January 10, 2020
It’s time to call it quits.
I’ve been pontificating, preaching, promoting, posturing and presenting political punditry for more than 60 years.
I’ve had opinions on everything from boating safety in the Detroit River to both the good and bad of living in Toronto. I also was heard in Halifax and Winnipeg and across the country in a national newscast with the late Hal Anthony. At one point I hacked away on my beat up portable Underwood, then a more modern Olympus, then a Commodore 64, then a series of PC’s. I’ve scrawled comments by hand on airline barf bags, scraps of wrapping paper and cell phone screens.
McLellan and Stewart published a collection of my rants, raves and rejoinders back in the eighties. Their political stance over the years moved from right wing conservatism to left wing idealism. I’ve been sued, quoted, misquoted, plagiarized, satirized, corrected and bowdlerized. Although my comments have been perceived as an audio or visual presentation, I always regarded them as writing.
There are still causes and campaigns to be tackled. Sadly, broadcast comments and editorials have become rare. What few there are, mostly in the US, tend to be extreme right wing.
It’s been a great ride. But mainly for medical reasons, it’s time to quit.
So... for the last time ...I say...
I’M DICK SMYTH!
On Friday, an association representing publishers across the country took issue with statements made by Facebook Canada’s head of policy in an interview with The Logic, including a suggestion that the presence of news on the social media platform provides a value to publishers’ equivalent to several hundreds of millions of dollars. – Barbara Shecter, Financial Post
As Canadians continue to die, Liberals worry about what's on TV
By going after Netflix, it appears the government is targeting one of the few things that have kept many Canadians sane during the pandemic. – Jesse Kline, National Post
The hockey reports that Bell Media is now the team’s exclusive radio broadcast partner, delivering live coverage of all Winnipeg ICE games this season live on CFRW 1290 AM, and live streamed on the iHeartRadio app.
Additionally, Bell Media platforms 103.1 Virgin Radio, 99.9 BOB FM and CTV Winnipeg have been named official team partners. – Media release
The Vernon Community Radio Society (VCRS) has announced the longtime Vernon radio personality will be joining the team as honourary chairperson of the society’s fundraising committee. In 2013 the award-winning journalist became the first woman outside of Ontario to be awarded the Rosalie Award and is only the third woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Electronic Journalists.
Selin is well known in Greater Vernon for her broadcasting career and community service, which began in the late '70s and continued until she left Bell Media in November 2020.
The Vernon Community Radio Society is embarking on a fundraising campaign, with a target of $200,000 to launch a new community-based FM radio station to serve Greater Vernon. – Darren Handschuh, Castanet
CBS bought the lucrative rights — the network is charging $325,000 for every 30 seconds of commercial time — from Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, and can also license the interview in international markets.
A spokesman for the Sussexes’ told the Journal they were not paid for the interview. – Elizabeth Elizaide, New York Post
When it comes to Meghan Markle — who has repeatedly cried that life in England with the royal family was so hard for her it was “almost unsurvivable” — who is doing the bullying? Why did 10 people flee employment at the palace under Meghan and Harry, and all in less than two years? – Paula Froelich, New York Post
Interior Ministry special forces and the army will set up a security cordon around the pope wherever he goes, while the air force will operate drones around the clock to monitor the routes he will take. There will be an explosives team and counterterrorism personnel on standby in case of any suspicious devices or street battles.
Undercover intelligence and national security officers will also be deployed at gatherings attended by the pope. A technical team can also jam or cut off suspicious phone calls or radio communications, he added.
About 10,000 security personnel will be deployed to protect Francis, who may travel in armoured cars in what would be a departure from the norm for him. – Francesco Bongarra, Arab News
However long it takes, the transition to a mild endemic virus is unlikely to be a straight line. Some infectious disease researchers envision a healthier summer — with low circulation of the virus and more people vaccinated — but a more tenuous fall. Other factors, like how long protection provided by vaccines will last, what percentage of people gets them, and whether variants of the virus sap the strength of vaccines, will determine the outcome.
These are not predictions that people fed up with the pandemic will want to hear. – Andrew Joseph & Helen Branswell, Stat
Americans choose to laugh more often than to be enraged. We have been effective at using laughter to lower the temperature. Remember Chevy Chase tripping his way through skits about President Ford on Saturday Night Live? Or Daryl Hammond mocking President Clinton’s empathy affectation, or the incomparable Tina Fey’s hilarious skits about Sarah Palin? Their skits all had a grain of truth in them, and both Democrats and Republicans laughed. Laughter is a shared American value, ignited by good comedy that exempts no one.
Yet, comedy began to die in 2009 with President Obama’s tenure. Humor was deemed to be criticism that was seen as racist, so Saturday Night Live and news networks began to steer clear of it. In 2017, comedy took an ugly turn toward mockery when the sour and malicious Alec Baldwin played President Trump on Saturday Night Live. Stephen Colbert took this to another level with his cartoon parody of the Trump administration in his series, “Our Cartoon President.” Many comedic giants, including Jerry Seinfeld, walked away from gigs because comedy simply didn’t work anymore. It was now offensive.
Within the context of America losing its sense of humor, the woke cancel culture was born. – Dennis M. Powell, The Hill
Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled Canadian airwaves for decades with hot takes on the day’s topics, has died at 86.
– Friends and fans remembered Chris Schultz as a gentle giant, who became a respected TV and radio analyst after a successful playing career with the Dallas Cowboys and Toronto Argonauts.
Schultz, a native of Burlington, Ont., died Thursday after suffering a heart attack. He was 61. – The Canadian Press