By John Doyle, Globe and Mail, December 7, 2010
Here’s the thing: The politicization of Hockey Night in Canada is now complete.
Cherry’s always been bombastic about vaguely political issues, but disguised his reactionary rants as folksy, on subjects such as French guys and Canada’s failure to join in the invasion of Iraq. Then, more significantly, came those ceaseless, maudlin memorials to young women and men who have died fighting in Afghanistan. As if their deaths deserved nothing more noble than a TV freak in a pink suit spouting cracker-barrel philosophy about the worth of the mission in Iraq.
Like many rich and famous TV personalities, Cherry now comes across as a narcissist. His embrace of Conservative orthodoxy is his business, apparently, even as he’s shoving it down the country’s throat on a publicly funded broadcaster.
The CBC tends to support him. Certainly it takes the view that the political forays are Cherry’s own business. “Private citizens are allowed to act as private citizens,” the CBC’s Jeff Keay said in a statement recently. He pointed out that Cherry is on contract with Hockey Night in Canada, not a full-time employee of CBC. “His actions have nothing to do with either CBC or Hockey Night in Canada, nor will they be presented on the air.”
This is disingenuous nonsense. By associating himself with right-wing politicians to the extent that he endorses them and makes pronouncements about who should govern this country, Cherry has associated Hockey Night in Canada and the CBC with right-wing political views.
The Globe and Mail's TV critic takes on Hockey night in Canada's Don Cherry for his endorsement of both Julian Fantino and Rob Ford, the new mayor of Toronto.
The acorncentreblog.com agrees with Mr. Doyle.