Even as she reports on alleged political reporting bias at the CBC, Globe and Mail/CTV’s Jane Taber lets her own anti-Tory bias show. Ms. Taber reports that in a letter released recently, CBC editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire tries to refute Tory accusations of bias in CBC’s political commentary and news reporting.
Ms. Taber writes1 several paragraphs concerning Ms. McGuire’s letter and the controversy surrounding EKOS pollster Frank Graves’s suggestion in a Globe and Mail story that Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals should launch a “culture war” against the Conservatives.
Amongst her many paragraphs, Ms. Taber tells us that “Mr. Graves is not paid for his appearances on the CBC program, Power & Politics, where he presents his polling data.” Then she tucks in a gratuitous comment that seems to come completely out of the blue:
“Kory Teneycke, meanwhile, who most recently served as Stephen Harper’s communications director, is paid for his appearances on CBC in which he repeats Tory talking points and touts the Conservative line.”
Mr. Teneycke is not—as far as I can tell—a pollster. And Mr. Teneycke isn’t mentioned elsewhere in her commentary; just this one, less-than complementary, comment. So what point is Ms. Taber trying to make?
Why pick on Mr. Teneycke alone when there are supporters from the Liberals and the New Democrats who regularly appear on CBC News and Ms. Taber’s own CTV News to—as she sees it—repeat party “talking points” and “tout” their party “line.”
Her comment is true, I suppose, but biased nevertheless because it unfairly implies only the Tory supporter, Mr. Teneycke, is unique in this regard. This is the sort of political bias one sees on the CBC’s political program Power & Politics and on CTV’s Question Period and Power Play.
It’s not that these programs tell lies, but its how they introduce topics, how they quickly try to find Tory equivalence for any gaffe committed by the Liberals. It’s the softball interviews of Liberal MPs and supporters. It is the blatant leniency shown to the antics and props used by some Liberal insiders who appear regularly on Power Play as compared to the grilling Tory MPs and supporters receive.
Whenever CTV’s Tom Clark uses his favourite phrase “to be fair” one knows he’s about to be unfair by trying to alibi a Liberal gaffe or seek some equivalence to show Conservatives in a lesser light—and seldom is the reverse true.
It’s all small stuff like snowflakes, but pack enough of them together and one gets a avalanche of anti-Conservative sentiment from these broadcasters and their hosts like Ms. Taber.
1The full text of Ms. Taber’s report can be seen here.