ex-CBCers who blog

Had way too many beers with Gzowski this week at the Red Lion. He’s writing a book about cannibalism – says it’s a metaphor for the CBC, except cannibals eat the dead … to survive at the CBC you eat the dying.

Recently I started reading Don Young’s fantastic Damaged Goods. On July 1st, 1979 he drove from Calgary to Toronto to take a job with the CBC. The TBC wasn’t built yet, Don Harron was the host of Morningside, and draft beer was 20 cents.

Don kept a journal. Now he shares it with us on his blog.

Anecdotes, he has in spades. But it’s not all about the glory days. Each post also flash forwards to the present day where Don talks about what it’s like to run your own production company in Canada (which he does), and the current media landscape.

I find the whole Burns-genre of docs boring. Real intellectual milk-and-cookies for middle America. But I’m sure they’re good business. Easy to produce. Even easier to finance. Most of the expenses are in the acquiring of rights to the archives although I’ll bet he’s not paying market rates. Last year I licenced some WW 2 Battle-of-Italy stuff for a doc I was working on at a cost of roughly 50 dollars A SECOND for a restricted rights deal.

But I shouldn’t trash “The War” too much…after all today I’m writing a pitch about — OBESE PETS. Yes, indeed.

I call it Fat ‘n Furry. I wonder what Ken Burns is doing?

It’s candid, it’s funny, it’s well-written, it’s outspoken, it’s full of interesting CBC history you just can’t read anywhere else, and straight-talking advice for the “handi-cam toting ‘enthusiasts’ coming into this industry.” And he’s just getting started. He assures me that he’s going to go all the way to 1993 when he opened the CBC-TV bureau in Sarajevo.

I hesitate to link to his site because I have a bad track record with these things (RIP fuckcbc.blogspot.com I’ll mourn you til I join you) but I really think you’re going to enjoy this one and I’d be remiss if I kept my mouth shut.

So go read. Start from the beginning.

And hurry.


  1. Allan
    Posted October 9, 2007 at 5:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I hope I never get over myself.
    So let’s have a closer look at your anonymous comment for a moment:
    Your comment is the only thing on this page that is “all about (me)”. You make no reference to any issues or the various people that I mention, only me. And if you had a real grasp of me, then you would have looked at my profile and seen that I indeed have several blogs on the go, and have for some time. I have even more blogs but choose to reveal them only to friends and family, so as not to waste my time dealing with the anonymous.
    Don is writing a great blog, perhaps the best on the net relating to the CBC, next to Ouimet’s. Why not read them instead of mine, and just skip anything with my name attached – that is, if you can control that irresistible urge …

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan please get over yourself. Why does every blog posted here become something all about you? Go write your own blog and if people want to read all about you I am sure they will. You subvert every subject on this blog into some personal rant that has nothing to do with the original subject. Don’t you have something else to do?

  3. Allan
    Posted October 6, 2007 at 8:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    And everyone wants to pretend that they don’t get it.
    Or that it’s no big deal.

    People with any sense or instinct for relevant and revealing and informative news can see that there’s a good story here.
    Yet, amazingly, the media is staying away – because they don’t know how to report it.
    Nothing touches more on media manipulation than a story about the internet, and about on-line communication, and about NERDS and about outright DECEPTION and BETRAYING A PUBLIC TRUST than what we’re talking about here.
    It’s in the public interest for the citizens of the country to know what they’re getting involved with here on these blogs and on the internet. And to know what their CBC is up to.
    And it’s timely – DUH!

    I’ve written to Jeff Keay, Head of Non-Communications for the CBC.
    I asked him who authorized the use of CBC logos and trademarks on a site that’s commercial and privately-held.
    No answer.
    I asked is the CBC paying Tod Maffin to write things, like “Canadians are more discerning TV viewers” (what profane arrogance), and Keay wrote back that the answer was “considered a private matter”.

    This is a public broadcaster?
    Tax dollars paying for Keay to say something so absurd and contemptible.
    I’ve had to send $5 to get access to such a simple question, when the answer is obvious.
    Do you see why I say scandalous?
    Is Peter Mansbridge on the payroll or is he an intern or volunteer?
    Is this what the CBC means when it trumpets transparency and accountability?

    And ethics?
    I’ve left three comments asking who is writing insidecbc since Maffin’s name is no longer displayed – all were erased!
    And can you believe the nerve to ask for news or other “Tips” while giving no indication who is getting these emails? For all you know it’s a Joseph McCarthy-type sending copies to Human Resources.
    And don’t give me the “trust us” claim because this is not the way honourable, ethical people operate. It’s the way manipulators and deceivers operate!

    So that’s today’s CBC.
    No straight answers.
    Deception. Hiding the facts from the public and their own employees.
    And Maffin is complicit, because he has not come forward with answers even when the questions are staring him straight in the face. Because if only one person reads my blog, that person is Tod Maffin.

    I won’t link to my blog out of respect for Ouimet, so that she can’t be accused of aiding and abetting. She’s in the same union as Maffin, and they’re obviously friends from what the back pages of this blog indicates.

    I’ve seen and experienced enough with Keay and Maffin to know very clearly that these guys are into plain and simple deception.
    Erasing things.
    Omitting facts and information that is crucial to a well-informed understanding of a situation.
    They think of it as public relations.
    No doubt, so did Richard Nixon.

    IT’S NOT A PRIVATE MATTER IF YOU’VE GOT THE CBC LOGOS ON YOUR PAGE AND CLAIMING COPYRIGHT TO THE CBC … and you haven’t been sued like that “Hockey Fight In Canada” guy in Chilliwack.

    These people, who sell their skills in public relations and herald themselves as experts in social media jargon, are plain tricksters trying to find clever new ways to deny people their freedom of speech.
    They want to control search results, open dialogue and printed information.
    They want to erase unfavorable views and facts, and replace them with statements that are only in their best interest.

    And AZ and Doyle and Dixon are too docile to take it on. But who needs them any more?
    We can fight the enemies of freedom and truth right here, on common ground.
    We are no longer dependent on old media to validate the new.
    We don’t need them or their cameras and microphones anymore.
    We have our own.
    And we don’t need their audiences of thousands of people paying attention, for a fleeting moment.
    We have something much more powerful.
    The printed word, the facts, the whole truth, stored forever on the internet, and … the uncontrollable nature of human beings to seek out that truth.

    And find it, before somebody erases it.
    Or threatens an unfounded lawsuit.

  4. Book of Don
    Posted October 6, 2007 at 5:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    thanks allan….I have to admit to being curious as to the apparent tension which exists between you and Maffin.

    He has posted some of my comments but censored others….does he “own” the site he moderates ? Or is it a CBC site which he supervises on some sort of consulting basis ?

    It all seems like a pretty good story to me. I’m surprised one of the papers hasn’t picked up on it yet

  5. Allan
    Posted October 3, 2007 at 8:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    When I saw damaged goods be the first one to weigh in and say “that’s not funny” at the stupid, cruel, insulting post at insidecbc, while other morons were gleefully applauding, I knew here was a kindred spirit. When I saw him start to reminisce about his fantastic memories I wanted to shout “don’t throw your pearls before these swine! Start your own blog! The people here haven’t even been toilet-trained yet.
    I want to read everything you have to say, but on a stage that has some honour, not at this disgraceful septic tank of conniving and deception.”

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