Monday, January 21, 2008

Krista Erickson: Busted!!!

CBC lives up to some of its big talk, but more is needed

One probably shouldn't be surprised to see Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez waving goodbye to CBC Krista Erickson today, as the CBC has announced it's transferring her from Ottawa from Toronto.

Conservatives, meanwhile, probably hate to see her go, but love to watch her leave.

Well, probably at the least the "love to watch her leave" part.

"Following an investigation by senior management of CBC News, we have determined that our reporter Krista Erickson did, in fact, provide questions to a Member of Parliament in the lead up to the Ethics Committee meeting in
December," CBC news editor John Cruickshank wrote in a letter to Doug Finley. "Those actions, while in pursuit of a journalistically legitimate story, were inappropriate and inconsistent with CBC News policies and procedures."

"Our investigation determined there was no bias in related news coverage. However, our reporter, acting on her own, used inappropriate tactics as a result of journalistic zeal, rather than partisan interest," Cruickshank wrote.

Well, of course it did.

"Given the potential risk to the journalistic credibility of our Ottawa bureau, its reporters and CBC News generally, we have chosen on an exceptional basis to make the detailed outcome of our disciplinary process available to you, our employees and the public at large."

"I trust this addresses your concerns."

Actually, not quite.

As previously mentioned, the allegations of collusion between the CBC and any political party raises some serious questions about the CBC, and shakes public faith in the public broadcaster's ability to operate in a non-partisan matter despite the notably lopsidedly partisan character of the board of directors.

The only way to restore public faith in the CBC and answer the questions so many Canadians have come to ask is to hold an investigation in the public eye. A public inquiry is needed.

While admittedly, the break with CBC policy insisting the identities of disciplined personell would not be made public suggests the reported conclusions are indeed genuine (it's a tremendous show of good faith), Canadians also deserve certainty.

The conclusions simply do not deliver in this regard.

John Cruickshank should encourage Stephen Harper to call a public inquiry into what will likely henceforth be known as the "Krista Erickson affair" so that it can be determined how, if at all, prevalent indiscretions similar to Erickson's are amongst CBC staff, and if any CBC staff are acting in benefit of any political party, regardless of which party that may be.

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