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How dismal that we have allowed politicians to blame the media and use that bias to fundraise

Journalists across Canada share my dismay today to learn the Conservative party’s dismissive and mercenary attitude toward the press and CBC in particular.

A just revealed 2010 letter from the then-chair of the CBC Boar of Directors to Prime Minister Harper, warns Conservatives against “intruding” on the CBC’s independence as they seek to  “influence the content of programming”.  Tim Casgrain called the Conservative party’s public attacks against the CBC “wilfully destructive”, and further alleges the unwarranted attacks  “disparaged the CBC in order to solicit political donations for the Conservative party.”

As if Casgrain’s 2010 letter wasn’t shocking enough, instead of apologizing for past indiscretions as one might expect from anyone with a grain of respect for the role of a free and independent media in maintaining a democracy, Conservatives have been quick to react by exposing their continued bias and painfully thin skins.

Today, Cory Hann defends the strategy (that many feel continues),  “ no media organization, not even the CBC, gets to dictate how the Conservative Party can and cannot fundraise.”

And to top it off, a recent Conservative fundraising letter accuses Canadian media of bias in favour of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, and asks supporters whether the CBC should be privatized.

How dismal that we have allowed politicians such arrogance they continue to blame the media for their troubles, and use that ludicrous bias to fundraise.

I am  saddened to be a citizen of a country that is forced to listen to politicians preaching “transparency” and then disparage a respected public broadcaster and other news organizations to finance its secretive workings. The fact that they continue to vilify the press instead of answering fair questions should be a warning sign to all of us.

Carmel Smyth,
National President, CMG

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