CBC admits Keith Boag’s story about Trump lacked context


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


Dear Mr. Skoreyko

Thank you for your email of June 26 addressed to CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin.  You wrote concerning a CBCNews.ca column posted earlier that day by CBC News Washington correspondent Keith Boag under the headline “ANALYSIS: Sarah Sander’s experience in the Red Hen becomes piolitical bun fight”

Our General Manager and Editor in Chief, Jennifer McGuire, asked me to reply.

In your mail, you raised concerns about what had been the last line of the story: “[Sanders] defence of civility came just a couple of hours after her boss described Congresswoman Maxine Waters as an extraordinarily low IQ person.” You felt that ending lacked context, saying: “This leaves readers with the impression that Trump was attacking Waters even though there were calls for civility from both political sides and that he was being a hypocrite by doing so. You pointed out that after the restaurant incident, “Waters had encouraged people to harass Trump administration officials in public.”

I agree with you that context is important to understanding.  As you’ll see in the link above, we have added a sentence to the end of the story in order to make it clearer.  It now reads:  “Her defence of civility came just a couple of hours after her boss described Congresswoman Maxine Waters as “an extraordinarily low IQ person”, after she called on opponents of the family separation policy to “create a crowd” when encountering members of Trump’s cabinet in public and let them know “they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”   

However, I should say that adding additional information to a story to make it clearer, a common enough practise, does not meet the threshold required for adding a “Corrections” box. We do that when we have corrected inaccurate information in a story.

Thank you again for your email Mr. Skoreyko, which has resulted in a stronger story.  I hope my reply has assured you that CBC News continues to try to serve its audience fairly and faithfully.

Tracey Seeley


One Response to “CBC admits Keith Boag’s story about Trump lacked context”

  1. Bill Donaldson Says:

    I admire your persistence in prodding The Corpse for poor journalism.

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