23.9.07

Linda

Journal Entry - July 22nd, 1979

I love this job. I love this job.

...busy with an edit when someone said "she's here" and about five of us swarmed down to the studio to watch Harron de-brief (as it were) the NOT-so-lovely but definitely compelling, Linda Lovelace.

She's on the book circuit flogging her "kiss" (oh yea)-and-tell biography. No entourage for LL - just her and some greasy guy who claims to be her husband.

They showed up an hour early for the interview and spent the time in the downstairs caff - unrecognized.

Like snickering teenagers a gang of us stood in the control room and watched the interview. She was well-spoken in a little-girl-lost kind of way. Small and thin with a sharp, bird-like face. Claimed to have been "forced" into doing Deep Throat ... said there was a guy off camera with a gun. Okkaaaay.

This was not exactly a Don Harron type interview. He was nervous and awkward having neither read the book nor seen the movie. Not a chance.

I got to shake her hand afterwards which was kind of ...er, erotic. I noticed Harron left his autographed copy of the book in the studio when the taping was over....so I stole it.

Bedtime reading.

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This is a business of ironies. Or as one might describe them after a few beers - lies. But let's stay on the side of safe-and-sober and call them 'strategic-revisions-of-earlier-held-attitudes-and-opinions.'

Take the revisions of the Rt Hon Richard Stursberg (Order of Canada to come).

A few years ago I was actually a buddy of his. Really.

He won't remember me - but I certainly remember him (note to wanna be mandarins - do NOT go to drunken dinner parties with journalists...THEY REMEMBER...it's just the way they're wired and they have a way higher tolerance for booze than you ever will).

But I digress.

Remember Toronto's night-of-nights ? The night it became a REAL world-class city courtesy of one crappy little curve-ball-that-didn't ... the one Joe Carter whacked harder than Mel Lastman's wife whacked that CITY-TV reporter ?

I was at a dinner party with my friend Janet Yale who worked at the CRTC as executive assistant to Richard. This was back in the days before the two of them high-tailed it over to Telus to lobby for the de-regulation of future forms of media.

As we dined and drank and watched the Jays ... Richard and I -- as they say -- GOT INTO IT.

Over the future of the CBC no less.

I was a senior producer at Prime Time News (remember that ??) who had just come back from establishing a bureau in Sarajevo (note to travel file: order the local red wine but never take a table on the patio during times of civil war) and I was in a Serbian fuck-you frame of mind. And believe me the Serbs take shit from NOBODY.

Well Richard began to go on and on about all the money CBC was wasting by sending multiple crews overseas...why can't you be more efficient....why can't one reporter file radio and TV / English and French ...economies of scale...yadda yadda. Same old rant I'd heard a hundred times.

Next, it was the way the industry was evolving -- and I remember this clearly, because it was just before Joe made his mighty swing...the future, he said - was a promised land of CONSOLIDATION...TV, emails, some weird thing called the Internet -- all of this and more, would be run by phone companies. And we'd all be better off for it.

The CBC had no future. Dead as a dodo. His advice to me ? Get a real job and stop putting my ass on the line for a dying network.

Hence my sense of irony when I read his remarks to the CRTC last week - : (quote)

"Richard Stursberg, CBC’s head of English television, told the commission that the Canadian media industry has reached levels of consolidation that in any other country would be considered unacceptable.

If I was a Serbian, I'd be temped to revisit this debate with him. In the CBC parking lot. Sarajevo-style.

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