Then, I’d like him to just go over the verified facts: “You have a bowl of that good Scottish oatmeal close to ready but your milk has gone off,” he might say. “This has been confirmed by the yogurt-like film that’s formed on the top of your cup of tea.”
There’d be no agenda-ridden speculation about who might have failed by leaving the fridge open, thus causing the spoilage. Mr. Mansbridge would not opine on how that oversight, perhaps cast as malfeasance by a loud partisan pundit brought into my kitchen, might affect the culprit’s chances in an upcoming election..
There’d be no alarming conjecture about the condition of the soft cheeses in my refrigerator. Not at least while the oatmeal was reaching its thick-bubble boil stage and we had a situation on our hands.
My ideal, after the terrible events of this past Wednesday, is that Mr. Mansbridge just come along with me through my week, reporting on events as they happen, saying through much of it that things are “tense and unclear” before listing off the knowns and then detailing how it is they came to be known.
Together, Mr. Mansbridge and I would, as he’d say from time to time, “await further developments.”
Is that too much for me to ask?
That’s pretty much the service Mr. Mansbridge performed on Wednesday during the terrible shooting in Ottawa. He performed it for the nation on CBC television, of course, but it was noticed around the world, where it was written up by several media outlets in a tone of wonder generally used only when describing a Canadian who has done something on figure skates.
Outsiders, mostly accustomed to U.S. television news, were impressed that no one at the CBC coined a catchy name for the presence of what turned out, after agonizing hours, to be a lone gunman on Parliament Hill. It was noted with surprise that no snazzy graphic rolled in and out of view as a part of an effort to brand the event.
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