“Fact-checking” in the 2019 election is already a dumpster fire
CBC News is facing ridicule—and a ratio—after posting an incredibly dumb “fact-check” of the Conservatives Universal Tax Cut:
“Fact Check: The Tories say their plan to reduce the rate on the lowest income tax bracket is a “universal tax cut.” But millions of Canadian pay no income tax.”
Have you ever wanted your taxpayer-subsidized state broadcaster to also become the person selling you corporate goodies?
Well, you’re in for a treat!
Since the CBC’s mandate does not block the state broadcaster from competing with private media, it has for years been using your taxpayer dollars to subsidize reach and compete for advertising dollars.
They have been doing this in an industry that is already rapidly shrinking due to the onslaught of large scale ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, and now Amazon. Those three firms notably take 70% of all digital ad spend.
Interestingly, while the organization has opened its advertising offerings, it continues to rapidly lose clients and viewers, with the company shedding more than half its ad revenue over the last five years.
In that time, its domain has seen less traffic than sites like Narcity, while its high-end news broadcast The National continues to be trounced in every market by competitors like CTV.
When you look at just how bad the CBC is losing viewers in comparison to the competition, its quite obvious that while Canadians are happy to support a potential state broadcaster, they do not actually find use from the current content plan or business model put forward.
In many ways, it seems the continued failure of the CBC comes because of its model.
Instead of focusing on creating content that is predominantly and distinctively Canadian and actively contributing to the flow and exchange of cultural expression, mother corp has bunkered down and done almost everything it can to ruin its own path to growth.
For example, where the company could follow the path of “Letterkenny” and “Trailer Park Boys,” creating high-impact video capable of defining Canadian content and distributing it through international platforms such as Netflix or Hulu, its president decided to leverage your tax dollars and go at it alone, while bizarrely describing the organization as a form of colonization… seemingly forgetting to true brutality and lack of consent that came from colonialism and its institutions.
That comment led to articles panning the company’s president for attempting to rebrand the broadcaster’s own complacency as colonialism coming from the United States.
Of course, the problems don’t stop at complacency.
The CBC also actively ensures that at least one-third of Canadians recoil from all programming due to its desire to waddle into the political discussions of the nation in what can only be described as a clearly biased fashion.
During the 2019 election, for example, the CBC sued the Conservative Party of Canada for using excerpts from its leaders’ debates in campaign material, while naming Rosemary Barton—a debate moderator—on the lawsuit itself.
Outside of the public callouts for bias, those with an understanding of intellectual copyright law such as Michael Geist repeatedly stated that the use of the footage was likely covered by fair dealing provisions. If Geist is correct, the CBC is now not just politically biased, it is also wasting taxpayers’ funds to clog up the court system during a national election.
With so many clear flaws its no wonder the company is failing, even as it continues to get massive government funding.
The average Canadian does not want to have biased politics or poorly designed corporate messaging from the broadcaster we already pay for with our taxes.
Its time the CBC stopped wasting resources competing with private media, and instead focused on producing high-quality Canadian content which actively defines and exports Canadian culture.
The public broadcaster’s shrinking audience and relevancy has led to ad revenues dropping 53 percent from 2014 to that of 2019.
In the first six months of 2014 the CBC pulled in $192.2 million in ad revenues. The first half of 2019 that overall number had dropped to $90.9 million. In in the first six months of 2017 the CBC brought in 92.8 million in ad revenues, almost $2 million more than this year.
The CBC cut 35 jobs at its HQ in Toronto in November due to the continual downturn.
“I often joke it is easier to manage growth than downsizing,” said CBC’s Radio Canada’s executive vice-president Michel Bissonnette at the Commons heritage committee earlier this year. “Unfortunately we are in a downsizing environment, and we have to maintain our services for all Canadians.”
The CBC receives $1.2 billion from federal taxpayers every year, a total that was increased by $150 million annually by the Trudeau government when the Liberals took power in 2015, fulfilling a campaign promise which left the public broadcaster in a major conflict of interest in covering federal politics.
Almost two years ago the CBC relaunched its flagship show The National with a new format, replacing anchor Peter Mansbridge with four anchors. Despite The National‘s audience dropping 10 percent (from 525,000 to 460,000) by April of 2018. By June 2019 the audience had dropped off another 59,000, or 13 percent. Even though the new format is failing, a distant third for ratings compared to CTV and Global, the CBC has continued on with the new format and four hosts.
The National‘s co-host Rosemary Barton was caught in conflict-of-interest controversy during the 2019 election when her name was included in a lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada for using clips of CBC coverage for copyright infringement. Although her name was eventually removed from CBC’s lawsuit, Barton never answered whether she knew her name was going to be included as a plaintiff initially, and she continued to cover the news for the rest of the election in spite of the apparent conflict of interest. This and other actions by CBC employees during the election raised questions about the public broadcaster’s claim to impartiality.
Former Liberal MP and Scheer's new deputy leader apologizes for dismissive LGBTQ comment, Scheer snubs openly gay CPC MP
Conservative MP (Ontario, Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill) and recently appointed CPC deputy leader Leona Alleslev caused outrage Saturday when she flippantly asked on CBC’s The House why no one was asking leaders about attending Saint Patrick’s Day parades, equating it to politicians not attending LGBTQ Pride parades.
“Have we asked anybody if they’ve marched in a Saint Patrick’s Day parade?” said Alleslev Saturday morning on the CBC politics program.
Shortly after the program aired, Alleslev apologized for equating Saint Patrick’s Day parades with Pride parades, which were started to push back against gay persecution and inequality.
Many critics on both sides of the political aisle argue Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s CPC lost crucial ridings in Ontario and other progressive metropolitan areas of the country because of his ambivalence on LGBTQ issues and his personal religious beliefs, which led to him being dogged by reporters throughout the election campaign with questions he evaded.
A large contingent of the CPC is also actively trying to get Scheer to step down as leader after the party failed to oust Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October. They were quick to pounce on the latest blunder by his new deputy leader, who was still a Liberal MP until crossing the floor about a year ago.
Journalists were also questioning the judgement of the leadership of the party when they’re still having difficulty communicating unequivocal support for the LGBTQ community.
Scheer critics also questioned why he didn’t include CPC MP (Ontario, Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry) Eric Duncan in his shadow cabinet, the first openly gay Conservative MP. Duncan was the former mayor of the township of North Dundas, with over eight years prior experience in politics. He also vocally defended Scheer during the 2019 election when the CPC leader was being attacked on LGBTQ issues. Since the election, Duncan has said the party needs to rethink its approach towards LGBTQ issues.
Meanwhile, party stalwarts launched a non-profit organization last week to raise money to depose Scheer from power.
Conservative Victory was created by Kory Teneycke, Doug Ford’s top election advisor and former director of communications for prime minister Stephen Harper, Jeff Ballingall—the founder of the Proud Network and the Chief Marketing Officer at The Post Millennial—and John Reynolds, who co-chaired the Stephen Harper’s 2006 election campaign.
Scheer loyalists in the party maintain that the CPC leader still holds the vast majority of support from his caucus and the uprising is just a small dissident group.
Scheer’s office did not respond to The Post Millennial‘s request for comment.
A CBC journalist has spread misinformation online and kept it up for days after being corrected. That journalist is CBC’s fake news spotter, Jeff Yates.
Yates tweeted on Tuesday in response to a post about TPM editor-at-large Andy Ngo being suspended from Twitter: “[Andy Ngo] was suspended for 12 hours and the fact you were able to tag him in this tweet means you know his account is back online.”
The problem? Virtually no part of the tweet by Yates was truthful.
Ngo was actually banned for stating information based on data from the Human Rights Commission in response to Chelsea Clinton. While Yates mentions a 12-hour suspension, in reality, it has continued for far longer.
This is because the suspension will only be removed once Andy removes his tweet. This means that Twitter is dictating his speech and refusing to allow Ngo to cite a statistical fact.
Looking at Ngo’s Twitter profile, one can see he has not posted since the suspension.
Furthermore, you are able to tag suspended accounts, without being back online.
Yates was told all of this by multiple individuals as a direct reply to his own tweet.
In response, the CBC journalist decided to keep his post up and to also post the following which appears to show an Emporer (himself) largely ignoring everything going on around him, potentially alluding to his own decision to ignore the information appearing in his screen.
The Post Millennial has reached out to Yates to ask why the post was kept up even after being informed that he was spreading misinformation. this is especially significant considering that his job involves spotting misinformation and in turn keeping the public informed on behalf of the public broadcaster.
We received no response by publication but will update the article should Yates respond.