My 2nd complaint filed with the CBC Ombudsman over coverage of Roxham Road border protests

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin:

Further to my complaint on the report filed by Jonathan Montpetit titled “Far-right groups, counter-protesters rally over asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border”, I would like an investigation done by the Ombudsman into why Montpetit omitted mentioning in his story that a female journalist was repeatedly assaulted by pro-illegal border supporters even though it was clearly done in front of the media and police in attendance as videos making the rounds on social media show.

And not only did Montpetit omit mentioning these assaults, he gleefully mocked the person (Faith Goldy) on Twitter afterwards of which I have a screen shot. Montpetit’s profile is Verifed by Twitter and directly linked to his employer, the CBC, which means he is representing the CBC on his Twitter account.

I would like to know what the CBC employment policy is for reporters intentionally omitting story details that would greatly influence their audience’s reaction and also the CBC’s social media policy for when a reporter uses it to mock a victim of an assault due to personal bias or dislike.

Thank you
Dean Skoreyko

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My complaint filed with the CBC Ombudsman over coverage of Roxham Road border protests

CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin:

On May 19, CBC reporter Jonathan Montpetit filed a report titled “Far-right groups, counter-protesters rally over asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border” in which he repeatedly described the anti-illegal border crossing group as “far-right” while describing the pro-illegal border crossing group as “counter-protesters”. By doing so Monpetit is associating one group politically while downplaying any political affiliations of the other even though one “counter-protester” named in the article (Jaggi Singh) is well-known for advancing extreme political causes. Montpetit just calls Singh an “activist”. How can one side be “far-right” yet the other is not “far-left”?

I would like an explanation of CBC’s policy in regard to labelling people or groups as “far-right” regardless of any known politically leanings and also an explanation why Monpetit singled out one group in his story for being politically associated while using non-political terms for the other.

Thank you
Dean Skoreyko

CBC responds to my complaint on panellist calling Lindsay Shepherd a “young crying white girl”

Below is the response I received to my complaint filed (see here) with the CBC Ombudsman

Dear Dean Skoreyko:

I am writing in reply to your e-mail of December 19, addressed to Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman, drawing our attention to what you see as a “racist term” used by a panelist on the December 17 edition of The Sunday Scrum on CBC News Network.

As an Executive Producer of CBC News Network, I am responsible for programming that day. Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News, has asked me to reply to you directly, which I am pleased to do.

Naturally, I regret you are disappointed in CBC, but your view here is not one I share, although I think the comment might have been more clearly expressed. Let me explain why I say that.

As part of our programming, CBC News Network includes segments such as The Sunday Scrum, which are specifically designed to include a range of views on the controversial stories and issues affecting Canadians.

On this edition were two regular contributors, Susan Riley, a veteran Ottawa writer and columnist, and John Ibbitson, a columnist at The Globe and Mail. Joining them on that edition was Vicky Mochama, the national columnist for Metro News.

The Sunday Scrum had a year-end theme that week – the “People of the Year” edition – and the panelists were asked for their views on a number of issues, including the stories they thought picked up too much coverage, and those given too little; people who dominated the headlines, and those who had an influence, but didn’t get the attention they should have.

In that last category, John Ibbitson led off the discussion by pointing to Lindsay Shepherd, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier University teaching assistant. It was a recording of her disciplinary hearing at the university that went viral, he said, and “exploded the whole issue of the debate within the social sciences and humanities on the right of freedom of expression versus the right of protection; the right to safe spaces; the right not to be subject to aggression”. “No matter where you are in the debate”, he added, “it was Ms. Shepherd and that tape that blew the entire issue open … for which she deserves great credit”.

Ms. Mochama said she disagreed. She said “I think a lot of people responded to her for the same reason they tend to respond to things because she’s a young crying white girl”. She went on to say that there were “lots of moments when [a conversation about] academic freedom could have been had and [they] have been skipped over serially”.

Yes, Ms. Mochama used a provocative phrase. But it was not “racist”, as you suggested. In fact, she was not even commenting on the substance of what has become a polarizing political debate. Rather, she was alleging that racism was a factor in the attention paid to Ms. Shepherd’s story – or more accurately, her treatment by the university. From Ms. Mochama’s perspective, similar issues on Canadian campuses have been raised by students of diverse backgrounds without receiving the kind of traction that Ms. Shepherd’s case did – and that was problematic.We expect commentators to be insightful, to express their views clearly, succinctly and, yes, sometimes provocatively, which Ms. Mochama did. In this instance her point would have been clearer had she offered more context in explanation. But it was not inherently racist or sexist.

Moreover, you wrote that Ms. Mochama “dismissed [Ms. Shepherd’s] fight for university freedom because she [said] she ‘leans hard right’ politically”.  After suggesting why she thought Ms.Shepherd got attention, Ms. Mochama went on to say that she thought Ms. Shepherd was also an “inappropriate person to launch this conversation because it turns out she leans hard right in some of her [choices]”. Once again, that is Ms. Mochama’s view. Others, including Mr. Ibbitson, appear to feel that she is an appropriate person.

I should also be clear that it is CBC’s mandate, part of its obligation under the federal Broadcasting Act, to carry different points of view on controversial matters such as this one. It is a concept that lies at the heart of the notion of fairness in journalism. Of course, not everyone will agree with all the views expressed, as you do not in this instance. I understand that. But it is the CBC’s responsibility to ensure that Canadians are given the opportunity and the information they need to make up their own minds.Thank you again for your email. I appreciate hearing your views, which I will consider in the
preparation and planning of future programs.

Sincerely,
Aubrey Silverberg
Executive Producer, Daily News
CBC News

My complaint to the CBC Ombudsman on panelist calling Lindsay Shepherd a “young crying white girl”

Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman

On Dec 17 during a segment of CBC’s political show Sunday Scrum about who were the newsmakers of the year, panelists Vicky Mochoma called Lindsay Shepherd a “young crying white girl” and dismissed her fight for university freedoms because “she leans hard right” politically.

Neither race, gender, age nor political affiliation has anything to do with the issue at hand yet Mochoma was allowed to attack Shepherd without even being confronted by the CBC host John Northcott.

There is no doubt had a panelist used the description “young crying black girl” the reaction would have been immediate and severe, including an on-air apology and removal from any further CBC panels. Neither of these has happened in this case.

Mochoma’s appearances on the CBC must end, a public and personal apology to Lindsay Shepherd be issued, the show’s host explain why he remained silent after Mochoma used this racist term and the CBC must clarify to all employees and panelists that this type of on-air commentary will not be tolerated in the future.

I await your response.

CBC panellist calls Lindsay Shepherd a “crying white girl”

From the non-reactions of the other two media panellists (Ottawa Citizen’s Susan Riley and Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson) as well as the host John Northcott, it’s apparently perfectly acceptable to use white-racism in order to smear someone on CBC News as Metro News’ Vicky Mochama did.

You can watch her call university free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd a “crying white girl” and dismiss her as someone who “leans hard right” politically on CBC’s political show Sunday Scrum at approximately the 7:10 mark

There’s absolutely no way the CBC would allow anyone to use such a racist label to describe someone non-white and would be immediately fired for doing so.

I will be filing a complaint with the CBC ombudsman and update after I receive a response.

 

 

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