...That CBC British Columbia And Its Legislative Bureau Chief Are In A Conflict Of Interest?
Why, yes, I believe he did.
And Norman Farrell has the audio up to prove it.
Now, first, before I unveil the weapon for all to see, I must say that the 5 minutes of 'Cutting Edge Of The Ledge' that Mr. Farrell has excerpted from Friday's show on CKNW is the best example so far that best illustrates what is truly wrong with political reportage in this province.
Essentially, it is an extended kabuki dance performance piece by Mr. Bill Good of CKNW, Mr. Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun, and Mr. Keith Baldrey of Global Television, in which they collectively belittle the ruling by the CBC's ombudsman, Mr. Kirk Lapointe, regarding the potential for conflict of interest that exists for the CBC's Legislative Bureau chief, Mr. Stephen Smart, because he is married to the BC Premier's Deputy Press Secretary, Ms. Rebecca Scott. And most importantly, this belittling is carried out in its entirety without ever once actually directly addressing the substance of the ombudsman's actual ruling (or so they thought - see below).
So, if you have taken your blood pressure medication today, please go and listen to all five minutes at Mr. Farrell's place.
As to the proverbial smoking gun, it first makes its appearance when a suddenly pivoting Mr. Good unwittingly puts the bullet in the chamber.
Bill Good (speaking to Baldrey): And we should point out that you are a direct competitor of Mr. Smart.
At which point Mr. Baldrey pulls the hammer back as he pirouettes....
Keith Baldrey: Ya. I mean he's my competitor. And I think it's outrageous to suggest that his job performance has been anything less than exemplary. I mean, we compete for stories.
Mr. Baldrey then, whether he knows it or not, takes aim while simultaneouly attempting to pull off a plie....
Keith Baldrey: Here's a great example. Christy Clark revealed that she wasn't callin' a fall election on my television station and a couple of other news outlets, and not the CBC.
And then, finally, presumably inadvertently, Mr. Baldrey pulls the trigger as he spins into his denouement and completes the description of his 'great example'....
Keith Baldrey: It was, you know, he (Smart) doesn't gain necessarily from the relationship his wife has with the Premier. In fact, I think, if anything he's probably hurt by that.
And so, there you have it.
Mr. Keith Baldrey stated, on the air on CKNW, on Friday morning Jan 20, 2012, that Mr. Smart's reporting has probably, at least once in the past already, been hampered because his wife works for the Premier, whom he covers.
Which is precisely why CBC's ombudsman was correct with his ruling and why CBC British Columbia's news division is wrong for ignoring it.
Put another way.....
There is now evidence, evidence given by one of BC's most prominent members of the media, that Mr. Smart's relationship with the Premier's Deputy Press Secretary may have already prevented CBC British Columbia's news division from competing for a story of import on a level playing field.
And that, in my opinion, goes way past the 'potential' for a conflict of interest.
Want more information on the 'great example' that Mr. Baldrey used to pull the trigger...Well, turns out that it is all available in the transcript of the tweet fight that subsequently ensued...