By Gabriel Sinduda
For NYCBC News
Given that we are now seeing the tail end of vaccine and mask mandates, and that there is now, more than ever, expressed hesitancy in the public, we could expect nothing less from Adam Stirling, the morning talk show host for Bell Media’s CFAX 1070 radio station out of Victoria, not to relent but to ramp up his disingenuous and misleading messaging. Indeed, that is in keeping with the modus operandi of the disturbed mind that fuels this man’s chattering mouth.
Occasional listeners know that Adam Stirling’s schtick hinges on building and pitting resentment in his middling class Island listeners to dump on those more tenuous living citizens who are actually impoverished and/or homeless. Likewise he will pit high emotion (“They are killing innocent people with knives!”) against concerted reason (e.g. What conditions are spurring the street crime?).
He also takes personal issue with environmental activists, and is fond of making claims that every activist on the front lines of conservation efforts is a paid political prop. Throughout the Fairy Creek Blockade movement, for instance, he did all that he could to convince his listeners that such protests were illegitimate and should be shut down. Generally speaking, his job is to promote divisions and hatred among his listeners, and to defend conservative, corporate principles over more humane directions and interests.
By the way, this is his public image, but he really looks more like the cover image, above. Even his visual profile is erratic:
Adam Stirling’s on-air tactics are common to shock-jock conservative radio hosts everywhere, namely he relies on help from his producer controlling the call-ins so that any regular, critical callers are blacklisted in order to avoid their calls altogether. I have experienced this personally. As have many of my colleagues. A caller who is deemed to be critical of his views will be banished, never to be heard from again, on the “open” lines. If a critical caller gets through, he uses his emphatic and bullish talk-show tenor to debilitate their confidence or to shut them down altogether. If a critical caller is well composed and smart, he will cut them off entirely to avoid confrontation, only to resume the mic with a sharp editorial that is meant to rebuke the last caller and ‘put them in their place’. Finally, as any regular listeners can attest, you will hear the same seven or eight callers calling in (all of them more or less in agreement with himself) each and every day.
Adam Stirling would have his listeners believe that he is open to debate and positions contrary to his own, but the truth is that he can not tolerate any points of view residing more than one meter outside of the tip of his nose. But here’s the catch. His composure breaks when he is challenged, and then his reason and calm quickly erupts into turns of child-like, emotive, silly rants and tantrums. You have to hear it to believe it, really.
His narcissistic tendencies also peak out of such encounters, and he is known to assert his very own ‘educated’ positions (he will evoke his University of Victoria Economics degree, again and again…) over his callers the way a graduate professor might chide a sophomore for their naivete and ignorance. Or he will allude, time and again, to his past radio awards. And he has no problem clarifying for his audience exactly those who he considers to be absolutely, in his eyes, contemptible. It can be that black and white for him. And even now, with the mandates receding, Stirling stirs and promotes his on air hate for those who would in any way oppose the final narrative of Bonnie Henry and the official (and now very much contested) public health narrative.
To understand the kind of narcissism that breaches Stirling’s lips on a regular basis, what follows is but one transcript moment from one of his shows. It is a typical passage one might hear from him, on any given day, as he works to assure a listener that he is all he is cracked up to be (to his own mind, at least) :
From August 10 2020:
[21:40] … George, I have been named the top radio commentator in Canada twice in a row by the Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada. That is the largest professional body that exists in terms of regulating and recognizing how journalism works in this country. If anybody says that I am not doing my job it is like telling somebody who just won two Oscars in a row that they are not a good actor. The person saying this is an idiot and they don’t know what they are talking about. NO, You know some people are saying this because they don’t like my opinions. That is fine, you can say it because you don’t like my opinions but I, I do not need reassurance George, trust me, not any more than a person with the Oscars in their cabinet needs reassurance at this time…
Click on the link below to see some more of that same Adam Stirling as expressed via Twitter:
It is true that Stirling has won a couple radio awards, one for or his commentary on downtown Victoria horse-drawn carriages, and the other for his commentary on an inner-harbour statue being defaced. It’s not like he can’t do straight-up ‘news’. But he most certainly was not recognized for his on-air constitution.
Most recently, it has been brought to the attention of NYCBC News that Adam Stirling’s morning radio show is hemorrhaging listeners. How is that? It is no secret that the majority of CFAX listener’s live in the Westshore, Langford, and Colwood domains of the Island. And guess what? The majority of those folks we know are actually critical of the official public health ordinances which have been played out in the name of controlling Covid-19. One informal pollster has claimed that Stirling’s morning talk-show has lost up to 25% of previous listeners, over the last year.
And it comes across in his show. Any listener now will hear Adam Stirling doing his best to dismiss, downplay, or otherwise control such call-ins. It upsets him, and he shows it. The more resistance and critical callers he encounters in his shift, the more he digs in and explodes into his deranged hissy-fits. It can be entertaining, up to a point. And then it makes one wonder–is this guy alright?
Moreover, Stirling has been open, even on air, about his mental health challenges. Severe depression, by his own accounts, threw him off-course during his graduate studies at York University, and he sought help, presumably found it, from pharmaceutical anti-depressants. Anyone familiar with this drug approach to controlling mental health (myself included) knows full well that while such drugs prove to be very beneficial for some, there comes a litany of side-effects and unwanted symptoms from such treatments, for many. Among the potential for emotional disturbances are mood changes:
“Many patients taking SSRIs have reported experiencing emotional blunting. They often describe their emotions as being ‘damped down’ or ‘toned down’, while some patients refer to a feeling of being in ‘limbo’ and just ‘not caring’ about issues that were significant to them before…Furthermore, an activation syndrome in which patients taking antidepressants may experience anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness and impulsivity in the first 3 months of treatment may ensue.”
As such, it could be fair to question whether Adam Stirling functions with a sound mind, suitable for public broadcast, in which he gives guidance and even offers medical advice, to his listeners. Especially as his misaligned appeals and advice occupy the airwaves for six hours per day (his three-hour show is repeated every evening on CFAX), five days a week. That’s 30 hours of radio, working to divide and depress listeners, every week.
I compel any and all of you reading to give him a listen, and to decide for yourself, if this on-air personality, speaking for Bell Media, is suited to the public airwaves. He occupies the CFAX 1070 airwaves live between 9am and 12pm Monday through Friday. Or you can listen online, here. You can email your comments to talk@CFAX1070.com. Or better yet, when you hear something that inspires you to comment, you can give him a call to speak on-air at 250-386-1161.
If you have any complaints or concerns, you can direct them to Matthew Garrow, Bell Media Director of Communications:
|Matthew Garrow | Director, Communications
News, Local Stations, Sports, Discovery Networks & Community Investment
|Bell Media | t 416.384.5258 | m 416.859.5641 | email@example.com
9 Channel Nine Court
Scarborough, ON M4A 2M9