You know, I saw this tweet in my inbox this morning. It's about Catherine Tait, the head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who doesn't actually spend very much time in Canada. In fact, since being given her role in 2018, she’s resided largely in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband in a $5.4 million home.
And as a so-called essential worker, she was allowed to commute across the border. At the same time, her organization published screeds condemning unnecessary travel and truckers
who didn't want to get vaccinated to cross the border as Russian operatives.
Anyway, back to the tweet I saw in my inbox.
It was from Norman Spector, a former journalist, former ambassador to Israel, a federal civil servant and sometimes a panellist on the CBC. And he tweeted out this article in French from LeDevoir.
Catherine Tait, the New York City residing head at CBC had invited newsroom employees to participate in March in memory of the victims of residential schools this Thursday, despite, as LeDevoir writes their duty of restraint written in black and white in the public broadcaster’s journalistic standards and practices.
“I'm not questioning the value of this day, but from a journalistic point of view, there is clear discomfort in being invited to participate. Set an employee of the newsroom of the
Ottawa got no station who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from his employer.” Well, there you go. That's definitely why we don't hear more people breaking ranks at the CBC. It is apparently not the sort of workplace where you can speak your mind freely.
Let's keep reading.
“All employees of the station all sectors combined received an email on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by LeDevoir, inviting them to participate in the orange shirt march
in recognition of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation organized by CBC's Indigenous offices, equity and inclusion department and Radio Canada's diversity and
inclusion department. The event was intended to raise awareness of the legacy of residential schools and honor thousands of survivors.
I see this invitation as a lack of consideration or lack of understanding of journalistic work said the employee with whom Devoir spoke. He recalls that impartiality is one of the
fundamental principles of journalistic standards and practices.”
Asked once again about inviting journalists to take sides by participating in this event, CBC/Radio Canada management responded through its spokesperson Leon Marr that
journalists are an integral part of CBC Radio Canada and that this is why they receive these communications. Their status as journalists then requires them to consider our
journalistic standards and practices before making the decision whether or not to participate in such an event.”
So, you invite them to participate in an event that may violate the journalistic standards and practices of impartiality. Then, they feel intimidated to the point where they speak out, but only on the promise of anonymity? What happens if they don't go to this thing? Fired, shamed, bullied? Maybe, who knows.
Apparently, the workplace environment at CBC is so toxic that you don't feel empowered to resist these sorts of things publicly. But this all got me thinking about how CBC quietly influences the public in much the same manner as they overtly influence some of the free-thinking employees that are left there.
And how CBC feels emboldened to just get away with it all, forgetting that they are supposed to be impartial because Canadians from all sides of the political spectrum are footing the bills there and not just left-wing radicals.
This week, an order paper question rolled across my desk. And it speaks to just how CBC sees itself — beyond criticism to the point of defying parliamentary rules. And that their activism is none of the business of the people who are paying the bill. Activism that violates their own standards is fine, not answering Parliament is fine, too, I guess.
Rules are for the rest of us, not friends of the Liberals.
This week, a Conservative MP, Shelby Kramp Neuman, hit a bunch of government agencies with requests about how many people are working in their social media department. And those agencies responded. For example, that's how I know that the Department of Fisheries
and Oceans had 13 people involved in a tweet reminding people not to eat lobsters that wash up on the beach during Hurricane Fiona, no matter how hungry they are.
So federal government ministries responded to the order paper query which legally compels agencies to provide information before the House of Commons within a statutory amount of time unless there is some extraordinary circumstance preventing it.
But not the CBC.
When they were asked how many full-time employees were working at the CBC in their brainwashing — I mean the social media department — they could not answer that. How does any
grown-up company not know how many full-time employees are working in a department? I mean in the private sector, where you are beholden to the bottom line and not reliant on
subsidies. This is something that you would definitely know. And if your shareholders asked for it, you would provide it. But not the CBC.
Look at this:
The information requested is not readily available. To provide the information as requested, the corporation would need to undertake a manual search.
How are these people getting paid if you don't know how many people work there?
Anyway, CBC has 14 single-spaced pages of social media accounts, including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook. And not just for the shows that nobody watches — and that I didn't even realize existed — but also for the talent.
On Instagram, 128 separate accounts are managed. On Facebook, 235 accounts are managed. On Twitter, 208 separate accounts. LinkedIn, five. I suppose we should be grateful for that.
On Pinterest, nine. On YouTube, 69 separate accounts. There's one CBC Reddit account. And then to make sure that your kids are sufficiently brainwashed, there are two Snapchat accounts from CBC and 11 TikTok accounts.
By my rough chicken scratch math, I think that's 668 separate social media accounts that CBC barfs into the ether every day. Each one of the people managing those accounts is fully funded by you. But you don't get to know how many people are doing that work.
But that's a lot of opportunities to manipulate the narrative. And if you think I am exaggerating when I say to manipulate the narrative. CBC accused of the trucker convoy of being Russian disinformation twice. And they had to retract twice.
So that's a lot of social media accounts to make sure the lie goes all the way around the world before the truth has time to put his pants on.
Don't you think you're entitled to know who these people are and how much they make? Or do you just pay for it all and shut up?
I know what CBC wants you to do. They had their way there. Nearly 700 accounts would be the only things left on the internet telling you what to think and what to say.
GUEST: Robbie Picard (Follow @PicardRobbie on Twitter)
FINALLY: Your letters!