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Bruce Dowbiggin

Bruce Dowbiggin’s career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience, with successful stints in television, radio, and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster

Jian Ghomeshi and the Usual Suspects

Whatever he’s doing now, Tom Wolfe should drop it and skedaddle to Toronto. His next novel is already being written in the provincial court room where defrocked CBC icon Jian Ghomeshi awaits the verdict in his trail on one count of choking and four counts of sexual assault. If one can identify a case with more sign posts for the decline in modern Canadian society, I defy them to show it. First, the conflict: For the better part of 20 years I was friends with Ghomeshi at the CBC. Not close friends, but friendly enough to go on each other’s shows or chat on the phone. I quoted him in a CBC Ideas documentary, and he had me as an original regular guest on the Q Sports panel (till I was purged for opinions unpopular to upper brass at the Corp). I found him, like everyone did, an engaging plugged-in hipster. There was always a current of mystery about him, but most of us attributed that to his Persian upbringing. Sexually I can best describe his vibe as TBA. But CBC is full of ambivalent characters. Two other CBC acquaintances have similarly run afoul of the law in recent years on sexual charges. The previous two English language vice presidents of broadcasting reached into CBC’s star roster for a spouse. So I was struck by many feelings when the allegations emerged against Ghomeshi. I was sorry for the women who’d been treated so brusquely. Ghomeshi made no attempt to deny the rough handling. In his final ill-fated Facebook outburst he admitted to liking S&M. Consensual he said. While some of his accusers proved less than airtight witnesses, I also knew some others had been traumatized by him. As a man and a father this dismays me more than I can… Read More

Challenging the establishment, and the Usual Suspects

With the first votes of the marathon 2016 U.S. presidential election now being cast, the assembled pundits of Big Media are overflowing with predictions. If there’s one single thing we can say with assurance this season is that they’ll all be spectacularly wrong. Exhibit A: Donald Trump. Legacy media were wrong that he’d run, that he’d last past the late autumn frost, that he’d stand a chance against Jeb Bush’s millions, that he’d lead in the polls, that he’d survive the debates, that he’d… win the presidency? The latest swing-and-a-miss came in Iowa where the media and its pollsters whiffed on Trump’s percentage of the caucus vote by seven percent. But then Trump The Destroyer scrambled everything with his crushing win in New Hampshire this week. Poor Wolf Blitzer. The media make the same mistake: they keep thinking the election is about Trump. In fact, the election is about them. Or the rejection of them and their poodle politicians by a significant portion of the U.S. electorate. Trump has taken it to them, and they have been found wanting. (To his credit, Bernie Sanders has done the same from the left.) Trump has become the reactionary Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert. For years, conservatives bridled under the progressive mockery of Stewart and Colbert. To the delight of the hipster crowd, Stewart/Colbert lampooned the right and its feckless Republican leadership. Following up Barack Obama’s condescending “they cling to their guns and religion”, the talk-show hosts wrote a cool-kids’ catechism at conservatives’ expense. In the battle for the mainstream culture, Stewart/ Colbert drubbed the right. Making the rout worse, they wore their superiority well, preening and making faces all the way to the Obama White House. Their leftist manifest destiny exposed a lack of countervailing cultural figures on the right. While you can’t swing… Read More

Hotel Canada, Sunny Ways, and the Usual Suspects

It may have escaped your attention during the 2015 federal election — what with all the Hitler/Harper noise — but Justin Trudeau was elected as prime minister. (Okay, Vogue noticed.) Many Canadians apparently didn’t obsess about that small detail so long as the dread man from Calgary was dealt a mortal blow. As such, a few have been surprised to discover that Trudeau has policies he intends to implement. It’s easy to overlook the irony of using the words Trudeau and policy in the same sentence. The son of Pierre Trudeau spent much of his 30s involved in flunking out of postgraduate studies, coaching snow boarding and lending his name to avalanche awareness (after his brother was killed in a B.C. snow slide). What passed for thought was admiration for the Chinese centralized government’s ability to act without the annoying democratic trappings of accountability. Then the Liberals parachuted him into Papa’s old riding and voila, Hitler/Harper was Vanquished. It’s pretty thin as resumés go. While not exactly a CEO or MP himself, the evil Hitler/Harper did spend his 30s working on public policy in anticipation of, like, running a government one day. Justin was training to be the next judge on So You Think You Can Dance. In any event, Trudeau’s has concocted a whack of interesting notions that Canadians are just now digesting. As he told a magazine recently, he doesn’t believe Canadians have “core values”. According to the PM, Canadians have “shared values”. To most, the two terms seem interchangeable, no? No. Core values are something we believe. Shared values are things we tolerate of each other. Shared values are best summed up by Yann Martel’s famous Hotel Canada, where lots of hipsters and groovy ethnics cook their meals in their own rooms and generally celebrate themselves, oblivious… Read More

Leo DiCaprio and the Usual Suspects

Didya’ like Leo Di Caprio’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last weekend? You know, the 2:30 ode to his virtuous self? Like the good culture warrior he is now, Leo had to let the world knew that he is a towering champion of the current zeitgeist. Climate. Natives. Energy. Watching one wondered what George Carlin would have thought of Leo’s preening. You remember George Carlin? In case you don’t, here’s George’s take in 2007 on the beautiful people, their beautiful feelings and the their beautiful place at the centre of the universe. To sum up his attitude about the Leos: “White bourgeois liberals who think the only problem with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths, who want to make it safe for their Volvos… environmentalists don’t care about the planet… you know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. They're worried at some point in the future that they might be inconvenienced.” Sort of like Di Caprio and his fellow sensitivity trainers flying jets to Paris to complain about air pollution. Of course, Carlin would never be able to say any of this now on a college campus or in a progressive newspaper, because climate science is “settled”. The L.A. Times won’t print any more letters to the editor that mess with this orthodoxy. CBC has swallowed the David Suzuki kool-aid. The prez says everyone agrees so shut up. It’s too bad, because the Leos and Sean Penns used to think George was their guy. Before they dressed in tuxedos to talk about indigenous cultures, they knew that Carlin would call people out on their BS. But now he and author Michael Crichton, who also dared to dissent, are gone.It’s safe to strut your virtuous pap. And we’re left with cultural hall monitors like… Read More

The old saw of population control

Climate science has emerged at a unique moment in history. Moral vanity has embraced the possibilities of social media. So far it is love at first sight. To understand the full agenda of Organized Climate, however, it’s necessary to travel down the progressive rabbit hole to see how their climate crusade provides cover for another pet project: population control. Those progressives threw themselves a shindig this month at the Paris Climate Conference, claiming victory over the evil “deniers” of climate science. Representatives of about 190 nations agreed to agree on something they all agreed upon before they jetted into the City of Lights. What they couldn’t agree on was who would pay for lowering the carbon-emission boogeyman. Which is akin to deciding to buy a house but neglecting to get commitments on money for the purchase. No matter, the Gore Squad still fêted themselves upon their hard-won accomplishment of conquering climate unicorns and weather fairies in Paris. Using its urgent countdown press releases (“96 months to oblivion…”) the carbon killers will now pummel dissidents who cheekily raise real scientific arguments instead of Darryl Hannah agitprop. The reason the treaty only works in the media’s fevered imagination, not the real world, was clear before the delegates (including Justin Trudeau between Vogue shoots) brought their Birkenstocks to the Bastille. Nations with emerging economies such as India and China want no part of suppressing their growth to satisfy Naomi Klein. Their primary goal is to bring millions of their citizens out of poverty by giving them abundant cheap energy. The goal of the Paris pow-wow, however, was not poverty but to dramatically boost the price of all those cheap sources of energy — coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels — in lieu of hyper-expensive alternatives such as solar and wind (the glitter… Read More
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