One Heather Mallick turd, 300 complaints and a media circus later, John Cruickshank has finally taken it upon himself to fix what many Canadians have been saying for years:
The CBC is unacceptably biased.
In a column regarding CBC ombudsman Vice Carlin's recent judgement on Mallick breaking an intellectual Mighty Wind, Cruickshank commented on the controversy.
Among other things, he wrote:
"Mallick's column is a classic piece of political invective. It is viciously personal, grossly hyperbolic and intensely partisan.Which is precisely what, despite the protracted rantings of Mallick's defenders to the contrary, many Canadians have been saying ever since it blighted the CBC website.
And because it is all those things, this column should not have appeared on the CBCNews.ca site."
More troubling than Mallick's column, however, has been the escalating bias and exclusion of conservative views by a news outlet that, by virtue of funding itself through taxpayer dollars, is obligated to try to represent the views of all Canadians -- or at least as many Canadians as possible.
This, Cruickshank insists, is about to change:
"As a public broadcaster we have an added responsibility to provide an array of opinions and voices to complement our journalism. But we must do so carefully. And you should be able to trust us to provide you with work that's based on solid reporting and free from the passionate excesses of partisanship.It's encouraging to hear this.
We failed you in this case. And as a result we have put new editing procedures in place to insure that in the future, work that is not appropriate for our platforms, will not appear. We are open to contentious reasoned argument but not to partisan attack. It's a fine line.
Ombudsman Carlin makes another significant observation in his response to complainants: when it does choose to print opinion, CBCNews.ca displays a very narrow range on its pages.
In this, Carlin is also correct.
This, too, is being immediately addressed. CBCNews.ca will soon expand the diversity of voices and opinions and be home to a diverse group of writers with many perspectives. In this, we will better reflect the depth and texture of this country."
However, for many Canadians, the proof will inevitably be in the pudding.
In other words, those Canadians who are concerned about the current state of the CBC will take you at your word when you prove to us that it's good, Mr Curickshank -- and not a second sooner.