Monday, August 28, 2006

The CBC School of Editing

I was looking back over my first four months of blogging, trying to pick out some favorite posts, when I came across this post about a CBC Radio interview with Gordon O' Connor.

This is the exact same technique as Christina Lawand used on the infamous Harper press conference edit. Do they teach all new CBC journalists this technique??
A CBC Ottawa radio news item this morning, ostensibly about the training and preparation given to reservists joining Canada's mission in Afghanistan, included an interview with a tearful spouse of a soldier serving with the same unit as Corporal Anthony Boneca. The reporter then cleverly cut from this personal and emotional scene to a tape of Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, who was obviously speaking before an audience, most likely of reservists. He cracks a joke; "as an old sergeant of mine once said, you only volunteer once." There was no context given; the impression left with listeners was that this was Mr. O'Connor speaking about Corporal Boneca, or responding with a joke in very poor taste to the tearful concerns of the previously interviewed spouse.

The intent here was clearly to depict Mr. O'Connor as arrogant, heartless and joking about the very serious subject matter of the report. It's a low journalistic trick and one for which the reporter and CBC should apologise.