May 19, 2024
Rex taught Canadians that, contrary to “Newfie” jokes premised on the prejudice that they were stupid, there was no shortage of smarts on the island. He went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1968, a member of the same cohort as a certain future president.

Rex Murphy was the true guardian of Canadian identity — not the pretenders on the left

The best journalism is literature

The name alone could serve as an epitaph. Robert Rex Raphael Murphy, 1947 – 2024.

Robert, the first name, unknown to most. His private life, in this most indiscreet era, remained private. The vast range of his colleagues knew little of it.

Rex, the king of Canadian journalism. No one else rose to the top of radio, television and newspapers. He was the undisputed king of the CBC, long-time host of Cross Country Checkup and featured commentator extraordinaire for The National. For decades he was a premier columnist at both The Globe and Mail and here at the National Post.

It remains a singular honour for us that he appeared in our pages. We did not just read his columns, we savoured them. It was an acquired taste for some, but pity those who did not acquire it.

A man who passionately loved his home — a proud Newfoundlander and patriotic Canadian — was at home amongst us. And we were blessed to have Rex’s japes — Japes of Wrath was his column’s title at the Globe — at our breakfast table, explaining and exasperating, revealing and reviling, analyzing and assailing, lauding and lacerating, our own sesquipedalian curmudgeon who made us laugh.

The CBC and Globe consider themselves the proper custodians of Canadian identity, carefully curating the consensus of what Canadians ought to think and say. But they remain pretenders to the throne. Rex remained the true king, and I was proud to be part of his court.

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See Also:

‘The voice of everyday people’: Rex Murphy’s fans and critics respond to his death

Peter Mansbridge: No one could outsmart or outword Rex Murphy — I miss you, my friend


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