CBC censoring again – or honking for IPCC’s Andrew Weaver?

[Please see updates at end of this post -hro]

The CBC occupies a unique position of trust. Not only is it the most substantial and broadly-based broadcast journalism organization in Canada, it is funded, through Parliament, by the people of Canada. The CBC therefore considers it a duty to provide consistent, high-quality information upon which all citizens may rely. [emphasis added -hro]

From CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Policies

In my CBC News Online – British Columbia Morning Digest – 2013-05-07, the following had “top billing”:


For readers not familiar with the British Columbia political scene, there will be a provincial election on May 14; currently the BC Green Party has no seats in the provincial legislature. So they would need to jump from 0 to 4 in order to achieve “official” party status. As I have noted previously, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author, Andrew Weaver, is a candidate – and the Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party.

Needless to say the headline grabbed my attention, so I followed the “more” link.

This was at approximately 10:00 AM PDT or in CBC-speak (as I discovered a few minutes ago when I saw that the video had changed and the page Last updated read 7:19 PM) PT. The text indicated that the Party Leader, Jane Sterk, does not stand much of a chance in her riding, followed by:

A conscience in the legislature

But the party might have a better shot in neighbouring ridings, namely Oak Bay-Gordon Head, where Nobel-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver is representing the Green Party.

“We’re really pleased,” he said. “It’s exciting. It’s been a really, really solid campaign. The momentum is building, there’s a lot of volunteers, a lot of enthusiasm.”

Oh, my … there he goes again: resting on Nobel laurels he knows has not earned! Because the CBC has a “duty to provide consistent, high-quality information upon which all citizens may rely“, I felt it incumbent upon me to advise the CBC of this error. So I posted a comment:

“where Nobel-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver”

Sorry, someone needs to do some basic fact-checking, here. Weaver, a climate modeller, is NOT a “Nobel-winning” anything. To describe him as such is to allow him to rest on laurels he has not earned.

He is (in addition to being a candidate and Deputy Leader of the BC Greens) a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). And as far as I can tell, he sees no conflict of interest between the requirement that IPCC Authors be objective and his political affiliations and aspirations.

It was the IPCC that – along with Al Gore – was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2007). And we all know how tarnished that award has become.

Voters in Oak Bay Gordon Head might also be interested in knowing that Weaver is not particularly open to, well, inconvenient questions and observations. In the virtual world, his response (via twitter) is to “block” those whose questions and observations he does not like.

Which suggests to me that, in “real life”, he just might slam the door in your face, if he doesn’t like your questions or views!

What a way to win friends and influence people, eh?!


Posted: 05/7/2013 10:16 AM PDT

And I waited for my comment – or at least a correction to the above article – to appear. Neither event had occurred by 3:00 PM PDT, although several other comments had certainly passed moderation. Consequently, I decided to repost with the following preface:

I wonder why it is that CBC’s “moderation” practice is so, well, untimely!

I had submitted a comment at 05/7/2013 10:16 AM PDT At that point, the timestamp on the Most Recent Comment (of approx 50 as I recall) was 10:05 AM ET.

Comment count is now up to 117, with the timestamp of the Most Recent Comment showing as 2:35 PM ET. So, I’m not sure why my [1:16 p.m. ET] comment is nowhere in sight! Oh, well, perhaps its just one of those inexplicable gremlin generated glitches. Hence, this repost:

For the record, my reposted text was the same as the above – except for the timestamp, and a slight reformatting of the last two paragraphs, in order to stay within their character-count:

Which suggests to me that, in “real life”, he just might slam the door in your face, if he doesn’t like your questions or views! What a way to win friends and influence people, eh?!


May 7, 3:15 PM PDT

And here I sit several hours later (and the Comment Count up to 134, and most recent timestamp is 2013/05/07
at 10:34 PM ET from “Meggy”) Now I’m sure that the ET moderator must be fast-asleep by now, so – according to the CBC’s Submission Guidelines – my guess would be that “Meggy” is a “Trusted” member whose comments can bypass moderation.

I read these Submission Guidelines, btw, and I didn’t see anything in there that I might have violated. So the continued non-appearance of my comment is somewhat of a mystery.

Oh, well … maybe tomorrow the moderator will release my comment. My past experience has been that whenever I decide to post on their practices, eventually my comments have appeared.

Of course, considering the timestamp – and depending on how many other comments are waiting in the moderation queue – it’s quite possible that few (if any!) will ever see it.

In the meantime, I was going to share the video they’d evidently uploaded at 7:19 PM PT, with a cameo of Weaver and a voice-over telling viewers that he is a “Nobel-winning climate scientist”. But WordPress doesn’t seem to like the CBC’s embed code. So I leave you with this screen capture from the video:

Is CBC censoring comments - or honking for Weaver?!

Is CBC censoring comments – or honking for Weaver?!

Stay tuned, folks!

UPDATE: 05/8/2013 12:18 PM

Comment count on CBC’s “false news” item is now 135, and (surprise, surprise) there’s no sign of either of my comment submissions, so I have just submitted the following:

Well, it seems that when an opportunity to wear its green heart on its sleeve presents itself, CBC has no shame about being remiss in its “duty to provide consistent, high-quality information upon which all citizens may rely”

Setting aside the fact that for some inexplicable reason (well, certainly none that I can see in their submission guidelines) my now twice attempted comment submission is nowhere in sight, how can we rely on the quality of CBC’s “information” when they choose to continue to perpetuate the meme that Andrew Weaver is a “Nobel-winning” scientist?


Posted: 05/8/2013 12:17 PM PT

UPDATE 2: 05/11/2013 12:22 AM PDT So my third attempted comment has not appeared.

I wonder if I’ve made CBC’s “blacklist” for daring to question their sloppy (to be kind) “reporting” [see Morley Sutter’s comment below for yet another instance of CBC’s green heart on sleeve recycling of the “Nobel” meme]

And see also this SunTV video CBC IS WATCHING YOU :-)

14 thoughts on “CBC censoring again – or honking for IPCC’s Andrew Weaver?

  1. The CBC either is composed of slow learners or chooses deliberately to obfuscate. Today, in their radio and blog reporting of a letter that a number of academics sent to Joe Oliver in respect of oil sands and global warming, the CBC again states that one of the signators of the letter is a Nobel Laureate rather than simply a member of the International Committee on Climate Change. I guess if you repeat something often enough, it eventually is perceived as true.

    • The CBC either is composed of slow learners or chooses deliberately to obfuscate.

      Then, again, it could be both ;-) Btw, I’ve been trying to find a link to the reporting you noted above … and I haven’t come across it so far (partly because I keep getting diverted from my search by other related findings – pls. see my comments below), so I was wondering if you happen to have a link to that which you saw and heard!


    • Thanks, Morley

      Actually I was on that site earlier today (well, yesterday, to be precise!) And when I didn’t see the Nobel reference, I figured it must have been on another article about the same issue :-)

      So at least someone, somewhere in the CBC knows that they were wrong. Even if they do play the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t game. And I guess this “new” information didn’t make it into their BC Election coverage “database“.

      And I suppose it hasn’t occurred to any of these “journalists” to investigate what might be behind the BIG GREEN DOTS derived from their “Vote Compass”:

      Our tracking is useful in another way. It helps our journalists identify the top election issues. “Energy/power projects” continues to top the list in B.C. right now, followed by “the economy”. And “the environment” has now pushed “employment” out of third place.

      Tides Canada’s “Clean Energy Canada” efforts perhaps? Nah … couldn’t be, eh?!

  2. @ Hilary, the “Greens eye official party status” story is now closed to comments – there are 138 of them in all, but yours are nowhere to be seen (quelle surprise!) Just watched a video with similar material to the one you got the screen shot from:

    Wendy Mesley: “In British Columbia it’s just over two weeks until the province’s election. And while the latest polls suggest the NDP is poised to govern for the first time in 12 years, the Green Party is hoping for a breakthrough. To achieve it, it’s turned to some star power, a world-renowned expert on global warming, with ideas of changing the province’s political climate”.

    Chris Brown: “For a lot of people, winning a Nobel Prize would be a career topper. Not Andrew Weaver.” [Cue sounds of cars honking.]

    At the 1:05 mark they show the certificate on his wall. To be fair, they do say he “contributed to” the prize, at that point. But I wonder how many viewers would appreciate the distinction, especially after the glowing build-up.

    • Thanks, Alex! I hadn’t seen that video from April 28, mainly because I’ve found CBC to be so unreliable that I rarely watch their National propaganda news. (The one I had linked to was from local/regional news).

      So this means that, well … it’s worse than I thought! Little wonder they were so reluctant to publish my comments, eh?! But I now have the answer to my question:

      Yes, CBC honks for Weaver AND censors (those who would set the record straight)!

      Listening to Weaver waxing is almost stomach-churning. Not only was he continuing to spout extinction fictions, but he claims that (Federal MP and fellow greenie) Elizabeth May “has more influence than 100 backbenchers” and that he’s “engaging” politically because “it’s the final (sic) thing a scientist can do”!

      One has to wonder if Weaver or his PR team/campaign manager wrote Brown’s and Mesley’s scripts for them! “Climate superstar”?!! Give me a break, eh?!

      This, along with other Weaverisms™ found in a Huff-Po piece that a friend had forwarded a few days ago, calls out for some fisking. New post coming soon to a monitor near you ;-)

      And the more I think about it, the more inclined I am to bring these examples of CBC’s shoddy reporting – and increasingly obvious bias – to the attention of the CBC Ombudsman. Not that I have any great expectations regarding the outcome of any “investigation” that might ensue!

    • Well, a few interesting wrinkles have surfaced. The CBC article referred to in my post had no byline; but the video report was by Stephen Smart. Smart just happens to be the spouse of an (appointed) media advisor to BC Liberal Party leader, Christy Clark.

      As the Ombudsman, Kirk LaPointe, wrote in his response to a complaint:

      On December 20, 2011, Merv Adey wrote CBC News to express concern there was an apparent conflict of interest involving its British Columbia legislative journalist, Stephen Smart, based in Victoria.

      Rebecca Scott was in March 2011 appointed communications officer and deputy press secretary for Premier Christy Clark in an order-in-council. She was then engaged to Smart; the two have since married.

      “Given his marriage to a political advisor to (Premier) Christy Clark, the conflict of interest is apparent, and while I respect Mr. Smart, the situation damages the credibility of CBC and its impartiality,” Adey wrote.

      LaPointe’s decision, as noted in his Summary, was:

      This review concerns a public complaint of a conflict of interest involving Stephen Smart, a legislative reporter for CBC British Columbia whose wife is employed in the premier’s office. I found a violation of CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices. [emphasis added -hro]

      Who knows, perhaps Smart’s “reporting” on Weaver’s campaign was one way of proving that the subsequent response of Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief of CBC News was the “right” one:

      CBC Editor in Chief responds to Ombudsman decision

      No conflict in B.C. legislature reporting, Jennifer McGuire states

      By Jennifer McGuire, CBC News Posted: Jan 31, 2012 12:13 PM PT

      Thanks to the dedication and excellence of our staff, CBC News is one of the most respected news organizations in the world. As I have said many times, we should always strive to be even better by continuously examining what we do and how we do it.

      The CBC is the only broadcast organization in this country with an arm’s length ombudsman process.

      The ombudsman is appointed by the CBC’s board of directors and by the president. His mandate is to review complaints about our work and to judge them within the framework of the high standards outlined in our Journalistic Standards and Practices, by which our employees are bound.

      In most cases we agree with and take into account the Ombudsman’s rulings. The recent ruling on one of our reporters at the B.C. Legislature, however, is an exception where we will have to agree to disagree.


      It is important to note that both the ruling and the original complaints with the Ombudsman’s office have not raised any concerns with Stephen’s reporting, which we believe is a confirmation that our protocols are working effectively.

      None of the reports filed by Stephen Smart have ever been found to be in breach of our journalist standards (sic).
      [emphasis added -hro]

      Clearly McGuire doesn’t get it! Nor does she appear to know how to write properly;-) But, that aside, she certainly makes one wonder why the Ombudsman even bothers, if his decisions can be so glibly over-ruled. And I guess I was right to have no great expectations regarding any “investigation” that might ensue as a result of bringing this matter to the Ombudsman’s attention!

  3. On the subject of extinction fiction, in 2009 Andrew Weaver warned us in his Greenpeace video that between 9 and 25% of species on the planet are committed to extinction. Four years later, however, he now warns us of the “committed extinction of half the world’s species”. If my calculations are correct, in 2021 he’ll be warning us of the committed extinction of all life on Earth.

    It’s worse than we thought – and getting worser! ;)

    • Hi, ACommonTater,

      Thanks for this (and for your earlier comment on another of my CBC-Weaver posts, to which I intended to respond after viewing your link above)

      I haven’t tried their “new, improved” comment system yet, but under the “old” system, I had noticed that some nyms (as I had mentioned in my post above) had the designation of “Approved commenter”, which means that their posts bypass moderation.

      So, it seems to me that even with the “outsourcing” of the “outsourcing” you describe, the powers that be obviously have a way of communicating their preferences (both positive and negative!). I can think of no reason, except having landed myself on their negative preferences list, that all three of my attempted posts should have failed!

    • To be honest, I seriously doubt the CBC itself actually monitors anything on their forums. That is to say there is no CBC shit list although I can’t vouch for ICUC…

      Recent contact with senior members of their news team suggest that the burden is entirely on ICUC now that the “trusted” category is gone with the new software. Their view of the forums is entirely statistical, based on activity reports from ICUC and Viafoura (both outsourced). They won’t see or know about the content of any specific thread, unless prompted to go look.

      My one-pager includes some email addresses you can write to. In particular the Editor In Chief should be contacted if you feel you’ve been mishandled.

  4. I am completely frustrated with the moderation of comments at CBC. Certain posters have almost unlimited reign, casting aspersions and accusations against other posters, name-calling, inflammatory remarks, repeated posting, etc.

    Meanwhile, my posts (which do not violate CBC submission guidelines, in my judgement) are repeatedly blocked. I ofen disagree with the oft one-sided narrative that CBC provides, and am openly critical of our government’s foreign policies. But that is what I thought CBC forums were for?

    How can we pressure CBC and its “moderators” to change their ways? Ultimately, it is our tax dollars that are paying for the forums . . .

    • To be honest, I don’t think that the CBC cares! So I don’t know that there’s any way to exert such pressure without a considerable amount of work i.e. setting up a site where people could submit comments that have failed to pass moderation when they should have been passed. And when there’s a critical mass accumulated so that there is some statistical validity in the data, shame them by making it very public :-)

      I have often thought of setting up such a site; but between keeping this blog going, keeping my cat in the style to which she has become accustomed and other elements of life outside the virtual world, and knowing that it could well be a “high maintenance” activity … I just haven’t got around to it! I don’t often even bother with the comments there because there is so much dreck to compete with – along with the possibility (if not high probability!) that my carefully composed comment will not see the light of day anyway. Although, sometimes if it ties in with one or more of my posts here, I will add the comment contents to the post!

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