MP Kmiec calls on CBC to apologize to Alberta MLA
Please find below a copy of the letter I have sent to the CBC Ombudsman calling on the CBC to apologize to Alberta MLA Derek Fildebrandt following his unjust portrayal in a recent article.
“Dear CBC Ombudsman,
I am writing to file a complaint about the journalistic content appearing on one of CBC’s platforms. Specifically, I would like to draw attention to a recent CBC.ca news article titled “Calgary anti-carbon tax rally draws about 800, including CPC leadership hopefuls” written by David Bell, which featured a photo of Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt clipped from what seems to be a video, capturing him in a Nazi-styled salute.
Although this photo has since been replaced, and a correction issued regretting the error, I am appalled by the lack of standards that led to such a picture appearing on the CBC’s website. I reject and condemn any attempt to smear Mr. Fildebrandt as a neo-Nazi speaking at some far-right event by using a video capture during the moment he raised his arm to motion at the audience before him. It calls into question the editorial controls that exist at the CBC to ensure that staff members are not injecting their personal viewpoints or are attempting to sensationalize a story. This is exactly the type of behaviour that undermines faith in the state broadcaster’s neutrality in covering the news.
I request that you take this complaint into full consideration and initiate a review process of CBC’s journalistic standards so this unjust and false portrayal of public officials does not happen again in the future.
You may find a link to the article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/anti-carbon-tax-rally-calgary-1.3891723. The photo in question which was used in the article is still saved on CBC.ca servers and available here: https://i.cbc.ca/1.3892032.1481514042!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_620/derek-fildebrandt.jpg.
I look forward to this complaint receiving your full attention and being thoroughly investigated to determine whether the initial error occurred and how it can be prevented in the future.
Furthermore, this requires an apology from the CBC and not a disingenuous correction as well as regret at the bottom of the article. Smearing a Canadian politician as a neo-Nazi sympathizer and by association an entire room of struggling Alberta workers goes far beyond what I consider acceptable journalistic standards from the CBC.
Tom Kmiec, MP