After all the clamour over outside speaking gigs a couple of years ago, you’d think Peter Mansbridge might be on his best behaviour.
Readers will recall how the glabrous bingo caller was for many years the CBC’s champion moonlighter. In a nine-month period in 2014, the Giant of Journalism™ trousered some $200,000 for 13 speaking gigs from April to December. His going rate for burbling to the likes of the Canadian Petroleum Producers Association and the Oakville Chamber of Commerce was in the $15,000-$20,000 range.
Only after much public squawking that Mansbingo, Amanda Lang et al. were in conflict of interest did CBC management issue an edict banning paid appearances by its entire collection of meat puppets.
Corpse insiders say that Mansbingo blew a head valve over the decree, but calmed down after management promised to offset his loss of speaking gig earners with an increase in his already obscene compensation of $1-million plus.
Which brings us to last week, when Petey showed up to flap his gums at the annual Jaimie Anderson fundraiser–a worthy cause staged by the Anderson Bros., Bruce and Rick, that raises over $200K to provide paid summer Parliamentary internships.
Alas, the event was overrun with lobby weasels, consultants, advertisers, pols and assorted glad handers.
Much slapping of backs and har de har haring ensued and sponsors, like Air Canada, which donated a trip-for-two around the world, went away happy. They’d accomplished their objective of hob nobbing with the broadcast/political world’s biggest hitters.
But shurely Peterkins hasn’t forgotten the directive from last year, in which the CBC braintrust forbade him from fraternizing with the lower orders.
In the spring of 2015, Mansbridge was obliged to bow out of a golf pool, lest he be tainted by commercial concerns:
“Sadly, given the CBC’s new conflict rules, I will not be able to take part in a contest that offers free prizes from an advertising firm,” he wrote.
How the Anderson fundraiser, where freebies abound, differs from an office pool, is beyond our ken.
But Petey knows best.