rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Mansbridge takes money from... and other reasons we need a reporter on the Hill for the rest of us

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Support Karl Nerenberg and rabble.ca's Parliamentary team: We need reporting that we can trust! Visit our secure donation page here

Even the "most trusted" person on television... well, we just don't know if he can be trusted anymore. 

Peter Mansbridge, the host of CBC's The National, was exposed as a paid celebrity speaker for arguably the most powerful lobby group in Canada -- the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

That's right... Peter Mansbridge and "Big Oil." 

The host of the most powerful hour on television is taking money from oil companies profiting from the tar sands, pipelines and climate change.

And... it gets much worse. That's why your support is so important.

Can you make a gift of $25 or more to support rabble's own team of independent, ethical journalists in Ottawa? Visit our secure donation page here.

Parliament is back in session, and we hope that we can count on you to help ensure that we have a top-notch team of independent and ethical journalists to really challenge Stephen Harper's agenda.

We need to raise $25,000 from the public to support our Parliamentary team in Ottawa -- led by award-winning journalist Karl Nerenberg.

Our Parliamentary Bureau is ready to cover Harper's policies to the fullest. As an official member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery with full credentials, rabble.ca's Karl Nerenberg has direct access to just about every inch of Parliament Hill.

Independent, ethical journalism in Ottawa is so vital, because the media collusion with corporate interests doesn't stop with Peter Mansbridge. It runs deeper than that...

Other journalists have admitted to taking money from lobby groups. Right-wing contributor Rex Murphy and even news anchor Ian Hanomansing have reportedly both been paid celebrity speakers at events for oil companies. 

And it doesn't end there. We've come to expect private media interests -- like Sun Media, the National Post and The Globe and Mail to be connected to corporate interests and to reflect their agenda (and with the recent proposed purchase of Sun Media by PostMedia it will only get worse). But when our public broadcasting institution is in on the game too it should concern us deeply. On top of all the corporate paid journalists... is the plethora of lobbyists appearing on news programs including The National and Power and Politics. 

These commentators employed by consulting firms are presented alongside journalists, but rarely does anyone point out to viewers that these corporate pundits are commenting on issues that may relate to their clients' interests.

For example, our Parliamentary Bureau Chief Karl Nerenberg recently wrote about Bruce Anderson, a regular on Peter Mansbridge's "At Issue Panel" and consultant to tar sands oil companies Enbridge, BP and many others.

"The next time you hear Bruce Anderson expound on how President Obama's apparent environmentalism is purely an artifact of base political expediency, think about the economic imperatives to which Anderson is subject. In other words, think about his professional clients and what he does for them, in his day job," said Karl.

Now, as a result of these revelations, the CBC has said that management will review all of its journalists' speaking engagements beforehand. 

But how effective will this oversight be, when the public broadcaster is fighting for its life because the Harper government has made no commitment to publicly funded journalism? And of course we already know that the Conservatives do everything they can to influence the media. 

In fact, Stephen Harper will be happy to see his oil industry friends and his government get as much favourable coverage as possible. 

In about a year from now, Harper will be campaigning to win another Conservative majority. He will be rallying his base of Conservative supporters, pledging to continue his policies that are so devastating to the environment. 

All media -- but especially publicly funded media, are supposed to be watchdogs on the Harper government, but how can they do that when the CBC's most recognized television hosts are taking money from lobbying firms and big corporations?

That's why independent media plays such an essential role in promoting democracy in Canada. 

For sure, there are many dedicated and professional journalists in Ottawa. But we are absolutely certain that our small team of journalists, led by Parliamentary Bureau Chief Karl Nerenberg, contributes to raising the bar for the entire National Press Gallery ... 

For more than ten years rabble.ca has been providing "news for the rest of us." 

But we need your help, because we are getting ready to challenge Harper like never before. And we need to raise $25,000 from our whole movement of supporters -- people just like you. YES, we do whole load of work with a small amount of funds -- making your support all the more critical.

Please make your donation to support Karl Nerenberg and our Parliamentary Bureau team. When you become a monthly sustaining donor you can choose to receive a free copy of the upcoming book Harper vs. Canada: Five ways of looking at the Conservative regime -- featuring some of our top coverage of Parliament political news. Plus, you will be entered into a draw to win one of 25 copies of Naomi Klein's newest book, This Changes Everything.

Thanks for supporting independent, ethical journalism, and thanks for supporting media democracy in Canada!

The rabble.ca team

P.S. Please support rabble.ca's Parliamentary Bureau team and Karl Nerenberg, by making a gift of $25, right away. Help us raise $25,000 to report on Harper and raise the bar for the media in Canada.

For more information on the CBC and corporate connections, read David Climenhaga's excellent article

Mansbridge photo source: Facebook

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.