CBC Ombudsman: Olympic opening colour commentary
The complainant stated that Peter Mansbridge had injected biased and inappropriate comments into his remarks during the opening ceremonies of the Rio games.
By Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman
The complainant, Peter Adler, complained that Peter Mansbridge had injected biased and inappropriate comments into his remarks during the opening ceremonies of the Rio games. The political message was the work of the organizing committee. The commentary addressed the events unfolding at the stadium. There was no violation of policy.
You complained about the “lack of journalistic standards of integrity and objectivity” during the live coverage of the Olympic opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro on August 5th of this year. You said that Peter Mansbridge, who was providing coverage along with Scott Russell, made several “uncalled for and inappropriate” comments.
Mr. Mansbridge’s commentary concentrated on all kinds of political angles, including the plight of refugees, climate change, etc., instead of commenting on what was happening at the Maracanã Stadium at Rio de Janeiro.
You stated Mr. Mansbridge was providing opinion and not facts.
In a later email you questioned CBC’s lack of coverage of a story that appeared in The Jerusalem Post about an International Olympic Committee reprimand to the head of the Lebanese delegation because his athletes did not allow Israeli athletes to ride on a bus with them.
The Executive Producer of The National, Don Spandier, replied to your complaint. He told you that “while elements of the presentation were political, especially the last segment, the hosts’ commentary was not.” He noted that Mr. Mansbridge was reacting to the segment of the opening ceremonies that dealt with human impact on the environment and on global warming. At the end of that segment he told you Mr. Mansbridge had said it was a “powerful statement”. Mr. Mansbridge commented that the opening ceremonies ‘were not supposed to be political’ and wondered what the reaction to this portion of the event would be.
Continue reading this story on the CBC website, where it was first published.