The Year In Review

2009 is nearly done, and depending on where you were standing in the CBC, it was a great one or a miserable one. It was a great year for the writers of press releases, for example. Kids who got bumped from their jobs were a bit bitter. Steven and Chris came out even.

Layoffs and the “sale of assets” were announced in March. Things looked dire. It was possible that not even a Facebook group could pull us out of this mess. Could those new media futurists have been wrong all this time?

And yet, a few months later, as reported in Variety, “ratings are up bigtime for Canuck pubcaster CBC, which is having its best fall season in five years.” Bigtime, you say? Who? Us Canucks? Could Richard Stursberg have been right all this time?

And whatever happened to That Mandate we used to have?

Look, I’m not going to say it was the best of times and the worst of times, but it was some weird fucking times. And the history of the CBC is etched across this blog like a prison tattoo.

Here are the most-read posts of 2009:

1. Whither the CMG?
By Anonymous, March 26
In the wake of layoff announcements, Anonymous steps up to apologize to the union for ignoring them for so long. The public chimes in. So does union president Lise Laureau. Another commenter takes it offline to a town hall meeting, outing himself in the process. The term “Fuck yourself right in the ear” is coined. Then it starts to get pretty raw. This was one of the most-read Tea Makers posts of all time. Old fashioned bloodletting, sorely needed.

It was around this time that I approached Lise to be a regular contributor to the site. She was amenable to the idea. I also approached CBC senior management. They too, were interested. That was March.

2. ‘The Strombo Show’ SUCKS – a fair and balanced perspective
By Allan, November 15
2009 may have been the year Allan finally broke. After years of contributions, this review of George’s new radio show touched a nerve with a lot of people, and they came out in droves to discuss it, the show, and George, to talk to each other, flirt with each other, and threaten each other. Who knew that all this time, Allan was amassing an underground army of zombies? And they hunger for brains.

3. An open letter to the President from concerned CBC staff
By Concerned CBC staff, October 15
A controversial post from a paranoid, desperate, controversial contributor. Was it a hoax? Was this defence of Mike Linder written by Mike Linder himself? And was the spelling “John Crookshank” a clue, a typo, or a commentary? We leave this to future generations to sort out. In the meantime, this is some funny shit.

4. If you haven’t lost your faith yet…
By The Tweet Makers, October 29
A commentary on the new CBC News Network through the lens of Twitter. Written in the hallmark style of Tea Makers 2.0 expert The Tweet Makers, this was the post that broke Fake Ouimet’s back. Assuming it penned by me (it wasn’t) he flew into a rage over a nose-tweak directed at him and deleted everything he ever wrote. Then on his own blog he penned a lot of vague and not-so-vague threats, misguided assumptions, and dead-wrong commentary. He won’t be back.

5. Liveblog of Richard Stursberg presentation on programming cuts (removed)
By Fake Ouimet , March 26
The only place, online or off, to find transcripts of the CBC “town halls” and presentations was The Tea Makers. This was the work of Fake Ouimet, all of it gone now, but this post contained a wealth of interesting discussion in the comments, not all of it toxic. This was the online hook on which CBC employees could hang their virtual hats, flags, and fleeces in those confusing times.


  1. clomid
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  2. Just Can't Let it Go (only 2 more days of 09 left)
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Joe Clark, you are full of bullshit.

    Why not submit a correction to this site if it ain’t true that you threatened to dooce Oumie on your blog, and then quickly erased it?

    Even Todd Mafin doesn’t do fucked up shit like that.

    • Allanjoined April 10, 2009
      Posted December 30, 2009 at 1:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      Yes, our little blog had its share of drama this year, and we didn’t even get into the Globe like Raymi. Interesting how that used to matter – being recognized by mainstream media – and now it doesn’t. We’re more concerned about what other bloggers think, and even then not so much.
      Feel a bit sorry for joe because he lost something that was important to him, though not apparently as important as his exaggerated pride. Is that the definition of a cautionary tale? Yeah, there’s a lesson and a warning there.

      We never make references to insidecbc any more, though Paul McGrath has certainly tried to live dangerously. He trumpets the CBC “success” but the over-riding theme comes off as bashing the Corporation even more than Tea Makers does. Has the blog become a chore and a decision he regrets? Doesn’t seem like he’s enjoying it at all. Lesson here seems to be, be careful what you ask for.

      Tod Maffin. The man who would be king. Surprising what a web site make-over will do for a person’s disposition. Tod’s all smiles now that his bullshit has hit pay-dirt. No more constant updates about his every ache and pain, let alone acknowledging being on medication. But the games never end for a guy who views his fellow citizens as gullible rubes.
      He still promotes the illusion that he’s with the CBC, and recently tried doing a web-based radio show. What will he think of next? What ever it is, he remains the poster boy for exploiting the web, public relations as perversion and deceit, and a model study in spinning one’s CV and self-written Wikipedia entry beyond shamelessness.
      Maffin is another Madoff, employing a Ponzi scheme of credibility to propel himself to new, over-rated stature.

      • Poon-o Ger-douche-ssi
        Posted December 30, 2009 at 2:10 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

        Nice motherfucking DHTML snowflakes on Tod’s site right now. Real motherfucking nice.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

          This username is a modern masterpiece of skulldiggery.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 2, 2010 at 3:53 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

        Your assessment of Tod Maffin – “exploiting the web, public relations as perversion and deceit, and a model study in spinning ones CV and self-written Wikipedia entry beyond shamelessness.” – could also apply to a few others that (unlike Tod) work for the CBC.

        • Allan
          Posted January 2, 2010 at 4:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

          Feel free to be specific, and shine a little light on those whom you might consider as being notably self-infatuated, with an exaggerated and on-going bluff about their grandiose yet vague accomplishments.

    • Ouimetjoined April 10, 2009
      Posted December 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      This blog has only been threatened twice with legal action. Once by Tod, once by Joe. This tells me that Canadian bloggers are stupid, or touchy, or take themselves and this blog way too seriously, or are incredibly smart.

      I would never pretend to know what it all means. But I read Joe’s post, and at least I understand that I have to take responsibility for my own actions, even with a pseudonym. That may sound strange but it’s one of the first things learned writing this blog.

      He can insist he’s done nothing wrong, but he’s responsible for what he did. And he can claim that he’s not writing here because he chooses not to, or he can remember that he was shut out, a process he documents somewhere else on his blog.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 4:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This was the year the CBC finally lost what remained of its journalistic soul. The beancounters finally won the major internal battle, managing over the past decade to get non-journalists (info-tainment types) in most roles of key decision-making — understanding that pop culture-based programming is MUCH cheaper that hard-nosed, investigative journalism. It had already happened in television and now radio was finally infected to the point where Jian is now considered one of our “best interviewers” for God’s sakes. Across the country, some of our best and brightest journalists voluntarily walked away from the company, clearly seeing there was no future for true journalism at the CBC. Senior journalistic leaders of a past generation hid under their desks, hoping they’d be bypassed in the cuts, hoping they can ride it out to pension (I can’t blame them). There’s no turning back now. The CBC has positioned itself to be defined as offering nothing different than private radio and TV. The end is near…one Conservative majority away.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted December 29, 2009 at 11:02 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If Fake Ouimet is Teamakers Douche of the year, I want to nominate Mondoville as blog of the year:

    with a runnerup to Medium Close Up

    If only they could get some link love from Teamakers!

  5. Anonymous
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 11:28 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hubert will now demand an explanation from Richard about the PPM ratings! Richard will say that this is a pathetic attempt to diminish his accomplishments, er, his team’s accomplishments. Hubert will then of course express outrage, although he will not quite know why he’s outraged, not yet understanding that he is surrounded by career CBC managers who gauge their actions based on the president’s five year statute of limitations.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    CBC ratings up??? That is truly pathetic!! Even CBC’s internal audience reports say do not compare this year’s PPM ratings to last year. The new PPM system has increased ratings for all stations by about 30% and CBC is up about 30%, READ, CBC ‘s ratings are unchanged from last year. The only thing that has increased is phantom tuning being measured by the PPM. Ratings up?: a classic example of how CBC management will use any scrap of crap to keep their place in the hierarchy.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      CBC ratings up? CBC’s audience share of all Canadian stations this season is 7%; last season it was 7%. Only CBC researchers, using magic math, could conclude that ratings are up!

  7. PoonGirl
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan has a face that is made for the radio. I don’t. I should be George’s sidekick on television, while Ally Cat can be his sidekick on radio.

    Allan knows a lot about music, and would be a very good addition to the radio show. Allan was around when music was first created, most people don’t know music came well before language. I can communicate to Allan through beating a table or rock throwing, he understands all of that. But, my favourite way to communiate to Allan would be through moaning …opps, I mean speaking.

  8. PoonGirl
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I’m too much of an intellectual to be interviewed by George and not make him look like an idiot.

    My favourite question of his is when he asks “how does the man version of you look back at the boy version of you ?”

    When you get to being a man, you can let us know too, George.

    • Allanjoined April 10, 2009
      Posted December 28, 2009 at 6:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      You’re right. You’d be a better sidekick.
      That would be a show I’d never want to miss.

  9. Allanjoined April 10, 2009
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Always in awe of the our great founder Ouimet, who elevates us all.
    If George had any “brains” he’d start his radio show with this, and follow it with an interview with the Dali Lama and Poongirl.

  10. Fake Ygevny Zamyatin
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ah, Fake Ouimet.

    I nominate him as Teamakers person of the year 2009.
    Or more fittingly, Teamakers un-person of 2009.

    While we’re on the subject, I just can’t resist bringing up one tiny lost details of the Great Schism (r) of 2009. I resolve to stop talking about this in 2010, y’all, but for now, it’s still the best underreported tidbit of the year.

    May we never, never forget that up and above his more measured postings about the the Ouimet / Fake Ouimet shitstorm on his own site, Fake Ouimet briefly threatened to ‘out’ Ouimet.

    Right on his own blog, then he removed it.

    And he has never made a comment about that. He doesn’t really need to. I just wish I had the full text, so it could just stand alone.

    Or as someone else in the blogosphere said. Fuck Fake Ouimet and the weird low-level dooce – baggery he rode in on, then quickly retracted!

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