We will soon find out if viewers of CBC’s The National and listeners of Cross Country Checkup (CCC) will be advised of Rex Murphy’s ties to Big Oil before his on-air rants against environmentalists.
CBC Editor in Chief Jennifer McGuire announced a review of conflict of interest rules earlier this month after PressProgress revealed Murphy, a regular contributor to CBC's The National and host of CBC Radio's CCC, had spoken or been booked as a keynote speaker at oil, gas and mining industry events at least 25 times since 2009. iPolitics has also been poking around about Murphy's paid speaking gigs. "The internal discussions are focused on disclosure and we should have an update... in the next few weeks," said CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson.
We wonder if the review includes the broadcaster’s decision to let sponsors of a petroleum trade show pay for Murphy’s flight to Inuvik last June to broadcast a radio show from the Northwest Territories.
The Inuvik Petrolium Show is a cost-recovery event financed by sponsors, which last year included Imperial Oil, Exxon Mobile and BP. CBC piggy-backed on Murphy's paid speaking gig (on northern development) at the trade show by broadcasting a CCC show (on northern development).
"CCC had been looking to do a remote from the North about northern development for some time. While the show was exploring various options, Rex was asked to speak at the convention and given the logistics of having to get him there twice, a decision was taken to head to Inuvik at the same time," said Thompson, confirming CBC paid for Murphy's hotel bill but not his flight.
We look forward to hearing the results of CBC's conflict of interview review. In the meantime, here's a primer: