Another guest post from Allan

…whose original title, shown below, is perhaps overlong.
Fake Ouimet

Tony Burman, please put a letter in my file that says I can work here until whomever is in charge changes their mind

No surprise that Burman would go through such a pitiful and meaningless gesture as to assure these two veteran reporters that their jobs were secure.

CBC management has confirmed that it is not renewing the contracts of two of its star veteran foreign correspondents, Don Murray in London and Patrick Brown in Beijing. […]

However, Tony Burman, the former editor-in-chief of CBC News and now managing director of Al-Jazeera’s English-language news service, said… that a letter placed in the correspondents’ files in 2006 said the renewal of their contracts would continue until both reached 65, still a few years away. There is a stipulation in the agreement, though, that these renewals would remain subject to senior management approval.

– Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail


  1. Allan
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 7:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    8 minutes of Patrick Brown interviewed by Jane Hawtin on Radio 1 today.
    No discussion of his book and absolutely NO mention of his termination.
    The Cowardly Broadcasting Corporation.

  2. Allan
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 7:55 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    well, yeah. They’re certainly not relevant in any way to my life, how are they relevant to yours? The Toronto Sanitation Dept. makes a bigger difference in your life than these two. Even on the world stage of media, they don’t really exist. Because really no one wants them. Avi has nowhere else to go except the CBC, and for Burman it’s over.

  3. Fake Ouimet
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 11:43 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The Tea Makers, ancienne ou actuelle, is not a general-purpose CBC news aggregator. Anyway, I had Delicioused the Globe article.

    I do not disagree that more coverage is warranted, but I reiterate: Until somebody has more facts, a posting (two lines or longer) that essentially says “How reprehensible” adds nothing.

  4. Bytowner
    Posted October 19, 2008 at 4:33 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece


  5. Allan
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It’s just possible that one could think of each post here as not the “final word”, or as being all encompassing on a given subject. It could be that the topic is merely placed before an appreciative audience (!) who are then invited to expand or otherwise comment and fill in the blanks to their hearts content.
    But I’m fully aware of my duties and obligations as a marina cleaner to bring forward subjects and opinions that no one else will, rather than leaving such responsibilities to those vitally important CBC people who, unlike myself, can’t be replaced.
    Coincidentally, I have, in my time, wiped the floor with more than one broadcaster.

    But it’s Murray and Brown that weigh heavily on your mind, Anon, and there is certainly more that could be said.
    Such as, why not that oaf Neil McDonald instead of these two seasoned, to put it mildly, foreign correspondents.
    The Hollywood Reporter and The Canadian Press both reported that the axe fell on these two veterans solely as a cost cutting measure. It certainly wasn’t their performance; most of us could never do such a complex and important task as these two gentleman regularly faced.
    I approached Patrick Brown in the lobby of the TBC one day hoping that he would tell me how I could become a world traveller who has no fear of going where the bombs are exploding and bullets whizzing by one’s thinning hair. We only had a few minutes. There was an immediate impression that Patrick felt very much out of place in any kind of “normal” setting, and was far more secure in foreign lands and situations, and in the infrequent comfort of a smoke and strong whiskey. I believe he says as much in his recent book “The Butterfly Mind”.
    Don Murray is someone whose face is more familiar than I’d like anyone’s face to be, and apart from mentally going blank whenever he spoke, I will always remember him as someone my wife pointed to on the screen 30 years ago and said “I went to school with him”, implying perhaps that someone from her class actually made something of themselves as compared to those of us who toil in obscurity, and offer brief, though much appreciated, comments on blogs.

    The CBC is always free to do whatever it wants to, legally, and to value its employees as it sees fit.
    I was surprised at this announcement, but we’ve hardly come to expect smart decisions from the management of the national broadcaster.
    And I can’t really work up the sympathy that is perhaps warranted for these two skilled newsmen because any network will grab them in seconds flat.
    They won’t even have to follow Mr. Burman and Avi Lewis into irrelevance, because if CBS and CNN will take JD Roberts they’ll certainly take these two.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 1:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Merely reporting the story would have been something, because no one else is reporting it.

    A two line announcement would have been far preferable to yet another marina cleaner rant.

  7. Fake Ouimet
    Posted October 18, 2008 at 5:51 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I don’t disagree, Anonymous, but I (or a guest author) would have to have something solid to say about it apart from “How reprehensible.” Ideally backed up with facts. I’m not there yet.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 10:38 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    sorry, but… they ditched two of their best correspondents?? Can’t we have a real post about this?

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