Friday November 10, 2017

November 9, 2017 episode transcript

Note: Transcripts may contain errors. If you wish to re-use all, or part of, a transcript, please contact CBC for permission. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. Copyright © CBC 2017

The AIH Transcript for November 9, 2017

Hosts: Carol Off and Jeff Douglas



[Music: Theme]

CAROL OFF: Hello, I'm Carol off.

JEFF DOUGLAS: Good evening, I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

JD: Tonight

CO: Beyond a joke. Louis C.K. became a huge stand-up star by pushing the boundaries of propriety, but there are new allegations that his off-stage behaviour crossed lines in disturbing ways.

JD: Nudes bulletin. Facebook unveils its new plan to stop revenge porn: if you think someone's going to post intimate photos of you, all you have to do is...send those photos straight to Facebook.

CO: Words for loss. Researchers discover hundreds of letters Japanese-Canadians sent to the federal government during the Second World War, after all their belongings were confiscated, and they were sent to internment camps.

JD: Yelp reviews. To human listeners, our interview with an opera singer who hit a glass-shattering A above high C was memorable, but our canine listeners would prefer to forget the howl thing.

CO: The elephant is "The Room". I'm referring to the cult film, "The Room", which is so bad that an Ontario judge just ruled it's not bad to call it bad, because it's so atrociously bad.

JD: wanted immortality, and jumped at the opportunity. While examining a Van Gogh painting, an art expert discovers a grasshopper's brush with greatness — it got painted permanently into the landscape.

JD: As It Happens, the Thursday edition. Radio that guesses the artist could have used a palette cleanser.

[Music: Theme]

Back To Top »

Part 1: Louis C.K. allegations, Japanese internment letters, Van Gogh grasshopper

Louis C.K. allegations

Guest: Patrick Healy

JD: Louis C.K. has ruled the comedy scene for years. His specials, his late-night talk show appearances, and his sitcom, "Louie", have made him one of the most popular and well-known comedians in North America. But today, the New York City premier of his film, "I Love You Daddy," was cancelled. And then came an article in the New York Times, outlining multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the star. Patrick Healy was the editor of that article. We reached him in New York City. And a warning: this interview contains descriptions of that sexual misconduct.

CO: Patrick, what kind of sexual misconduct are the women in this article alleging?

PATRICK HEALY: Sure, it’s five women who have come forward to tell their stories. And two of the women are alleging that Louis C.K., after a comedy show, asked them if he could take out his penis and masturbate in front of them. A third woman is saying that when she was having a phone conversation about a professional piece of business, she could hear him masturbating as they spoke. A forth comedian said that when she was appearing with Louis C.K. in a TV pilot, he asked if he can masturbate in front of her. And a fifth woman as well basically says that when they were in an office together, he also asked her to watch him masturbate. And in that case, she didn't really know what to do. And she went along, and it has haunted her for years since then.

CO: Have the women agreed to be named?

PH: Four of the five women agreed to be named. The fifth woman, who was the one who consented, spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her family's privacy, and because she did not want to be linked publicly to this incident.

CO: Over what period of time did these allegations come?

PH: The behavior is described as having taken place from the late 1990s until about 2005, and we went to Louis C.K., and one of the things that we asked him was basically you know again… these are allegations whether they were true or not. But then we also asked you know has the behavior, depending if he admitted or not, has the behavior continued. And he declined to answer all of our questions. He has yet to make any kind of public comment.

CO: There's a detail in one of the stories is that Louis C.K. attempted to apologize to the comedian Rebecca Corey, and in which he seems to misremember what he's actually apologizing for. Can you describe that apology?

PH: Yes, it was it was very startling to Rebecca Corey. Basically that he phoned her in 2015, first he actually he e-mailed her, saying that he owed her, quote, “A very, very, very late apology.” And then he phoned her, and he said that he was sorry for shoving her in a bathroom. And Rebecca Corey told him you know you never did that to me, but instead had asked to masturbate in front of me. And he responded in what Rebecca Corey said was a shaky voice and said, quote, “I used to misread people back then.” And it upset Ms. Corey in a couple of ways because not only had he misremembered the incident involving her, which made her think that there were other moments of misconduct, but he also sort of implied that she had done something to invite his behavior.

CO: We're hearing about many stories. These are allegations from the world of entertainment. But the world of comedians that's a very raunchy place isn't it? I mean these are people who do live on the edge. Outrageous behavior is part of the way you get your materials. So what's the view as to where and how Louis C.K. crossed the line?

PH: That is really true. And part of Louis C.K.’s brilliance and his popularity is that you know he talks a great deal about his sexual hang ups in his comedy routine. He talks about male hypocrisy in his routine. He's very kind of vivid in talking even about masturbation. And as you said, Carol, the world of comedy can be very profane. But for these women they say you know that there is a line. And the line is when the personal behavior becomes abusive. There's a quote in the story from one of the women, in which she says, quote, “I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating.”

CO: When Harvey Weinstein story came out, people in Hollywood said well, it's been an open secret for years. Were these allegations — these stories about Louis C.K. — were they an open secret as well?

PH: They were unsubstantiated rumors about Louis C.K. behaving badly or in very crass ways with women over the years. And you know sometimes intimations that involved masturbation. But again, they were unsubstantiated rumors that Louis C.K. always denied. He always swatted them away. You know it's interesting Carol because sex and masturbation have been such a part of Louis C.K.’s comedy routine and his jokes. You know some of the women sort of feel like to some extent he was maybe hiding behind that kind of comedy and humour. And in a way, trying to kind of almost mitigate the seriousness of what he was doing behind the scenes. I think for some of them that was really galling.

CO: Louis C.K. has a new film “I Love You Daddy” that is being premiered in New York. We learned this afternoon that the premiere has been canceled. I wonder if the contents of that film — the story — does it tie back to any of these themes?

PH: Yeah, the premiere tonight was canceled. The movie is still opening publicly next week. The movie is basically about a television writer whose teenage daughter is kind of wooed by a Woody Allen-type figure — kind of an older male director. And you know in the movie, there's one point where a character aggressively mimics masturbating in front of other people. And you know when we talked to Louis C.K. actually back in September, when the movie was shown at the Toronto Film Festival, we basically asked him you know is how much is art imitating life here? You know we didn't know of these

on the record allegations yet. But there had been these rumors of sexual misconduct. And Louis C.K. in his conversation with us basically dismissed those stories as rumors. And said that the idea of the masturbation scene was referred back to those rumors never occurred to him.

CO: Of course, we saw what happened with Harvey Weinstein, and that after the initial stories came out — the women came forward — more women came out — more allegations came out. Are you suspecting the same thing? Are you anticipating that you will hear from more women and others who have these kinds of stories?

PH: I would not be surprised if we heard from more women. I know there were some women who we were talking to who decided they did not want to speak. I don't know if they will. You know I think then again, what is Louis C.K. going to say? No one really knows in this case. He is you know staying mum. Nothing has happened yet. So we'll see.

CO: We'll be following your coverage. Patrick, thank you.

PH: Thank you, Carol.

JD: Patrick Healy is a New York Times editor. We reached him in New York City. By the time we went to air, Louis C.K. had not yet responded to the allegations in the New York Times article. In the past, he has dismissed allegations of sexual impropriety as rumors. In his comedy, of course, Louis C.K. often delves into issues around sex and male hypocrisy. Here is one bit, in which he says men are the number one threat to women.


LOUIS C.K.: A woman saying yes to a date with a man is literally insane and ill-advised. And the whole species existence counts on them doing it. And I don't know how… how do women still go out with guys? When you consider the fact that there is no greater threat to women than men. We're the number one threat to women. Globally and historically, we're the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. We’re the worst thing that ever happened to them. You know what our number one threat is: heart disease. That’s the whole thing.

JD: That was an excerpt from a Louis C.K. comedy special. Today, the New York Times published allegations of sexual misconduct against the comedian, brought forward by five different women.

[Music: Piano guitar duet]

Japanese internment letters

Guest: Judy Hanazawa

JD: He was taken from his home. His possessions were confiscated by the Canadian government, and sold. And Judy Hanazawa's father was sent to an internment camp, along with tens of thousands of other Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. Now, some of the families of the people interned between 1942 and 1949 have a better idea of what they experienced there. Researchers at the University of Victoria recently recovered 300 letters in a federal archive — letters written by Japanese-Canadians, while they were held in the camps. Judy Hanazawa's father wrote one of those letters. We reached her in Vancouver.

CO: Judy, when you saw this letter written by your father 70 years ago. What did you think?

JUDY HANAZAWA: Well, my first my first thought and feeling actually was that I was proud of him for writing it because he was making his case known about how unfair the situation was, and receiving the check for $14 and 68 cents for household belongings.

CO: The letter is almost banal. It’s I received registered mail — this check. In regarding my chattel, I claim that this is a list of the chattels, and they're worth more than 200 dollars. It's very businesslike, it's very polite and then goes on to list the various things: Singer sewing machine, a dresser, a record player, a doll — a Japanese doll — all these things. What does all this say? Because to anyone who would look at it, it just looks like a document of material, but it much more isn't it?

JH: It is so much more. And it's sort of everything is in what was not showing there because he's trying so hard to be dignified. Because this is a matter of unfairness, which needs to be presented in a dignified way, and I think there was probably a sense of not going into the emotional area because he wanted to make his case. This is just not the amount of money that should have been returned when these furnitures and other belongings was worth over 200 dollars that was his case. And I think he was trying to make it as clearly and as respectfully as he could.

CO: And they issued a check for $14 and 68 cents. That was what the Canadian government regarded his worldly goods were worth?

JH: That's right. And that's the message that he got after he received that communication. You know my dad wasn't the person to go out and really you know complain as lots of Japanese-Canadians, you know? They got on with it and they worked hard. And he was like that. He was a fisherman. So for him to write this and to detail the worth and so on, there was a lot said in that whole exercise that he undertook.

CO: This letter is dated February 19th, 1947. Where were your parents at that point?

JH: They were in marriage, and they had left Bridge River, where they were interned. And he was able to get a job in a saw mill. So they moved to where the work was. And it was Merritt.

CO: And what happened to his things? What happened to the household goods — your parent's possessions?

JH: Well, at the time that the internment happened, and they had to go, they left behind things. and in the letter, it says that he left things behind with my mom's cousin. And so there was a need for the letter to refer to her and that the furniture was left with her and that he registered the items as well. And so that's what happened. They had to go, and they couldn't take anything with them.

CO: And what else did he lose? What else was taken from your parents?

JH: Well, together with my grandparents, they had a couple of fishing boats and they had a couple of houses in Steveston. They were sold.

CO: By?

JH: By the government through the government.

CO: Did they ever get any compensation for that?

JH: You know I don't know about that. I imagine they did not. For the most part, you know Japanese-Canadians lost everything, and were compensated in a very minor way. There are other protest letters I know that talked about the loss of property and how little they received.

CO: And that's the other significance of this letter because there are so many letters like this that have recently been revealed. And it just shows the degree to which Japanese-Canadians, who interned during the war, had their possessions taken away. Their source of livelihood, their personal things like a Japanese doll.

JH: Yeah, that's right. You know not only did they leave behind the life they had, everything that signified that life was gone. So they really went forward with nothing to go on. And they had to make their way. You know my dad was lucky to find work and Merritt in that saw mill. But many families were on the move trying to make their way with nothing.

CO: And your mother was pregnant with you at the time?

JH: Yes she was, I was born in June of ‘47. So when the letter was written this was February. I was just trying to imagine you know their frame of mind, and thinking that there’s going to be another child and needing money, and getting this outrageous letter from the government for 14 dollars and 68 cents.

CO: Did you know that this letter existed?

JH: I didn't know. I found out from the tour the museum director at the Nikkei Museum here in Burnaby. I was really happy to learn that he had written a letter.

CO: Do you know if anything was ever returned?

JH: No, I don't know of anything that was returned, and it's a sad matter really to have nothing from that time before the war.

CO: What do you make of the way that your father signs off in this letter?

JH: I could see he's trying to be businesslike and to be respectful, and yet, have some dignity in the way this letter is written. But he does sign off with his number next to his name. It's number 10767 I think. And it just brought home to me the fact that you know our community members are people who were registered. They had their numbers.

CO: It's just a chilling detail, isn't it?

JH: It is. Yeah. Yeah.

CO: What will become of this letter?

JH: Well, it's part of the collection I think that will be shown at the Nikkei Museum — the letters of protest collection. And I'm glad. Because I think anything like this really provides public education.

CO: And how does your father's letter compare with the other letters that will be put on display?

JH: I think a lot of the letters had that polite tone because I think our community members were wanting to do things properly. It probably is a good example of the way that our family you know responded. And wanting to make their case, but at the same time, trying to do the best they could to deal with and live with what they had to at the time.

CO: Judy, it is remarkable and a sad, disturbing story. I appreciate you telling us what's behind this letter.

JH: Oh, you're welcome. I'm glad to do it.

JD: Judy Hanazawa was recently given a letter her father wrote while he was in an internment camp for Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. We reached Ms. Hanazawa in Vancouver.

[Music: Ambient]

Listener Response: Soprano

JD: To all the dogs who were listening to our program last night: we are sorry, we are sorry, we are sorry. We are sorry because we forced you to listen to opera, specifically, a piece performed by Audrey Luna. She can hit an unbelievably high note: in performance, an A above high C, in practice, above that. And, as she told us last night, it's the first time anyone has pulled off an A above high C at the Met in New York. And humans were impressed by that. But the reviews from our canine listeners were less positive. Glenn Sutter in Regina tweeted, quote, "My dog notices high opera notes. Didn't get a photo but this one gives the gist." It did indeed: Glenn sent us a picture of his dog Aven, a border collie, looking unamused, to say the least. He went on to say, "I imagine she wasn't the only one" You imagine right. Nicolle Wahl in Freelton, Ontario tweeted us a photograph of her dog Abby, a golden retriever. After hearing that high note, Abby, quote, "lost it" and immediately began barking.” And so, to all our four-legged listeners, again, we are sorry. An organic liver treat is in the mail. That’s a lie. But in case you missed our interview or — for some reason — you want to hear Audrey Luna's A above high C note again, check out our website, we've just published the story. You can also see a few photographs of Abby and Aven. Go to:

[Music: Dogs barking]

Van Gogh grasshopper

Guest: Mary Schafer

JD: Vincent Van Gogh was well-known for the texture in his paintings. But one art historian’s latest find shows that not every element of that texture was intentional. Mary Schafer is a painting conservator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. We reached her in Kansas City, Missouri.

CO: Ms. Schafer, what inspired you to look more closely at Vincent Van Gogh's “Painting of Olive Trees”?

MARY SCHAFER: Well, my work on “Olive Trees” is part of a much larger project. We're actually conducting some research on our French paintings collection for an online catalog that we're producing, hopefully to be out in 2019. And so I'm examining all of the paintings in the French collection, taking them all out of their frames and examining them with all different kinds of tools.

CO: And so what were you looking for when you went looking more closely at Vincent Van Gogh's “Olive Trees”?

MS: So as part of this examination, I'm studying the paintings with ultraviolet radiation, infrared, radiography and magnification. And by doing that, I'm piecing together all kinds of findings about how the work was constructed. And so I look at the support. I look at the ground layer. I look at the paint layers and try to better understand the artist technique and how he produced the artwork.

CO: And were you expecting to find the little animal in there?

MS: No, I have to admit I've always wondered if I would ever come across an insect in the wet paint. Because I've painted myself — I've painted outside — and seen little gnats circling around my palette and the turpentine. And so this was quite unexpected, although, I should probably also mention that conservers run across this kind of material quite frequently, especially for those works that are produced outside.

CO: Tell us what the little creature is that you found in Van Gogh's painting?

MS: I ran across the partial body of a tiny grasshopper imbedded in the wet paint. And so this would date back to 1889, when Van Goh was working on the piece.

CO: And you say it's only a partial grasshopper. So do you think it was alive or dead when it landed on the canvas?

MS: It's amazing how much I've learned about grasshoppers in this process. The grasshopper is largely visible because of the impressions that were made in the wet paints. And so you can see all the swirling purple and green colours of Van Goh’s paints. And then you see the circular indentation where the head pressed down. And then you also see this interesting sort of linear shape that belongs to the leg. And there's this angular pattern on it. And there is some brown material. And we were sort of curious to learn more, especially if we could maybe use it to further date the painting. Maybe pinpoint the season in which Van Goh was operating. And so we contacted a paleoentomologist to come take a look.

CO: And what did you learn?

MS: Well, I you know I sort of cold called. Actually, I emailed Dr. Michael S. Engel, he's the senior curator and professor at University of Kansas, and also an associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. And I sort of dangled a potential grasshopper in a Van Gogh painting in the email. And he and he responded back and was willing to come visit. And we had this fascinating conversation. He had all this information about grasshopper's. I had information about the paints. At one point, he turned to me and said where is the thorax? And I said what is that thorax? And so it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, because there are a couple of body parts that are missing and not only missing, but they didn't cause an indentation in the paint. Michael concluded that the grasshopper was likely deceased and quite desiccated before it hit the paint. And so we weren't able to take the dating any further. I think that would have been really exciting. But as Michael said, c'est la vie.

CO: Or not c'est la vie for that grasshopper. So how often do you find insects living or dead in artworks, especially those painted outdoors I guess?

MS: It is actually quite common to come across all kinds of material. Again, with a microscope, you usually can't find this with the naked eye. But you find sand, for example, that was swept into the wet paint for a beach scene. I know of a wooded landscape that has little, tiny fragments of a leaf mixed in. And so it's certainly not uncommon, you don't see it that often in the literature. But I know it's out there in various conservators’ written examination reports.

CO: Van Gogh has written about it in letters to his brother, Theo, he was talking about the conditions in which he was painting. Did he talk about painting outdoors?

MS: He did, and I think that this becomes a really fun framework for the grasshopper that we see on the Nelson-Atkins painting. My colleague pinpointed a quote in his letters. This was an 1885 letter to his brother, and I'll just read it for you if you don't mind. He says, quote, “But just go and sit outdoors, painting on the spot itself. Then all sorts of things like the following happen. I must have picked up a good hundred flies and more off the four canvases that you'll be getting. Not to mention dust and sand.” And then he goes on to say, quote, “When one carries them across the heath and through hedge rows for a few hours, the odd branch or two scrapes across them.” So you can sort of imagine all the different scenarios for how this grasshopper might have landed in our painting.

CO: But if the grasshopper ended up in the swirls of paint of Van Gogh's brush did he know it was there? Is it possible that it was intentional?

MS: Well, I can only give my opinion on that. And sort of reiterate the size that we're dealing with. This grasshopper is less than a fourth of an inch, and so it's really small. And when you think of Van Gogh's really thick and really lively paint texture and brush work. I think it's really difficult to find. And so I wonder if he would have even noticed it myself?

CO: I understand you've been getting grasshopper paraphernalia?

MS: Yes, well on my desk, I have a grasshopper stapler. I have all kinds of things I'm amassing. So I might actually need a bigger desk.

CO: All right. I hope you get it. Ms. Schafer, It's a great story. And I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

MS: Oh, my pleasure. Thanks so much, Carol.

CO: Bye bye.

MS: Bye bye.

JD: Mary Schafer is a painting conservator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. We reached her in Kansas City, Missouri. And you can go to our website to see that itty, bitty grasshopper for yourself:

Back To Top »

Part 2: Facebook revenge porn, “Room Full of Spoons” documentary

Facebook revenge porn

Guest: Joseph Cox

JD: Facebook is working on a plan to rid itself of revenge porn. And it may sound strange at first. So if you're worried that someone — maybe an ex — is going to post nude photographs of you without your permission, you can take matters into your own hands. So beforehand, you take those intimate photographs and you send them to Facebook. Joseph Cox has been covering this story. He's a cyber-security reporter with the Daily Beast. We reached in London, England.

CO: Joseph, what did you first think when Facebook said that it might have a way of preventing revenge porn?

JOSEPH COX: It's long overdue. Facebook in particular really needs some sort of way to tackle this problem. But it's not just Facebook, Twitter as well, other social networks and just other sort of communities.

CO: And what do you make of the proposal — I guess this way that Facebook thinks it might be able to cut down or try to eliminate revenge porn?

JC: It's the logical approach. At some point, you're going to need a human to look at the photos. Well, of course, that is not without controversy. The people need to provide their own nude photos to the service. And the fact that then someone has to go through that. These people need to make a decision about whether they would rather take preventive measures to stop their nudes becoming public, and whether they're comfortable with a Facebook employee or a contractor seeing those images as well.

CO: Just for people who don't know or haven't heard about it, just tell us how this is supposed to work?

JC: So first of all, the customer or the user will send a report to a local government authority. The user will then have to send to themselves, in Facebook messenger, the images that they would like flagged. At that point, a human working at Facebook will check the images and make sure that they violate the site's terms and conditions, or policies or terms, of service. And at that point, it becomes automated. They create a fingerprint of the image, so if someone else on Facebook uploads a similar or identical picture, it can get flagged straightaway and stopped.

CO: But this depends on women themselves sending Facebook nude pictures of themselves, right?

JC: Yeah, that's right. I mean the key difference where this separates from a similar problem, which is child abuse or child pornography, is there's already a very large database of child sexual exploitation imagery. Obviously, the FBI or other law enforcement bodies will collect and bring together so that Facebook and other companies can use that database. There's no such thing for revenge porn. There's no central repository of all of these images. So, unfortunately, it does look like the only solution at the moment is for men or women to submit their own photos they was like flags in the future.

CO: Why on earth would anybody trust Facebook to send their nude photos to them? I mean this is a company that has been sued many, many times by women because of it's revenge porn that it's had. There's been a shame page with a 14-year-old girl in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with naked pictures of her. Why would they trust Facebook? Why would they send their pictures and let them decide this violates our policy, and we'll keep a file on this. And we'll find out if anybody else is trying to upload these pictures. Why would anyone do that?

JC: Yeah, you’re right. I mean Facebook clearly does not have a great reputation or track record in this space. But with this particular pilot, it will boil down to whether the individual sees more of a risk in the image being publicly posted on Facebook or sent among friends — or whether they will, as you say, have to trust Facebook, or more specifically one or two employees at Facebook, to make the right judgment. It's a balance between those. And if you're a victim of sextortion or extortion or revenge porn, in this scenario, it may make more sense for your immediate benefits and frets to trust Facebook. But, of course, it's still going to be not an easy decision necessarily for a lot of people.

CO: So the victims themselves — the women themselves, and men — who are the subjects of this revenge porn, they are the ones… the onus is on them to try and fix the problem. They have to fix the problem send nude pictures, compromising pictures of themselves to Facebook, which Facebook will promise to treat well. And then put that in their database. And by virtue of that, try to prevent others from putting those same photos up. But do they have any idea — those women, and men — do they have any idea what Facebook might do with them? How secure those pictures are?

JC: So I should say that Facebook, at least in my conversations with the company, they say they're only storing the images for a period of time. They didn't specify how long that is. But considering this is a pilot, it certainly won’t indefinitely, and it shouldn't be too long. The idea is that once the system is going and they've confirmed that it functions as intended, they don't need to store the initial images themselves. They can just store that special fingerprint that will identify the photos of actually having the original image in place. I should probably clarify that.

CO: Joseph, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

JC: No worries. Thank you so much.

JD: Joseph Cox is a cyber-security reporter with the Daily Beast website. We reached him in London, England. And we did call Facebook; our request for an interview was declined. The company says that this is just a pilot project in Australia. It is not happening yet in Canada.

[Music: Electronic]

Senate environment

JD: She has described global warming as "a kind of paganism," she has called some forms of renewable energy "parasitic." Kathleen Hartnett White is U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Council of Environmental Quality. And given her views on climate change, she likely could've predicted that there would be some tough questions at her confirmation hearing this week. At a Senate committee hearing yesterday, Democratic Senators lambasted Ms. White, including Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, with this line of questioning.


SHELDON WHITEHOUSE: Do you know how much of the excess heat that has been captured by greenhouse gas emissions has been absorbed by the ocean roughly say to the nearest 10 per cent?

KATHLEEN HATNETT WHITE: I don't have numbers like that. I've read about…

SW: Even to the nearest 10 per cent? Do you know if it's more than 50 per cent or less than 50 per cent?

KHW: I'm sorry, but could you ask the question one more time?

SW: Of the additional heat that has been captured in the atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, do you know how much of that is about that has been captured in the ocean? Is it more or less than 50 per cent? Do you even know that?

KHW: No.

SW: No. OK.

KHW: But I believe there are a difference of opinions on that. That there's not one right answer.

SW: Really? Do you think there's actual serious difference of opinion whether it's below 50 per cent?

KHW: Unless I'm mistaken, yes.

SW: You think there is?

KHW: Unless I’m mistaken.

SW: You think there's serious scientific opinion that it's below 50 per cent?

KHW: Yes.

SW: OK. Wow. Do you think that if the ocean warms it expands? Does the law of thermal expansion apply to sea water?

KHW: Again, I do not have any kind of expertise or even much layman's study of the ocean dynamics and the climate change issues.

SW: Just enough to know that you think that there is not science that establishes clearly how much of the heat has been taken up by the oceans. You knew that, right? You said you knew that. My time is expired. I'm sorry. I hear the gavel knocking.

JD: That was Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, directing questions to Kathleen Hartnett White. Ms. White is a former Texas environmental regulator who has questioned the validity of climate change science. And is the White House's nominee as head of the Council of Environmental Quality.

[Music: Jazz]

“Room Full of Spoons” documentary

Guest: Rick Harper

JD: If you've never seen the 2003 cult movie "The Room," here's all you need to know about it for the moment. The reason "The Room" is a cult phenomenon is because it is very, very bad. So bad, in fact, that it's been called "the Citizen Kane of bad movies." So when Rick Harper, an Ottawa filmmaker, decided a few years back to make a documentary about "The Room," he probably never, ever imagined its creator dragging him into court for disparaging the movie. And it turns out the Ontario judge considering the case was equally incredulous. Because last week, he tossed out an injunction against the doc, saying, quote "The Room's fame rests on its apparently abysmal quality." Unquote. We reached Rick Harper in Gatineau, Quebec.

CO: Rick, why did you want to make a documentary about what the judge calls an abysmal movie?

RICK HARPER: Well, there's something about “The Room”. I mean I saw it the first time in 2010, and it completely blew my mind. It was just a fascinating event to go to. I was having so much fun you know viewing this movie over and over. You know people dressed up like characters from the movie, and they throw things at the screen. And it's just a big party. I figured why not document this, and try to you know bring it to a new audience. And maybe make it a little bit more mainstream. It was still a very cult thing at the time. So I figured that let’s make a documentary about it not knowing what the story was going to ultimately end up being.

CO: Now, the person who made the movie, Tommy Wiseau, who made the room, did he intend this to be treated this way? Or did he think he was doing a serious film?

RH: If you ask him, he probably still thinks it's a very serious film. Everyone that I've spoken to while making this documentary have confirmed that he was very serious on set. He was trying to make a high drama. A movie that was you know very sad about. It’s about this man and his girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend. So he loses everyone in his life at the same time. And it's just this big drama. Everything was done so inadequately that it just turned into this huge unintentional comedy.

CO: So everything about it is bad: the production, the script, acting, everything?

RH: Yes, everything is done really poorly. And I think that's what happens a lot of times when one person tries to write direct, produce and star in the same movie. Making a film is a collaborative effort, and when you do everything yourself a lot of times you're going to fail a certain aspects. In this case, he failed at almost every aspect. It's poorly directed, it's poorly acted, none of the actors had any type of experience, the set designs are horrible. So it's just a perfect storm of everything that could possibly go wrong when making a movie. And I think that that's what people appreciate so much.

CO: Now, initially, making this documentary, you had the cooperation of Tommy Wiseau, is that right?

RH: Yes, that's correct.

CO: At what point did he decide that he was going to not only get out of it, but he's going to try and stop you from putting this on the screen?

RH: He made it clear pretty early on that he was no longer interested in working with me. We had made it the gentlemen's agreement when we first met in 2011 that that was going to follow him around a little bit and get to film him, and that you know I’d make a documentary about the phenomenon surrounding his film. I think as soon as he saw how serious I was about it that he no longer was interested. I think maybe he just expected me to make like a 90 minute promotional video for “The Room”, which it essentially is. But we took it further and you know we interviewed a lot of the cast, a lot of the crew and then we wanted to dig a little bit into what makes Tommy tick. You know what type of person would make a movie like this and take it seriously. And think that it's the best thing ever and continue to promote it as hard as he did after its initial failure. And that's when he really started having a problem with what we were doing. You know he's a very private person. He's evasive about a lot of things about his life. For example, no one knows how old? Where he got the money to finance this film? Where he's from? He claims that he's from New Orleans, but has this thick, thick European accent and things like that. So we set out to answer a lot of these questions and successfully answer the questions, things that fans have been debating over for a number of years. And I don't I don't think he was very happy about that.

CO: He sought an injunction. He took it to court, and he argues that the documentary mocks, derides and disparages him, and infringes on his copyright. But the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the documentary cannot disparage a film that’s so bad.

RH: That's right. I know it's a bit of a funny outcome, but it was never my goal to mock his movie. His movie is popular because people mock it. People appreciate the film ironically. You know they go see it month, after month, after month not because it's a masterpiece. Not because it makes you emotional or brings you on this journey. It's because it's so bad and it's so ridiculous that people like making fun of it. Of course, a lot of the interview subjects talk about you know either when they were part of making the film and how ridiculous some of the choices were or we interview fans or say they like it because it's bad or because Tommy Wiseau is bad actor and stuff like that. So he perceived that as us making fun of him. But no, that's just the nature of what makes this film popular. And you know thank goodness that the judge was able to see that as well. Clearly, he was trying to make something that was dramatic because there are some scenes where you can clearly see that there is heart there. And I think that that's part of the appeal in watching “The Room”. It's like watching a movie that a child made or something like that. Or it's like when your kid gives you a drawing and you know it's not very good, but you know that he put his heart and soul into it, so you still put it up on the fridge and you'll celebrate it. That's I guess the feeling that you get when you watch “The Room”. You can't help but laugh at it, but there's something genuine at its core that just makes it appealing and makes it relatable.

CO: And now, at the same time as your documentary coming out, there's also a Hollywood movie about “The Room” and about it being made called “The Disaster Artist” starring James Franco as Tommy Wiseau. Do you know how Tommy Wiseau is responding to that movie.

RH: Yeah, I was actually at the world premiere of “The Disaster Artist” at TIFF earlier this year, and they're working collaboratively. He said that he supports the film 99 per cent. So they're having fun with that. It's very entertaining. It's based on the 2013 book, by the same title by Gregory Sestero — fantastic book. And James Franco did a great job playing Tommy Wiseau. So it's you know it's another fun companion piece to “The Room”, which hopefully, “Room Full of Spoons” will be as soon as we release it as well. But despite everything we've went through, despite going to court with Tommy and so on, a part of me still wants to work with him. So we're in the process of negotiating right now and trying to work collaboratively to successfully release “Room Full of Spoons”.

CO: All right. We'll leave it there. Thanks Rick.

RH: Thank you so much.

CO: Bye.

RH: Bye for now.

JD: Rick Harper is the director of the documentary “Room Full of Spoons”, about the cult movie “The Room”. We reached him in Gatineau, Quebec. And you can read more about “The Room” on our website:

[Music: Electronic]

Driscoll recount

JD: In the rollercoaster mayoral race in the town of Saint-Augustin, Quebec, Driscoll has finally emerged triumphant. Now, obviously, hindsight's 20/20, as they say, but insiders will tell you a Driscoll win was a foregone conclusion from the get-go. What they won't admit is that they weren't expecting things to be so close. On November 5th, the two top candidates each got 147 votes. This followed a tough campaign, in which Driscoll promised to do a good job, and probably to create jobs. Anyway, whenever an election ends in a tie, it's always a surprise. Unless Driscoll predicted a tie. Although then… well, she was probably was surprised that her prediction came true. So I'm 75-80 per cent I guess sure it was a surprise to Driscoll. So today, the town held a recount. Everyone held their breath, Driscoll especially. And after that recount, things were decided: Driscoll had won! Or they had to flip a coin and Driscoll won. The point is that Driscoll won, and she announced, quote, "As Driscoll, I am pleased to be the mayor of Saint-Augustin." Then she swore to...implement...something. All right, I have to confess something. I don't actually know what happened in Saint-Augustin today. Because yes, there was a tie after the election on the 5th. And yes, there was a recount today. And yes, Driscoll won. But I know nothing about the election campaign, or the exact result today. All I know is that the two candidates still in the running were incumbent mayor Gladys Martin Driscoll, and challenger Shirlynn...Driscoll.

Back To Top »

Part 3: Sri Lanka torture, The Moose Jaw Times-Herald

Mock CMA Awards speech

JD: Alt-country singer Sturgill Simpson was nominated for a Country Music Association Award last night. But instead of sitting in the plush seats, he was spotted outside the venue, busking. He held a sign that said, quote, "I don't take requests, but I take questions about anything you want to talk about... because fascism sucks." Of course, last week, the CMA Awards organizers warned members of the press they would be thrown out of the event if they asked musicians any questions to the musicians about gun control, or the Las Vegas shooting. The organizers later withdrew those guidelines and apologized. Last night, Mr. Simpson invited fans over Facebook Live to ask any and all questions. One fan asked him to make a mock CMA Awards acceptance speech. Here's that speech, and just a quick note: the competing sounds you're hearing in the background are those of a megaphone-wielding preacher.


STURGILL SIMPSON: Nobody needs a machine gun. And coming from a guy who owns quite a few guns, and what else? Gay people should have a right to be happy and live their life any way they want to. And get married if they want to without fear of getting dragged down the road behind a pickup truck. Black people are probably tired of getting shot in the streets and being enslaved by the industrial prison complex. And hegemony and fascism are alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee. Thank you very much.

JD: That was Sturgill Simpson, making a mock CMA Awards acceptance speech, outside the venue where the CMA Awards were being held.

[Music: Indie rock]

Sri Lanka torture

Guest: Paisley Dodds

JD: A warning about this next item: it is about torture, and it does contain disturbing information. The men say the officials accused them of working for the Tamil Tigers. And then, metal pipes were heated, so that stripes like a cat's could be burned into their backs. That is a story that Paisley Dodds heard repeatedly, during her latest investigation for the Associated Press. It involves 52 Tamil men who are seeking asylum in Europe, after suffering what they say was torture at the hands of Sri Lankan authorities over the past 2 years. We reached Paisley Dodds in London.

CO: Paisley, how would you describe the injuries these men have suffered?

PAISLEY DODDS: Well, the physical injuries are pretty horrific. Most of the men who I interviewed had very, very extensive brands across their backs. One 19-year-old had about 60 cigarette burns on his thighs and various other places on his body. A lot of the men actually looked like they had been hung or handcuffed or had rope tied around their wrists. But the thing that was quite extraordinary and most upsetting about this is that you know a lot of these guys actually talked about pretty horrific sexual abuse and torture. And, obviously, there are no marks to actually prove that. But the interviews that I had with the men that was the most gripping part of their tales.

CO: It seems to be through all of the interviews you did, and the men who gave their testimonies, very consistent stories, including you mentioned the branding on their backs. Can you tell us what you saw?

PD: Well, it ranged from fairly faint marks, to horrific marks. The worst that I saw was a man who came in with very, very thick and bold stripes across his back. He had about 10 of them. All of the men who actually had the branding on the back said that they were branded that way to signify that they were part of the Tamil Tigers.

CO: Who were the men? Who are these men? And how did they come to be detained as far as you can find out?

PD: Well, that's a really interesting part of the story. You know they ranged in age from 19 to about 36. Some of the men admitted that they had fought in the war and that they were recruited at a very early age in the last stages of the war. Some of the men said that they had never been a part of the war. Their families were not a part of the war. And they were living in various countries. One man was living in India for most of the war, so he said that he hadn't fought in the war. The 19-year-old who I saw who had the extensive cigarette burns all over his legs and said that he had been raped repeatedly. You know he was 19, so that means when the war actually ended in 2009, he was 11.

CO: The men have different stories about where they think they went. To torture rooms, they describe. And to detentions centers in places they often couldn't see because they were hooded. Are there consistent stories they tell about who seems to have abducted them?

PD: Most of the men said that their captors and interrogators identified themselves as part of the Criminal Investigations Department, which falls basically under the Ministry of Law and Order and their police. Some of the men, however, said that some of their captors were wearing military uniforms, not police uniforms. And they could see military insignia on the uniforms. One man in his testimony said that the window that he was able to look out briefly through he saw military uniforms hanging on a clothes line. So it's not entirely clear who might have been holding these guys.

CO: But the patterns seem similar when you have an investigation involving 52 men. You saw some very similar patterns and it wasn't random.

PD: No, it didn't appear to be random. I mean you know in terms of the actual interrogation tactics and their treatment and what they were accused of, the stories were all very similar— some varying in levels of brutality.

CO: What independent confirmation did you have from doctors or psychologists who looked at the men?

PD: Well, first of all, I mean I think that the first thing that I'd like to say is that we would have very much liked to have gotten more transparent answers from the Sri Lankan government. I tried to get the essentially the London consul to agree to an interview. She declined. I tried to get the minister who was in charge of Law and Order, who is essentially in charge of the CID to agree to an interview. He initially agreed, and then he declined. We did talk to the army commander, but he essentially only said that the army wasn't torturing people. And neither were the police. In terms of independent cooperation, I talked to three human rights investigators — independent human rights investigators — who had been basically interviewing torture victims around the world for the last 40 years. I talked to three psychologists. I talked to two psychiatrists who have been working with these guys, because a lot of the guys even, after arriving in the U.K. or other various European countries, tried to commit suicide. And two medical doctors.

CO: And they’ve all looked at these injuries and assessed them and say that these men are victims of torture?

PD: They've assessed them and they've said that the injuries and the stories and the testimony shows credible evidence that they were tortured. Yes.

CO: And the Sri Lankan government statement from the army commander has said that the army was not involved. And for that matter, I'm sure the police also were not involved. And yet, they're going to do a full investigation. What do you make of that? How seriously do you take that promise?

PD: I think it's fairly problematic because a lot of these men are terrified to give their names to any Sri Lankan security services because of so much mistrust and so much trauma that they've been through. So the first thing is how is the Sri Lankan government going to investigate that? I've talked to human rights activists and NGOs and doctors who've actually worked with some of these guys. And they think that an independent panel should be set up to investigate. Because, frankly, just like what we saw in terms of the peacekeeper abuse with the Sri Lankans, there's a lot of people who seem to think that because of the history in the country that the Sri Lankan government or military or the police are not necessarily the bodies to investigate these crimes or alleged crimes. And you know a lot of these guys are also not just terrified for themselves, but they're also terrified for the families that they left behind.

CO: We will be following your reports on this, Ms. Paisley. And I appreciate speaking with you tonight. Thank you.

PD: Thank you.

JD: Paisley Dodds is a reporter with the Associated Press. We reached her in London.

[Music: Piano]

Gillers: Rachel Cusk

JD: Like a lot of recently divorced people, I suppose, Faye is looking for structure. And that is how she winds up with a structure… a horrifically run-down house in London, which she begins to rebuild, while rebuilding her life. Faye is the central character in Rachel Cusk's novel "Transit" — one of five novels on the shortlist for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Giller, of course, is considered the top literary prize in Canada. The winner will be announced on November 20th, and over the next couple of weeks, we'll be presenting readings from each of the nominated novels, by the authors themselves. So here is Rachel Cusk reading from the first few pages of "Transit" in front of a live audience at Koerner Hall in Toronto.


RACHEL CUSK: An astrologer emailed me to say that she had important news for me concerning events in my immediate future. She could see things that I could not. My personal details had come into her possession, and have allowed her to study the planets for their information. She wished me to know that a major transit was due to occur shortly in my sky. This information was causing her great excitement when she considered the changes it might represent. For a small fee, she would share it with me. And enable me to turn it to my advantage. She could sense, the email continued, that I had lost my way in life, that I sometimes struggled to find meaning in my present circumstances and to feel hope for what was to come. She felt a strong personal connection between us. And while she couldn't explain the feeling, she knew too that some things ought to defy explanation. She understood that many people closed their minds to the meaning of the sky above their heads. But she firmly believed I was not one of those people. I did not have the blind belief in reality that made others ask for concrete explanations. She knew that I had suffered sufficiently to begin asking certain questions, to which as yet I had received no reply. It seemed possible that the same computer algorithms that had generated this email had also generated the astrologer herself. Her phrases were too characterful, and the note of character was repeated too often. She was too obviously based on a human type to be herself human. As a result, her sympathy and concern was slightly sinister. Yet, for those same reasons, they also seemed impartial. A friend of mine, depressed in the wake of his divorce, had recently admitted that he often felt moved to tears by the concern for his health and well-being expressed in the phraseology of adverts and food packaging, and by the automated voices on trains and buses, apparently anxious that he might miss his stop. He actually felt something akin to love, he said. For female voice that guided him while he was driving his car; so much more devotedly than his wife ever had. There has been a great harvest, he said, of language and Information from life. And it may have become the case that the faux-human was growing more substantial and more relational than the original that there was more tenderness to be had from a machine than from one's fellow man. After all, the mechanized interface was the distillation not of one human, but of many. Many astrologers had to live in other words for this one example to have been created. What was something he believed was the very fact that this oceanic chorus was fixed in no one person. That it seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere. He recognized that a lot of people found this idea maddening. But for him, the erosion of individuality was also the erosion of the power to hurt.

JD: Rachel Cusk, reading from her novel “Transit” at the “Between the Covers” Giller Prize event at Koerner Hall in Toronto. And we will be airing readings by the other four shortlisted authors over the coming days, before the Giller Prize winner is announced November 20th.

[Music: Ambient]

William Weintraub obit

JD: He was a prolific filmmaker, writer, and a historian of his hometown Montreal. But he didn't approach his work with rose-coloured glasses on. And not everyone saw things the way he did, particularly Quebec politics. William Weintraub, a journalist and author, died earlier this week in Montreal. He was 91-years-old. Mr. Weintraub worked as a reporter at the Montreal Gazette. And in the early 1950s, he was fired from the paper, after he insulted the managing editor at a party… without knowing the boss was in the room. He eventually left print, joined the National Film Board in its infancy. And with the NFB, he was involved in 150 productions. But he did keep writing. And one of his works of fiction — the satirical 1979 novel “The Underdogs” — caused a kerfuffle. See if you can guess why: it depicted a future Socialist Republic of Quebec, in which English speakers were an oppressed minority, complete with a violent resistance movement. Throughout his career, William Weintraub was fascinated with Montreal. And he spent the majority of his life documenting the city. Back in 1996, he was a guest on CBC Radio's "Morningside". He spoke to Peter Gzowski about a book he wrote about his hometown, called "City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940s and '50s".


WILLIAM WEINTRAUB: Well, it was quite an adventure you know to go into these hidden places of my youth and find out what really happened. And to talk to some of the principals who survived. There was there was a lot of work involved, needless to say. But enjoyable.

PETER GZOWSKI: I guess you’ve got both a historian’s hat and a storyteller's hat. And I wonder if they ever would have trouble fitting your head at the same time. I mean some of those yarns are so good they shouldn't be true?

WW: Well, as far as I know, I haven't been upbraided for except for one small detail — somebody wrote me a letter. But I don't know? Some of the stories may be legend and they’re given as such. But not all of it can be absolutely documented. But on the other hand, a surprisingly large amount of it can be documented by written material, newspapers, magazine and so on.

PG: There's very little, in fact, there’s a tiny smidgen of William Weintraub himself in this book. You barely mention yourself in passing when you quote yourself with great precision from “Why Rock The Boat”, your book about the newspaper business. But you're never there?

WW: Well, I didn't want to offer this as a memoir. I really wanted to offer it as a history. And I don't know how well the two things mix — a personal memoir of experiences, coming of age thing and so on. I think in a way I dealt with that in my novel in a satirical way.

PG: Surely you weren't one of those young high school boys who went to 312 Ontario Street?

WW: Well, you mean the famous brothel? Well, let me say the was famous let me say that if I did go there, it was only to do research for a book that I was planning to write 50 years later, see?

PG: 50 years later. I got you.

JD: Journalist and film maker William Weintraub, in conversation with Peter's Gzowski on “Morningside” back in 1996. William Weintraub died earlier this week. He was 91-years-old.

[Music: Indie pop]

Moose Jaw Times-Herald

Guest: Randy Palmer

JD: For 13 decades, the Moose Jaw Times-Herald covered everything from local politics to education to the city's beloved hockey team, The Moose Jaw Warriors. Yesterday, the community received some bad news: after more than 125 years, the newspaper announced it will print its final issue in December. The paper recently went through job cuts, and the cancellation of the Monday edition. But for 19 years, Randy Palmer stayed on. Mr. Palmer is a sports writer at the Times-Herald. We reached him in Moose Jaw.

CO: Randy, what is the mood in your newsroom since they learned that the Moose Jaw Times-Herald is shutting down?

RANDY PALMER: I guess a little disappointment right now. I mean to, tell you the truth, today it's been actually really good. Everyone upbeat and we’re trying to plan for the last few issues and stuff like that. But you know I don't think it's sunk in yet really for everyone, and it's probably going to hit some point or another that this is end of it all.

CO: And the last day of publication is?

RP: I believe it's December 7th.

CO: So coming up fast.

RP: Yeah, we’ve one month left. I think 19 issues and then that's it.

CO: What were the reasons? What have you been told the reasons why the paper's closing?

RP: From what I understand, look at you know the ad revenue and stuff like that. You know we weren’t making a lot of money. And it was kind of getting more and more difficult to bring money in. So I guess in the end, it just got a point that it was prohibitive to keep running and they decided to pull the plug.

CO: But it was just purchased last year by Star News Publishing, they bought a bunch of other papers — a dozen other papers. And they said at that time, I was just looking at a CBC story from then then, the publisher, Roger Home, said that community newspapers are strong and healthy. This seems like a good opportunity to grow our base. That it's an Alberta company. They said we think Saskatchewan is the new Alberta. Saskatchewan’s coming back. And this is the time and the place to invest at this point. So what do you think went wrong?

RP: I don't know. It’s really hard to put a finger on it. I think maybe print media in general is getting to the point where it's sometimes difficult. No matter how optimistic you, or how really positive you want to be, sometimes you just can’t get to the other side. I think it's pretty much the situation here. You know we worked hard, tried hard, did everything we could to keep it running. It just reached a bad point.

CO: This paper has been around for 125 years.

RP: Yes.

CO: What's it like working there? What has it been like?

RP: It’s been awesome. You know I’ve seen so many people and met so great many people. The community is fantastic. Now, part of my soul is going to leave this place when I walk out of there for the last day. It's just a great place to work. It was a great place to be. And it's just sad to see it all kind of going away now.

CO: And covering sports that was your beat. And if there's any part of a community newspaper that's really its soul is in sports coverage, isn't it? Because you cover the local teams. Nobody else is going to do that. No one else is going to show up and get the scores and do the story. And it matters so much to people and communities, doesn't it?

RP: Yeah, that's a thing. I mean it was a big thing when it started way back in ’98 I think it was. I can’t remember. A large part of that was because of Rick Moore, who passed away due to cancer about 10 years ago I think. We covered everything — absolutely everything. Absolutely every sport all the time, regardless of what level it was, what it was about. And that was a huge part of our sports section. And that’s the way to go. That’s the way it has to be I think if you’re going to have a good paper and a good sports section. It’s a big part of the community and it's sad we won’t be there anymore.

CO: And who is going to cover those stories? Who is going to go out to those hockey games, and see the girls and the boys and all the things they do? — to cover Peewee hockey. Who is going to cover that?

RP: Well, right now, there’s the weekly paper in town, Moose Jaw Express. They’re trying to do a good job themselves, and it gets quite a few things in there. There’s a radio station and they have a website and try to do that stuff as well. There won’t be daily coverage.

CO: Do you think people in Moose Jaw realize what they're losing when they lose a daily paper like this?

RP: I think so, yeah. We’ve been getting a lot of condolences from a lot of folks. Maybe you know they took it for granted a little bit, and they thought that it was an institution that was never going to disappear. So now that it has, we're going to be hearing a lot more from people that are disappointed to see it go. It’s always surprising for the community when something like this happens. You never really think things are that bad. And then you find out they are, and it’s too late to do anything. So it’s a sad situation.

CO: What are you going to do?

RP: I don't know. Hey, I'm hoping Moose Jaw Express or Discover Moose Jaw are hiring. It’s just a matter of seeing what I can find that will fit. Hopefully, sit In Moose Jaw here! Play the cards and see what happens. Might have to leave the news business altogether and do communications or something like that, but we’ll see what happens.

CO: What is it you like about living in Moose Jaw?

RP: The community itself is awesome. So many great people. The sports community is second-to-none, it’s just striving. And just a great place to live. You know it's just the right size. You get all the amenities you need right here in the city. And if you want anything else, you can go you know 45 minutes east to Regina, or two hours north to Saskatoon. So it's a perfect size community I think for someone who just wants to you know live a quiet life, and have to worry about things.

CO: Did you plan to stay this long? How long have you been there for?

RP: About 19 years give or take. There’s a period where they shut down our layout department, I was part of that at the time. So I missed two years there, but for most part, around 19 years.

CO: And when you came 19 years ago to be in this paper did you think you're going to be here for almost two decades?

RP: No, not really. I was hoping I'd move on somewhere bigger. But in the end, I just decided not to leave, or even really try to start applying anywhere else. It became you know the Times-Herald was me, and I wanted to say there. Yeah, I never expected to stay 20 years, especially it this business. But yeah, it just became a place I didn’t want to get out of. Here I am today.

CO: Any chance that there is a white knight that is going to ride into town and save the Moose Jaw Times-Herald? Any chance?

RP: You could buy the paper if you want. That is ultimate hope. Everyone is agreeing that someone comes in and says no one is losing their job. This paper is not going anywhere. We don't care what happens right now. We’re going to rebuild it. I don’t know who’s all out there? I mean a lot of major news organizations are struggling. We’ll have to see what happens, but we're hoping.

CO: Randy, I wish you luck in whatever happens. And thanks for speaking with us.

RP: Yeah. Thank you very much. Here’s hoping for good things.

CO: Bye bye.

— the rule only applies to French-language broadcasts.Well, we heard from many of you who were a bit frustrated by the exception. You wanted to know if English broadcasters can now say the "T-word." You know, thhe T-word that rhymes with "dabber stack." Well, listeners, we can't. Zut alors. And no one was more fussed about it than this caller, whose career survived a frightening faux pas.


DARRELL GUSTOVSON: Hi, Darrell Gustovson, Sakatoon. Just heard that story about the Canadian Broadcast Standard thing and the F-word is OK in French language radio. Back in the ‘80s, I was in radio; accidently said the F-word one time. I was sweating bullets all night long until the end of my sift. I rewound the tape and see if anybody was going to complain and fire me. Fortunately, it just was a whisper and it blended in perfectly with the cymbal part of the opening of Deep Purple’s “Woman from Tokyo”. Never heard anything about it; didn’t lose my job. But now I hear that the French people can say the F-word on radio and it’s no big deal… that is [censored] up.

JD: Thank you, Darrell. Go wash your mouth out! We appreciate all your calls and emails about the broadcast Standards Council to allow the F-word on French T.V. and radio broadcasts. And you can share further by finding us on Facebook or Twitter: @cbcasithappens. Email us at: Or call Talkback at 416-205-5687.

Back To Top »

CBC would like to acknowledge the support of the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.