Hockey Thugs Aren’t Only On The Ice

CBC Exec Threatens Globe & Mail

When Don Cherry, a hero of free speech to millions, is recorded saying the word “fuck”, it is apparently a very big deal.
For CBC’s Scott Moore it’s enough to make him threaten to ex-communicate the Globe & Mail if they mention having heard it.

Last December, 680 News radio reporter Colin D’Mello approached Cherry to ask for his reaction to a statement made by neurologist Charles Tator. Dr. Tator had stated publicly that Cherry’s celebration of violence in hockey games was not exactly helping to minimize injuries to players. Cherry’s response was, as always, straight forward and blunt. It began with Don, who makes a lucrative career in broadcasting, observing that if he wanted to talk about it he would do it on his own show, where he’s getting paid.

Reporter D’Millo would have been holding up a recorder when speaking to Cherry, and we hear a bystander remark “have you got the tape rolling?” while Cherry laughs. The radio station chose not to broadcast the comments. They really amounted to the same as simply reporting “Don Cherry had no comment when asked about it”.
Mysteriously, or not, the audio clip made it’s way from D’Millo’s recording device and on to, where else, YouTube, our favourite storage device for archiving audio-visual history.
The Globe picked up the story and wanted to explore it further. Cherry’s reaction to Tator’s comment was legitimate news.
Neither 680 News, Don Cherry or Dr, Tator wanted to say anything more about it for the time being, and the original YouTube video was removed. Also a Twitter link.
When called by the Globe for a comment on the record, CBC HNIC executive producer Sherali Najak defended Cherry, saying he was a “leader” who “promotes respect among players.”

Also in contact with the Globe was her boss, with the very long title, Executive Director CBC Sports and General Manager Media Sales and Marketing, Scott Moore.
And when he heard of the story, he decided he would prefer that nothing go on the record.

“This was clearly not recorded as an interview,” Moore told The Globe and Mail in an e-mail message. “And it was clear that Don was unaware that he was being recorded. I would be upset if it was used on the air.”

But it turns out Mr. Moore would be more than “upset if it was used on the air.” In fact, he’d be really pissed off should the Globe decide to mention it.
In a story published today by sports reporter Bruce Dowbiggen, himself a former broadcaster:

When we published the Cherry rant in December, CBC Sports vice-president Scott Moore tried to convince us not to make the story public. Having been sent the YouTube tape of Cherry’s interview by Usual Suspects, Moore declared the interview a set-up and Cherry the victim of a vendetta on our part. Moore then threatened to cut us off from contact with anyone at CBC Sports if we went ahead with the story.

Sure enough, when we did publish, Moore followed through with his fatwa. “In future, for all issues regarding CBC Sports, please direct your questions to our PR director, Tim Knapp,” a terse e-mail read. Which begs the question of why a senior executive at the country’s public broadcaster was demanding we suppress a legitimate story about a public figure from CBC belittling a reporter. But when it comes to Don (Ka-ching) Cherry, previous rules do not apply at the Corp.

Such a big deal over the possibility of the public learning that Don Cherry says “fuck”. Think of the children!
This sort of thing is usually only noteworthy when it’s done on the air inadvertently.

fuller version Here

Moore is paid very well for his ability to facilitate the broadcasting of hockey. Televised hockey games account for more than half of CBC’s revenue. Without it, CBC executives would actually have to work for a living. That warrants a hefty pay scale for Moore and a promotion to executive status and two job titles to make it legal.
Yet as important as the job is, Moore somehow has the time, and inclination, to threaten reporters for the Globe & Mail.


  1. Allan
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 5:17 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    from Winnipeg Free Press

    Dr. Tator:
    “I think I just spoke my mind,” he says. “We’ve been too gentle with him over the years. I really feel that a culture change is necessary and the culture he preaches of rock ’em-sock ’em is not the culture we need in order to reduce concussions. That is a bad message — win at all costs, violence, aggression, those are bad messages.”
    Dr. Tator says he has no regrets about the storm that ensued.
    “The only thing I regret is that it may have detracted from the issue of concussions, that a lot of reporters were much more interested in the fact that someone would criticize Cherry publicly,” he says. “They wrote about the personalities rather than the issues. I’d rather the issue was given prominence.”
    After the incident, Tator called Cherry, possibly to make peace.
    “He never answered,” Tator says. “I was advised and agreed, that I should call him and ask him to join the injury prevention team. That’s the message I left. He never called back. I’m still waiting for his call.”

  2. Anonymous
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 5:33 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    why does the cbc continue to allow Cherry to use his segment to promote Canada’s military to our children?

  3. Allan
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 2:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Top 10 television programs in Canada, the week of Jan. 4-10:

    1 “World Jr. Hockey Championship” (TSN, Tuesday) – 5,265,000

    2 “World Jr. Hockey Championship Post-Game” (TSN, Tuesday) – 3,024,000

    3 “NCIS” (Global, Tuesday) – 2,215,000

    4 “Dragon’s Den” (CBC, Wednesday) – 1,959,000

    5 “People’s Choice Awards” (Global, Wednesday) – 1,915,000

    6 “Desperate Housewives” (CTV, Sunday) – 1,864,000

    7 “Two and a Half Men” (CTV, Monday) – 1,837,000

    8 “CTV Evening News” (CTV, Monday-Friday) – 1,795,000

    9 “Hockey Night in Canada – Game 1)” (CBC, Saturday) – 1,755,000

    10 “Hockey Night in Canada – Game 2)” (CBC, Saturday) – 1,605,000

    Source: BBM Canada

  4. LocalYokel
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Leaving aside the discussion about whether or not the public broadcaster should be covering a professional sport in such a dedicated and all encompassing manner….

    I’d like to see a tally of total production costs (NHL broadcast rights, transporting broadcast teams around North America, salaries, etc) vs ad revenue intake for the CBC’s hockey coverage. If hockey programming is self-sustaining, groovy cool. If not…

    Ron and Don’s combined salaries could likely fund a kickass national radio show. Perhaps even a reporter in Hamilton.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      Great idea, Local Yokel! You’ve got my vote. Maybe all sports reporting & broadcasting should be left to the experts, like TSN. Should the CBC be all things to all people? Can it afford to be?

  5. CRTC
    Posted January 17, 2010 at 8:20 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    CBC’s doesn’t have an infatuation with hockey per say.. it has an infatuation with something that makes money. It’s a rare thing that anything at the CBC delivers an audience and major advertising revenue.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hockey is the only sport in which violence is condoned, encouraged and expected.

  7. LocalYokel
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The CBC’s infatuation with hockey is a sad commentary on the role of a public broadcaster.

    All this hoopla for a a sport that very few kids can play anymore because of the cost.

    The micro-analysis of the semi-pro (juniors-OHL) and pro game is astounding. If only parliament and government departments could be covered so thoroughly and seriously, and given the same level of broadcast support. The CBC doesn’t even maintain a daily Queen’s Park reporter anymore, but the inner workings of the NHLPA becomes 15 minutues of prime time, round table drama.

    I watched the first HNIC and Coach’s Corner following the death of the four Cdn soldiers and reporter Michelle Lang, professionals working in an inherently dangerous environment, one in which they were well aware of the potential risks. Cherry, in what has become a very strange tradition, lamented their deaths at length.

    Ron and Don then gave a twenty second soundbite, of sorts, to Woodstock, Ontario referee Kevin Brown, who had his neck slashed during a junior C hockey fight, almost dying because of the injury. Brown, from what my sources tell me, is now able to recognize people but is still in critical condition. Don and Ron gave no context to that accident, and clearly wanted to distance themselves from the hockey-violence equation. Probably didn’t want to give hockey a bad name.

    It is Canada’s game, after all.

  8. David D.
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    For the record, Sherali Najak is male. *His* boss, with the very long title, is Executive Director CBC Sports and General Manager Media Sales and Marketing, Scott Moore.

    • Allan
      Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      An inadvertent error on my part, betraying the subconscious belief that these days the CBC is run largely by women, if only at the second-tier level of management.
      And didn’t The Ramones have a hit song with “My Sharoli”?

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      That Scott Moore is losing his mind – slowly but surely….

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