CBC refuses to discipline columnist who said he would “Piss on the walls” of Trump Tower



Below is my response to Jack Nagler, Director Journalistic Public Accountability and Engagement at CBC News:

I would like to request further information to better understand some of the nuances of the “strict requirements” the CBC uses when determining the appropriateness of CBC Opinion contributors. Specifically, I would like to know if it is CBC policy to ever consider a contributor’s social media conduct when making such an assessment.

Dean Skoreyko

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

Dear Dean Skoreyko:

This is in response to your email of January 19 addressed to CBC’s Ombudsman.

You wrote to draw our attention to a tweet from Sam Khanlari, who you described as a “CBC columnist”. In the tweet (which has now been removed) you wrote that he suggests he might “piss on the walls” of a Trump Tower hotel room and “smoke weed”. The tweet is in “enormously bad taste”, you wrote, and “undermined” his credibility as a political commentator. You suggested CBC has an obligation to “screen” its contributors

Let me emphasize that Mr. Khanlari is a freelance writer. He is not a regular CBC employee. He is not a CBC News journalist. He is a self-employed, Toronto-based writer and editor with Muftah, an online publication specializing in articles about the Middle East, who has also contributed articles to the Toronto Star, VICE and The Islamic Monthly.

A student of Middle Eastern politics, Mr. Khanlari proposed that he write an opinion column about Iran. We agreed. That column appeared on January 15 on the CBCNews.ca Opinion page under the heading, “Now more than ever, Canada must join the chorus of support for the Iran nuclear deal”.  This is the only opinion piece by Mr. Khanlari that CBC has published.

Mr. Khanlari’s is one of many points of view published on CBC’s new online Opinion page. All commentaries are reviewed by CBC’s editorial staff to ensure that in their breadth and totality they meet the strict requirements set out in CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices. You can find more information about the Opinion page here http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-faq-1.3834532.

However, Mr. Khanlari alone is responsible for the contents of his tweets and any other social media messages he posts.


Jack Nagler
Journalistic Public Accountability and Engagement
CBC News



Vancouver news radio producer proudly admits participating in anti-Trump rally


CKNW is a major Vancouver news radio station so it caught my eye when it retweeted a very partisan post that also had its Twitter name included:


So I Googled the person, Chantal Choschizza who sent out the tweet:


And confronted her:


My jaw dropped, in all the years I’ve been tracking and commenting on the media I’ve never seen a journalist actually admit to participating in a partisan political event.

And to top it off:


Also admit her employer supports her political activism.


CBC columnist stating he might “Piss on the walls” of Trump Tower hotel


Dear Mr. Skoreyko:

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email. I will share your email with Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News so that she will be aware of your concern.

Esther Enkin


My complaint filed with the CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin:

As the nation’s public broadcaster, the CBC has an obligation to screen its contributors for a minimum standard of decency and good taste before offering them access to this powerful and important forum. I believe the CBC failed this standard by permitting Sam Khanlari to author a column on the CBC News Opinion site on January 15, 2017.

A few days before Mr. Khanlari’s column (“Now more than ever, Canada must join the chorus of support for the Iran nuclear deal,” Jan. 15, 2017) was published, Mr. Khanlari posted a tweet speculating about staying “in the Trump Tower for one week” and “Piss [sic] on all the walls and smoke weed[.]” 

Mr. Khanlari’s tweet was not only in enormously bad taste, it significantly undermined his ability to offer credible, mature commentary on the incoming Trump administration, which his Jan. 15 column purported to offer. I believe the CBC failed to adequately screen Mr. Khanlari before offering him access to the CBC Opinion website, and have now embarrassed and harmed the public broadcaster by doing so.

I believe the CBC must issue an apology on behalf of Mr. Khanlri and remove him from posting on the CBC website.

Thank you
Dean Skoreyko

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