Conservative Party of Canada Director of Political Operations Doug Finley has sent another letter to CBC Ombudsman Vince Carlin. Finley demands satisfaction!
January 8, 2008
Mr. Vince Carlin Ombudsman Canadian Broadcasting Corporation P.O. Box 500, Station A Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6
Dear Mr. Carlin:
Back in December I wrote to you and asked that you, in your capacity as CBC Ombudsman, look into an allegation of CBC-Liberal collusion made by former Liberal cabinet minister and current TVA reporter Jean Lapierre. As you will recall Mr. Lapierre told a national television audience that CBC wrote questions for Liberal members on the House of Commons ethics committee.
On December 15th, Canadian Press reported that CBC spokesperson Jeff Keay admitted that a reporter pursued a story in an “inappropriate way” that was inconsistent with the Corporation’s “journalistic policies and practices”. Further, Canadian Press reported that the particulars of the matter were being investigated by the CBC and that disciplinary action was possible.
Given Mr. Keay’s admission to Canadian Press back in December, I was troubled to read his comments in yesterday’s edition of the Hill Times. Not only did he refuse to name the reporter who allegedly wrote questions for the Liberals he said he wasn�t sure when the CBC would be willing to do so. Further, he said he was unwilling to characterize the type of discipline the reporter could face.
Mr. Carlin, the CBC has already admitted that inappropriate practices were followed by one of its reporters. Given this I believe it is incumbent upon the Corporation to:
* Update Canadians on the status of the investigation and estimate when the investigation will be completed; and
* Commit to releasing the name of the reporter in question and outline what disciplinary measures have been or will be taken.
While recognizing that Mr. John Cruickshank has, according to CBC policy, up to 20 working days to respond to the substance of my December 14th e-mail I’d ask that you specifically assure me that the Corporation will commit to releasing the name of the reporter in question and outline what disciplinary actions have been – or will be – taken to ensure that Canadians view the CBC as a non-partisan source of news and information.
Doug Finley National Campaign Director Conservative Party of Canada
Situation escalated, CPC demands answers from CBC ombudsman. Click here, or scroll down for the update
CBC announces internal investigation. Click here, or scroll down for the update
Official Conservative Party press release just received:
Conservatives Demand Answers from the CBC over Alleged Collusion with the Liberal Party
OTTAWA – Today, former Liberal Cabinet Minister and current TVA journalist Jean Lapierre made shocking allegations about strategic collusion between journalists at the CBC and Liberal Members of Parliament at the House of Commons Ethics Committee.
According to Lapierre Liberal Members of Parliament asked former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney questions written by journalists at the CBC regarding any involvement in the spectrum auction for cellular and wireless devices.
“I knew all about those questions. They were written by the CBC and provided to the Liberal Members of Parliament and the questions that Pablo Rodriguez asked were written by the CBC and I can’t believe that but last night, influential Member of Parliament came to me and told me those are the questions that the CBC wants us to ask tomorrow.” (CTV Newsnet, December 13, 2007)
If proven true these allegations would mark the third major case of orchestrated anti-Conservative bias from a broadcaster that is financed by all Canadians for the benefit of all Canadians.
In 2004 an email from Stephanie Matteis of CBC’s The National exposed the CBC’s search for Canadians that would not vote for the Conservatives because they were “scared, freaked out or worried about the Conservatives, the Conservative agenda or its leader.” (http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/003009.html )
“This is a very serious allegation that the CBC must provide an answer to,” said Conservative Dean Del Mastro.
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Here is the clip:
UPDATE 12/14, 3:53pm: Just was forwarded this letter by the party. It’s addressed to the CBC Ombudsman:
Vince Carlin, Ombudsman CBC P.O. Box 500, Station A Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6
December 14, 2007
Dear Mr. Carlin,
I am writing about allegations made by former Liberal Cabinet Minister and current TVA journalist Jean Lapierre.
According to Mr. Lapierre Liberal Members of Parliament asked former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney questions at the House of Commons Ethics Committee written (or suggested) by journalists at the CBC regarding any personal involvement in the spectrum auction for cellular and wireless devices.
“I knew all about those questions. They were written by the CBC and provided to the Liberal Members of Parliament and the questions that Pablo Rodriguez asked were written by the CBC and I can’t believe that but last night, influential Member of Parliament came to me and told me those are the questions that the CBC wants us to ask tomorrow.” (Mr. Lapierre, CTV Newsnet, December 13, 2007)
On the TV program Mike Duffy Live, Mike Duffy stated the following.
“Liberal researcher Jay Ephard approach him and say, no, Jean, it’s not true. The CBC didn’t write those questions that were asked by the Liberals. We wrote them. Yes, the CBC phoned us up and suggested questions we should ask but we actually typed them out ourselves.”(Mike Duffy, Mike Duffy Live, December 13, 2007)
Regardless of who wrote the questions the fact that our national public broadcaster was actively cooperating with a political party in an attempt to embarrass the Government raises serious questions about the impartiality of Canada’s publicly funded national broadcaster.
We would appreciate your immediate assistance in getting to the bottom of this matter and hopefully providing Canadians with answers to these troubling allegations by December 20th, 2007.
Director of Political Operations, Conservative Party of Canada
UPDATE 12/14, 6:06pm: CBC has launched internal investigation: CP
Dec 14 2007 17:55:00 – Source: CP [The Canadian Press]
CBC reviewing claim reporter fed questions to Liberal MP (CRAFT-CBC-Reprimand) OTTAWA _ The CBC has begun an internal investigation and possible disciplinary process after one of its parliamentary reporters suggested questions to a Liberal MP on the Commons ethics committee.
The probe follows a formal complaint by the Conservative party.
The complaint centres on claims that Liberal Pablo Rodriguez directed questions from the CBC to Brian Mulroney during a highly anticipated Commons committee hearing on Thursday.
CBC News says the reporter, who it did not name, “may have been in pursuit of a journalistically legitimate story.”
But the broadcaster says it was an “inappropriate way of going about it and as such inconsistent with our journalistic policies and practices.”
Rodriguez was accused of going on a “fishing expedition” by Tory MPs after he began questioning Mulroney about possible lobbying efforts on wireless regulation during a hearing into the decade-old Airbus affair.
The Liberal party denies there was anything untoward, saying it gets “bombarded” daily with comments and ideas for questions from Canadians and from reporters.