Rafe Mair says CBC Radio fired him as a commentator
For many years, I worked on the CBC Early Edition show, and I have fond memories of my colleagues there.
But it's been a very long time since I've been employed at the Mother Corp., which leaves me free to comment on the newest controversy.
I just read on Rafe Mair's Facebook page that he has been fired as a Monday morning political commentator.
He's claiming that his dismissal was "a result of political pressure from the Clark government".
Mair, a fiery former Social Credit cabinet minister and ardent environmentalist, was in many respects an ideal analyst.
He had worked inside government, so he was in a position to know how politicians and bureaucrats try to snow the public.
He's also somewhat unpredictable, often criticizing the B.C. Liberals but sometimes calling out the NDP.
If I were to put Mair on an ideological spectrum, I would describe him as one of those middle-of-the-road Greens, albeit with a strong dislike of anything that he thinks jeopardizes the natural environment. That includes fish farms and run-of-river power projects.
These days with the exception of David Suzuki's The Nature of Things and the Quirks and Quarks radio show, the green movement doesn't get a ton of airtime on CBC.
Meanwhile, viewers of the National are sometimes subjected to the climate-science denying rubbish of Rex Murphy and the tar-sands-defending Bruce Anderson on the At Issue panel.
And that's what made Mair such an asset to the CBC. I heard things from him that none of the others would say on the airwaves. And Mair's definitely not a political lackey.
Unfortunately, that's what some of the political analysis on radio shows has devolved into. Complete partisans—such as NDP president Moe Sihota and B.C. Liberal propagandist Suzanne Anton—never criticize their own side, but are quick to slam the others.
This stands in sharp contrast to how Mair approached the job of being on the radio.
I'll miss his presence on Monday mornings. And because he won't be there, I'm going to be a little more likely to flip the dial to CKNW, News 1130, or Co-op Radio because without his outbursts, there will be far fewer surprises for the listeners.