Transcript: John Moore: Back on the Air | Jun 10, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Back on the air. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FOR ALMOST TEN YEARS,
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO HAVE WOKEN UP TO THE
DULCET VOICE OF JOHN MOORE ON
NewsTalk 1010 RADIO.
BUT RECENTLY, AND FOR SEVERAL
WEEKS, THAT VOICE WAS ABSENT
AND, AS A REGULAR LISTENER, I
CAN TELL YOU, WE DIDN'T KNOW
WHY.
IT WAS ONLY AFTER JOHN RETURNED
TO THE AIRWAVES THAT HE GAVE HIS
LISTENERS THE EXPLANATION...

An audio clip plays on screen with a picture of John Moore.

John says "WITHOUT GETTING TOO OPRAH
ON, YOU I'LL TELL YOU, IT'S BEEN A JOURNEY.
THAT WOULD BE THE WORD OPRAH WOULD USE.
EARLIER IN THE YEAR, I BEGAN EXPERIENCING BOUTS OF ANXIETY, AND THEY WERE THE RESULT OF SOME
PREDICTABLE THINGS, CALLED SITUATIONAL.
SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE OVERCOME WITH ANXIETY OR SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION, AND IT CAN'T REALLY BE LINKED TO THE FACT THAT MAYBE YOU'VE LOST SOMEBODY IN YOUR LIFE.
IN THIS CASE IT WAS YEARS OF ON-THE-JOB STRESS.
THERE WAS ALSO... I THINK THE TRIGGER FOR ME WAS I WENT TO VISIT WITH MY DAD WHO HAS BEEN IN DECLINING HEALTH FOR SOME TIME.

The clip ends and John appears on screen. He's in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short, side-parted gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a black suit and a spotted gray shirt.

Steve says WE ARE DELIGHTED TO
WELCOME JOHN MOORE BACK TO TVO
FOR MORE.
IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU IN THAT
CHAIR.

John says NICE TO SEE YOU.
NICE TO BE HERE.

Steve says HOW LONG HAVE YOU
BEEN ON THE AIR IN TOTAL THROUGH
YOUR WHOLE CAREER?

John says OH, ABOUT 32, 33 YEARS.

Steve says HAVE YOU EVER, UNTIL
THIS PAST YEAR, EXPERIENCED WHAT
YOU DESCRIBED AS PARALYZING
ANXIETY WHILE ON THE AIR?

The caption changes to "John Moore. Newstalk 1010."
Then, it changes again to "An anxious voice."

John says NO.
BUT I HAVE ADMITTED THROUGH MY
CAREER I GET ANXIOUS BUT IN A
TOTALLY MANAGEABLE AND
PREDICTABLE WAY ABOUT PRETTY
WELL EVERY INTERVIEW.
ACTUALLY BEING HERE RIGHT NOW,
WITH THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT,
IS A LITTLE WEIRD.
BUT, YEAH, IT HAD NEVER BEEN
LIKE THAT BEFORE, AND IT WAS
SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY MUCH
CUMULATIVE.
NOW, AS I'VE EXPLORED WITH SO
MANY PEOPLE DURING THE TIME I
HAD OFF AND SINCE THEN, IT'S A
VERY COMMON THING, TO JUST HAVE
IT GRADUALLY... IT'S LIKE A LOUD
NOISE IN THE BACKGROUND THAT
STARTS SOFT AND GETS LOUDER AND
LOUDER AND LOUDER AND SUDDENLY
IS INTOLERABLE.

Steve says WHEN DID YOU FIRST
NOTICE THAT HAPPENING?

John says I THINK IT'S SOMETHING YOU
IGNORE IN A JOB LIKE THIS FOR A
LONG TIME.
IT'S ONLY IN REFLECTING UPON IT
NOW I BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT I
WAS STARTING TO HAVE EPISODES OF
ANXIETY.
PART OF IT I THINK WAS TO DO
WITH THE FACT THAT THE TORONTO
MARKET IS PROBABLY BECOMING MORE
COMPETITIVE.
WE WERE WORKING HARDER.
I WAS GETTING UP EARLIER.
WE ARE GETTING MORE AGGRESSIVE
IN HOW WE ARE ORCHESTRATING THE
SHOW, THE GUESTS WE WERE
CHASING.
THAT STARTED TO BE AN ADDITIONAL
PRESSURE.
AND ALSO YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
THAT THE HOURS ARE RIDICULOUS.
I'VE BEEN DOING MORNINGS, NOT A
MORNING SHOW, BUT MORNINGS SINCE
I STARTED IN THE BUSINESS.

Steve says YOU GET UP AT WHAT
TIME?

John says 2:30.

Steve says OH, MY LORD.
THAT IS JUST UNNATURAL.

The caption changes to "John Moore, @MooreintheAM."

John says IT'S RIDICULOUS.
4:00 WOULD BE GETTING UP EARLY.
2:30 IS JUST... I CALL IT THE
CRACK OF STUPID IN A TWEET WHEN
I SAID I WAS STEPPING AWAY FROM
IT FOR A WHILE.

Steve says AS YOU... WHEN YOU
BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS
ACTUALLY HAPPENING TO YOU, DID
YOU HAVE ANY SENSE ABOUT WHY IT
WAS HAPPENING?

John says NO.
AND AS I MENTIONED, AS YOU HEARD
IN THE AUDIO CLIP THERE, I THINK
FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE THERE'S A
TRIGGER.
YOU'RE DEALING WITH THIS.
YOU THINK IT'S SOMETHING YOU
SHOULD TOLERATE.
IT STARTS TO GET A LITTLE WORSE
BUT YOU STILL THINK... THE
EXPRESSION PEOPLE ALWAYS USE IS
"MAN UP."
EVERYBODY HAS STRESS.
JUST PLOW THROUGH.
THE BIG TRIGGER WAS, MY DAD HAD
BEEN GETTING SICKER AND SICKER,
AND I THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE
DISTRESSING ANYWHERE, IF IT'S A
PARENT.
BUT ALSO YOU REFLECT... WITH
ALZHEIMER'S, WHICH IS WHAT MY
DAD HAS, WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR ME,
WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR THE TWO OF
US TOGETHER.
HE LIVES IN OTTAWA.
THE LIGHT HAD REALLY JUST GONE
OUT.
AND THAT WAS QUITE DEVASTATING.
YOU'RE READY FOR IT.
BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS, IT'S
DEVASTATING.
YOU REALIZE ALL THOSE STORIES
ARE GONE.
ALL THAT COMMUNICATION IS GONE.
IT'S JUST... SO THAT REALLY, BY
THE TIME I CAME BACK FROM THAT,
THINGS STARTED TO RAMP UP.
I PROBABLY SAID THIS MUST BE
ABOUT DAD.
THIS CAN'T BE ABOUT WORK AND
DAD.
AND IT WAS ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Steve says WHEN YOU CAME BACK
ON THE AIR YOU MENTIONED THAT
THE ANXIETY MANIFESTED ITSELF
BECAUSE I GUESS FOR THE FIRST
TIME EVER, YOU FELT LIKE WALKING
OUT OF YOUR SHOW WHILE YOU WERE
DOING IT.

John says YEAH.

Steve says WHAT AN ODD FEELING
THAT MUST HAVE BEEN, EH?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

John says I WOULD SAY ABOUT THIS SHOW
IT'S LIKE ABOUT GETTING INTO A
MOVING CAR.
MAYBE IT'S MORE LIKE A SPEEDING
BULLET TRAIN, I DON'T KNOW.
ONCE YOU'RE IN IT, YOU FEEL
TRAPPED IN IT IF THINGS AREN'T
GOING WELL.
I WOULD BE SITTING THERE AND
DOING AN INTERVIEW OR DOING A
ROUNDTABLE, 7:45, WE HAVE A
ROUND TABLE WITH OUR PUNDITS,
MUCH LIKE YOU HAVE ON THE SHOW,
AND I WASN'T EVEN LISTENING TO
WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING.
I GUESS THAT'S FIGHT OR FLIGHT.
I THOUGHT I CAN GET UP AND WALK
OUT RIGHT NOW.
OF COURSE, IF I DID, IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN AN ABSOLUTE SCENE.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE END OF MY
CAREER.
I NURSED MYSELF TO THE END OF
THE SHOW AND FIGURED HOW AM I
GOING TO GET BACK TO THIS AT
5:30 TOMORROW MORNING.

Steve says HOW MANY HOURS DO
YOU DO?

John says ON THE AIR IT'S FROM 5:30 TO
9:00.
IT'S THE PREP.
UP AT 2:30, START THE PREP.
IT NEVER REALLY ENDS.
I'M GOING BACK AND FORTH WITH MY
PRODUCER AND OTHER PEOPLE AND
NEWSMAKERS ALL THROUGH THE DAY.
ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS AND ONE
OF THE REASONS YOU HAVE TO GET
UP SO EARLY IS I CAN'T PREPARE
THE DAY BEFORE.
THE NEWS WHEN I GO TO BED AT
9:00 IS NOT GOING TO BE THE NEWS
WHEN I WAKE UP AT 2:30.
YOU'RE IN THIS CONSTANT STATE OF
UPDATING AND TRYING TO MAKE
BETS.
FRED ALLEN CALLED RADIO THE
TREADMILL TO OBLIVION.
WHICH I ABSOLUTELY LOVE.
YOU DO THE SHOW AND THE NEXT DAY
THE AUDIENCE IS, DO SOMETHING
ELSE.

Steve says THREE AND A HALF
HOURS YOU'RE SITTING BEHIND A
MICROPHONE.
ADMITTEDLY, SOME COMMERCIAL
BREAKS.
THREE AND A HALF HOURS DAILY
BEHIND A MIKE AND AT TIMES YOU
WANT TO GET UP AND WALK OUT.
THAT'S A LONG TIME TO SIT BEHIND
A MICROPHONE.

John says I'M ALSO VERY PRACTICAL.
DESPITE OF THE FACT I WAS HAVING
A PANIC ATTACK, I'VE BEEN ABLE
TO PROJECT MYSELF FORWARD, THE
CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT I MIGHT DO.
IN THAT CASE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT
THEIR REACTION WOULD HAVE BEEN.
THE COMPANY'S REACTION TO HOW
THINGS DID UNFOLD WAS AMAZING
AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT.
BUT IF I HAD JUST GOTTEN UP AND
WALKED OUT, THE LISTENERS WOULD
HAVE THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY AND
SOMEBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE BEEN
HAULED IN TO SUBSTITUTE ON THE
SHOW AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE
DRAMA THAN PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY
ARE INTO.

Steve says THE PEOPLE YOU WORK
WITH, DID THEY HAVE ANY SENSE
THAT SOMETHING WAS AMISS?

John says I HAD BEEN TALKING TO MY BOSS
ABOUT FEELING ANXIOUS AND HE WAS
TRYING TO COME UP WITH WAYS TO
MITIGATE THIS.

Steve says IS THIS MIKE
BENEDICTSON?

John says YES.
MY PRODUCER WAS ON A SIMILAR
TRAJECTORY, NOT HALF AS SERIOUS
AS TO WHAT I WAS GOING THROUGH,
BUT EMOTIONS ARE CONTAGIOUS AND
ANXIETY IS CONTAGIOUS, AND THE
TWO OF US WORKING TOGETHER...
BOTH OF US AT TIMES... WHEN
YOU'RE DOING RADIO, YOU'RE
MAKING DECISIONS ON THE FLY.
WE WOULD MAKE A DECISION AND
BOTH OF US WOULD THINK MAYBE
WE'VE MADE THE WRONG DECISION
AND THAT BECOMES ANXIETY
PROVOKING AND THAT BECOMES
PARALYZING AS WELL.

Steve says I CAN TELL YOU, AS I
MENTIONED, AS A REGULAR
LISTENER, YOU CONVEYED NO SENSE
THAT ANYTHING WAS AMISS.
I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DID THAT.
DO YOU KNOW HOW YOU DID THAT?

John says I USED TO BE AN ACTOR.
AND I USED TO GET STAGE FRIGHT.
NEVER ANYTHING THAT SERIOUS.
WHEN YOU ASKED WHY I DIDN'T WALK
OUT OF THE STUDIO, WHEN I WAS AN
ACTOR, I ALWAYS KNEW IF I DIDN'T
PUSH THROUGH THE STAGE FRIGHT
AND GO ON STAGE THAT THAT WOULD
BE THE END.
ONCE YOU GIVE IN TO THAT LEVEL
OF ANXIETY, YOU'RE THROUGH.
SO I JUST CONTINUED TO, I GUESS,
ACT THE PART OF THE FOREVER CALM
HOST.
BUT I CAN TELL YOU SOME PEOPLE
DID NOTICE.
AFTER I LEFT, DAVE AGAR,
LEGENDARY NEWS BROADCASTER,
FORMERLY ON OUR SHOW, I HAD
LUNCH WITH HIM.
HE SAID, I COULD TELL SOMETHING
WAS WRONG.
YOU WERE BEING RUDE TO PEOPLE.
AND SOME OF MY INTERVIEWS WERE
MORE HARD-HITTING THAN THEY HAD
BEEN IN THE PAST OR I HAD MUCH
LESS PATIENCE WITH SOME OF THE
GUESTS.
SO I GUESS PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME
AND KNEW MY ON-AIR PERSONA OR
PERSONALITY, NOT REALLY MUCH OF
A FAKE THERE... IT'S ME... KNEW
THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING GOING AMISS.

Steve says ADDITIONAL RUDENESS
FOR SOME OF THE HOSTS ON YOUR
STATION WOULD NOT BE AN
INDICATION OF ANYTHING OTHER
THAN EVERYTHING IS TYPICAL.

John says EXACTLY.
I'M FOREVER THE GENTLEMAN.

Steve says YES, YOU ARE.

John says THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN THE HALL
MARK OF THE SHOW.
IF I STARTED PICKING FIGHTS WITH
PEOPLE, SOMETHING WAS WRONG.

Steve says I'M NOT TELLING
TALES OUT OF SCHOOL.
YOU TALKED TO A FORMER NEWSTALK
1010 EMPLOYEE WHO HAPPENS TO BE
THE MAYOR OF TORONTO.
HOW DID THAT CONVERSATION GO?

The caption changes to "Talk a load off."

John says JOHN HAS ALWAYS BEEN, AND
PEOPLE WHO KNOW JOHN, HE'S A
GOOD FRIEND TO PEOPLE.
HE'S FOREVER ATTENTIVE TO
PEOPLE, WHEN THINGS AREN'T GOING
WELL IN PARTICULAR.
YOU KNOW, WHEN SOMETHING GOES
WRONG, JOHN IS OFTEN AT HOME.
HE'LL SHOW UP AT A WAKE.
IN MY CASE, I'M TRYING TO
REMEMBER THE TIME LINE, BUT I'M
PRETTY SURE IT'S AFTER... HE
BEGAN TO NOTICE I WAS ABSENT.
AND SO HE TEXTED ME AND WE ENDED
UP TALKING ON THE PHONE.
HE CALLED ME FROM THE SET OF A
TV SHOW FIVE MINUTES BEFORE
GOING ON THE AIR AND HE SAID, I
USED TO RUN A NETWORK OF RADIO
STATIONS.
IF ONE OF MY MORNING MEN FELT
LIKE THIS AND ASKED ME FOR A
MONTH OFF, I'D GIVE IT TO THEM.
SO GO IN AND ASK FOR A MONTH
OFF, AND I DID.

Steve says WHEN HE SUGGESTED
THAT THAT WAS THE APPROACH YOU
SHOULD TAKE, WHAT WENT THROUGH
YOUR HEAD?

John says I THOUGHT FROM A PRACTICAL
PERSPECTIVE, IT WAS A GREAT
IDEA.
FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEBODY
IN RADIO WHERE WE DON'T EVEN
TAKE MORE THAN TWO WEEKS OFF AT
A TIME, WHERE IF YOU DISAPPEAR
IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS PEOPLE
FORGET YOU EXIST, WHERE YOU'RE
NOT REALLY SUPPOSED TO AND,
AGAIN, THIS IS A THEME WE'LL
EXPLORE I'M SURE, SHOW WEAKNESS,
I THOUGHT, FIRST OF ALL, THEY
WOULDN'T SAY YES AND SECOND OF
ALL THIS WOULD BE THE END.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE A MONTH
OFF, WE'RE DONE.

Steve says WHO OWNS YOUR RADIO
STATION?

John says BELL MEDIA.
BELL LET'S TALK.

Steve says EXACTLY.

John says YEAH.

Steve says SO THIS WAS THE
MOMENT WHERE THE RUBBER REALLY
DOES HIT THE ROAD, WHETHER OR
NOT THEY'RE GOING TO NOT JUST
TALK THE TALK BUT WALK THE WALK.
SO YOU WALK INTO...

John says ACTUALLY MET MY BOSS AT A
PUB.
WE HAD A VERY NICE MEAT-FREE
BURGER TOGETHER.
HE SAID WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
IT WAS MIKE AGAIN.
I SAID I'D LIKE A MONTH OFF.
HE SAID FINE.
THAT WAS IT.
THEN IT WAS JUST, I WENT HOME, I
DIDN'T EVEN GO INTO THE OFFICE.
IT WAS PAPERWORK.
AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT
MEETING, ACTUALLY I TOOK OFF TO
A FAVOURITE RETREAT, A FAVOURITE
VACATION SPOT FOR A COUPLE OF
DAYS, WHICH WAS BOTH A BLESSING
AND CURSE.
WHEN I CAME BACK I WENT ABOUT
THE BUSINESS OF HAVING A MONTH
OFF AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT MY
WAY BACK.

Steve says HOW LONG WERE YOU
OFF THE AIR IN TOTAL?

The caption changes to "Getting back on track."

John says IN TOTAL IT WAS 6 WEEKS.
THE OFFICIAL LEAVE, ONCE WE HAD
GONE THROUGH THE FIRST PERIOD OF
ME SAYING I DON'T FEEL LIKE
WORKING RIGHT NOW, THE OFFICIAL
TIME OFF WAS ONE MONTH.

Steve says WHAT DID YOU DO
DURING THAT TIME OFF?

John says IMPORTANT TO SAY THAT ONE OF
THE THINGS I DID IS I STARTED
SEEING A THERAPIST.
THAT WAS, TO USE THE OPRAH WORD
AGAIN, AN INTERESTING JOURNEY.

Steve says FIRST TIME EVER?

John says FIRST TIME EVER, YEAH.
I CONSIDERED IT IN THE PAST BUT
I'VE NEVER REALLY LIKE... THIS
WAS ANXIETY AND IT WAS
SITUATIONAL ANXIETY.
I'VE NEVER BEEN PRONE TO
DEPRESSION.
I CERTAINLY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
FUN TO FIGURE OUT A FEW THINGS
AND MAYBE SIT AROUND AND TALK
ABOUT MY MOTHER FOR A WHILE.
THIS PSYCHOLOGIST, WHEN SHE
STARTED EXPLAINING HER METHOD,
AND IT WAS REALLY ONLY IN OUR
THIRD MEETING, MY INITIAL
REACTION WAS, THIS IS
RIDICULOUS.
BECAUSE IT WAS ESSENTIALLY,
WE'RE GOING TO REWIRE YOUR BRAIN
TO THINK POSITIVELY.
I WANT YOU TO TALK ABOUT
GRATITUDE.
EVERY MORNING FIVE THINGS YOU'RE
GRATEFUL FOR.
EVERY AFTERNOON, FIVE THINGS
YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR.
TO ME THAT SOUNDED LIKE I WAS
GOING TO AN ASHRAM IN
CALIFORNIA.
AMAZINGLY IT WORKS.
WE DID NOT TALK ABOUT MY MOTHER.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, DURING A
SESSION SHORTLY AFTER I WENT
BACK TO WORK, SHE SAID, HOW DO
YOU FEEL?
I SAID I FEEL GREAT.
I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I NEED TO
SEE YOU AGAIN.
SHE SAID LET'S PUT IT ON AN
AS-NEEDED BASIS.
I SAID WE'RE NOT GOING TO SPEND
THREE YEARS WE PAYING YOUR
MORTGAGE AND ME TALKING ABOUT MY
FAMILY?
THAT'S INCREDIBLE.
BUT THAT'S HOW IT UNFOLDED.

Steve says YOUR DAD'S CONDITION
OBVIOUSLY ISN'T BETTER.
WHAT COPING SKILLS DID YOU USE
YOUR FATHER WAS GOING TO
DETERIORATE AND EVENTUALLY LEAVE
THIS WORLD?

John says THAT'S ONE OF THE STRESS
SOURCE.
FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO USE YOUR
PARENT, THAT'S A BIGGIE.
THIS THERAPIST AND THE READING
I'VE BEEN DOING AND I TOOK UP
MEDITATION AND ALL KINDS OF
OTHER THINGS, THE ONE THING YOU
REALIZE IS FIRST OF ALL YOU DO
NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER SOME
THINGS.
SO YOU CAN BE SAD ABOUT THEM.
YOU CAN BE ANXIOUS ABOUT THEM.
BUT THERE'S NO USE, YOU KNOW,
POPPING IT INTO THE NEXT LEVEL
OR SQUARING YOUR LEVEL OF
ANXIETY.
ANOTHER ASPECT IS, FOR ME
ANYWAY, AND I FEEL LIKE I'M THE
BEST POSSIBLE EXAMPLE IF
SOMEBODY GOT INTO TROUBLE AND
FIGURED HIS WAY OUT.
I REALIZED FOR ME THAT ANXIETY
IS ENTIRELY MANUFACTURED.
IT'S A BYPRODUCT IN THE BODY
BASED ON IRRATIONAL THINKING.
AND SO DURING THE TIME I WAS
OFF, I GOT VERY GOOD.
MY THERAPIST WOULD SAY WHAT DO
YOU FEEL ANXIOUS ABOUT.
WE'D TALK ABOUT THAT.
SOME DAYS I'D BE IN THE CAR AND
I'D BE ANXIOUS AND SAY THIS IS
NOTHING.
THIS IS BACKGROUND ANXIETY FOR
NO REASON.
YOU CAN HONESTLY JUST PURGE IT
FROM YOURSELF THROUGH POSITIVE
THINKING, THROUGH ACKNOWLEDGING
THAT THE ANXIETY IS FOR NOTHING.
NOW, THE ANXIETY FOR MY DAD AND
THE SADNESS FOR MY DAD IS VERY
MUCH THERE.
THAT'S A VERY REAL THING.

Steve says I DO WONDER, THOUGH,
THE JOHN MOORE OF SAY FIVE YEARS
AGO, HOW HE WOULD HAVE REACTED
TO WHAT THE JOHN MOORE OF TODAY
IS DOING IN ORDER TO FEEL
BETTER?
HOW WOULD YOU HAVE REGARDED THIS
PATH THAT YOU'RE ON BACK THEN?

John says WELL, I DON'T THINK I COULD
HAVE IMAGINED I'D EVER GET TO
THE POINT WHERE I'D NEED IT,
WHERE I WOULD FEEL THAT I NEEDED
TO STEP AWAY FROM EVERYTHING,
AND I THINK IN MANY WAYS IT'S
ALMOST LIKE A... OR WHATEVER.
THIS IS THE ACCUMULATED EFFECT
OF 32 YEARS ON THE RADIO OF
NEVER HAVING A BREAK, OF
STARTING TO WORK AT 18 AND I'VE
NEVER BEEN WITHOUT A JOB.
THEY'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY
DEMANDING JOBS.
SO I GUESS I WAS NOT JUST STOIC,
BECAUSE I HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED
THAT LEVEL OF ANXIETY BEING ON
THE AIR.
I WOULD HONESTLY WAKE UP WHEN I
FIRST STARTED THE SHOW AT 2:30
SAYING THIS IS GOING TO BE
GREAT.
I FEEL LIKE THAT AGAIN.
THAT'S THE GREAT THING.
BUT IT TOOK A COMPLETE CHANGE IN
LIFESTYLE AND THINKING AND I
JUST DON'T THINK FIVE YEARS AGO
I COULD HAVE IMAGINED IT EVER
WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

Steve says THERE ARE ANY NUMBER
OF DIFFERENT APPROACHES YOU
COULD HAVE TAKEN TO RETURNING TO
THE AIR WAVES AND THE APPROACH
YOU TOOK WAS TO BE VERY OPEN AND
TRANSPARENT ABOUT, HERE'S WHAT
HAPPENED TO ME.
I'M GOING TO SPEND A FEW MINUTES
TELLING YOU ALL ABOUT IT AND
THEN WE'RE GOING TO GO ON.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO THAT WAY?

John says IT'S INTERESTING HOW MANY
PEOPLE HAVE SAID YOU COULD HAVE
JUST BLAMED THIS ON YOUR DAD AND
SAID YOU NEEDED SOME TIME OFF OR
THEY USED THE WORD BRAVE.

Steve says YOU COULD HAVE SAID NOTHING.

John says I COULD HAVE SAID NOTHING.

Steve says YOU COULD HAVE SAID
I WENT FOR A LONG VACATION.

The caption changes to "Leading a happier life."

John says THAT'S A VIOLATION OF WHAT
RADIO IS ALL ABOUT.
IT'S A VERY INTIMATE MEDIUM.
YOU ARE IN THESE PEOPLE'S EARS.
YOU'RE IN THEIR HOME, THEIR
OFFICE, ON THEIR HEADSET ON THE
GO-TRAIN, WHATEVER.
THEY EXPECT TRANSPARENCY AND
HONEST AND THEY CAN TELL WHEN
IT'S NOT THERE.
THE OTHER REASON WAS I THOUGHT
IT WAS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT,
BECAUSE OF THE TIME OFF, I MET
WITH AN AWFUL LOT OF PEOPLE AND
I DID LUNCHES AND PEOPLE
EMAILED ME AND THE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE I MET WHO ARE COPING WITH
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY I WOULD
SAY IS A CRISIS.
YOU KNOW, JUST HORRIBLE STORIES
OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE
TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE SO FAR.
THERE WAS A CORPORATE CEO WHO
SAID HE'S BEEN ON MEDICATION FOR
YEARS.
A POLICE OFFICER WHO SAID HE
THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING HIMSELF.
THERE WAS A MOM WHO SAID SHE
CRIES OUTSIDE OF THE DAY CARE
WHEN SHE'S THERE TO PICK UP HER
DAUGHTER BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T
KNOW HOW SHE'S GOING TO GET
THROUGH THE EVENING AND LOOK
AFTER HER DAUGHTER AND GO BACK
TO WORK THE NEXT DAY.
THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE.
I HEARD FROM PEOPLE... FOR
EXAMPLE, I GOT A TEXT LAST WEEK
FROM SOMEONE WHO SAID HOW DID
YOU KNOW YOU NEEDED TO LEAVE
WORK BECAUSE I THINK I'M THERE
NOW?
IF I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH
TALKING ABOUT IT, IF WE CAN HELP
WITH THE BELL LET'S TALK... YOU
KNOW MICHAEL LANDSBERG.

Steve says I'VE ONLY KNOWN HIM
SINCE 1978.

John says HIS HASHTAG IS SICKNOTWEAK.
HE TALKS ABOUT THE STIGMA.
PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU AND THINK
YOU'RE BREAK.
MENTAL ILLNESS ISN'T LIKE
ANYTHING ELSE.
THEY LOOK IN YOUR EYES AND HOPE
YOU'RE DOING ALL RIGHT.
I WILL SAY, IT'S FUNNY, WHEN I
GOT BACK, EVERYBODY SAID I'M SO
HAPPY TO SEE YOU.
ONCE THE WEEKS WENT BY, THE LAST
TEN DAYS, THE WAY PEOPLE SAY
"HOW ARE YOU" IT'S LIKE IT HAS
AN ELLIPSIS AT THE END.
YOU HAVE TO ADMIT IT'S HAPPENED.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE ISSUES LIKE THIS
I THINK STILL WORRY ABOUT BEING
SEEN AS LESSER OR BROKEN OR
HARMED IN SOME WAY.

Steve says THERE IS
SOMETHING... MAYBE IT'S AN
ON-AIR THING.
MICHAEL, WHO I'VE KNOWN FOR 40
YEARS, AS I'VE SAID, WAS EXPERT
AT NOT CONVEYING ANY INDICATION
THAT ANYTHING WAS AMISS, AND I
REMEMBER TALKING TO HIM ABOUT IT.
I SAID I'VE KNOWN YOU SINCE WE
WERE KIDS.
WE WENT TO UNIVERSITY TOGETHER.
I HAD NO CLUE THAT YOU WERE
GOING THROUGH WHAT YOU WERE
GOING THROUGH.

John says YEAH.

Steve says BUT I GUESS THAT'S
PART OF IT, RIGHT?
YOU FEEL YOU'VE GOT TO FAKE IT
TO EVERYBODY?

John says YOU BECOME A GREAT
DISSEMBLER.
MICHAEL AND I WOULD GO BACK AND
FORTH ON TEXTS.
I'M SURE HE TALKS TO OTHER
PEOPLE ABOUT CALL THE SICK
DECKS.
ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, HOW
ARE YOU FEELING TODAY?
HE WOULD CHECK IN WITH ME EVERY
DAY, WHICH WAS AMAZING.
HE'D POST ON TWITTER, HAVING A
BAD COUPLE OF DAYS.
SO CLEARLY HE GETS IT OUT THERE
THAT HE GOES THROUGH THESE
TROUGHS AND GREAT HEIGHTS, BUT
IT'S STILL PART OF HIS
DAY-TO-DAY LIFE.
I DON'T THINK HIS LISTENERS HAVE
ANY IDEA.

Steve says ONCE YOU GOT BACK ON
THE AIR, THAT FIRST DAY BACK,
HOW WAS THAT?

John says WELL, I WAS ASKED WHAT'S
MAKING YOU ANXIOUS IN THE DAYS
BEFORE I WENT BACK.
WHAT'S MAKING ME ANXIOUS IS THAT
I MIGHT BE ANXIOUS WHEN I GET
THERE.
I WAS REALLY SOMEWHAT TERRIFIED
BECAUSE I THOUGHT, WHAT IF I
WALK IN THE DOORS AND SIT DOWN
WITH MY PRODUCER AND IT JUST
STARTS ALL OVER AGAIN?
AND SOMEHOW IT WAS COMPLETELY
ABSENT.
AND REMAINS SO.
SO IT WAS EXHILARATING TO GET
BACK ON THE AIR BECAUSE IT WAS
PROOF TO ME... I'M SURE THERE
WILL BE DAYS AND THERE WILL BE
EVENTS THAT WILL TRIGGER SOME
LEVEL OF ANXIETY.
BUT CLEARLY I WAS ABLE TO FLIP A
SWITCH AND DO SOMETHING
DIFFERENTLY AND THINK
DIFFERENTLY.

Steve says SO YOU HAVE HAD NO
ANXIETY SINCE YOU'VE BEEN BACK
ON THE AIR.

John says NO, NO.
ASIDE IF I'M GOING ON THE AIR
WITH THE DEPUTY PREMIER AND I
HAVE TO GIVE HER THE GRILL ABOUT
HEALTH SPENDING, I WORRY ABOUT IT.
BUT I WORRY ABOUT IT LIKE ANY
HEALTHY INTERVIEWER, LIKE YOU
WOULD DO IT.

Steve says GOT IT.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE REST
OF YOUR LIFE THAT IS
CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR IMPROVED
MENTAL HEALTH?

John says AT THE RISK OF PLUMMETING
STOCK VALUES, GET OFF TWITTER.
I'M STILL ON TWITTER AS AN
OBSERVER.
I TWEET BUT MOSTLY ABOUT MY
PUPPY, ABOUT GOOD THINGS, ABOUT
HOW I LOVE LIFE IN TORONTO,
ABOUT THE RAPTORS, WHATEVER.
I DO NOT ENGAGE IN ANY KIND OF
POLITICAL EXCHANGE, AND I'LL GO
THROUGH THE FEED... ON SATURDAY
MORNINGS, ALL THESE SUSPECTS...
FOR ME ALL THESE SUSPECTS, AND I
WON'T IDENTIFY ANY OF THEM, BUT
THEY'RE CARPING AND WHINING AND
YELLING AND SCREAMING.
IT'S USELESS.
AND THE TEXT BOARD, IMAGINE, IF
YOU WERE LIVE AND YOU HAD A TEXT
BOARD IN FRONT OF YOU FROM
PEOPLE WATCHING YOU ON TV AT THE
TIME SAYING YOU'RE AN IDIOT, YOU
DON'T KNOW ANYTHING, WHAT A
JERK, WHAT A SOFTBALL INTERVIEW,
I'VE LEARNED TO IGNORE THAT AS
WELL.
IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER.

Steve says YOURS IS... I THINK
I CAN SAY IT... YOURS IS A
CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO STATION.

John says IT IS.
I'M NOT THE MOST CONSERVATIVE PERSON.

Steve says EXACTLY.
YOU'RE MORE PROGRESSIVE.
IT'S AMAZING THEY PUT YOU ON THE
AIR ACTUALLY ON A CONSERVATIVE
TALK RADIO STATION.
MOST OF YOUR LISTENERS ARE
CONSERVATIVE AND YOU'RE NOT SO
YOU WOULD BE GETTING THIS ON A
REGULAR BASIS, I ASSUME.

John says MY REPUTATION HAS BEEN I'M
EXTREMELY FAIR AND I TRY TO RISE
ABOVE THE POLITICS OF IT ALL.
OBVIOUSLY WHEN IT COMES TO
POLICY, I HAVE MY VIEWS.
BUT I DON'T SHILL OR DEFEND FOR
ANYONE, AND I THINK MOST OF THE
LISTENERS KNOW THAT.
BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE, THERE ARE
CERTAIN POLITICIANS, IF YOU EVEN
MENTION THEIR NAME, ALL OF A
SUDDEN PEOPLE THINK YOU'VE JUST
SLAMMED THEM AND WHY ARE YOU
SUCH AN ARROGANT, YOU KNOW,
IDIOT.

Steve says THOSE OF US IN DAILY
JOURNALISM, AND I FOUND THIS
VERY INTERESTING, IN YOUR RETURN
TO THE AIR WAVES YOU MENTIONED
HOW YOU'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING
DIFFERENT GOING FORWARD.
WE'RE GOING TO PLAY A SNIPPET.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, THE CLIP?

In another audio clip, John says
I'VE RESOLVED TO PURGE
NEGATIVITY FROM MY LIFE.
WE ARE SURROUNDED BY IT.
FIVE MINUTES ON TWITTER IS LIKE
TAKING A BATH IN PETTINESS AND
ANGER.
AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BECOME
MARY POPPINS BUT EVERY STEP AWAY
FROM BEING AROUND NEGATIVE
PEOPLE, NEGATIVE IDEAS, PEOPLE
WHO ARE VINDICTIVE, ANGRY,
VENGEFUL, AND MEAN IS A STEP
CLOSER TO A BETTER LIFE.

The clip ends.

Steve says SO MUCH OF WHAT WE
DO, THOUGH, IN THE DAILY RACKET
THAT WE'RE IN, INVOLVES FOCUSING
ON THE NEGATIVE IN HOPES OF
SHINING A LIGHT ON IT IN A
CONSTRUCTIVE WAY SO IT THEN
BECOMES SOMETHING POSITIVE IN
THE WORLD.

John says YEAH.

Steve says HOW DO YOU DO THAT
AND THAT AT THE SAME TIME?

John says MAYBE I'M PARTITIONING IT TOO
MUCH, BUT SOME OF MY LISTENERS
MISTOOK ME SAYING THAT, THAT I
WAS GOING TO GET AWAY FROM
NEGATIVITY, WITH, YOU'RE NOT
GOING TO CRITICIZE ANYBODY
ANYMORE.
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO AGREE WITH
DOUG FORD'S POLICY ON THIS.
THAT'S NOT IT.
NEGATIVITY IS JUST SALTING IN
THE INSULTS AND THE ANGER AND
THE VITUPERATIVENESS.
I'VE SET THAT ASIDE.
I'LL OCCASIONALLY SAY SOMETHING
ON THE AIR THAT I'LL REGRET.
I'M TRYING TO BE GENERALLY A
MORE POSITIVE PERSON.
YOU CAN EMPHASIZE THAT IN YOUR
LIFE AS WELL.
ONE OF THE CRAZY THINGS FOR ME
IN THE MONTH OFF AND NOW THE
TIME THAT I'VE BEEN BACK IS I
HAD TO LET GO OF THE IDEA THAT I
MUST BE DOING SOMETHING
IMPORTANT AT ALL TIMES, AND
THERE REALLY IS, I THINK IT'S
THE NORWEGIANS WILL SIT IN A
CHAIR FOR AN HOUR.
DON'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THAT.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO WRITE A NOVEL.

Steve says YOU'RE A PROTESTANT,
AREN'T YOU, JOHN?

John says I AM.

Steve says YOU HAVE THE
PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC.

John says THAT IS A SERIOUS THING IN MY
LIFE.
I'M NOT A PRACTISING RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.
I WAS RAISED BY BRITISH-STYLE
PEOPLE WHO BELIEVED IN THE WORK
ETHIC AND THAT'S PART OF THE
FORMULA I THINK FOR A LOT OF
PEOPLE WHY THEY KEEP ON
REPORTING TO WORK, WHY THEY
NEVER TELL THEIR PARTNER THAT
THEY'RE HAVING TROUBLE.
IT'S THAT STOICISM.

Steve says HOW DO YOU KNOW
WHETHER THE IMPROVED MENTAL
HEALTH YOU ARE CURRENTLY
EXPERIENCING WILL PERSIST?

John says I DON'T.
BUT I BELIEVE IT WILL BECAUSE,
AGAIN, TO COME BACK TO... IT WAS
NOT CHEMICAL, IT'S SITUATIONAL.
SO I'VE CHANGED MY SITUATION.
AND ON DAYS WHERE I BEGIN TO NOT
NECESSARILY EXPERIENCE ANXIETY
BUT WHERE I'M TENSING UP OR
WHATEVER, I THINK, OKAY, WHAT
HAVE I REVERTED TO?
WHAT PATTERNS OR WHAT THINGS IN
THE OFFICE PLACE ARE BOTHERING
ME.
YOU HAVE TO ADDRESS THEM HEAD
ON.

Steve says ARE THERE ANY MEDS
INVOLVED IN THIS?

John says NO.
I ASKED MYSELF WHAT I WOULD DO
IF I GOT TO THAT.
THAT'S WHEN I FIRST STARTED THE
MONTH OFF, I WAS FEELING BETTER
EVERY DAY.
I WENT TO A DOCTOR, YOU HAVE TO
IN ORDER TO GET DISABILITY
LEAVE, HE SAID COME BACK TO SEE
ME IN A MONTH.
IF YOU'RE STILL HERE, YOU MIGHT
HAVE TO CONSIDER MEDS.
I HAVE A THING ABOUT ALL KINDS
OF MEDICATION.
I TRY TO STAY OFF, AND I HAVE
SUCCESSFULLY, BECAUSE MY FIRST
TRENCH, IF THAT BECOMES A
NECESSITY, IS TO CHANGE
EVERYTHING THAT MADE IT A
NECESSITY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin; Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says JOHN, ON BEHALF OF
THE LISTENERS, I WANT TO SAY HOW
HAPPY WE ARE YOU'RE BACK ON THE
AIR BUT NUMBER TWO HOW HAPPY WE
ARE YOU ARE HAPPIER.

John says IT'S CONTAGIOUS.
LET'S TRY TO SPREAD IT AROUND.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says AMEN TO THAT.
JOHN MOORE, YOU KNOW HIM FROM
NEWSTALK 1010.
YOU KNOW HIM FROM NEWS IN THE
MORNING.
GREAT TO SEE YOU HERE AT TVO.

John says THANK-YOU.

Watch: John Moore: Back on the Air