Chris Hedges schools Kevin O’Leary | #OccupyWallStreet


Update: Now with video (h/t Alison at Creekside)


Big h/t to Jymn and Dr. Dawg.

Chris Hedges, who’s been cited here before, calls out Kevin O’Leary for his snide condescension, name-calling and browbeating, all the while recasting the whole notion of conservatism versus radicalism in the context of discussing the Occupy Wall Street action currently taking place in New York. Several important points about what Hedges characterizes as the criminal nature of the parasitic banking class, and how it contrasts with traditional views of capitalism and productivity. Right toward the end, Hedges turns the traditional corporate-media analysis on its head by making a trenchant observation about who the conservatives are and who the revolutionaries are.

As Jymn points out, anyone who still thinks of the CBC as a left-wing propaganda outlet ought to see this. O’Leary does his best to channel the likes of Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, complete with the insults, interruptions, sneering and red herrings, and Hedges pins the Fox comparison squarely on his forehead.

If we’re interested in preserving the quality of public discourse, if we value respect and civility, we could start by taking away Kevin O’Leary’s publicly funded soapbox.

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  1. David Dubois
    October 10, 2011

    The interviewee Chris Heges was no left wing nut bar. He was a pullitzer prize winner what r O’Leary’s credentials. He made some money on the stock market and he feels qualified to utter such garbage as a spokesperson for the CBC Shame on you CBCThe only reason I became a CBC member to voice my complete and utter dismay and the new low in which CBC journalism has stooped. To allow that trite insulting interview from O’Leary I would have expected from Fox news but CBC wow. There should be some accountability in journalism when you are funded by taxpayers money. I am outraged and offended by such cheap tactics.

  2. Dave LeFevre
    October 10, 2011

    Kevin O’Leary is one of the self-important jerks that helped cause the situation to begin with… the people who took government money and then stabbed everyone in the back. He’s one of the people that says all the money should go to him and everyone else can eat cake. He and his buddies are the reason that the U.S. is about ready to fold up shop and leave.

  3. Anonymous
    October 10, 2011

    I guess I know even less about the Canadian media than I thought I did, this is unbelievable. I would have guessed this was Fox except that they probably never would have even had this guy on in the first place.

  4. GreatBigBore
    October 10, 2011

    Damn, I wish I could be more like Chris Hedges. Totally kept his cool, totally bitch-slapped O’Leary, totally bitch-slapped the show. He’s my new hero!

  5. Maureen Sanders
    October 10, 2011

    Insulting interview with the renowned Chris Hedges and the completely-out-of his-depth-*greed-is-good-and-money-is-all-that-matters* O’Leary. Why does the CBC continue to allow this self-absorbed jerk -and others like him, such as Don Cherry- to spew their ugliness in the name of the CBC. Delighted to hear Hedges say he wouldn’t be back. He’s right, this was nothing but Faux news tactics to pair such a fine writer and thinker with a pathetic nonentity like O’Leary. I’m ashamed that the once venerable CBC has become such a trashy media outlet. I think I’m about done with you CBC and I won’t be contributing any further to help *save* you. You have done a pretty good job of sinking yourselves with increasing amounts of this kind of trash, and all that remains is for Harper to put in the final boot!

  6. Brian Carey
    October 10, 2011

    A journalist attacking a guest, the CBC sounds like Fox News!

  7. Mary Eberhardt
    October 10, 2011

    This was intelligent eloquent and rational rational man with eminent credentials posed against an unintelligent, rude, individual who had he audacity to pose as a credible interviewer.. His demeanor was incredibly offensive . CBS should be SHAMED for lowering the standards of journalism placing a person such as this O’Leary against the likes of Chris Hodges. SHAME ON YOU.CBS. And shame onCanada media if this is the caliber of their television "journalism"!!!Chris Hedges never lost his presence and showed O ‘Leary for what he is. twit and an idiot

  8. Jodes
    October 11, 2011

    Wow, O’Leary is not very smart. Journalists are supposed to be impartial. Calling Hedges a "left-wing nutbar" is not being impartial. Plus, the last thing you want to do is piss off one of your sources or they will never talk to you again. Asking hard questions and maybe asking them to explain what they are saying because you don’t understand is good journalism. Insulting your source and calling them names is bad journalism. Now they have lost a valuable source. I hope O’Leary is held accountable and has to issue an apology to Hedges.

  9. Mel
    October 11, 2011

    I’ve already emailed the CBC and let them know how embarrassing that was for me as a canadian. Mr. Leary’s shtick may fly for the purposes of entertainment but to have him conduct an interview with someone of Chris Hedges caliber is downright ridiculous.It’s not as if Kevin O’Leary needs the job. CBC needs to rid itself of that negative press.

  10. v.d.m
    October 11, 2011

    Mr. O’leary is not a journalist!!!!

  11. Fred
    October 11, 2011

    Wow you people missed the point; O’Leary said that Hedges was sounding like a Left Wing Nutbar, when he said that all corporations were useless and made nothing. O’Leary called him out , and Hedges clarified that he meant "banks" not "corporations" then he went on to say, ok maybe not the Canadian banks! Hedges’ hyperbole and generalisation really made his arguement much less convincing and the lack of logic is what O’Leary pounched on. O’Leary said he was "sounding like" a nutbar when he made these broad-stroke comments-in other words; he wasn’t going to be able to convince the masses by making wild irrational statements.By the way; Kevin O’Leary is not a jounalist as people have said-he has a business oriented talk show and is on the show for his opinions and his ascerbic nature-he’s no more a journalist than Donald Trump, Dr. Oz or any other talk show host. Someone like Hedges should have done a bit of homework and realised that he was talking to the right-wing co-host of the show and reacted to the questions with that in mind. O’Leary backed down from the confrontation and let him talk, but by then Hedges was too upset to continue. His little hissy fit at the end of the interview didn’t help his cause in any way either.If Chris Hedges expected to be able to go on a business oriented TV show on the CBC (NOT CBS) and say whatever he wanted without being challenged, he made a big mistake. If he had been able to make a concise, logical arguement about the rationale for the Wall St. protests he would have made great use of the interview. Instead he had a mentdown at the end and looked like a little boy who wasn’t getting his way, not the award winning journalist that he is.

  12. Checker
    October 12, 2011

    Wow, Kevin has been due something like that for a long time. It’s awesome to see someone turn the tables on his intimidation. I used to love that show, but his single mindedness (closed mindedness) wore off on me a long time ago. At first I had a hard time with these protests, but the more I hear, the more I like.I do think though the only real solution is to re-privatize the banks. If they had private shareholders, with their own money on the line, they would never make the types of crazy speculations that they currently do. It’s easy to gamble wildly when you know the government will have to cover your losses.

  13. littleM
    October 12, 2011

    Actually, Fred, you seemed to miss what happened. The "nutbar" comment came before Hedges said corporations don’t make anything (and the ‘nutbar’/’nutcase’ hair-splitting didn’t undo the insult). O’Leary started hitting below the belt when Hedges refused to agree with his characterization of the protest as being "pretty nothing-burger."It’s true, Hedges should have been more clear that he meant *banking* corporations, but people are occupying Wall Street, not Walmart. He touches on the pernicious nature of all corporations, but the protest is camped outside Goldman Sacks, Bank of America et al.; the target is obvious. And while it’s not only fair but desirable for interviewees to be challenged, petty, snarky name-calling isn’t a challenge to the facts presented, it is simple debasement. If O’Leary has a genuine point, intelligent discourse would no doubt make it clear. Whether he’s a journalist or not, he is certainly not a child and should be expected to rise above schoolyard tactics for a discussion on a news program.

  14. Mortimer Snurd
    October 13, 2011

    You gotta hand it to Kevin for taking a hard left hook to the right jaw for the FOX types team.And you gotta give it to our CBC for the set up.The likes of O’Leary need to learn thoughpublic shame and humiliation but not silenced. Score: Hedges 99 O’Leary 1-in your FB MF. Heads up Kev, this thing is on….didn’t Dianne Buckner look fetching in that new do though

  15. Mortimer Snurd
    October 13, 2011

    May I also apologize to Mr. Hedges as a Canadian and applaud his show ofindignation but also ask him to please come back to the CBC sometime, maybe even go tell it on FOX too.

  16. John
    October 15, 2011

    I have to point out first that Kevin said you "sound like" a left-wing nut-bar. He didn’t actually call him one. Kevin also gave him the entire floor without interrupting him very much. I find several inconsistencies in Mr. Hedges rant however.Firstly he spoke of corporations ruining the planet and producing nothing. When Kevin called him on it he clarified and said "banks". I wonder if mr. Hedges has a mortgage. Secondly Mr. Hedges is an author. I wonder how many trees were cut down to print his books and newspaper articles? I’m also sure that his publishing company made significant profits on his book by charging the public exorbitant prices.Thirdly Mr. Hedges made comments in support of Karl Marx and wished we could return to a form of "neo-feudalism". I’m sure that the serfs in feudal society had it much better than we do. In addition "neo" refers to a period before recorded history. Again I’m sure that some form of stone age feudalism would be better than we have now.I have to agree that Mr. Hedges hussy fit at the end smacked of the spoilt child in any family that whines when everyone doesn’t agree with their warped view of the world. When Kevin asked him what the issues were that they were protesting all we heard was a lot of left-wing leaning ideas, and he wasn’t going to give anyone the opportunity to disagree or debate with him. Certainly no one could get a word in.I could go on – asking Mr. Hedges where he bought his shirt (which huge corporation), where it was made (probably China), where and what food he ate that day, etc.It’s unfortunate that he and others like him have only their own opinions and don’t allow any dissenting opinions of anyone else to be discussed and debated. Everyone is up in arms about what Kevin O’Leary called him, but everything Mr. Hedges said was perfectly ok. Where has the ability for lively debate of differing opinions gone in this country?At least Kevin let him have his rant and he finished and left, if he doesn’t want to come back, who is acting childish and petulant?

  17. D Guevara
    October 17, 2011

    Kevin O’Leary’s behaviour is a clear violation of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Policy 2.2.21 Code of Conduct, in addition to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Journalistic Standards and Practices. I have started an official petition to get him off the airwaves- please sign and show your support.

  18. cynththepoet
    January 14, 2012

    To John:Point 1: Mr. Hedges was not lauding ‘neo-feudalism’ but objecting to it. Please get your facts straight. If you object to that term, then you probably cannot stand the terms ‘neo-conservative’, ‘neo-colonial’, ‘neo-natal’, or ‘neo-Latin’. Because I cared enough to look it up, I found that ‘neo-‘ actually means "recent or new" (source: WordNet3). It does not mean what you think it means. I seriously doubt that ‘neo-natal’ refers to a time after conception and before live birth.Point 2: Your use of ad hominums shows a limited grasp as to the substance of the topic-at-hand. I hope I can expect better from you, as you seem to be a decent sort of person. I don’t know you personally, and I like to at least hope the best of all people until they prove to me a need to think otherwise. Perhaps this is what you are simply used to doing with your friends over a nice pint. Nothing wrong with that in the proper context. If the Internet had a cash bar, we’d all probably do the same thing.Point 3: I fully expect Kevin O’Leary to receive a job offer from FOX News. Apparently, there are certain standards in Canadian Broadcasting as well as Canadian law, both of which prevent NewsCorp from setting up a paralel construct in that nation. Since Canadians always seem to find great success after moving to the USA, I have very little doubt in my mind that this interview will serve as an excellent addition to Mr. O’Leary’s FOX News submission tape. His opening volley about ‘guitar strumming’ protesters (I am most likely paraphrasing that) is pure Murdoch/Ailes gold. He could have read that from a FOX News teleprompter just as easily.Point 4: If the worst thing you can say of Mr. Hedges regards the source of his clothing without even the effort to ask the man where he shops–there are actually non-outsourced factories still producing goods in the United States, though not very many of them–then you need to find better points on which to criticize the man’s ideas. You would have made the same point if you had stated, "His mother dresses him funny." Both are equally weak ways to argue a point, and I hope you can learn from your mistakes.Point 5: As to his "hussy fit" (the type of people who raised me prefer to say ‘hissy fit’ instead as it is more genteel), I can honestly say that it took an incredible amount of self control for Mr. Hedges to remain as civil as he did in the face of such intellectual morbidity as he endured from Mr. O’Leary. Had the subject of the interview had been Jesse Ventura…well, I’d pay good money to watch that spectacle on Pay-per-View! (Mock voiceover: "O’Leary!! Ventura!!! Steel cage no-holds-barred match!!!!! Contact your cable or satelite provider!") But that’s the crass Yank in me saying that much.

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