Mayor's staff claim CBC host is "easy"

Post by Daniel Fontaine in


Mayor Robertson's communications chief pushes the special CBC "easy" button located in a undisclosed location at City Hall
Mayor Robertson's communications chief pushes the special CBC "easy" button located in a undisclosed location at City Hall

A month or so ago, there was a lot of media frenzy related to the launch of the Burrard Bridge trial. Those pro and con jumped in front of every microphone and camera they could find in order to get their message out to the public. There was much written and reported regarding the possible impacts and benefits of the Burrard Bridge trial might be. However, things have now cooled off.

That said, has obtained a copy of an interesting email sent by Kevin Quinlan regarding the Burrard Bridge. He is Mayor Gregor Robertson's chief communications "enforcer." The term enforcer is how some media fondly refer to him. He's earned the title because when he's not happy with the coverage of a reporter, he apparently likes to go up the chain of command and whine to the reporter's boss. Not a great way to ingratiate yourself with the front-line media, I must say.

Quinlan sent an email May 7th to Vision councillor Heather Deal with a subject of "Re: Someone to speak on the bridge decision tom. am at 7:15." The email exchange related to him trying to get Deal to appear on CBC Vancouver's Early Edition with their top-rated host Rick Cluff. As part of his pitch to Deal, he sent an email at 17:29 the evening before which stated:

gave it to you...Cluff is easy, and it's our crowd

Hmmm...the CBC's Rick Cluff is "easy"? What exactly was meant by that statement? I thought I might have misinterpreted what he said, so I looked up the word "easy" in the dictionary and here is what I found:

achieving without great effort; presenting few difficulties

Now I realize that Quinlan likely never expected would obtain a copy of his private email exchange when he made this statement to Deal, however, it does provide a bit of insight into the thought process of the Mayor's top communications guy.

Despite their enormous ratings Deal appears to grudgingly agree (not a morning person maybe?) to appear on the CBC Early Edition by telling Quinlan:

Sigh - ok

7:15 or 8:15? Will they call my cell?


I've had the opportunity to meet Rick Cluff on several occasions when I worked with the Mayor's office, and I can assure you he wasn't "easy" on the previous mayor nor any councillor that went on his show. In fact, he often asked very tough and pointed questions that had the mayor squirming in his wheelchair. Therefore stating that Cluff "is easy" is not only unfair, I think it does a real disservice to the top notch professional team the CBC has in Vancouver.

As for the CBC listening audience being "our crowd," I would beg to differ. I think that CBC's audience cuts across the political spectrum and that not every listener tuning into CBC Early Edition is a Vision sycophant. I have a feeling that more than a few of them voted COPE and NPA as well. I give the CBC listeners more credit than Quinlan does.

Are there some journalists and columnists that lean more one way or another? You bet there are. However, I don't put Cluff in that category. He's demonstrated on numerous occasions that he will challenge ALL of his guests to get to the bottom of a story, regardless of their political affiliation. Just to be sure, I'll be listening even a bit closer the next time he has Deal on his show to see if Quinlan was in fact right.


Cluff is the ultimate soft ball tosser. Next to Larry King

Whats the story here, other than the author who is still immensely bitter about the fact that he is out of his job at City Hall and the party that once was the natural governing party is now reduced to virtually nothing?

Attacking the messenger doesn't change the message. What was Quinlan thinking? Why would he put that stuff in writing?

Don't you mean Bill is the ultimate softball tosser? Rick will ask the follow-up, Bill won't.

Ask the follow-up and you can knock people off their talking points.

This really isn't that big of a deal anyway, it's just somebody trying to convince a reluctant party to go on the radio. Say what you have to say to get them to agree to do it.

Rick Cluff spent most of his career as a sportscaster and it shows. He can't hold a candle to real journalists like Michael Enright, Erika Johnson, and, in an earlier era, Hal Wake. If Cluff managed to make Sam Sullivan squirm, I suggest that says more about Sullivan's capabilities than Cluff's.

City Caucus forges illustration! Quinlan decidedly not a ring wearer.

Check out!

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