Disappointing news today. One of the investigative journalists for CBC’s the fifth estate has decided to step down. If you’re in Canada, you may remember Linden Macintyre for documentaries such as Brian Mulroney: The Unauthorized Chapter, which led to a national investigation over his shady dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber. One of my recent favourites was Silence of the Labs. Even being previously aware of how much the Harper government has censored science, it was heartbreaking to see Patricia Sutherland’s intriguing Baffin Island investigation on Norse settlements shut down. How someone could be against such knowledge is beyond me. Even the likely motive, maintaining Arctic sovereignty, seems too sinister for my mind to comprehend.
And so he was a living reminder of how important investigative journalism and in-depth, critical thought is to our country, especially with our PM doing our best to suppress it. And how. His motive for stepping down was so that younger CBC employees would be less likely to be laid off due to massive cuts. Alison Smith soon followed in taking the bullet for the young uns. Good people, the both of them. I shall look forward to the new blood replacing them.
Ultimately, he aimed to send a message. At stake is not only journalism, but the livelihoods of 657 people with these cuts. Say what you want about CBC’s fictional programming, but their reporting is top-notch and will be hard to replace. It’s time to recognize and defend our key public services from Harper’s attempts to starve the beast in the fraudulent name of a balanced budget. You can’t put a price on critical thinking. So Mr. Macintyre, I salute you.
Actually, now may be a good time to check out his work outside CBC. After all, he did win a Giller Prize for The Bishop’s Man.