Occupy Wall Street–CBC’s Kevin O’Learly undone by Chris Hedges

CBC’s Kevin O’Leary, whose model must surely be FOX’s Bill O’Reilly is evidently out of his depth here in this interview with Chris Hedges.

After what is now main stream media’s (which now appears to include CBC) obligatory introduction to the Occupy Wall Street protests, as confused and unfocused, or as O’Leary says, "low budget" and "pretty nothing burgers," Mr. O’Leary then responds to Hedges’ lucid explanation by calling him "a left wing nutbar".

Further in to the “interview,” with Mr. O’Leary unable or unwilling to follow the patient logic of Hedges, he again returns to the dismissive, accusatory, you’re left-wing…etc., form of debate. Hedges responds,

I would say that those who are protesting the rise of the corporate state are in fact on the political spectrum the true conservatives because they’re calling for the restoration of the rule of law. The radicals have seized power and they have trashed all regulations and legal impediments to a corporate reconfiguration of American society into a form of neo-feudalism. And that’s what we’re really asking for – is the restoration of the rule of law.

Here’s the complete CBC interview, which may also leave you wondering what has happened to CBC. Is it pressure, is our state broadcaster in competition with Sun News Network? Have we come to a place where debate has to do with discussing the finer distinctions between nutbar and nutcase?


  1. The guy should have expected it. It is after all is a financial/stock market show with Kevin O’leary, and he did bring up Marx which really invites him to be accused of being left leaning. (which in my opinion would be a complement). I don’t see the CBC turning in to fox news. They wouldn’t have any viewership left if they did that and Sun news already owns that market, however I do see the CBC potentially becoming a little more right wing so they can keep their funding under the conservative government.

  2. Thanks Kyle, you’ve hit most of the nail on the head. Still, whether it’s Dragon’s Den or The Current or Tapestry something you don’t expect from CBC, well, expect for Don Cherry, is to hear someone like Hedges be called a nutbar. I can see CBC shift over because of certain pressures but interviews don’t have to be reduced to a kind of ‘so’s-your-mother’ debate.

  3. Unlike Kyle, the reference to Marx worries me. His comment to break the corporations I suspect comes from a Marxist hermeneutic. Good corporations do make things and provide a lot of jobs for a lot of people in the process. The fact that we’re having this conversation in this way is due to corporations. However, most of what Hedges said is right on about what went wrong in the US leading up to 2008. Goldman Sachs should be prosecuted. The deregulated derivatives operations should be tightly reined in. It maddens me that these guys got away with it because they first had to have laws regulating the financial industry changed or dropped. O’Leary, it seems to me, came off kind of nutty.

  4. From the Wikipedia page about Chris Hedges, he is the author of “American Fascists”:

    American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (ISBN 0743284437) was published in January 2007. In this book, Hedges argues that the Christian fundamentalist movement emerging today in the United States resembles the early fascist movements in Italy and Germany at the beginning of the last century, and therefore constitutes a gathering threat to American democracy.

  5. I wonder if Chris Hedges views the election of President Obama as just a speedbump in the takeover of America by so-called Christian “fascists”.

  6. Thanks for your comments Ian. I would however, like to introduce you to a broader greater range of Hedges’ writing. You might want to check out his bio as well. Of course you’ll disagree with his socialism, but his many years of front-line experience as a war corespondent (Balkans, Palestine, South America etc.) for the the New York Times, gives him hard won credibility to comment on “American Fascists,” which calls to account the kind of extreme nationalism that fueled the Balkan wars, and that often hides within American Christianism. I’d invite you to read as well, ‘War is a force that gives us meaning’, and his, ‘I don’t believe in Atheists,’ where he takes on the “fundamentalism” of neo-atheists (Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc.) with as much fervour as he does the Christian right. That he upsets many on various sides marks him, to my mind, as a kind of Old Testament Amos. We might not like to be called “cows of Bashan,” but as Flannery O’Connor said, “To the hard of hearing you shout, to the blind, you draw large startling figures.” Hedges is doing just that. Raised as the son of a Presbyterian minister perhaps some of it even comes naturally.

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