Well-known commentator and author Rex Murphy says the real reason behind his latest online project, RexTV, is his “instinctive response to being bullied.”
Launched in September, the YouTube-based channel that features Murphy hosting long-format interviews was initially formed to give a forum to prominent people whose voices are muffled in the legacy media when it comes to the issue of what he calls “global warming hysteria.”
But the show has since evolved to feature those who Murphy says don’t get fair representation in the media, such as the likes of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson.
“I think the coverage of global warming over the years has been atrocious. It’s almost like a campaign, and you only get one side,” he said in an interview. “But now, particularly after a very touching interview with Jordan Peterson, it occurred to me that there are many, many other things to cover.”
The channel has so far amassed around 10,000 subscribers, with higher views on some of the videos, such as the Peterson interview that got over 285,000 views. Some of the other guests who have been on the show include Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Toronto Sun journalist Lorrie Goldstein—who Murphy describes as one of the few “main platform” journalists with a balanced view on the topic of climate change—and University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick, an environmental economics specialist.
The former CBC TV commentator and host of CBC Radio One’s “Cross Country Checkup,” who still writes the occasional op-ed, says he has for a long time felt that the legacy media don’t give a fair representation of many issues of importance.
“When Newfoundland had its fishery collapse, it was greatly assisted by the fact that there was a boom out there in Alberta. We had 20,000 or 30,000 people move there,” says Murphy, himself born and raised in Newfoundland.
“I never saw any acknowledgement that one of the great Canadian industries [Alberta’s oil and gas industry] in a sense threw a lifeline to an entire region of the country. All you heard about was that it was dooming the planet, or that it was rapacious.”
Absent in the media were the voices of people such as McKitrick, statistical analyst Steve McInityre, and American climatologist Judith Curry, who provide alternate views on the issue of climate change, Murphy says.
“There are people of great eminence and great integrity that are waiting to be interviewed to present another dimension of a highly debatable subject,” he says. “I don’t understand why there’s not so much scrutiny of one of the greatest policies of the entire world. What is the nature of the data? Is there too much government input? We investigate everything in journalism except when something becomes a cause, and then it’s off-limits.”
Murphy himself has been targeted for his views on climate change, with one of his talks in Vancouver Island recently being interrupted by environmental group Extinction Rebellion, and called various names for his views.
He says there is an element of “bullying” against those who don’t subscribe to “climate alarmism,” and it stands in the way of real discussion on the issue.
“I don’t care what they call me. But when honest people who have experience in the industry and are doing honest work get attacked as this or that or [called] deniers and all this garbage, there’s a bullying element in this wonderful cause that too many people have ignored.”
Murphy adds that so far he has received encouraging feedback regarding his show, and says if he continues to receive the same response, he’ll keep producing more interviews.
“It’s just begun. I want to see after 10 or 11 [shows] how it’s being received. If I can make a judgement that people want it, then I’ll keep doing it.”