Rex Murphy (born March 1947) is a Canadian commentator and author, primarily on Canadian political and social matters. He was the regular host of CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup, a nationwide call-in show, for 21 years before stepping down in September 2015.
March 1947 (age 71)|
|Residence||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Alma mater||Memorial University of Newfoundland|
Early life and educationEdit
Murphy was born in Carbonear, Newfoundland, 105 kilometres west of St. John's, and is the second of five children of Harry and Marie Murphy. He graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1968, and went to the United Kingdom to study at St Edmund Hall in the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, but did not receive a degree.
Murphy first came to national attention while attending Memorial University during a nationally covered speech in Lennoxville, Quebec. Murphy characterized Newfoundland Premier Joey Smallwood's governing style as dictatorial and proclaimed his legislature's recent announcement of free tuition as a sham. Smallwood warned the undergraduate student in a news conference not to return. Murphy did and was elected President of Memorial University Student Council. In the end the government caved in. All students received the free tuition promised, plus a $50 living allowance.
Murphy has run for provincial office in Newfoundland twice: in the 1985 provincial election in the riding of Placentia  and in a byelection in the riding of St. John's East in 1986  as a Liberal. He lost both times. He also worked in the 1980s as executive assistant to Clyde Wells.
Canadian Broadcasting CorporationEdit
Murphy was a frequent presence on the various branches of the CBC. He had regular commentary segments entitled "Point of View" on The National, the CBC's flagship nightly news program. He was also the regular host of CBC Radio One's Cross Country Checkup, a nationwide call-in show.
In 2004, he and nine other prominent Canadians participated in the production and the defence of a Great Canadian on the CBC Television program The Greatest Canadian. Murphy, advocating for former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, guided his candidate to third place in the final vote.
Murphy retired from Cross Country Checkup on 20 September 2015, and continued his commentary segments on The National until 28 June 2017.
Murphy wrote a column for the Saturday edition of the Globe and Mail newspaper until January 2010, when the Globe cancelled the column and Murphy moved to the National Post,, which he continues to write. Murphy's writing is characterized by a polysyllabic style and a wide range of cultural references.
In June 2008, Murphy was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo. He was awarded honorary doctorates of letters by Memorial, St. Thomas, and Nipissing universities. In June 2013, he was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Canadian Institute of Management.
After receiving several public complaints in 2014, the CBC's ombudsman investigated claims that Mr. Murphy may have been in conflict of interest by criticizing opponents of the Alberta oil sands in his Point of view segments while receiving money from the oil industry for paid speeches. In the final report and subsequent to an investigation, the CBC's ombudsman, Esther Enkin, did not say whether Murphy's speeches presented a conflict of interest but did conclude that "since taking money leads to a perception of a conflict of interest, CBC management might want to consider, in the review they are undertaking, whether even with disclosure, it is appropriate for CBC news and current affairs staff to get paid for their speaking engagements."
- "Rhodes Scholars: complete list, 1903-2015". Retrieved 2017-02-24.[dead link]
- "Rex Murphy leaving CBC’s Cross Country Checkup". Toronto Star, September 13, 2015.
- Charlie Smith, "Rex Murphy leaves the Globe and Mail, according to Peter Mansbridge", Jan. 10, 2010, Vancouver Georgia Straight.com
- "Michael Ignatieff should think outside the green box" The Globe and Mail
- "UW will award 10 honorary degrees at spring convocation". Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-08-31.