CityTV celebrates Ted Rogers’ 75th birthday by flouting journalistic standards
Canada’s idea of a media mogul (i.e., bland and ruthless), billionaire Ted Rogers (number 173 on the Forbes list, with seven-odd billion dollars), turned 75 years old on Tuesday. Rogers still makes news, and his pursuit of an NFL franchise for Toronto is one of the big business and sports stories of the moment. So when CityTV’s Web site decides to cover its owner’s birthday, while it’s a stretch, it does not beggar all credulity. If you were expecting a bland, pleasantly inoffensive statement of fact, much in keeping with the man himself, then you’d be wrong. CityTV provided a jaw-dropping hagiographic blow job that makes Mark Steyn’s coverage of Conrad Black look like All the President’s Men.
For instance:Some of his execs have compared their boss to a human time machine, noting he has the uncanny ability to see what the next big trend is and get there before anyone else… Rogers may be 75 but he still approaches each day with the energy of a kid, playing with his new toys, always seeking to make them better… “No one’s told him he’s 75,” his son Edward agrees. “He thinks he’s 25 still, and he’s still having a lot of fun.” His kids are his biggest fans. “As a father, he is phenomenal,” confirms daughter Martha Rogers. “He would always do whatever he could to spend time with us, even cancelled meetings to come and watch our silly swim races and stuff.”… Still, not everything’s perfect. He’s been beset by countless health problems, although they haven’t slowed him down and he can’t conceive of the day when he’ll give up his office.
Now that’s what I call balance: “not everything’s perfect.” Actually, it’s more than perfect—the man defies mortality. Genghis Khan’s PR guy would blush at this nonsense. Call me a horse-face mule, a New England schoolmarm, but for this to appear under the auspices of a brand purporting to provide “news” is incredibly bush league. Canadian media moguls live in a sheltered economic workshop protected by ownership rules that make them oversized fish in a ridiculously small pond. Their overstuffed sense of entitlement and self-importance leads to this sort of idiocy. One wishes it were otherwise.