OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – The watchdog for Canada’s government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) warned the network it must stop acting as a political fact-checker after a report it published that negatively criticized the Freedom Convoy and so-called “far right” media received a massive amount of backlash.
CBC ombudsman Jack Nagler said in a recent notice titled Theory or Conspiracy Theory?, as per Blacklock’s Reporter, the “programmers at CBC” have a “great responsibility when they choose to use terms such as ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ in their stories.”
He also noted how the network needs to rethink news coverage that criticizes those who call out the current federal government cabinet.
As such, network programmers, when saying what is or is not “misinformation” and “disinformation” in their news stories, Nagler said, had better get it “right” because if it turns “out down the road the information proved to be correct they can do great damage to their reputation.”
Nagler’s warning to the CBC follows an attempt in 2021 by the broadcaster to act in effect as a political truth checker.
In his most recent warning, Nagler said the network needs to rethink the term “far right” in its reporting and that presenting simple “facts,” as is the journalistic norm, should take precedence so that readers “can judge for themselves who is reasonable and who is extreme rather than declaring it for them.”
Nagler also wrote that applying “labels” to certain groups or individuals should be “employed with great caution,” and the network should play it safe by reporting that there is “no evidence for something rather than proclaiming it to be false.”
The CBC overseer’s recent comments come after a story by the network in August 2022 with the headline “Canada’s Convoy Movement Waved the Dutch Flag, Then Conspiracy Theories Swirled About Fertilizer and Bugs,” received a massive number of complaints.
This story, written by CBC Montréal reporter Jonathan Montpetit, was purported to have shown the “deliberate” attempt by Canada’s “far right media” as well as conservative politicians to “sow confusion about government policies.”
Montpetit’s report directly named Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP Cheryl Gallant and Aberta Transport Minister Devin Dreeshen as spreading messaging contrary to the government narrative.
Media sites named in the report included Rebel News, Western Standard, the Toronto Sun, and the Counter Signal.
Nagler, however, called out the fact that none of the news sites were asked to comment.
“Didn’t CBC have an obligation to go interview people who support the convoy?” he wrote.
As per its 2020-2021 annual report, the CBC receives about $1.24 billion in public funding every year, which is about 70% of its revenue.
Overall, the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau subsidizes legacy media in Canada to the tune of over $1 billion per year, and despite low trust in legacy media, the government has promised even more money.
During the 2021 federal election, Facebook had labeled the CBC as a news “fact checker,” saying that when a “fact checker rates a piece of content as false we significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people can see it.”
CBC CEO Catherine Tait’s salary, according to government records, is estimated to be in the range of $390,300 to $497,100 per year. She claimed in 2019 that the network was a “beacon for truth.”
LifeSiteNews last week reported on how Tait claimed its journalists face rising “threats” to do their job in a “safe” manner but did not give examples of any instances of actual threats made to reporters.
Not the first time the CBC has been caught writing false narratives regarding Freedom Convoy
This is not the first time Nagler has gone after the network regarding stories dealing with the Freedom Convoy.
Last year, Nagler blasted the network after it ran a story that falsely claimed Russia was behind the Freedom Convoy protests, saying the report should have never happened.
The CBC has been rife with controversy as of late when it comes to the integrity of some of its reporting.
Former CBC journalists have admitted that the news site sought to cover any COVID-related events with a clear bias to push government “propaganda.”
In May, former CBC journalist Marianne Klowak shockingly revealed that reporters were stopped from being able to cover stories critical of COVID vaccines and lockdowns and were instead encouraged to push government “propaganda.”
Klowak had already revealed in June 2022 that the CBC deliberately skewed its reporting on COVID-19 inoculations.
Other CBC reporters have also left over what they see as biased COVID news coverage.
In January 2022, journalist Tara Henley quit the state broadcaster and wrote a scathing piece in which she said, “Those of us on the inside know just how swiftly – and how dramatically – the politics of the public broadcaster have shifted.”