By Kevin Grandia
There is a brewing controversy swirling around longtime CBC commentator Rex Murphy and his relationship with Canada’s oil industry.
As long time readers of DeSmog know, Murphy has been a vocal supporter of the oilsands industry and a booster of those who attack the scientific realities of climate change. (Here’s a compilation of some of the articles we have written on Rex Murphy over the years).
Now questions are going unanswered by the CBC, and avoided altogether by Murphy himself, about a conflict between Murphy potentially being paid to speak at oilsands industry events and his role as a commentator at the CBC.
First to report on the potential conflict was Press Progress, after analysing 25 of Murphy’s public speaking engagements.* The outlet found sponsors for Murphy’s pro-oil public appearances included the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Enbridge, TransCanada and Suncor among others. Longtime investigative journalist Andrew Mitrovica wrote on iPolitics that he was taken on a « disturbing odyssey into the CBC’s Byzantine world of subterfuge, duplicity and plain lunacy, » as he tried to unravel Murphy’s relationship with the CBC and the oilsands industry in Canada.
The CBC stated that Murphy is not an employee of the public broadcast and instead has, as CBC’s Editor in Chief Jennifer McGuire describes it, « a wonderful freelance relationship » with the public broadcaster.