Kirk LaPointe has been busy.  The CBC Ombudsman has recently released five new reports. You can download and read them in full from the CBC Ombudsman website, but here are some summaries.

Kirk LaPointe has been busy.  The CBC Ombudsman has recently released five new reports. You can download and read them in full from the CBC Ombudsman website, but here are some summaries:

Don Cherry and the Vancouver riot: Don Cherry calls government "left-wing pinkos" and suggests the rioters, "punks", could have been better handled with "clubs". When he is later complimented on the jacket he wore during game seven, Cherry replies: "“That was beautiful, too. The only thing is, you have to watch what bar you go into. The guys start holding your hand.” He then laughs.

LaPointe concludes there was no violation, but that the remarks ere not reflective of CBC values and that the radio host (who Cherry was speaking to) could have done more to temper the remarks.   

The Bilderberg conference: This conference, held this year in St. Moritz, Switzerland, was attended by several Canadians, but was closed to the media. The complainant wondered why there was no coverage, especially of the protests about the gathering. LaPointe responded by saying that only in exceptional circumstances — say when an important theme is clearly ignored, or disproportionately covered — should the Ombudsman's office review editorial choices involving the allocations of resources.

Report on Palestine woman's death: A complaint was written in after the CBC did not pursue an update to a story in which it was concluded that a Palestinian woman had died under different circumstances than originally reported. LaPointe concluded there was no violation — the original story reported the most accurate and fair information available at the time. He added, however: It was not unreasonable for there to be an acknowledgment of this new development in some subsequent respect, mainly because the deceased woman was the focal point of the original, full-fledged story of more than three minutes … I believe there was room for improvement that would not have compromised the effectiveness of programming.
 
The leaked report: On April 11, 2011 CBC TV's The National reported that a draft version of an Auditor General Report had been leaked, and obtained by the CBC. "It was sound amid an election campaign for CBC News to report about the leak," concluded LaPointe, "Even if it could only report on the draft version’s contents second-hand. The test for CBC was to provide a fair and balanced account of the leak and the reaction to it."

The brother complaint: A viewer complained of perceived conflict of interest after seeing a report by CBC senior business correspondent Amanda Lang, which examined the challenges of the NDP in financing its campaign platform; Lang's brother was an opposing candidate in Layton's riding.  LaPointe did not find a  violation of standards and practices, but added the CBC needed to refine its policy: "Regular disclosures about her conflict might have been inelegant and disruptive of the programming flow. But in the course of this review I learned that Lang wasn’t originally assigned to this particular story. She substituted for another journalist at the last minute.  Even a one-time disclosure in this instance — easily the most troublesome of the six she presented — would have gone some distance to working through the conflict more effectively … the presence of the conflict and the perception of one in this unique case also led me to conclude CBC News could have taken measures to better fulfill the spirit of the policy.

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