CBC Engulfed in New Payola Scandal

The reputation of Canada’s public broadcasting television and radio network, the CBC, took another hit this past week.

The ongoing investigation of the now disgraced Jian Ghomeshi,  the former host of Q, the popular CBC radio entertainment/music/cultural program, has exposed another ugly can of worms.

Recall Ghomeshi has already been charged with four counts of sexual assault, and one count of choking, by women who formerly associated with Ghomeshi. These charges have yet to be proven in a court of law.

However, this time, CBC and Ghomeshi are being accused by the Toronto Star, that the CBC had received the sum of $5,000 from Warner Music, to help pay for Ghomeshi’s travel and hotel costs, when he flew especially to Malibu, California, to do a personal interview with well-known musical artist, Tom Petty for a Q show “Canadian exclusive.”

Folks, we are talking about good, old fashioned, “payola”- that is, cash bribes ( or related forms of financial benefits) to CBC employees in order to promote artists and their music on CBC.

But you have to hand it to those sharp American executives at Warner Music. For five grand,  they not only secured an interview for their client Tom Petty on CBC’s Q show, which is also broadcast in over 140 American public radio stations, but they also obtained an 18 minute Ghomeshi/Petty filmed interview on CBC’s flagship nightly news show, “The National”.

Talk about a great bang for the American buck!Unfortunately, for CBC’s “ The National”, this show and its journalistic reputation became collateral damage, as this supposedly very reputable daily news show failed to disclose that Warner Music had paid Ghomeshi’s travel costs in order to secure this interview. Thus calling into question the journalistic objectivity of the interviewer, the interview and “The National”, in particular.

Since Warner Music paid for Ghomeshi’s Malibu trip, it is very unlikely that Ghomeshi is going to bite the hand, that so very well fed him.

I sincerely believe that this minor payola incident is just the tip of a much larger and more corrupt iceberg.

This Toronto Star article also alluded to other financial benefits that Ghomeshi enjoyed- ie.  free hotel rooms and airline services and possibly many other services and benefits.

Note also in an earlier Toronto Star article, Ghomeshi showcased and promoted musical guests on his popular show, Q,  who were also clients of his own agent and entertainment lawyer. Thus raising the obvious question, did Ghomeshi financially benefit directly or indirectly from these efforts?

Recall the payola scandals in the US in the 1950s and ‘60s, where money, drugs, trips,  women, and all sorts of gifts, were given to DJs by agents and studios, in order to secure valuable and regular radio play of the studios’ artists, records and songs.  There were congressional hearings and offending radio stations were fined, their licenses threatened or revoked, and offending DJs lost their jobs.

We are not at that stage yet in this very public CBC psychodrama. But we are fast approaching a complete moral and morale breakdown in the CBC and enormous public disgust with the CBC by many Canadian taxpayers who ultimately fund these morally questionable CBC operations.

There should be a total cleaning of house at CBC- of all senior managers and executives who were culpably involved with Ghomeshi.

I know I sound like a broken record or CD.

But now, more than ever, there should be a federal bipartisan government inquiry into CBC- dealing with sexual harassment at CBC and now apparently and potentially illegal if not unethical “Payola” practices at CBC.

This Ghomeshi cancer continues to spread unabated throughout the whole of CBC.

Unless this cancer is rooted out and surgically removed, preferably by an outside and effective government inquiry, once and for all,  this cancer will continue to metastasize and ultimately, destroy from within the whole of CBC.

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