The complainant objected to the host and panelists on Sunday Talk drinking on air during the New Year’s day programme.

By Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman

The complainant, William Bowering, objected to the host and panelists on Sunday Talk drinking on air during the New Year’s day programme. This production technique may not be best suited to a newscast, but it did not distort the information the panel conveyed. It did not constitute a policy violation.

COMPLAINT

On the New Year’s Day edition of The National, host Wendy Mesley and the participants on the regularly-featured “Sunday Talk” toasted each other with sparkling wine as they began their discussion. You found this objectionable. You said it was “totally inappropriate that the host passed a bottle around and the panellists drank as they talked. “This is totally offensive and out of character,” you asserted. It was wrong for participants in a news programme to indulge in this behaviour:

It is unbelievable that The National aired a story of the airline pilot who was found drunk in the cockpit of a Sunwing plane and at the same time here is a panel drinking on a news program. While I recognize they were not drunk, but the image is totally different from what is expected of individuals participating in such a program as The National.

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