Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Alison Parker and Adam Ward.  Two names we’ve become painfully familiar with since their callous murders by a former colleague at WDBJ television in Virginia.

I’ve thought a great deal about Alison and Adam since the news of their deaths tore into a Wednesday morning, where earlier elections and roller coaster stock markets led as primary stories on broadcast news.

Looking at their faces and seeing video clips of their work, I knew Alison and Adam.

I know Alison and Adam because I’ve met them through other youthful members of the media engaged in the business of reporting.

For many years I was the youngest broadcaster at radio stations where I was thrilled and felt privileged to turn on a microphone.  As time marched along, younger members of the profession arrived, always happily sharing the excitement of having landed a gig and ever enthusiastic about telling their stories.

Whether you’re a member of the media, or a completely unrelated profession, you too have witnessed the arrival of the next generation, eager and ready to carry the torch forward.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward carried that torch until Vester Flanagan, a malevolent, apparent chronic complainer, brooding and troublesome (police were called to remove him from the television station on the day of his dismissal), interrupted a live broadcast and committed acts of callous murder.

Flanagan erased the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward.  he destroyed personal dreams as Adam’s fiancée Melissa Ott witnessed the act from the station control room in her role as morning show producer.  Flanagan also destroyed plans of marriage for Allison and WDBJ reporter Chris Hurst.

That wasn’t enough for Flanagan. He posted video to Twitter.  And then he ran and committed suicide.

The news business is immensely rewarding.  It can also be deeply disturbing. That depends on the story or stories making headlines on a given day.

Yesterday was deeply disturbing.

A personal act of utter callous brutality thrust the names, faces and lives of four young people into the headlines, shoving aside at least temporarily the world’s concerns about staggering stock markets and political campaigning.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward are dead.  Melissa Ott and Chris Hurst have

Video camera

Video camera

been robbed of their future spouses.  A chronic complainer is to blame.

I know the youngest in my profession will feel the impact of the last 36 hours most deeply.  Their families will worry.

There is no easy way to end this posting.  That is the way of news when a loss is both reported and felt.

Reporting on elections is more than repeating what political parties say and claim

There’s been a great deal of reaction (email/Twitter) to my tweet yesterday concerning a national news network headline that Tom Mulcair had criticized the Conservatives economic record.  I asked in my tweet and repeat here, ‘how is that news’?  What it is, is repeating NDP PR.  And it’s not the only example.  There’s a huge difference between repeating and reporting.

Also, much reaction to my segment last Saturday arguing we don’t need election campaigns any more in 2015, than we need phone booths on each street corner.  Will put the two issues together on Saturday’s show.

Microphone isolated

Microphone isolated

We have much to talk about today (Sunday, August 23). Please read on….

What Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau should learn from Donald Trump and learn it today.  Talk ‘to’ the voters about issues voters care about worry about.  Trump’s opponents, like Canada’s federal party bosses, are shouting at each other and speaking past voters.  That’s one reason the turnout in federal elections is so miserable (60% in Canada).

Today I’ll revisit for 30 minutes, the issue I raised yesterday and that is we don’t need election campaigns anymore than we need a phone booth at each street corner in 2015.

We’ll also be talking about whether a Canadian version of Donald Trump would energize this country’s voters.  I have some thoughts to share with you on that.  And a New York Times headline yesterday read “Why Donald Trump Won’t Fold.”

Daycare.  National daycare in Canada.  Here we go again.  This time it’s the NDP and Tom Mulcair arguing for $15 a day daycare spaces across Canada.  Mr. Mulcair talks about Quebec’s success.  Hmmmm.  Some basic research reveals that while Quebecers pay around $7.50 per day for available spaces under the provincial program, Premier Couillard has said the actual cost per child, per day for daycare in Quebec is $60.  And even though Quebec is going to raise the cost to $20 per day for the most affluent in the province, that still leaves a great deal of the cost to footed by taxpayers.

The number?  In 2013-14, the Quebec daycare program was subsidized to the tune of $2.3 billion.  So, how is Mr. Mulcair’s NDP going to fund, without subsidy from an already overburdened national taxpayer, his cross-Canada daycare plan?  Paul Martin had a very challenging time getting provinces onside on the Liberal plan in ’05, a plan which was kicked to the curb when, wait for it, the NDP and the Conservatives voted the Liberals out of office in a non-confidence motion.

Also, on the NDP’s web page these words appear “too many mothers are sacrificing career goals because they can’t find affordable care.”  So, a mother’s baby is an annoying interruption to career ambition, without the option of handing off her child to a stranger at a discount daily cost?  Really?

Jack McFarland is 94.  This past Wednesday, August 19, marked the anniversary of the 1942 Dieppe Raid during World War II.  A disastrous military misadventure which claimed, in one day, so many Canadian lives (I posted on Dieppe, earlier in the week on this web page).  Jack McFarland was a Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Chief Warrant Officer who participated in the Dieppe Raid, who was wounded and taken prisoner of war.  Jack is one of three surviving Dieppe veterans and he will join me in hour 2.

Should you get ready for corporate logos replacing team logos in the NHL?  The crests of the Habs, Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Canucks, Jets, Senators, Red Wings, Hawks, Rangers, all gone, to be replaced by airline, bank, oil company logos on the fronts of game jerseys?  It’s on the way is the big rumour.  Mark Yost who writes on the business of sport for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of many great biz of sports books (check him out at, as well as being a contributor to my show joins us on this. It’s like the Euro soccer leagues.  If you’ve seen Euro hockey teams, their uniforms are a cascading array of commercial logos.

We’ll be opening the phone lines for almost all of the issues today.

Will be great to have you join us.