Is the CBC Out to GET Stephen Harper? (Oberfeld)





By Harvey Oberfeld

Keeping It Real…

Sunday September the 20th, 2015


I hesitated about starting this discussion … because I haven’t even made up my own mind on the answer to this question, but I’m starting to lean towards Yes.

On Sunday’s Power and Politics, the CBC decided to test Tory Leader Stephen Harper’s contention last week’s that TWO NDP governments in BC had been “an unmitigated disaster”.

Rosemary Barton raised the question “Does the NDP have a poor performance record when it comes to managing public money?”

A good question!

But WHO did the CBC go to for an answer?  An independent economist? A political scientist?

No! The CBC went to former NDP Premier Mike Harcourt …..   to evaluate the NDP’s record!  And surprise, surprise!  Harcourt concluded the BC NDP did NOT have a poor performance record while in office.

That stinks!  I’m not referring to Harcourt’s conclusion, but the CBC ‘s choice of who to pose that important question to … during an election campaign.

Really unacceptable from a point of view of both journalistic standards and independent analysis.

So it did make me wonder … is the CBC slanting its coverage to OVERLY be critical of and embarrass Harper and the Tories?

And it’s something that occurred to me before … but I wasn’t prepared to reach that conclusion because I have found the CBC’s Power and Politics program to be eminently fair (I think Rosemary Barton is doing a terrific  job… apart from today’s Harcourt choice) … and I also find The National’s At Issue panel fair and unbiased.

But I no longer believe that of their  national “news” reporting.

How many times did the CBC run their “pee in a cup” footage showing the Tory candidate who was dropped after being exposed doing the dirty deed on tape during an earlier Marketplace investigation of home repair companies!

How many times did they, and other media too, question that choice of a candidate or push that news story!  Many, many, many. Pointing to the embarrassment and running the footage several times even after the candidate was dropped.

But there was also the case of the NDP’s communications director who was revealed to have written some terrible, insulting references on Twitter directed at the entire Catholic Church and in another, even hurled a “Go F-k yourself” to the Pope.

That in my view is MUCH WORSE than some individual candidate peeing in a cup: it was insulting to Canada’s 13 million Catholics … the single largest denomination in the country.

The issue was covered …but much more gently than peegate … and, in my view, too quickly dropped after the staffer apologized.

No hue and cry or even ongoing, pressing persistent questioning from the CBC or other media to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair as to why the staffer was not fired.

Mulcair said the apology was good enough for him … and the CBC/media dropped the matter.

I believe would NOT have been good enough had it been a Harper communications staffer who had tweeted the insults and filthy language.

The CBC … so pressing and persistent on TORY gaffes, failings … would have raked Harper over the coals, I’m convinced,  much more than they did Mulcair, until the staffer stepped down.

And just imagine if it had been directed not at the Catholic Church but let’s say, at Islam and a prominent Imam or Judaism and its Chief Rabbi. I believe the guy would have been gone within an hour!

However, the issue that has raised my greatest concerns about lack of objectivity of the CBC has been the overage of the refugee/migrant dispute.

It’s my impression that the CBC is pushing the Liberal/NDP  positions on the refugees.

Mother Corp, for some time, has NOT been fairly REPORTING the story from all sides; they have been ADVOCATES for  just one side: selectively covering the issue OVERWHELMINGLY from only the migrants’ point of view … dismissing any concerns/impacts such a HUGE flow of people is on EU countries  and totally IGNORING the facts/stories of how the richest Arab/Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar. etc.) have TOTALLY closed their gates to the refugees/migrants.

In fact, last weekend, I felt the CBC News actually pooh-poohed the EU for daring to suggest there are limits on how many refugees/migrants Europe can absorb: SPECIFICALLY pointing out in a graph the refugee numbers taken in by Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan … but NOT A WORD about those Arab countries failing to take ANY.

And what about legitimate European citizens’ concerns about the long-term social, political and security impacts of taking in hundreds of thousands more Muslims into their midst?

Has the CBC forgotten the murder of the Danish cartoonist,  the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the London transit bombings, the murder at the Jewish deli Paris (and the increase in the number of assaults, insults, vandalism being directed at Jews by Muslims in Europe)?  Or do they just not report the growing concerns by Europeans because it does not fit their agenda?

Why so one-sided?

I believe there are TWO reasons: the  CBC … especially The National … has  developed a decidedly left-wing sand fairly easily recognizable slant/bias in its news reporting, so pushing the NDP/Liberal agendas comes naturally; and there may also be an anti-Harper bias at the CBC because of the Tory budget cuts at the CBC over the past few years.

In 2012, Harper’s government announced $112 million in cuts from the CBC’s $1.1 Billion annual budget; in 2014, news reports outlined another $130 million in cuts.

No doubt Harper is not loved by many at the Corp!

But that should not be reflected in its news coverage of the campaign.

Harv Oberfeld

(P.S. anyone reading this blog piece feel I myself am biased in favour of Harper/Tories, I have already written that I will NOT be voting Tory, because of MANY Harper failings. You can read that blog HERE But that does NOT mean I feel NEWS reporting of the campaign should be one-sided. )





  1. You know Harv, I’ve been a great admirer of yours for years, and I’m really thankful you continue to blog after your retirement. For the most part, I agree with you, and definitely about the CBC bias towards Harper and the Conservatives. I’m just surprised its taken you this long to recognize it.

  2. Just for the heck of it I count the number of people who are given credit at the end of a CBC Radio show. Last week’s edition of Spark gave credit to more than TEN people! For a hour’s worth of Radio. A WEEK!! (Harv’s Uppercasim is catching) So when the budget axe falls at the Public’s Corporation does anybody actually get it in the neck?

    Oh, and yes, the CBC hates Harper. But he hated them first! 🙂

  3. Mr. Oberfeld, You must vote Conservative in order to counter the media’s left-wing pro Lib/NDP, anti-Harper/Conservative bias. Every non-Conservative vote will further entrench their campaign of biased coverage far into the future. Every Conservative vote sticks it to these biased jerks. The CBC is funded from all the taxpayers and therefore must either be neutral or be neutralized.

  4. Again we must remind those who wish to post comments on our Puget Sound Radio forum, You MUST have a confirmed email address before we will post your comment. just didn’t cut the mustard with me, even though I know that is his destination. We assure all those who post comments, strict confidentiality with regards to your email address. Thanks…

  5. Of course the CBC doesn’t like Harper. He has drastically cut their funding which means people are losing jobs at the public broadcaster. Both sides should share the blame for the way they are conducting themselves.

  6. This is classic understatement from H.O. The CBC, for the last 30 or more years, has always banged the NDP left wing drum…..

    As far as Rosemary Barton goes, Rosemary tries her best to fill Evan Soloman’s shoes, but comes short every time…

    Say what you want about Evan Soloman, but there was little left wing dogma or bias with him.

    In order to revitalize the Power and Politics Show, CBC brass needs to re hire a new host who can hit more homeruns, journalisitically, than Ms. Barton, a singles hitter at best ?

  7. The CBC shouldn’t get a dime from taxpayers. I don’t consume any of their content and don’t appreciate being stuck paying for someone else’s entertainment. I wouldn’t ask my neighbours to pay for my movie channel so I don’t expect them to ask me to pay for theirs.

  8. Harv it has taken you this long to wake up about the CBC and Harper? Good reason to vote Conservative to show those low life money sucking individuals that they can’t beat us!

  9. No question about it! Mansbridge and in particular Arsenault are the two worst offenders. Any sense of journalistic unbiased reporting disappeared the moment harper called the election. Love the smirk on mansbridge’s face every time the CBC’s so-called “election coverage” comes up.

  10. The CBC sounds every bit as bad regarding their Liberal/NDP favoritism as the mainstream media in the US (particularly CNN and MSNBC) is with the Democrats, but I guess that shouldn’t be surprising as the CBC and the American MSM (along with PBS) both tilt heavily Left in their news coverage.

  11. Geez Harv! For one so astute in other matters it seems to have escaped you that the CBC has always been a hotbed of socialist thinking, reporting and programming. If you think the English version is blatantly socialist (the Libs of course just being NDP Lite), then the French version would knock your socks off.

    On another note, the comments about the Catholic Church were reviled because they were dead right. Something and NDP’r is unaccustomed to being.

  12. Thanks Harvey, for bringing this up. I had a WTF? moment when Barton announced that Harcourt was going to discuss NDP provincial financial acumen.

    In addition to their wall-to-wall Man-Made Global Warming fixation and love-affair with every so-called progressive notion, what really killed the CBC for me was Peter Mansbridge attending the Bilderberg Meeting in Spain in 2010. A secretive meeting of the world’s elite and movers & shakers and a so-called reporter attends whilst being sworn to secrecy?

    How can he be considered to be part of the Fourth Estate, looking out after our interests and drawing attention to the abuses of government and corporate power when he himself has become one of those. Mansbridge is tainted goods and the CBC along with it.

  13. It’s amazing how constant accusations will make something appear to be true.

    When the CBC was among the first Canadian media independent enough to take on all-powerful corporations, corporate defenders and the right wing began calling them Communists. When even the staunchest capitalist knew that was just dead wrong they went with Socialist.

    Well, much of Europe is Socialist AND (why not use Harv’s juvenile CAPS writing style) Democratic. I stress – Democratic. In fact, I would suggest those parliamentary, multiparty Democracies are far more Democratic than the U-S system of just two, all-powerful parties.

    But back to CBC’s alleged bias. Yes, they used Mike Harcourt and should, at the least, had another voice to counter him. But they also did a fact-checking piece that showed NDP governments were no worse than others in making some bad decisions and running deficits. They also proved Harper was mostly lying when he labelled all NDP provincial governments “disasters”.

    As for peeing in a cup being far less egregious than calling a religious cult for what it is, I suppose it depends on your point of view.

    Gulf Arab nations may have closed their doors to refugees and asylum-seekers, but not many of those from war-ravaged regions are clamouring to get into those medieval sheikdoms, what with their protected native populations and hordes of foreign workers.

    If I read Harv’s analysis correctly he is defending Hungary’s inhumane and xenophobic 160-mile-long razor wire wall. I guess he also supports Israel’s illegal wall that cuts through occupied Palestine, not to mention the occupation itself.

    I’m not sure where Harv came up with 13 million Canadian Catholics, unless he’s referring to the late 1950’s. Most Canadians are not unaffiliated with a religion and most of those who claim otherwise are NOT practicing. Check the constant fall in church, mosque and temple attendance.

    Bottom line Harv – come up with far more specific examples of what you think is pro-NDP / Liberal reporting and compare it to the private media’s PROPER and UNBIASED version of the same stories.

    Oh, and one way to produce excellent programming is by having a solid team investigating issues. CBC may credit 10 people, but the result is at least 5 times better than the shoestring, under-staffed tripe that your hear and see in much private media.

  14. Thank you, Broose, for that eloquent rebuttal. The very moment any news organisation is critical of the party in power (which is their job) it’s automatically branded as propaganda. Since Harper is the recipient now it’s because of that scary ‘left wing agenda’. Eye of the beholder.


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