G&M: Taming the dragon: Should the CBC muzzle Kevin O’Leary?

March 21, 2011

An insightful article by G&M’s Marsha Lederman. For the record.

Taming the dragon: Should the CBC muzzle Kevin O’Leary?
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 18, 2011 4:30PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Mar. 18, 2011 5:39PM EDT

From the beach at a posh Bahamas hotel, Kevin O’Leary is assuring Amanda Lang, via Skype, that the Japanese earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster – though horrific, he takes pains to point out – may be just what Japan needs for an economic turnaround. “I’m very bullish on nuclear right now,” O’Leary pronounces in attire that is more beach than business. “It’s a buying opportunity.”

This Lang & O’Leary Exchange moment last Monday is classic O’Leary: he’s a dragon, he’s a shark; breathing fire, gobbling up prey. Japan is in crisis, but he sees a business opportunity. Greed is good.

“When I’m discussing a decision around an investment, I’m not trying to make friends,” O’Leary said during an interview this week (not specifically referencing Japan). “I don’t care if people can’t take the truth.”

O’Leary, who also stars on CBC TV’s popular Dragons’ Den and its U.S. cousin Shark Tank on ABC, likes to describe himself as “slightly right of Attila the Hun.” He’s proud of his modus operandi: no holds barred, make no apologies.

Well, usually.

After O’Leary was called out by CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe for his now infamous use of the term “Indian giver” on The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, he did ultimately apologize. It was a rare exception for the loudmouthed entrepreneur who has become an important part of the CBC brand. Read the rest of this entry »