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

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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

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