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[VIDEO] CBC’s Kevin O’Leary to NYT’s Chris Hedges: “You sound like a left wing nutbar”

Kevin O’Leary of CBC’s Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank cultivates the persona of a ruthless truth-teller.

But he came across as a shallow blowhard during an interview on his Lange & O’Leary Exchange show with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges in New York about the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Hedges, a former New York Times foreign correspondent and prolific author on social issues, sympathizes with the protesters camped on Wall Street. But he might have been forgiven for thinking an interview on Canada’s public TV network would be a little more high-toned.

Instead, O’Leary tore into Hedges, whom he misidentified as a protest organizer, and denigrated the protesters with oft-repeated criticism that they’re unfocused and leaderless.

“They want to reverse the corporate coup that’s taken place in the United States, that’s rendered the citizenry impotent,” Hedges replied.

“You sound like a left-wing nutbar,” O’Leary said.

“I don’t usually appear on shows who descend to character assassination,” said Hedges, clearly surprised by the personal attack but refusing to be baited. “You sound like Fox News.”

He went on to praise the ideas of Canadian thinkers such as John Ralston Saul, and the prudent banking system that helped Canada avoid the 2008 financial crisis that’s one of the motivating forces behind the Wall Street protest.

The “interview” ended civilly and O’Leary’s co-host thanked Hedges “for joining us.”

“It’ll be the last last time,” the former war correspondent replied.

–Yahoo News 

____________________

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"nothing-burger...very weak, low-budget"

O’Leary’s ‘nutbar’ remark breach of policy, CBC ombudsman says

 

CASSANDRA SZKLARSKI

Toronto— The Canadian Press

Friday, Oct. 14, 2011

CBC’s ombudsman says Kevin O’Leary’s heated remarks during an interview with author Chris Hedges violated the public broadcaster’s journalistic standards.

The watchdog says hundreds of complaints were filed after Mr. O’Leary called the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist “a nutbar” during CBC News Network’sThe Lang & O’Leary Exchange on Oct. 6. The remark came during a seven-minute segment about the Occupy Wall Street protests unfolding in the United States.

“There is room at the inn for a range of views, but there is no room for name-calling a guest,” CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe writes in a decision dated Oct. 13.

“O’Leary might have been genuinely curious about Hedges’s views, but his opening salvo only fed contempt, which breached policy.”

Mr. LaPointe says CBC News correctly issued a private apology to Mr. Hedges after the interview but should also have apologized on air.

A CBC spokesman was not immediately available Friday to say whether that recommendation would be implemented.

Mr. O’Leary is best known as an outspoken judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

His Oct. 6 interview with Mr. Hedges devolved into an argument after he referred to demonstrators as “nothing burgers,” called the protests “very weak, very low-budget” and said Mr. Hedges sounded like a “left-wing nutbar.”

Mr. Hedges responded by saying he doesn’t usually go on shows where people “descend to character assassination.”

“If you want to discuss issues, that’s fine. I mean, this sounds like Fox News and I don’t go on Fox News,” he said.

Mr. LaPointe says e-mailed complaints began to arrive that evening and continued for several days, while video of the exchange was posted widely online.

“This Office and CBC News received hundreds of comments, many of them demanding an apology and some demanding that O’Leary be fired for suggesting Hedges was a ‘left-wing nutbar,’” he writes.

It’s not the first complaint over Mr. O’Leary regarding an outburst on the news talk show. The National Union of Public and General Employees says it filed a complaint Friday over comments Mr. O’Leary made Sept. 19, when he said that if he were elected prime minister, he would “make unions illegal” and union members should be “thrown in jail.”

The O’Leary controversy came in the wake of widespread outcry over CBC hockey commentator Don Cherry’s rant against former NHL enforcers.

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6 responses

  1. I have always agreed with a lot of what Hedges talks about in terms of politics. I like his Noam Chomsky like attitude. We need many more like him in this world.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

    • He will inherit the Chomsky legacy.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

  2. Dominic Besignano

    Kevin O’Leary …you are a prime example of what the protests of OWS are all about…not wanting working Canadians to benefit with our social programs and healthcare…want to de-regulate banks in Canada which would have been a disaster during this recession…but on the same hand you get funded by Canadian taxpayer dollars to run your call centers with the enviroment of sweat shops without providing your workers with any basic rights…Now on this show you again are being paid by taxpayer dollars to insult guests. If you had done your homework on Mr Hedges agenda..he has been very clear about not being anti-corporation or business for those who create jobs…Again he has been very clear about financial institutions that want to control peoples social securities…pension funds etc to play the gambling investment game with..So O’Leary so if your are who you profess to be stop using taxpayers money for you cheap shod business..Step down from your job on CBC…you are not an investigative reporter..You are simply a mouthpiece and a poor one at that for the 1% who use tax loops and corporate government welfare for your own benefit.

    October 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

  3. Pingback: [AUDIO] “OBAMA WAS NOTHING BUT A BRAND”: CHRIS HEDGES IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL ENRIGHT ON CBC RADIO’S SUNDAY EDITION « rudhro's ruminatoria

  4. Max

    I watched with disgust as this so called Journalist insulted a rare human being and humanist Chris Hedges, but Mr. Hedges put the guy in his place and any impartial person can judge for himself/herself. O’Learly looked like a nut that he is, a capitalist of the Oligarch type that poses as a journalist advancing the corrupt system and protecting the big bankers. He gets outraged that how can anyone think that the criminal Goldman-Sachs leaders should be prosecuted, and so that person suggesting this must be a left-wing nut.

    Just compare: Hedges who could have had enough money (he was a top reporter for NY Times, and he is Pulitzer prize winner) and a comfortable life, has chosen a really tough life in support of his belief and for humanity, He actually was told by NYT to stop his activism or else and he resigned. Woludn’t a normal person, left or right, or impartial just respect him for that, even if one disagrees with his opinion? How many of the people in the media, or anywhere, have 1% of his courage and humanity? Next time O’Leary opens his big mouth, he should at least know who he has on his show. Now compare Hedges with this little miserable guy O’Leary. Compare that with a pig that will do anything, including lying, to keep his status and his money and has no empathy for millions of people, billions all over the world, being hurt as direct result of this inhumane and predatory mega ponzi scheme called world financial system and globalization, that is profiting from child labor, trashing the environment, etc. etc.

    The mouth piece of this system, the bought-up media (from the trash like the NY Post, and Fox News, to the sophisticated like the Economist magazine) always praise this system that raises the standard of living (essentially creates a world labour market for lower wages and create essentially the neo-feudal system, with everyone working like dogs for subsistence living, and the top 1% reaping the benefits (of course this is nothing but the classic definition of fascism). This is the nightmare world that all big thinkers always have warned us against and the realization of Ayn Rand dream, that socipath and third rate philosopher wanabe, and the grand old mentor of the disgraced and corrupt Alan Greenspan.

    If there ever was a true prophet, Hedges and Chomsky must be at top of the list, may be after Jesus and Buda, the difference is that the last two may be complete fiction whereas the former two are real.

    Mr. O’Leary I know you believe this in your heart (that these people are all left nut cases) ,not necessarily because you are not well-informed, which you are not, but also because you are that 1% of the 1% who has sold his soul, does not even want to think that maybe thousands of people showing up in protests might have a point, and that necessarily they must be all left-wing nut cases. This is very similar to Nazi propaganda. He should at least be aware that people with some conscience from the top 1% are reflecting exactly the same sentiment as shown by the “Occupy” movement, just read what Bill Gross the founder of the largest bond-fund recently said: “Wall Street Protesters Are Just Fighting Back After ’30 Years Of Being Shot At”

    There is a theory in psychology that one projects his own thoughts and personality on other people, in fact it is O’Leary who is angry and a nut case plus shallow and illiterate as well (yes right “the OWS people does not even know the name of the banks”). I have a lot of adjectives, mostly four letter, than would like to shower on O’Leary but will abstain out of respect for this blog.

    I am so outraged that I believe that we should create a response to O’Leary by starting a petition signed by people that condemns the way he conducted that interview, also we can dig some info that may really expose this guy and show that he is not just expressing an opinion. If the FED governor Frederic S. Mishkin (Ivy League Economist) can be bought (as proved in the film Inside Job) why not a lowly “journalist” like O’Leary? (oh, but he is an entrepreneur with lots of money, but remember no amount of money is enough for these sociopaths!)

    When you watch the clips of the “Occupy” movement on the YouTube and elsewhere you see that they are mostly young, intelligent, and know exactly why they are there and have demands like give us back our rights and government, and can elaborate their opinions. The media keeps censoring this message and (because it is controlled by the corporations and the Wall Street) has to claim that they just don’t know what they want, which of course is a lie. Media has to keep up its propaganda otherwise it’s not doing the job its owners expect of them, their role is misinformation very similar to Nazi propaganda but with a soft edge.

    October 14, 2011 at 3:25 am

    • O’leary has never claimed to be a ‘journalist’—your ‘comment’ seems randomly generated. Whoa. O’leary is merely considered a ‘personality’–added to spice up the debate in this show. It’s to get a rise out of the audience, much as it HAS. Amanda Lang–not present in this episode–is more of an expert, a journalist even. O’leary is a very wealthy individual, and thus has been given a platform on the CBC. Initially to entertain (Dragon’s Den) and now to express opinions on market issues. Google ‘Random Complaint Generator’. I am on Hedges’ side, but I am so objectively.

      October 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

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