In a way, rapper Snoop Dogg lit fuses in the minds of two CBC reporters and one camerawoman last Thursday and the social media firestorm exploded in Canada yesterday with 2790 shares at press time (compare to an OPEC story posted 2 hours earlier getting only 36 shares). (Sunday 10am MT Jun 7, 2015 update:Snoop story 12,849 shares, OPEC story 501 shares)
You see, last Thursday, Snoop came to Canada to guest star and film an episode of the Trailer Park Boys (a hit Canadian mockumentary crime black comedy-drama sitcom TV series in its 10th season) in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.
In the 37 seconds video in Tunney’s analysis, CBC reporter McMillan asked Snoop, “How’s the hospitality?”
And Snoop is heard to answer in the video, “Hospitality has been awesome, baby. I like your camera girl, too. She’s thick. Damn. I wasn’t even looking down like that. Now I’m forced to look down at the camera. Look at that. Look at that. Look at the shit on that quitter.”
Tunney (author of the analysis) wrote, “His entourage, mainly men, erupt in laughter. Trying to brush it off, the reporter — also female — tries to continue with the interview.” And Tunney made sure readers understand the meaning of the word “thick” (this reporter has no idea), “For those unfamiliar with the world of Urban Dictionary, thick translates to “nice ass, nice legs.” A girl who has “meat on her bones in all the right places.””
According to the analysis, CBC camerawoman Stephanie Clattenburg said, “It was creepy and awkward but I just laughed it off. Then later on I realized, why does he get a free pass because he’s a rapper?” And Reporter Elizabeth McMillan said: “It was uncomfortable. In retrospect I wish I handled it differently. But it felt like a no-win situation. So I just gritted my teeth and tried to get through.”
Free pass and double standards
Tunney made a case that, “Certain sources [like Snoop Dogg] shouldn’t get a free pass.” And suggest the public may have double standards by making these points,
“How is it that some people tolerate misogyny from one group, but not another?
We watched a national furor break out when soccer fans yelled “F–k her right in the p—y” at a CityNews reporter. She fought back, opening the door for more reporters to share their stories.
To be clear, this reporter has zero tolerance for random strangers shouting vulgarities at female reporters or camerawomen on the street. None what so ever. And actually don’t mind seeing a few of those idiotic men be charged in the court of law or getting fired from their jobs. Female reporters in Canada and everywhere in the world should not have to tolerate or endure idiot random men on the streets disruptive to their jobs.
At the same time, speaking as an independent reporter (and I think this applies to reporters everywhere), it is a bit unrealistic or naive to expect the interview subjects to change themselves for us, for our one interview. Read the rest of this entry »
“Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of Blink and Outliers celebrates 50 years of Jamaica’s independence. In conversation with CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel. Malcolm Gladwell’s books including his latest, Blink are available at Toronto Public Library.”
“The second issue is that Dragon’s Den deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.Even in the U.K., critics insist that the show is pure entertainment […] Just because a Dragon or two agrees to give entrepreneurs X number of dollars for a Y stake in the company, it doesn’t mean anything will actually happen after the cameras stop rolling. There’s due diligence and the added fact that Dragon money isn’t always pure.“
** Gathering CBC Dragons’ Den Canadian deals data **
In Knowlton’s article, Notewagon is discussed and two UK articles are referenced before Knowlton challenges CBC Dragons’ investment credibility. You see, these questions are not new in UK and Canada. Early this year in March 2011, I was researching for an in-depth article about Dragons’ Den, planning to write about, amongst many topics, the deals the Dragons made on TV vs deals they actually closed. I was able to find some deal data for one dragon Brett Wilson (more on this later). I thought if facts & figures like actual deals closed and by what Dragons vs. TV deals made were published, people’s questions and doubts would have been addressed.
To get my research going, I sent the following questions to CBC Head of Media Relations, Mr. Jeff Keay on March 17,
1) I would like to find out the number of deals the dragons made on air for each of the Dragons’ Den season (including the current). 2) The number of deals the dragons closed after due diligence in each of the season.
I got a prompt reply the next day on March 18 from Jeff saying,
“Checking. Back to you soon.“
Unfortunately, I got no further respond after followup emails & voice mails to Jeff on March 22 & 28. In fact, Jeff never got back to me. I eventually had to give up on the story.
** Actual Closed Deals data from one Dragon
(former Dragon Brett Wilson) **
As I mentioned before, as far I can find, the only comprehensive actual closed deals data I found were published by former Dragon Brett Wilson. Again, as far as I can tell, no other Dragons have publicly published any actual closed deals data!
Brett made public the number of deals he has done on TV (60+ deals) in three years, actually closed after due diligence (30 deals) and also the amount of money invested(over $4.5 million) in a Prairie Merchant (Brett’s company) Feb 28th, 2011 press release “Dragon With A Heart Leaves the Den” (emphasis added),
“After three years on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, doing 60 plus deals in the Den and personally committing over $4.5 million in final deals with 30 Canadian entrepreneurs, W. Brett Wilson, the lead deal making Dragon, confirmed today that he will not return for the show’s next season.”
** Deals data from Dragons, CBC Dragons’ Den, or
Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals **
To me, one way to positively addresses people’s legitimate concerns about “but really, do they actually invest in anything?” is to have the Dragons, CBC, or Den entrepreneurs with TV & actually closed deals to provide deals data (the TV deals vs. what Dragon actually closed what deals, amounts invested & percentage, etc) so that Canadian fans of the show, and potential Den entrepreneurs can have some transparency & credibility back in the Dragons’ Den deals and process itself.
As a long time Dragons’ Den fan (since 2006) and champion of DD even before the show was launched in Canada, I hate to see people lose faith in Dragons’ Den‘s deals and its process. This is the 6th year of CBC Dragons’ Den and lots of Canadian entrepreneurs put their hopes on dreams into the show. Can you imagine if the deals are done on TV by Dragons for show only? And most deals fail to close? Imagine the Dragons ALWAYS can find reasons in due diligence phase to kill deals (small or big), will you still be interested in watching the show?
** Grounding Dragons’ Den popularity
with business facts & figures **
Looking back five years to 2006 when CBC just launched Dragons’ Den, I am still amazed how much Globe & Mail’s reporter John Doyle hated/trashed DD in its infancy even criticizing the set as “dark basement is, you know, dreary.” I will not forget my Oct 3rd and Oct 4th, 2006 articles jumping to DD’s defence when it was still an unproven show, long before DD is popular.
Now, over five years later and CBC Dragons’ Den is successful money making machine for CBC (with all the re-runs), I think fans of the show and potential Canadian Den entrepreneurs deserve to see their favourite show grounded with “actual closed deals” and actual business facts & figures and not just be satisfied by “TV deals”.
I don’t praise people easily but I just want to say if you have’t seen Jian Ghomeshi, QTV host, interview people, you are missing a lot. Jian is amongst the best interviewers I know (Charlie Rose, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, 嚴浩 (he is a film director but his TV interviews on RTHK 品味人生 were a great joy to watch)).
To me, Alex and Scott are so level-headed that their actions are worth thinking about and possibly learning from. Would you or should you let “money” (even if it is millions) change your life out of the blue? Or will you strive to live the best life you can after working hard and applying the skills/talent/knowledge you have?
“At first Alexandra Thomas couldn’t believe that was she and her boyfriend on the ground sandwiched in between riot police on a calamitous Vancouver street.
“When I first saw it, I thought, ‘No way, that’s not … I can’t believe that’s us,’ ” said Thomas in an interview with the Toronto Star this morning. “Then I looked some more and realized, that is us. That’s a very revealing picture of us.”
[…] Thomas said this morning that everything happened so fast that there was just massive confusion all around.
“I was trying to understand what was going on. The photo was definitely not something we expected to happen,” said Thomas.
The couple is leaving in three days on a trip to California, before Scott heads back to Australia. Thomas said the response from her friends and family has been overwhelming.
“When I saw that picture I couldn’t believe it and then I looked at it more and realize it’s quite artistic and really something beautiful.”
[…] Jones senior can see that the couple’s now-iconic photograph may follow them for the rest of their lives, for good or ill.
“Relationships do buckle under that pressure unless you have the ability to be very centred. Even if it wasn’t Scott, the guy who took the picture captured a moment in time that is iconic.”
Brett Jones has also counselled Scott not to buckle to the doubters, rampant on the skeptical, know-it-all Internet, who say the photograph was staged.
“Tell your story as it happened and there’s nothing you can do about them,” he told his son. “I think it’s amazing.” [Kempton: Wise counsel from a great dad!]“
Finally, I think we humans are an optimistic species. We gravitates towards hope and love even when (may be especially) the world around us seems to be falling apart and failing us. The photo reminds me of the dialogues and images in the opening of the movie “Love Actually”.
“Those clod poles, ne’er-do-wells, vandals, punks, thugs and assorted clueless dolts who smacked people around, piled on others, fought with and sought to injure police, set fire to cars, broke into stores, trashed and looted at will in Vancouver Wednesday night — all are a pathetic pack of cowardly destructive losers. An older generation, not bent by the winds of political correctness would rightly have called them the scum of the earth.
There aren’t any excuses for what they did. None. None. At. All. If these whiny, pampered, useless sacks of skin even try to claim it was because their team lost, then they haven’t got the intelligence of a ball of mud. Fools don’t need a motive to be fools, and destructive and threatening fools, such as those who rioted Wednesday night in Vancouver are no exception to this rule. This kind of fool will riot when “his” team wins as easily as when it loses, the game was just a convenient trigger.
[…] Vancouver deserved better Wednesday night. Canada deserved better. Even the Canucks, who had a long worthy go of it up to the final games, deserved better.
The rioters are a third-rate band of losers who still managed to cast a shadow on what should have been — win or lose — a wonderful night for all the country. Everyone in Canada who loves hockey and Canada despises these people.“
Kempton Lam: I was shocked & saddened by CBC Feb 2011 press released that you won’t be part of Dragons’ Den. To be positive, did that motivate/excite you when the TV offers came in resulting in the chance to do a new TV show call “Risky Business”?
Brett Wilson: Those are very good questions.
First of all, I was and I am disappointed that CBC and I couldn’t reach agreement. I was very keen to do another season. CBC knew that. So just to be clear, I didn’t walk away from the show. I was very keen to do another season. Then CBC press released it that I was gone which also surprised me cause I didn’t think it was that big a deal. And I really thought that was the end of my television career. I’ve never studied acting. I can’t memorize lines. I don’t understand Shakespeare. So I had no interest really in doing anything else in terms of television. I certainly didn’t leave Dragons’ Den to pursuit other stuff. I wanted to continue with Dragons’ Den.
So first of all I was surprised that CBC wanted to press release it that I was gone. And then more importantly, I was surprised by the responds in the market place. All three networks reached out at various levels to say, “Hey, if you are interested, lets talk.” And I had two production companies say, “Would you like to screen test for shows we have in development?” And I did. I screen tested both. And we decided to move forward on one of the shows right now. The other show I am still hoping to do for another time.
And I’ve met with several production companies about doing some stuff in the world of philanthropy that I am very interested in doing. But then again, thats all in production, in development. Someone told me the other day that Mark Burnett is telling the world that 90% of all television under production is documentaries and reality TV, which doesn’t bode well for those people who studied acting. Which does bode well for people who are playing in the reality TV genre which is what obviously now I am part of.
Kempton: When offers started to come it, did it surprise you too?
Brett: Well, I was very surprised. I really didn’t think there was anything else for me. You know, there is one television show in Canada that deals with business and thats Dragons’ Den. And I thought that would be it.
I am very proud that I’ve done 55 episodes with CBC. In terms of the 75 shows that they’ve shot, I have been involved with 55. And its the highest rank 55. I mean the first two years, the viewership was 200/300/400 thousands people. In the time that I was on the show, it has been running a million, and now up to 2 million a show. So it is in a league of its own. And its something that I am very proud of.
Kempton: You were one of five Dragons, and now you have your own show. Thats a big change.
Brett: Now I have my own show. When I left the show, one of the thing I said was, I like to challenge CBC and the Dragons to step up the game cause the quality, background, and knowledge of the viewership, of the people watching Dragons’ Den has gone up a bunch. Read the rest of this entry »
What has happened to Canadian democracy? This is not the first time Tory supporters heckle reporters when they ask Stephen Harper questions. Are reporters NOT allowed to ask questions now? What the beep has happened to the Canada I love and Canadian democracy?
This kind of undemocratic behaviour of shouting down reporters has to stop. The sad thing is Stephen Harper plus his campaign team did nothing to tell the unruly “supporters” to stop the heckle! I hate to compare Canadian democracy to the extreme “democracy” in United States. Have Canadians become this extreme?
Have a watch of this Globe and Mail video where “Conservative supporters booed CBC journalist Terry Milewski at a GTA campaign stop Saturday after he challenged Stephen Harper on whether he would accept a decision by the Governor General to hand power to the opposition parties in the wake of the May 2 election.” Video shot by reporter Stephen Chase in Richmond Hill, Ont.
Yes, the news was reported but for some unexplained reason, we see “This story is closed to commenting.” Huh?!! What’s going on?
P.S. Am I too tough to see this as an issue related to journalistic integrity (or the lack of)? Should I be happy that CBC reports the story at all? Is it acceptable to close the comment section so that CBC can avoid being criticized? I don’t know.
What standard, if there is one, does CBC used to decide if a story should be “closed to commenting“?
Please share what you think in the comment section.
Last night on CBC News Network, I watched the French documentary “The Game of Death” (full doc can be watched online in Canada). To me, a good documentary is engaging and makes us think at the same time. In fact, I am watching “The Game of Death” for the second time to understand the “harm” many of us (yes, us) are, unfortunately, capable of delivering. Highly recommended. (note: One way of “vaccinating” ourselves may be become more aware of what we are capable of doing.)
“In 1963, an infamous scientific experiment led by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgramdemonstrated that a majority of people would administer unbearable electric shocks to another man, when encouraged to do so by an authority figure. [note: I remember the Milgram Experiment as one of the infamous/controversial research that we have to study in PSY 100.] Surprisingly, more than sixty per cent of the participants completed the experiment. They learned afterwards that the ‘victims’ were in fact actors and no pain was ever inflicted.
Filmmaker Christophe Nick re-creates Milgram’s experiment in the form of a TV game show, where 80 participants are asked to follow its onerous rules. The participants are recruited for a test TV show and are brought into a real game show set in a television studio with technicians, a live audience, and an attractive hostess. Despite the contestant’s increasingly urgent protests and howls of pain, will they obey the TV host’s commands and inflict electric shocks on an unseen man? Or will they stop before it’s too late?“
Of all the reports/interviews I could find today (Feb 28th, Monday) about BrettleavingDragons’ Den, I want to say I enjoy the report (see below) from Calgary Sun‘s Lisa Wilton the most (very detail and insightful). It is nice to be pleasantly surprised by Calgary Sun.
“[ Q ] – Did your reason for leaving just come down to a contract negotiation breakdown?
Well, it started in December.
They gave me three weeks to sign the contract, take it or leave it.
There were some issues with the contract. First of all, they tried to cut the compensation. We negotiated that and got that solved. And they wanted to stop me from going on any other networks, so we negotiated that and got that solved.
Where we got stuck was on schedule. When I told them I had a family vacation and I wasn’t prepared to vary, they told me that wouldn’t work.
So, I politely advised that I would have to be out of the show because I wasn’t prepared to walk away from the vacation. It’s the first time I’ve had all three kids in one place in two years so I wasn’t going to walk away from that. It meant more to me than another season of the show.
“Entrepreneur Brett Wilson is leaving the show Dragons’ Den at the end of the current season.
CBC-TV executive Julie Bristow says Wilson and the broadcaster could not agree on the terms of his contract.“
Brett is a great guy and one of my most favourite Dragon on the show. I love the fact that Brett managed to find ways to close most of his Den’s deals. I like many of the businesses he invests in and secretly wish I could also invest in some of them if I am given the chance! (I won’t name them publicly here. :)
I will add more to this article if I have more to report.
I know I will miss watching Brett on the show. Good luck and all the best Brett.
P.S. On a personal note, in June 2008, Brett was really nice in agreeing to be video interviewed by me and he answered every question I had. It was a great pleasure to know Brett before he appeared on the Den. And I can honestly say Brett has always been the same easy going, friendly and nice guy. Here are links to part 1 and part 2 of the video interviews.
Looks like there have been updates added to both of the originally quoted TorStar and Calgary Herald articles. Here are some important details added to the TorStar article as we can see what Kirstine Stewart (CBC’s head of English services) said last month (Jan 2011?),
“The Star spoke with Kirstine Stewart, CBC’s head of English services, last month and asked about rumours of an oncoming Dragons’ Den shakeup. She denied one was coming but said that in light of situations like Lewin’s health issues, the broadcaster was ready just in case.
“Every year, we do auditions and people get excited and think they might be the next Dragon. The Dragons are huge mogul business people and their schedules don’t always align with our production schedule,” she said.
“There are things that happen in their lives that make them not available to us, so we’re always auditioning to make sure that we have understudies. That’s been the case every year and that continues, but there is no plan to change anything up. But we don’t know if the Dragons are always going to be available to us, so we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got a good roster of people that we can choose from, should their plans change.””
““We were unable to come to terms on his contract,” said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. “Those things happen, especially on a business show like that. If you can’t reach an agreement on a deal, you don’t have a deal.”
Keay stressed that the contractual road block “wasn’t a matter of money” but he wouldn’t elaborate as to the other issues on the table.
“We consider these discussions with Brett to be confidential,” Keay said. [Kempton note: Huh? Confidentiality agreement to stop Brett from speaking??]
At press time a spokesperson for Wilson told the Herald that he wasn’t prepared to address the matter publicly but plans to at some point soon. [Kempton note: I hope Brett will talk about this from his perspective. His fans and the show’s fans deserve more from what CBC has provided.]“
Before Concrete Equities went into receivership in spring 2009, it used to be a major advertiser/sponsor of CBC Dragons’ Den and many people got to know about the company through those ads. Sadly, “More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.” It is sad that many people had to learn the lesson in such a hard way.
“A hearing into a Calgary real estate investment firm’s alleged breaches of Alberta securities law got underway Monday.
Four former directors of Concrete Equities, which went into receivership in 2009, are accused of acting as dealers without being registered, not filing prospectus and making misrepresentations to investors. […]
More than 3,700 investors, most of whom are from Calgary, lost more than $100 million through investments with Concrete Equities.“
“Monday, lawyers for the ASC outlined the case they hope to prove, which includes investors who were promised returns of more than 600 per cent and told the investments were risk free, as well as those who weren’t told of marketing commissions of between seven and 10 per cent being paid to Concrete Equities.
“You will hear evidence in the course of this hearing that Concrete Equities Inc., in raising capital in Alberta, failed to disclose certain information to its investors in its offering memoranda, which the investors will say was information that they would wanted to have known when they made their investment,” ASC counsel Andrew Wilson told the panel of three hearing the case. […]
The ASC allegations involve David Jones, David Humeniuk, Varun Vinny Aurora and Vincenzo De Palma and six limited partnerships.
Neil Narfason, a senior vice-president at receiver Ernst & Young, told the hearing Concrete Equities – which raised $118 million from 3,700 investors – couldn’t list all its bank accounts and had accounting and bookkeeping standards that were below expectations.
“All the basic stuff was not there,” Narfason said, referring to ledgers, financial statements, tax returns and bank statements that were missing or incomplete. “It’s unusual for a company in that business not to have a handle on funds.” Read the rest of this entry »
3twenty Solutions‘ Bryan McCrea, Channing McCorriston & Evan Willoughby gave a wonderful pitch of their business on CBC Dragons’ Den. I love interesting use of containers, and I am impressed with the 3twenty‘s business and its tagline of “durable, stackable, transportable modular structures – give new life to old shipping containers”. Seem like a wonderful business idea with some good potentials. As a business, new entrants to the market can probably copy and compete with them without much difficulties but I trust the entrepreneurs will work very hard to ensure a good return for themselves and their investors.
“The pitch Bryan McCrea, Channing McCorriston and Evan Willoughby first crossed paths with dragon and philanthropist Brett Wilson when they competed in and won the Idea Challenge, a competition at the University of Saskatchewan’s Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 2009. […] They used their winnings of $30,000 to launch Saskatoonbased 3twenty Solutions. […]
Mr. Wilson was on hand for the unveiling of the first container: “He walked in and said we should come on the show,” Mr. McCrea says. About a month before appearing on Dragons’ Den, 3twenty Solutions made its first two sales worth $70,000. The momentum was building, but they decided to take Mr. Wilson’s advice and enter the Den mainly to get a strategic partner.
“Many of our target clients watch the show. We knew if we could make our pitch on the Den we would be hitting the right market,” Mr. McCrea notes.“
To me, Snappy Socks‘ Corla Rokochy is one of those entrepreneurs that has the can-do spirit. And she is also very likeable. It was wonderful to see her receiving investment from the Dragons (I can’t remember for sure but I think from Arlene and Brett).
The socks look cute and the snap-on button is a great idea. If there is one thing I don’t like about the business, it is that anyone can attach a snap-on button to their socks. And if the idea/business become successful, there is nothing stopping other copycat businesses from anywhere (including China) from attaching snap-on buttons to their socks. Hopefully, the initial investment will have generated enough returns for Corla and the Dragons by then, and Corla will have created new products to sell.
Knowing I won’t have time in the next while to write a more detail article about Honibe, let me share with you what I’ve found so far. Here are links to Honibe’s Canadian trademark (TMA729391) and patent (CA 2649936) for interested readers. I had tried but was unable to find Honibe’s US patent filings (to me, US patent is important to have since US is a much bigger market than Canada). For those that are new to patents, one can learn a lot about about a business from its patents (in this case, Honibe’s patent).
“China’s Annual Migration
We are two weeks away from the Chinese New Year and the largest annual human migration on the planet. Nearly 150 million Chinese have migrated to cities in search of work. And the trip home for the holidays isn’t going to be easy.
China’s Annual Migration – Lixin Fan
We started this segment with the sound of the world’s largest annual human migration. It happens around Chinese New Year. Tens of millions of people who migrated to China’s cities in search of work leave those cities and go back home to their families in the countryside. There are at least 150 million rural migrant workers in China. And as you can hear, a lot of them pass through the Guangzhou train station in southern China.
In two weeks, that annual migration will begin again. Amidst the sea of humanity, it’s easy for individual stories to get lost. Lixin Fan is a Chinese-Canadian documentary film-maker who follows one family caught up in the move from the countryside to the city and back again in Last Train Home. The film has just been nominated for the Directors Guild of America prize. Lixin Fan was in New York City.
Last Train Home will be released on DVD on February 22nd.
While many Chinese migrate from the countryside to the cities, many others stay behind. We hear the story of one woman who lives in a small village called Hazelnut Valley or Da Jen Yu. It’s about an hour from of Beijing. She’s 58. All of her children have left home. Her son lives in Beijing and makes a living as a driver working for foreigners.”