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I don’t know why, and very little about how it happened, but Marty Gold’s Great Canadian Talk Show on Winnipeg’s 92.9 Kick FM [Red River College’s campus station] is not longer.

You can read far more about the demise of the show here, or here. If you believe the whole RRC “kills freedom of speech” spin, you can go here to participate.

I’ve been a quiet fan of the show for some time now, for the sole reason that regardless of one’s feelings about its host, it was information about Winnipeg that you just couldn’t get anywhere else.

In my view, the show’s recent coverage of the civic election was must-listen radio for those interested in civic issues. Each Friday afternoon [my day off] for the last few months now, I would grab a good cup of coffee and go through the archive of the week’s shows

I wrote recently about the 10 things from the civic election campaign I was going to miss.

Number one in the list was how the alternative media had a unifying theme that gave way to a lot of good debate and discussion about the city, its future and the quality of our leadership.

Well, thinking about this again this morning, I realize now what a huge part TGCTS played in fuelling the debate.

In addition to presenting long-form sit downs with the mayoral and councillor candidates, Marty Gold featured the best of local bloggers and other civic-minded guests on a number of occasions and engaged them in discussions that were insightful and interesting.

On a number of occasions, the show broke stories about civic issues that the MSM was forced to play catch up with. If that’s not a marker of good, engaging radio that people would enjoy, I don’t know what would be.

However, one recent moment stands out in my mind, and I’m still thinking about it today in how it may have been a portent for the show’s future.

Former Katz adviser turned policy blogger and author Brian Kelcey was on as a feature guest, and at one point, he offered Gold a small piece of advice.

“Push, don’t point,” he said, in reference to the host’s predilection to name names and call out officials for their various behaviours and perceived wrongdoings — one of the things that made the show special, if not downright jarring on some days.

Push, don’t point.

Like I said, I don’t know why the show was cut.

It could be that the new president of RRC couldn’t understand why her school’s flagship radio show was run by a person who didn’t attend classes there. It could be because the school was threatened with legal action. It could be because a provincial election is on the way. It could be because it was just time for it to be done.

It could be because Gold pointed at the wrong person where he should have pushed.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that as citizens, we’re worse off for its demise.

And I have to find another Friday afternoon tradition.

16 thoughts on “RIP, TGCTS

  1. Thanks for the post, James, but can’t say I agree with you on this one. If it’s true that “as citizens, we’re worse off for its demise,” I’m very concerned about what sad state we’re in as citizens. If we need the kind of vitriolic, ranting lunacy that was the Great Canadian Talk Show’s stock in trade, we’ve got bigger problems than a canceled college radio show.

    Yes, coverage of civic and provincial politics is important – and no, the “mainstream media” doesn’t cover every story. And yes, alternative media sources can be healthy for debate. But I think there are far better sources for this kind of debate than the GCTS ever was. It was a terrible show, and as an RRC grad, I felt personally embarrassed to have my alma mater associated with such repulsive programming.

    Good riddance, as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps it will open the door for more reasoned, rational information programming on KICK.

  2. I have to completely disagree with you on this one Joff (and nice to see “see” you again, btw). Marty at times is aggressive, proud, and even on occasion flat out wrong and misinformed.

    However, his opinion is an eye opener and the freshest thing to have been found in the media for years. When other outlets are “cutting and pasting their “news” ” directly and without editing from Press Releases, The Great Canadian Talk Show would dissect the info -research the reason behind the spin and try to shine a light on the truth.

    The only thing Marty Gold is guilty of is wanting to make a difference.

    And shame on the cowards responsible for wanting to silence the voice of the people (even if he didn’t speak for absolutely everybody.)

    I don’t think it’ll be long before Marty’s messages are once again on broadcast radio. And were I the persons responsible for this move, I would want to make very certain that all of my skeletons were buried deeply in the closet and that my Political Affiliations were ready for the light to now be shone upon them.

  3. That’s so sad. It was a great show with a great host.

    The only reason I voted this year in the mayoral election was because of this show. I couldn’t have care less in the past but I actually voted this year because of Marty’s coverage.

    It’s a damn shame.

  4. I guess if he was more left wing he would still be on the air? As far as being anti -bike, we live in a city with winter 6 months of the year and drivers have a hard enough time avoiding other cars and pedestrians now we are reducing the size of lanes through major traffic areas. All that for how many cyclists that will be using these lanes at -30. Are the millions of taxpayers dollars worth this? We have been just fine before bike lanes.

  5. Well just make sure those responsible for shutting the great Canadian talk show down know about it. They are a bunch of cowards for not even been man enough to tell Marty in person. I have phoned them and told them how I felt about the showed been stopped. I was told it was best for the students to have campus radio for which was intended. So why then was Marty on the air for four years. Well until a new president that came in that’s why. He’s a butt kisses that’s the truth

  6. If Marty was such a right wing lunatic why is it that he gave Judy Alphabet 90 minutes of airtime; Jenny Gerbasi, Harvey Smith, Steve Ashton have never had better interviews even though he didn’t lob them CJOB/CBC softballs. He asked them hard questions but let them answer; something the leftwing wackos would never reciprocate. The truth is the lefties were/are running scared; free speech is only for those who agree with the socialist activist addenda. As least Marty aired both sides of the story, ask yourselves why Katz, Fielding, Steeves, etc. were avoiding him. He took all sides of the political spectrum to task the same can’t be said for the bought and paid for mainstream media. When was the last time the Free Press (what a oxymoron) examined both side of the story? Yes Marty was right leaning but certainly not nearly as biased as the leftwing drive-by media that so largely prevails. Now that the right is starting to speak, its suddenly time to kill free speech! Running scared NDP? You should. You can only buy so many votes, the right are staring to unite and the truth will be told.

  7. Hearing two sides to every story is never a bad thing, while I didn’t agree with everything Marty had to say and some of the subjects I didn’t really care about no one can argue his passion and his willingness to let people have a say and it’s not his fault the NDP was too afraid to be asked actual questions. I have to agree with James that the people of Winnipeg are worse for the show being cancelled because anytime people are silenced because they have an opposing view is another step away from democracy.

  8. I’m a student who helped out with Marty’s show. The show gave me the skills I needed to get my own show on KICK FM. Marty was nothing but supportive of my studies. That kind of volunteer focus on the students will be missed and hard to replace.

  9. A sad, sad day. I was a huge fan of Marty. Is RRCC really operating under a democracy when 4 people on the board make the decision? What are the reasons? They could have at least informed him in person by inviting him to a board meeting. Sounds like there was no bored meeting. Gutless. Marty taught those students more about how life works on a day to day basis than any classroom setting could. And the hypocrisy. Other shows weren’t canceled? I’m disgusted.

  10. The first thing that happens in a fascist government is censorship. what is not censored just becomes a press agent for the government. Sound familiar?

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