Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Tighthead » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:13 pm

So you fully acknowledge that this is not a case of suppression of speech via expansion of corporate powers, but say I was blindly throwing the definition around? I disagree wholly and consider that allegation baseless.

Corporations can inhibit or influence content and broadcasters -it happens all the time with sports broadcast rights and corporate relations. Every clown on 1040 has to tread lightly about the Canucks due to existing relationships. It is transparent and often laughable.

However, some morning zoo guy spewing bigoted stereotypes is going to get canned 99/100 times no matter how big or small the owner is.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Aaron » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:43 pm

Tighthead wrote:So you fully acknowledge that this is not a case of suppression of speech via expansion of corporate powers, but say I was blindly throwing the definition around?


No. If I can be pedantic, it actually is "the suppression of speech via expansion of corporate powers" That's what happened, whether you're OK with it or not. There was no moral judgement, just fear of losing business. If most content consumed is governed by that paradigm, what use is the Charter?

The corporate interests control almost all of the radio listening in Winnipeg, and will, as they have the right to, control speech based on their business interests. They even have a BS organization, the CBSC, that fools the public into thinking they're raising concerns to a public adjudicator.

I don't have any problem with the way this has played out, but I don't think it's unreasonable to point out the red flags being raised about who really control our "rights."
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Tighthead » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:51 pm

I disagree. You don't need expansion of corporate powers for ownership to fire broadcasters for saying stupid or offensive things. That happened in the days of family owned stations as well. Al Davidson would be an example.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Tighthead » Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:56 pm

Aaron wrote:
The corporate interests control almost all of the radio listening in Winnipeg, and will, as they have the right to, control speech based on their business interests. They even have a BS organization, the CBSC, that fools the public into thinking they're raising concerns to a public adjudicator.


I'm honestly not sure if I would have more or less faith in a public or private body. Not really sure what people expect in the form of redress anyway.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Howaboutthat » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:35 pm

It's quite simple actually.
He is being paid to do a job by an employer.
He did something the employer obviously found objectionable.
The employer took action it deemed necessary.
If he has an issue with the employer's actions, that is who he must deal with.
This has nothing to do with the Charter.
Houston, We're dealing with morons!.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby tuned » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:26 am

I see we have quite a collection arm chair attorney's here. I wasn't making a legal argument but an observation that Canadian's are very soft on free speech and are quick to want to censor anyone that offends their sensitive dispositions. You guys have done an excellent job of making my point.
Not a single defense of a guy pushing the envelope and maybe pissing a few people off. I'm sure plenty of listeners found his songs hilarious but they don't matter because a couple of loudmouths voiced their displeasure. I'm sure Rogers didn't violate the guys Charter rights and I'm pretty sure they had a legal right to kick his arse out the door. In my opinion we need more guys like Dave Wheeler and less scummy corporations like Rogers controlling 90% of the media.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby tuned » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:43 am

I just noticed Tighthead using Al Davidson as an example of his jackboot approach to free speech. I had the privilege of working with Al and had a front row seat to his corporate lynching. What happened to him was a disgrace. If I remember correctly his widow wound up collecting a hefty wrongful dismissal settlement. CKNW had signed him to a long term contract and wanted to weasel out of the contract. They trumped up some HR beef that "Big" Al had threatened to kill Neil McCrae to try and get out of it. Neil is well over 6 feet tall and "Big" Al was barely over five feet. Not to mention the age difference. I understand if you want to be a good corporate toady but I'm not going to let you defend the indefensible.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby jon » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:17 pm

tuned wrote:They trumped up some HR beef that "Big" Al had threatened to kill Neil McCrae to try and get out of it.

I am not arguing with your analysis of Al's situation, but commenting on the Wheeler situation. Employers have a pretty wide range of rights in the "Just Cause" category of firing people. It begins, of course, with HR's careful statement of what is unacceptable behaviour. And how well it is communicated to all employees.

A dozen years ago, a friend of mine was fired for telling an off colour joke in the cafeteria during the Lunch Hour. One that was derogatory to Women. Even though he could make the point that he wasn't getting paid during his Lunch Hour, so it was "his time", not the employer's, the fact that it was on company property was enough to dissuade any lawyer from taking his case for Wrongful Dismissal.

The key piece that won the fight for the Employer was their very clear policy, thoroughly explained in one of their mandatory Employee Training courses, that defined Harassment (of other employees). Even use of the F word was grounds for immediate dismissal because some female employees found its use "threatening".

Of course, my friend was neither the first nor last to tell this kind of joke on company property. He just had the unfortunate "luck" of being seated at a table next to an HR employee who either knew him by name or read his security badge.

That is just "internal" behaviour. External behaviour, i.e. - speaking publicly, especially to the media, leaves the burden of proof on the employee that he/she is not associated with their employer. For many employers, employees can be fired for speaking publicly in any way that associates them with their employer.

As I said, all the cases that I'm aware of failed to be classified as Wrongful Dismissal. Admittedly, Whistle Blower legislation has more recently started to protect employees in certain situations. And the emergence of social media where people list their current employer.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby Tighthead » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:17 pm

Care to expand on your use of the term jackboot? I don't care for the association. Please expand with some detail.

Guys like this live on the edge and know that they walk a fine line. I don't see a problem with that.

You don't need cause to fire someone. Just pay them out. Ever time I fired someone I gave them a small package because fighting it is a waste of time.

My point with Al Davidson had nothing to do with the merits of it, and no where did I make that suggestion. When he was canned NW was not part of a national empire like we see today. It was the good old days and he still got walked.

I believe Al managed to skate on the boat fire, which was a miracle. He did well in litigation.
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Re: Winnipeg radio host Dave Wheeler suspended

Postby tuned » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:54 pm

I'll withdraw the jackboot comment.

Of course the "morning zoo guys" walk a fine line but it's managements job to support them to some degree and not cave the instant someone complains. It happens all too often these days because the stations are owned by huge corporations with bigger fish to fry than some local radio station. You astutely pointed out how painful it is to listen to discussion re the Canucks on 1040. Heaven help the host that blames the meddling owners for the hockey teams problems. I'm pretty sure Larsheid lost his job because he didn't toe the company line.

I agree that a large corporation would have bought out Al Davidson's contract instead of trying a bush league move to get out of it. However that same corporation never would have hired him in the first place. My recollection of the boat fire was that an unidentified, diminutive gentleman clutching a jerrycan in each hand was seen scuttling away from the scene of the crime. Maybe The Penguin did it.
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