Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bias at CBC Ottawa: All In A Day's Work

CBC Ottawa's drive-time show All In A Day, while it is just a local show, arguably airs in one of the most influential radio markets in Canadian politics and is Ottawa's most listened-to afternoon show. Currently the show is without a regular host; filling in this week is Carmen Klassen, who is apparently a former arts reporter from CBC in Nova Scotia. Her defining characteristic seems to be that she says "Mmmmmm" whenever an interviewee has finished speaking. This 'Mmmmmm' means one of three things, I believe:
  1. I'm bored shitless and I'd rather be golfing.
  2. I'm an arts reporter; I have no clue what you're talking about. Please speak more slowly.
  3. That's very interesting, but there's a really hot guy out there on Sparks Street.
Yesterday, she 'interviewed' a former Parliamentary Press Gallery hack about the latest spat between PM Stephen Harper and the Gallery. The interview was ostensibly about the PPG walkout; in fact it was a completely unfettered Harper-bashing session. Shortly after the interview began, Klassen asked "Is this about a personal vendetta that Stephen Harper has?" "Well, funny you should say that," said the guest, and off he launched into an anti-Harper tirade, unchallenged and uninterrupted.

I don't have the transcript, or audio, and I was driving at the time, but among the highlights were the guest's assertion that "Harper only wants the Ethics Commissioner to investigate Liberal MPs, not Conservatives." "Mmmmmm," said Klassen.

Pardon me for thinking for myself, Carmen, but I believe that the issue was that the Ethics Commissioner was investigating David Emerson (CPC) while not investigating Belinda Stronach (LPC).

The guest finished with a reprise of the threat first published by Larry Zolf in a Viewpoint column some time ago: Play along with the Liberal media or we will ensure you lose the next election. "Don't pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel," he said. "Mmmmmm," said Klassen.

Note to Carmen and the producers at All In A Day. You may not want to bite the hand that feeds you too hard. Contrary to what your navel inspections may be telling you, ordinary Canadians don't care about the poor, suffering PPG, and the smart ones are getting fed up with the rubbish the CBC puts out these days. If you want to keep a job as a journalist, perhaps you should try acting like one.