Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Honourable Member from CBC has the floor. Order!

Some folks are trying to downplay the significance of the allegations that the CBC fed questions to the Liberals in preparation for the Mulroney Inquisition.


But reader 'Ron' made a good point on a previous post:

At Sat Dec 15, 12:36:00 AM EST, Ron said…

The comments about Szabo and his handling of this line of questioning during the committee meeting is bang on -- I watched the proceedings and was surprised he allowed this line of questioning - up to then he was relatively within bounds in his chairing of the committee but that ruling was way out to lunch. I want to know if he was aware of it in advance; did he know the source; who instructed him to allow the question. I hope the Conservatives come back with questions about Liberal actions and behaviour. Mulroney may not have evidence or direct knowledge but neither did Schriber - just lay out a few suspicions, inuendoes, and broad quesions on what may have happened to the 40 million missing in the sponsorship matter. Since Szabo is so free with the range of questioning, I am sure there will be no problem with this line of questioning.


Sandy also makes a great point at Jack's Newswatch:
...what is not right is when a journalist influences a member of parliament in what questions to ask on a parliamentary committee. Why? Because that member of parliament has been elected by his or her constituents, is under oath and is granted parliamentary immunity from prosecution of libel.

Therefore, if members of parliament use leading questions provided by a reporter, the journalist and his or her media outlet are enjoying parliamentary privilege by proxy — the result of which could be unfounded allegations, innuendo and smear with absolute impunity...

Sandy also references a great post at The Black Rod.


If this is common practice amongst reporters and elected Members of Parliament, I think we the people need to get involved and scream our heads off!

MSM sure won't do it for us.


* * * *

Update: On the other hand, I have to congratulate the Star for keeping up with this story:

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. It centres on claims that MP Pablo Rodriguez (L-Honoré-Mercier) directed questions from the CBC to Brian Mulroney during a highly anticipated Commons committee hearing on Thursday.

Now exactly what does the LPC plan to do regarding their part in this alleged collusion?


* * * *
Sunday Update: The Black Rod has a new post up -
Ethics expert investigating CBC-Liberal collusion. CBC Ombudsman Vince Carlin has just been handed the hot potato from Hell.

I think I just found my new favourite blog.


Sandy found an update to the CBC 'investigation' buried at the end of this article.


* * * *
Monday Update: Stephen Taylor - CPC keeps pressure on CBC, shifts focus to Liberals.

Steve Janke - The Conservatives are demanding answers to allegations of Liberal-CBC collusion.

Wudrick Blog - CBCGate: Name that Journo. This is a great post, and Dean Del Mastro actually comments!


34 comments:

paulsstuff said...

"...but reporters have been planting questions with MPs at committee hearings since the dawn of time. I don't know whether I ever did it with Reform, Alliance or NDP MPs when the Liberals were in government, but I know it got done and if I had a story I needed advancing, I'd have done it in a second. "Hey, you might want to ask about..."


OK, lets look into Well's comment a little deeper.

"I don't know whether I ever did it with Reform, Alliance or NDP MPs when the Liberals were in government"

So that rules out the above parties, leaving only the Bloc.

"when the Liberals were in government,"

OK, so that takes 1993 until 2006 out of the picture. So I'm guessing it was done when Mulroney was in power and CBC and the Liberals at that time were getting together?

Anonymous said...

Joanne -- I'm having trouble getting saved, so I'll try again. I just loved the title. Very cheeky! LOL

I'll link to this post as well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joanne check out Christian Conservative's blog...are they watching you too?
lol

Anonymous said...

The other annoyong part of the Lapierre/Duffy chat was Duffy's annoying response about the lawsuit.
He really is a chicken.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Hey Joanne check out Christian Conservative's blog...are they watching you too?

Oh yeah. They were nosing around here Friday. Not today though. It's the weekend after all. ;)

Caveat said...

My first reaction was "So, the media really IS running the country" which moved on to "I don't remember electing the CBC or other media to speak on my behalf at government proceedings" to "Are the Libranos too scatterbrained to come up with their own questions?"

This is huge and anybody who doesn't think so has a tenuous grasp on the concepts of government.

I imagine that the failed media circus that is the Schreiber inquiry is not the only venue for questioning that seems to come out of nowhere. How about the House itself? Are CBC types using MPPs as mouthpieces to influence the direction of parliament?

Not. A. Good. Thing.

jmo

liberal supporter said...

Oh yeah. They were nosing around here Friday. Not today though. It's the weekend after all. ;)

Now if that blogger was called "Muslim Conservative" there would be a whole chorus of questions as to why he is tracking people. It would be like the poor tourists that take a picture of a landmark and get the third degree about exactly what will they do with the information.

I checked it out over there. Funny he thinks accessing his site means something: "They can't feign ignorance on this one. Essentially, I'm going to take this as a formal acknowledgement on the part of the CBC of these allegations."

Really? The CBC bot crawls through the links off the Blogging Tories and now that is "formal acknowledgement" of anything?

Hahahaha! What a pompous boob!


Of course their bot is allowed to be tracked. The reporters' computers would not be, just like mine.

Alberta Girl said...

The thing that disgusts me is that Paul Wells seems to think this is OK - he even reports that he did it - apparently only with the Liberals though.

Um Paul - the next time someone accuses you of bias - please don't protest too loudly...you have shown your true colors.

No wonder journalists are rated almost as low as used car salesmen - slimy.....

From now on it will be interesting to play a game in trying to decide which journalist has their hand up the rear end of the Liberal MP when he/she asks a question....

The very fact that so many seem to be poo pooing this matter is more scary to me than anything.

And they said the Tories have a "hidden agenda" - looks like it is actually the MSM/Liberal party that has the "hidden agenda"

Anonymous said...

"Of course their bot is allowed to be tracked. The reporters' computers would not be, just like mine."

Well said "liberal" supporter. My only question would then be; which CBC reporter are you?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Of course their bot is allowed to be tracked. The reporters' computers would not be, just like mine.

Think that if you like, L.S.

MUWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

rations said...

This was a parliamentary committee not a news scrum and as such questions asked had to fall within the mandate of the committee. The CBC has a known hatred of Mulroney in partcular and conservatives in general, they have spent 15 years persecuting BM and knew he wouldn't stop after testifying for questions. So they used Pablo as proxy to ask a question dripping with inuendo to try to attach a hint of scandal to the present government. Judging by the big yawn by Canadians when the CBC was on strike recently nobody would miss them, but we need a Conservative majority. I think the Ceeb is in self preservation mode.

liberal supporter said...

Well said "liberal" supporter. My only question would then be; which CBC reporter are you?

I am not a journalist. I do not work for the CBC.

I may have erred in assuming they know how to avoid tracking though!


Think that if you like, L.S.

I do. But I could always be wrong. My neighbour has a cat that will smugly sit on a snowbank or white fence thinking nobody notices him (black fur!). I always think of that when I boast about this sort of thing.

If you can give me the first number (before the first dot) in my IP number, I will believe you. Hint: It's not 159. And you don't get 253 guesses.

Anonymous said...

Greetings. Imagine if this had been the Western Standard that had been caught feeding questions to the Conservatives. The moral outrage would be unmeasureable and the news stories would completely knock the Mulronet/Schreiber off the front page. Cheers. SOR

liberal supporter said...

So they used Pablo as proxy to ask a question dripping with inuendo to try to attach a hint of scandal to the present government.

The question was related to other lobbying activity by Mulroney. How it would attach more scandal to the present government escapes me.

Establishing that Mulroney does lobbying for others besides Shreiber would help his defense in the civil case in which he claims he did the work Shreiber paid for, regardless of whether that lobbying was successful.

Judging by the big yawn by Canadians when the CBC was on strike recently nobody would miss them, but we need a Conservative majority.

And exactly why, why, why, do we need a CPC majority? They can pass any legislation they want, can't they?

Why do we need a CPC majority? What would they do that they cannot do now?


I think the Ceeb is in self preservation mode.

Any living person or operating business is, isn't it?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you can give me the first number (before the first dot) in my IP number, I will believe you

Your location would be helpful. ;)

rations said...

Well liberal supporter the foundation of a functioning democracy is a free press. Having a government owned press that is one sided is not a free press. As far as the self preservation of the CBC, a billion a year in welfare is not SELF preservation. Other than HNIC what shows do people watch on the CBC?

Ron said...

Where are the Liberals and NDP on this whole issue. The CBC is conducting an internal investigation into the matter. What would the Liberals/NDP/CBC say if the RCMP announced they were going to conduct the investigation into possible misconduct of one of their members? What would the Liberals/NDP/CBC say if the Conservatives announced they were going to conduct the investigation into possible misconduct of one of their memebrs? We know they would be screaming for an "independant" investigation. Once again, the character of the left wing is on display.

Sandy (COTM) said...

Joanne -- Just so you know, the first "Anonymous" comment after paulstuff was mine. Somehow my nickname did not get attached. As I said I linked both at COTM and JN. Love the title. So applicable! We have to keep this discussion going. The blogosphere has changed things. In earlier times, the topic would have very quickly and quietly been dropped.

Anonymous said...

rations...you are assuming LS watches HNIC...
I have a feeling LS couldn't handle the atmosphere: too much sweat,testosterone, and Don Cherry,
competition.

maryT said...

Off topic, but according to NNW, Mary Walsh did take her photo of 50 nudes today in NFLD. Neither Mary or the ndp lady stripped. She wanted 500 to show up, got 50. PHOTO at National Newswatch.

Cherniak_WTF said...

I wonder how Connies feel when Harper and his staff "leak" stuff to so-called journalists...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery is non other than a CBC journalist. Also, most of the journalists in the PPG work for the CBC/Radio Canada. Nice cushy jobs under the LIbrano$$.

maryT said...

L.S. have you ever heard of the senate. Seems the majority of PMSHs bill are tied up there. So he needs a majority to pass good legislation for cdns.
Anyone been over to Jason Cherniak in the last day or two. He dropped a snide rumor there.
He asks: Who paid PMSHs leadership debts, could it have been KS. He better fess us or that rumor will spread. (is that a threat from a liberal riding president)
So, did the liberals suddenly decide to defend KS, to keep him in Canada, because he promised to pay off all liberal leadership debts, if he is allowed to stay.
That makes more sense to me, something had to have been promised for their falling in love with this man. And, then the cbc saw another opportunity to tar Brian.

liberal supporter said...

Well liberal supporter the foundation of a functioning democracy is a free press.
Of course it is. "Free" means not directed by the government. That means government should not even make "suggestions" to the press.

But the press can certainly make "suggestions" to the government. They do that every day in editorial pages, and by where they place the stories they run.


Having a government owned press that is one sided is not a free press.
Not quite. The Canada Gazette is government owned, and in fact is the "official newspaper of the Government of Canada". It of course would be biased in favour of the government. That does not mean we do not have "freedom of the press", unless it is the only legal press.


As far as the self preservation of the CBC, a billion a year in welfare is not SELF preservation.
I support the billion a year CBC "welfare". I also support the 1.4 billion a year "welfare" to the oil and gas industry. Don't you?

Other than HNIC what shows do people watch on the CBC?
I don't know. Ask the 670,000 viewers they average every minute of prime time.

Alberta Girl said...

"I wonder how Connies feel when Harper and his staff "leak" stuff to so-called journalists"

Please provide some facts to back up your statement. Please....

I am sure you must have some at your fingerstips to make that kind of statement.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Joanne -- Just so you know, the first "Anonymous" comment after paulstuff was mine. Somehow my nickname did not get attached. As I said I linked both at COTM and JN. Love the title. So applicable!

lol! Thanks, Sandy. Yes, blogs are becoming a formidable force in Canadian democracy. Even Warren Kinsella had to admit that in his latest book, "The War Room", which I've just finished.

In it he mentions various blogging coups including Stephen Taylor's CBC-Lawand exposé.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Where are the Liberals and NDP on this whole issue. The CBC is conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

Ron, that is something I'd like to know too. Conducting an investigation implies that there is a concern about improper behaviour. So judging from the silence from the Liberal Party, they must think that this is their entitled way of doing things. That's the only conclusion that I can draw from it.

Anonymous said...

what's this? Cherniak taking a dip in the intelligence pool over at Joanne's?

Actually the person who this whole thing looks the worst on is Stephane Dion. What leader would allow his party to be not only manipulated but steered by the CBC? It's as if the Liberal scarecrow had no brains at all until the mighty OZ fed him lines.

And Szabo should be held to account as the worst example of a committee chair ever.

It's all good for Harper though. That's the important thing to remember.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Harper will now be free to turn the inquiry into more of an investigation of the media's interference in matters of ethics and committee than he may have before.

I also believe that if we're into an election any time soon that perhaps the referendum that needs having from coast to coast is whether the gov't should be in the broadcasting business?

Anonymous said...

A few points on this matter:

1. The Canadian democratic system has an official opposition to monitor, critique and keep the government in check. The role of the media is simply to report on this. This is unlike the American system where the media play a much more active role in "opposing" the President/government.

2. More imporant than the Liberals being manipulated by the CBC is the notion that the media could be influenced by the Liberals. This destroys any notion of fair and unbiased reporting of news and events.

3. This is a very important issue ... a federally funded broadcaster attempting to undermine the government of the day. This goes beyond investigative reporting or reporting at all; it is about the media seeking to create news that will discredit the government. What's next? A federal department making political contributions to the Liberals? This is what makes the notion of a publicly funded "news" broadcaster so ridiculous.

Larry

Anonymous said...

TangoJuliette sez:

"media-driven 'parliamentary privilege by proxy'" sounds like the tip of the iceberg at the top of the slippery slope which has the CBC, the Official Organ of the Liberal Party of Canada, attempting to subvert democracy in Canada.

From where I sit, anyhow . .

tj

t.e.&o.e.

LynnH said...

I would be more apt to believe the MSM journalists defense if there was equal evidence of them doing the same things for conservative parties.

The best defense for Canadian viewers is to be aware of the various tools of(L)liberal bias and continue to "out" the most blatant breaches. Especially the ones from a tax-payer funded crown corporation like the CBC. There is no way they should be taking sides in political coverage. It is offensive to me that taxes go to an organization whose goals are to assistance their political party by slanted coverage against my political party.

http://www.mediaresearch.org/books/identifybias.asp

paulsstuff said...

"As far as the self preservation of the CBC, a billion a year in welfare is not SELF preservation.
I support the billion a year CBC "welfare". I also support the 1.4 billion a year "welfare" to the oil and gas industry. Don't you?"

Excellant point LS. But it is SELF preservation. CBC's revenues come no where near what they receive in spending. As to the oil and gas industry $1.4 billion in welfare to the oil industry you do realize the government takes in excess of $40 billion back in taxes. And thats just federal. It's rather ironic you brought that up because some of those taxes and revenues brought in by the industry actually pay to prop up the CBC. How much do we the taxpayer get back from the CBC?

One of the anons had it correct. The one who should be accountable in all this is Dion. Are your MP's complete putz's that cannot come up with their own questions Stephane? Or was this a plan do help the Liberal's gain support because under your leadership the chances of that happening are slim to none?

So Stephane, what did you know and when did you know it? And no, the CBC is not allowed to help with your answer.

Joe said...

Every journalist's wet dream: You want to do a hatchet job on an individual, force him to answer your "leading" questions under oath. Even if your prey answers the questions truthfully the implication in asking the question is such formal settingis that he is lying.

Heads I win, tails you lose.

EBD said...

Respectfully, liberal supporter, you comprehensively miss the point. When a reporter or a news organization surreptitiously colludes with a political party to manipulate the proceedings in, say, a parliamentary committee, and then "reports" on the proceedings under the guise of impartial reporting, it's fraud, pure and simple.

That sort of behaviour has nothing to do with "free press" and in fact it's a blow against the principles of a "free press".

Ask yourself this: Would Canadian voters be okay with having unelected bureaucrat-journalist Krista Erickson -- for example -- stand up in parliament delivering partisan cheap shots, and then broadcasting her slurs coast-to-coast, at taxpayer expense, that evening? No, eh? So...