CBC culture war?

Tories accuse the CBC of Liberal bias while the Grits blast what they
call an anti-CBC “witch hunt”.

By the Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail (who published the above cartoon) reports:

“Mary Pynenberg, the viewer who inspired a recent poll on women in politics, is not only a former Liberal candidate but is also a “radical anti-Stephen Harper group,” according to the latest internal Tory talking points. Oh, and she has donated $14,000 since 2004 to the Liberal Party.”

The Tories have written a missive outlining their problems with the CBC. The Globe quotes the missive: 

“Last week, we pointed out that CBC and Frank Graves (significant Liberal Party donor as well as someone who has been offering ‘Culture War’ political advice to the Liberals) commissioned a poll for CBC based on a supposedly neutral ‘viewer-inspired’ question,” the Conservative script says.

“It is beyond the pale that CBC consistently engages in political information and analysis from a Liberal-backing pollster in response to a Liberal-inspired question with no disclosure and certainly no apologies afterwards.”

The CBC responded to the missive:

“The whole thing started weeks ago when Frank Graves, a pollster who frequently appears on Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, admitted that he had giving the Liberal Party some advice on wedge politics. “I told them that they should invoke a culture war,” he said to the Globe and Mail at the time.

“That provoked Doug Finley, a conservative strategist who is often described as Stephen Harper’s political hammer, to send out a fund-raising letter to the party faithful. “This episode demonstrates – once again – that we Conservatives are up against a powerful array of vested interests,” Finley wrote.

“He then pleaded with them to fight back by first writing to the CBC ombudsman, and second by making a contribution “to the Conservative Party of $200 or $100 right now by following this link. Unlike the Liberals, we can’t count on the vested interests.”

CBC News head Jennifer McGuire said “We believe that his commentary… is within the bounds of normal political analysis and discourse,”

Liberal party president Alf Apps responded to the missive in an interview with The Globe and Mail:

“Noting that nearly two-thirds of Canadians voted against the government in the last two elections, Mr. Apps says it’s bizarre “to suggest that a private citizen who happens to be a Liberal has to disclose his/her political affiliation before he/she speaks on anything.”

“He adds:

“Are we going to demand that all Catholics speaking out on abortion disclose their religion when they speak? Are we going to demand that all NRA members disclose their membership in the NRA before they talk about gun control issues? Are we going to demand that all civil rights activists disclose their sexual orientation before they address the question of gay rights? Are we going to demand that all oil sands development advocates disclose their energy company stockholdings before they speak out on greenhouse gas emission controls?”

The CBC’s Paul Mcgrath writes:

“The whole ordeal reminds me of previous efforts from the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

“The last time they rattled the cup, they said they’d learnt of secret Conservative plans to slash the CBC budget. Only a donation could save the CBC.

“It’s essentially the same tune this time, a Goliath of well-funded vested-interests up against a flat-broke David. And the CBC is stuck in the middle.”