“CBC is now sustained in the trenches by a whole lot of new recruits who are enthusiastic and ambitious and gifted, and who desperately want to get a foothold in media. And desperation and vulnerability will go together, and then if you put that in a place where there is an influence driven by ego, narcissism, a kind of abusive personality, you start moving along a continuum. It starts with just a sort of obnoxious, ‘Run down and get me a coffee.’” Unchecked, he says, “It moves into a sense of entitlement that allows you to make greater demands and be a bigger bully.”
And even through MacIntyre spent decades on TV, he says he never lost the sense he had cultivated during his first 12 years in the business, as a lowly print reporter for a regional paper. “There was no horseshit there, boy,” he says with a chuckle. “Entitlement wouldn’t get you a cup of tea.
“The problem with the culture is that it nurtures that kind of celebrity, and it nurtures that kind of entitlement, because stardom tends to put a rosy glow over the whole institution, and makes the managers who cultivate the stardom look competent, and effective. And it makes them a little bit starry, too,” MacIntyre says. “So the Ghomeshi thing was always a problem. Because Ghomeshi has always been arrogant, he’s always been obnoxious – in the sort of the passive way, where he’s always been so vulnerable: ‘You can’t hurt Jian,’ even though he hurts other people. And his tantrums and his workplace relationships: ‘Well, he’s very rigorous, he’s a perfectionist, you know?’ So he is allowed to bully and abuse people. You know, that’s the way it works, that’s what you put up with, whether it’s Mansbridge, Gzowski, whatever. They were not like shrinking violets, either. So along comes Ghomeshi: ‘Oh, yeah, he’s in the tradition of that. But somewhere along the way, it crosses a line. It does cross a line.”So Mansbridge is a bully too, eh? Oh snap!