Bell Media radio station CFRA AM in Ottawa has fired talk show host and commentator Michael Harris, a long-time voice of reason on a range of peace and justice issues.
While Bell Media’s CTV television news network originally reported that he and 15 others were laid off due to ’corporate restructuring,’ the Ottawa Citizen later reported that the 16 employees were actually fired.
None of the others dismissed were outspoken, high profile individuals of Mr. Harris’ calibre. In contrast, two extremely right-wing hosts were retained by CFRA: Lowell Green, who is 75 years old and in poor health; and Nick Vandergragt, a right-wing militarist who comes to the air waves from truck driving. Vandergragt was only recently hired. John Counsell, another right-winger, is also keeping his job in the 10p.m.-to-midnight time slot.
As Bell Media has kept the three right-wing hosts and fired the one balancing progressive voice, it is obvious that Mr. Harris was fired for speaking truth to power.
This very selective firing comes after years of concerted attacks from organizations claiming to represent the Jewish community. The most recent occurred following a recent column in iPolitics that was critical of Harper government policies on Israel and Palestine. That courageous column can be read here:
Take a moment right now to write to the station manager Steve Winogron at firstname.lastname@example.org and demand:
- a reversal of the decision and Michael Harris’ immediate reinstatement, and
- a formal apology to the host and the show’s listeners
And to Richard Gray, General Manager (Ottawa) CTV Two
and Chris Gordon, President of Bell Media Radio