Canadian TV Host Calls Chris Hedges A "Left-Wing Nutbar" For Occupy Wall Street Comments

Occupy Wall Street New York City - H 2011
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Occupy Wall Street New York City - H 2011

The Canadian public broadcaster's ombudsman Kirk LaPointe said Kevin O'Leary breached journalist codes when interviewing the veteran U.S. writer and war correspondent.

TORONTO – Liberal media?

A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. TV host is in hot water after calling an American Occupy Wall Street commentator he was interviewing a "left-wing nutbar" on-air.

CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe fingered Kevin O'Leary, the public broadcaster's business pundit, for dissing American writer and war correspondent Chris Hedges after he came on to his show, the Lang & O'Leary Exchange, to talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement south of the border.

''There is room at the inn for a range of views, but there is no room for name-calling a guest,'' LaPointe said in an October 13 decision after O'Leary took direct aim at Hedges.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you sound like a left-wing nutbar. If you want to shut down every corporation and every bank, where are you going to get a job, where are you going to work, where is the economy going to go?” O’Leary told Hedges mid-way through a 7-minute interview.

After receiving hundreds of written complaints at the CBC, LaPointe said O’Leary breached the public broadcaster’s journalistic code, not least by calling Occupy Wall Street protesters ''nothing burgers,'' and calling their actions ''very weak, very low-budget.”

''O'Leary might have been genuinely curious about Hedges' views, but his opening salvo only fed contempt, which breached policy,” LaPointe wrote.

O’Leary is also a judge on the CBC’s Dragon’s Den reality show and and will also host a second CBC reality TV series, Redemption Inc., based on a format from Wide-Eyed Entertainment.

CBC News issued a written apology to Hedges, who protested on air that Canada’s state broadcaster sounded like Fox News, which he does not appear on stateside, for descending into name-calling and finger-pointing.