Standards council rules on ethics of CTV’s Dion interview

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that CTV’s airing of false starts during a television interview with then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion violated industry ethics codes, CBC reports.

The Council found the airing of the false starts “discourteous and inconsiderate” and the question anchor Steve Murphy asked Dion “confusing.”

The Council’s Atlantic regional panel wrote:

“In the view of the panel, if Mr. Murphy did not have the authority to make such an agreement, he ought not to have made it. Having made it, the broadcaster ought to have stood behind him.”

Read the full decision here. Watch the interview and read a behind the scenes account of the decision to air here.

At some point in the next three days, CTV will run a statement during the evening newscast saying it violated the Radio Television News Directors Code of Ethics.

CTV News president Robert Hurst said in a statement:

“We are deeply concerned by the tone and content of the council’s decision as it is not the CBSC’s role to police the nature of the questions any news organization chooses to pose to a public official.

CTV News also stands by the conduct of Atlantic Canada’s most-watched news anchor Steve Murphy, one of the region’s longest-serving and most respected journalists, who has been unfairly criticized throughout this process.”

The Council also looked into complaints against the Mike Duffy Live show, which aired the false starts and a panel discussion about the Dion interview, and found that comments Duffy made were “not fair, balanced or even-handed”

CTV Newsnet will run a statement saying it violated the Canadian Association of Braodcasters ethics code during the time Mike Duffy Live used to air.