Straight Talk
ERIC DUHAIME - CBC tap danced before Dipper employee dumped

CBC headquarters in downtown Toronto.



On my radio show in Montreal last week, I revealed that an employee of the French CBC also worked for the NDP for more than six months in 2012 (from May to November).

Those of us who are familiar with the CBC's left-leaning bias were not surprised, just disgusted.

It was only the latest on the long list of our Crown Corporation's double standards in terms of political partisanship.

When we first revealed her moonlighting, CBC started by defending its employee, arguing that she was not on the full-time staff - she was a freelancer.

As if one can tell the difference when watching the news.

Then CBC pretended that while working for the NDP, she was paid by the House of Commons, not by a political party.

Following that logic, we can pretend that the prime minister, all the ministers, their whole staff and all our MPs are non-partisan since they are all paid by our tax dollars, not by the political contributions of party members.

The CBC also minimized the work of its employee since she was barely covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was her main responsibility.

Is it not one of the most covered political conflicts around the world, even if only a handful of French-Canadian reporters follow it for us?

Finally, to reassure us, CBC's management team underlined that the employee never double-dipped while working for CBC since she was on a leave of absence from the NDP and vice versa.

In other words, she was an NDP partisan only during her work time in Parliament and neutral while paid by the CBC, i.e., a red and orange chameleon.

What is most disturbing with the CBC is that there seems to be an ethical code for their employees on the political left and another one for those on the right. For example, in 2007, a senior Radio-Canada journalist on Parliament Hill, Christine St. Pierre, wrote a personal letter in Montreal's newspaper La Presse to praise our troops in Afghanistan and denounce the Taliban. She was immediately suspended.

Attacking the worst totalitarian regime in the world and commending a UN-led mission, unanimously supported in Canada, was unacceptable.

Confronted for five days with their contradictions on their NDP employee, Radio-Canada finally had to let her go this week and send us an e-mail saying it was her Internet activism that made CBC's management uncomfortable and that such a person had no place in an information service.

The poor girl who got kicked out might have been biased but the greatest mistake was made by her bosses who hired her in the first place, knowing full well she had two jobs. It's the employee who paid for this faux pas.

The Conservative government in Ottawa cannot stay on top of such behaviour coming from its Crown Corporation. Ultimately, they are accountable for such decisions. The CBC is openly hiring the government's political opponents. Who could then be surprised when the CBC's so-called neutral news becomes anti-Harper propaganda paid for by taxpayers?

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