Somebody should cut cut cut the soapbox out from under Kevin O'Leary
Is it just me, or is anyone else sickened by media maggot
Kevin O’Leary and his ever-expanding empire of self-promotion?
I spend a lot of time in my car, listening to the radio, including
NewsTalk 1010 (still CFRB to a lot of us), which has decided its listeners have
an endless appetite for O’Leary.
Most people are familiar with him as the heel on Dragon’s
Den, where his withering critiques of business ideas proposed by bumbling amateur
entrepeneurs are amusing to reality TV fans.
I don’t watch Dragon’s Den and try to avoid any TV shows
that include him, but I am familiar with his noxious views on business and
what’s good for Canada,
spouted on CFRB.
He started out with a five-minute spot on the John Tory afternoon show, but now has a second soapbox in the morning, with John Moore. Last week, CRRB began running ads that feature O’Leary telling us how he’ll also be sharing his opinions on the news of the day with lucky listeners.
O’Leary has done pretty well for himself in business and as an investor, which qualifies him as an expert on everything.
A bit of success can really swell some people’s heads. O’Leary’s is like a beach ball on a toothpick.
But his relentless savaging of unions, which he describes daily as the “evil” responsible for almost everything wrong in the world, is where he really gets under my skin.
A lot of us have issues with unions that reward public employees at a level not possible in the private sector, but unions are the last line of defense for the North American middle class.
And that’s what he despises about them. Collective bargaining contracts and decent pay are a drain on shareholder value. Who cares if people can’t buy running shoes (made in Sri Lanka) for their kids? I’m okay, Jack.
O’Leary’s stock hit a new low with me last week, after his comments on the Royal Bank of Canada’s
decision to bring 45 workers into the country from India, to replace better paid Canadians.
The move ignited a media bonfire on outsourcing and left RBC, which earned a record profit of $7.5 billion in 2012, scrambling to explain itself. It has since publicly apologized.
On CFRB, Tory asked O’Leary about it. O’Leary said he is also quite disappointed with RBC, for not replacing more Canadians with off-shore people who will work for peanuts.
As a shareholder, O’Leary said he expects the bank to “cut cut cut cut cut cut cut” every Canadian job possible, and that its only responsibility is to increase his dividend.
And if the fallout from such an approach to corporate responsibility (if there is such a thing) upsets people, too bad, he said.
He also said that after learning to speak in 20-second TV sound bites, he loves radio, where he can prattle on for several minutes on his pet peeves, like the evil of unionism.
And for this, he is rewarded with more air time.
If The Simpsons did not predate the O’Leary media empire by many years, I’d suspect he was used as a template for the creation of Homer’s boss, Mr. Burns.
I’m nominating O’Leary as the Foghorn Leghorn of Canadian media, a Mitt Romney on steroids.
It’s enough to make me punch…the channel-change button on the radio.