Thursday, November 12, 2015

CTV Response To My CBSC Complaint Of Craig Oliver Hate Rant Against Harper

Not that I expected anything different. I've advised the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council the response was unacceptable and am seeking their adjudication on the matter:

"I am writing in response to your complaint sent to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC). First I want to thank you for taking the time to share your concerns regarding our Election Night coverage. We want you to know that we take viewer concerns very seriously. In your correspondence you express concern over comments and analysis made by long time broadcaster and political commentator Craig Oliver regarding the defeat of the Conservative government and, more specifically, the role of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in that defeat.

Our election night coverage was a major live broadcast featuring an anchor, reporters, and commentators, along with a diverse range of specially selected guests from across Canada. We strive to represent not only the country and its many regions, but also to provide as complete a spectrum of political thought and viewpoints as we can. Our guest panelists on the broadcast fulfilled that goal, as we featured current and former MP’s and top officials from the three major parties. Their viewpoints on the election were entirely unscripted, live, and dynamic as election results came in throughout the broadcast. We also looked to our diverse range of commentators that night for insight into what was unfolding and why.

Elections are among the most important stories we cover, affecting our country, our communities and our viewers who trust us to inform them. Craig Oliver was one of those commentators, and was selected to participate in our Election night coverage due to his vast knowledge of the Canadian political scene. Mr. Oliver has covered countless campaigns over the years and has been a fixture on Parliament Hill for decades. He is frequently called on by CTV News for his views on the political story of the day as a commentator – not a reporter. It is a significant difference. As a political commentator, Mr. Oliver is granted the latitude to express his opinions about the Canadian political landscape. Those opinions may sometimes be cheered or jeered by various segments of a wide range of our audience, but they certainly do not come without a life’s work in political journalism as their foundation.

CTV is aware of its responsibilities under the Broadcasting Act and the Television Broadcasting Regulations, 1987 and more specifically, Broadcasting Information Bulletin CRTC 2015-354 which was issued by the CRTC on August 5, 2015 to outline the guidelines governing broadcasters in connection with the 2015 federal general election. We also note that the Commission has recognized that news coverage should generally be left to the editorial judgment of the broadcaster. As well it is fundamental to freedom of expression in a democratic society that broadcasters be allowed to criticize government policies and actions."