My complaint to the CBC Ombudsman regarding Terry Milewski using term “tar baby” on-air


Below is my complaint filed with the CBC Ombudsman July 26:

In 2009, following an outpouring of critical controversy over the use of the phrase “tar baby” by cabinet minister Pierre Poilievre, a complaint was filed with the CBC ombudsman noting that CBC columnist Larry Zolf had used the phrase.

In the published November 19, 2009 review that was printed on, the Ombudsman’s office concluded that the “tar baby” phrase “while perhaps current 50 years ago in some communities, can now easily be viewed as archaic and offensive to many,” concluding that going forward, CBC “editors should ensure that archaic and offensive phrases are not used on CBC platforms.” (see here)

On July 24, 2015, on the CBC News program “Power & Politics,” CBC correspondent Terry Milewski described the ongoing controversies surrounding the Senate of Canada as a political problem for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, using the phrase “the Senate Tar Baby that has so soiled his brand.” Judging from Mr. Milewski’s tone, I believe he chose his words deliberately and used them with specific emphasis.

In a tweet posted later that day, Mr. Milewski expressed no regret over using the phrase, and posted an excerpt from the “tar baby” page on Wikipedia, apparently in an attempt to justify his use of the expression as valid and appropriate.

milewski tar baby

In allowing Mr. Milewski’s use of what the CBC Ombudsperson described in 2009 as an “archaic and offensive” phrase to go unreprimanded, I believe the CBC has failed in its promise to “ensure that archaic and offensive phrases are not used on CBC platforms.”

Mr. Milewski should be suspended until such time as a review is completed on how the producers and CBC management will ensure Mr. Milewski and others appearing on Power and Politics never use this term again and if he is reinstated, be forced to issue an on-air apology.

Thank you
Dean Skoreyko

12 Responses to “My complaint to the CBC Ombudsman regarding Terry Milewski using term “tar baby” on-air”

  1. Bocanut Says:

    “While perhaps current 50 years ago in some communities,”
    CBC and Milewski are 50 years behind the times .
    Time to defund and leave them on their own to grow up

  2. Liz J Says:

    We know defunding the CBC will not happen at this time for obvious that’s politics and they know it. However, Milewski should be suspended, that too will not happen, certainly not before the election…for obvious reasons! Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them out on this stuff, don’t give them a minute’s peace until they take action, however long it takes…at least they know we’re onto them. Forking out out millions of our dollars to a cabal acting more like political activists than journalists should be optional in a democracy.

    • Liz J Says:

      Schitt’s Creek is another example of the crap we’re paying for, they should be sent up the creek without a paddle. Who the hell watches more than one episode of their tripe?
      Also, we’ve still got Suzuki aging before our eyes on the nature of things.

  3. DAVID WEUM Says:

    He’s been there for 40 years and his use of the term must be lost on most except it was off colour and though not PC the tenured CBC gang can get away with it. They should all be in Madam Tousoud’s(??) wax museum instead of laying off 850 drone employees when they lost 7 mins of Don Cherry (who beat them all and still sticks in their craw at 80 or so) and Hockey Night in Canada, the only program worth watching on CBC. Defund the lot!

  4. Centurion Says:

    I would bet a case of Blue that Milewski was one of those who reamed Poilievre for use of the term in the Remesian sense of “…a difficult problem that is only aggravated by attempts to solve it.” Long live Br’er Rabbit!!

  5. Ken (Kulak) Says:

    Milewski, typical leftist. More equal than the prols and so can use the term.

  6. Jen Says:

    Since the media want nothing to do with the Harper Gov, why don’t they give their UCCB to the NDP.

  7. Jen Says:

    As the media like to speculate and rely on ‘sources say’, we meaning you Dean, JJ, Daniel Dickins and many twitters have the FACTS.

    But let’s speculate what the media will do: I speculate that by this weekend that the CBC CTV g/m T/S and all the press gallery reporters will ‘demand which is a fact ‘that the NDP return the millions of dollars to taxpayers as well the Liberals for the $40million which they too took from taxpayers’. Sources say.
    If the media reporters fail to do the job then we all should know by then that they ‘support’ all of the ndp and liberals corruption without blinking an eyelid.

    Sources tell me that the reporters will ask the ndp and liberals for our money back which they took from us.

  8. Jen Says:

    CBC reporters are ‘brainwashed’ . If they were as sharp as Dean and others like him, the liberals and the NDP would not have gotten away with it.

    We KNOW for a fact not speculate but fact that the Liberals owe taxpayers $40+million and cut payments to provinces for healthcare education military and so on………
    We KNOW for a fact not speculate but a fact, that the NDP violated election rules, parliamentary rules and refuses point blank to repay taxpayers the millions of dollars, and so on…..

    We also KNOW that the media party will NEVER ask the libs and Ndp for the money. This is not a speculation but a fact.

  9. Liz J Says:

    Now the writ has been dropped there’s no way the CBC will be dealing with any complaints, they’ll all be too busy ramping up the lies,damned lies, half truths and innuendos with the other opposition parties in their common agenda to defeat the Harper Government. CBC’s number one Harper hater, Terry Milewski was first up to question the PM after the writ was dropped to make the campaign official. Harper floored the old boor, he had no comeback question. Let Milewski and the entire media party fill their boots.

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