then the superficial soundbites- he's very unusual because he doesn't just accept what the media says and leave it at that! She laffs at Bullard, but ...she must take lotsa showers! Craig Oliver is almost always walking on eggshells during QP... he plays down everything!


I hate to say it, but what you are saying makes no sense whatsoever.

George Victor

Being interviewed on Michael Enright's Sunday Morning...Anat Hoffman:

  • Female Israeli activist could be sent to prison for praying at ...
    6 Jan 2011 ... An Israeli activist who defied orthodox Jewish custom by leading a group of women in open prayer at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall has been told ... Anat Hoffman has been awaiting her fate since being arrested in August amid ...
    www.telegraph.co.uk/.../israel/.../Female-Israeli-activist-could-be-sent-to-prison-for-praying-at-Wailing-Wall.html -
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