August 2007

“I want to see Rampfab!” yelled Alfred Jones-Smith, the program department head of the CBC. “He’s turned the CBC into a pro-life organ of Campaign Life Coalition!” As the boss’s right-hand man, I knew that Rampfab was in deep trouble when I hurried out of the boss’s office and into a big central room where myriads of grey metal desks were lined up in neat rows. CBC journalists and photographers leaned up against them in the aisles, discussing the latest scandal.

I broke into a group conversation and asked. “Where’s Rampfab? The boss wants to see him immediately.” They all had amused looks on their faces.

“Does he want to ask Rampfab for permission to rerun the anti-abortion ‘Great Canadian Wish List?'” asked Phil, a veteran CBC staffer, amidst laughter from the group.

I said: “It certainly created a stir. That’s what we wanted to do: prompt a wide-open discussion about people’s desires for Canada, when we used our page on Facebook. How could we have foreseen that thousands of anti-abortionists would hijack the whole thing and have Canada look like it’s in favour of abolishing abortion?”

“We gave the anti-abortion movement an amazing opportunity to evangelize the public. Most of it wasn’t even a debate!” cried Phil.

“It wasn’t a total disaster,” I hummed and hawed. “We did get some visibility.”

“If you consider the Titanic a success story – yes, it was a success.” said Phil. “It was Rampfab who came up with this anti-abortion giveaway. Is he on their payroll?”

“I think that’s what the boss wants to see him about. Where is Rampfab?” I asked.

“He’s away somewhere. If he doesn’t get the Borowski Award for pro-life achievements, he should,” said another journalist.

“Wait a minute, guys,” said George, a bespectacled intellectual. “We all thought it was a great idea. Who ever dreamt that some anti-abortion guy was going to have his great wish win: ‘Abolish abortion in Canada?'”

“Disgusting!” complained Penelope, a nattily dressed young on-camera personality. “They also sneaked in: “For a spiritual renewal in our nation’ and ‘For the restoration of traditional marriage.’ How low can you get!”

“Why did Rampfab have the CBC do a followup TV news story about ‘abolish abortion?’ That’s like kicking ourselves in the butt twice!”

“Yes, said Penelope, “but it’s news!”

“Yeah, but Rampfab fanned it, instead of squashing it. Maclean’s magazine ended up doing a puff piece on the top three wishes,” said Phil. “Did Maclean’s do that? That’s like finding your mother’s in favour of slavery.”

“Rampfab went crazy promoting it! Why Did Rampfab have our own website request Canadian Physicians for Life do an anti-aborton editorial on abortion?” asked Phil. “Couldn’t we find another piece attacking Bush?”

“We did have a pro-abortion activist post her editorial on our website the day after,” said Penelope, “but all she did was turn a house fire into an apartment house blaze.”

“Did we need a well-known radical anti-gay activist like Dr. Margaret Sommerville to comment in a third editorial on ‘Spiritual renewal for Canada?'” asked Phil. “That was like asking her to review her own book.”

“I think Rampfab is a closet pro-lifer,” said Penelope. “Who knows how many thousands of pro-choicers he’s won over to the dark side?”

“That’s our trouble, guys,” said George. “We don’t think outside the box. We think everybody should think like us. Morgentaler’s shoes would fit most of us. These pro-family advocates were screaming for an audience. Over the last couple of months, they got it. And we got it in the neck.”

“These anti-abortionists should pay for all this free publicity.” said Penelope.

“Don’t forget, Penelope,” said George, “the CBC is supposed to be their network, too.”

Suddenly, Oliver, a new young journalist, darted out of an office and cried: “Have you seen the story on our website? It was just announced that Aloysius Rampfab has been named to replace Alfred Smith-Jones as our new program department head.”

“Rampfab?” cried Phil. “He got the big job! I think the world’s going to end.”

“What happened to Smith-Jones?” asked Penelope, worried.

“He’s been sent to Afghanistan to cover the U.S. embassy there.”

George spoke up: “Take my advice. Get those autographed pictures of Stephen Lewis off your desks or you’ll be joining Smith-Jones in Afghanistan.”