When Evan Solomon was appointed host of the CBC program “Power and Politics,” I didn’t think he would be able to fill the very large shoes of the departing Don Newman.
He was missing about 30 years of journalistic experience.
And although I was right, he gradually began to win me over, in his own way.
In recent months I thought he was finally starting to lose his patience with the Cons, for parroting their PMO lines instead of giving him or anyone a straight answer.
So I must say this came as quite a shock.
CBC has fired marquee host Evan Solomon after the Star reported that he was taking secret commission payments related to art sales involving people he dealt with as a host.
“I regret to inform you that CBC News has ended its relationship with Evan Solomon,” executive Jennifer McGuire said in a brief statement issued late Tuesday, a day after the Star presented the findings of its investigation to the network.
And I say that because I know Evan, from back in the days when he was promoting young Canadian writers . . .
And I can honestly say that he is genuinely nice guy.
The kind of guy who when he sees you runs across the street to give you a big hug. And is not in my opinion the kind of person who would compromise his still-budding journalistic credentials by allowing anyone to buy him.
So I can only think that he was betrayed by his compulsive desire to try EVERYTHING: Books, technology, TV, radio, and now amateur art dealer for a rich friend Bruce Bailey, the one they call the Gatsby of Canada. Betrayed by his occasionally really bad impulsive judgement, and of course by good old human greed.
But then greed is everywhere in Stephen Harper’s Canada. The Senate scandal is only the latest example. Ottawa is a grubby little place.
And Lawrence Martin is right when he quotes Shakespeare: “Where the bee sucks, there suck I.”
And reminds us of this other scandal.
The CBC has a new member of its board of directors. The Conservatives have appointed 35-year old Rob Jeffery. He is a Halifax chartered accountant. He is senior director of taxation for Sobey’s, a leading food retailer.
You may be wondering what other compelling qualifications the young man has to preside over the state broadcaster in our complex, ever-changing media world?
Well, there is something else. He recently served two terms as treasurer for the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.
With its obvious implications.
It hardly requires a stretch of the imagination to reason that he got the appointment because he’s been a loyal worker for the party who will likely do its bidding in the further emasculation of the CBC which, as we know, is not one of the Prime Minister’s most favoured entities.
And now that I know that Stephen Harper is strengthening his hand even more at the Conservative Broadcasting Corporation.
I can only wonder whether his Cons saw an opportunity to cripple or fry the CBC further by removing one of its big players just before an election. After trying to torpedo its coverage of the leadership debates.
And instructed the hapless CBC managers to fire Solomon immediately. Even though there is no evidence Evan’s amateur art dealing compromised his journalistic ethics. He never interviewed any of the people involved as far as I know.
He clearly didn’t try to hide anything if he took Bruce Bailey to court.
Amanda Lang, who is guilty of far worse, is still on the air . . .
And so is this Con clown and ghastly pimp of Big Oil…
Only when they fire him will I believe that CBC management is serious about journalistic ethics
And until then I will continue to believe those managers are the scared puppets of the man who would destroy the CBC..
Still believe that Evan Solomon may be his latest victim. And despite his appalling judgment and obvious greed, I will still hug the very human Evan if I ever see him again.
And of course I will continue to believe that we will not get our CBC, or our country back.
Until the happy day Stephen Harper is defeated . . .