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CBC killed liberal audit story?

Update: Please read this

Last week, after my research (here and here) on the Liberals 'Audits' created a firestorm in the media and the House of Commons, I received an email from a CBC investigative journalist wanting to do a piece on the story. He was planning on investigating the conflict of interest regarding the Liberals and the accounting firms that had conducted the 'audits'.

After several phone conversations with him, and after him telling me he had interviews scheduled with some prominent forensic accountants, he informed me that his bosses did not want to pursue the story. The reason was because 'information that [I] dug up has already been reported." It should be noted, however, that this journalist has exposed some past scandals within various levels of government and frankly, I am not questioning his integrity (which I respect) but what I am questioning is the integrity of his superiors reasoning for not reporting this story.

To his credit, this producer seemed genuinely interested in this story, and from what he told me, he had already done some extensive research on the topic. But, I think the explanation for failing to finish this story that I was given doesn’t make sense. For example, only two news organizations reported this topic (CanWest and Globe and Mail), but they only reported what was said in parliament. Not one news entity has used 'investigative' journalism to actually dig around for some information that would be news worthy – and there are a lot of newsworthy items in this topic.

For example they could have investigated:

· The apparent conflict of interest between the Liberals and the accountants with regards to past donations;

· The fact that the one office that performed the ‘audit’ was such a large contributor to the Liberal party;

· To find out if there were any government contracts given to this office;

· On the revelations of how, Liberal Cabinet minister, Pierre Pettigrew was a former Vice President of the very same office that performed the less then through financial review on the Quebec wing of the Liberal party;

· On the fact that the review mysteriously did not review the riding associations finances – the very spot where the money is accused to have been funneled through;

· That last week Benoit Corbeil mentioned that some ‘accountants’ were implicated in this sponsorship scandal.

One would think that piecing the Liberal audit story together with these shockingly new Corbeil revelations would be worthy of a front page news story, but then again, this is CBC. To be honest, when CBC contacted me about this story, I had a gut feeling that the CBC would not even let this producer finish his story nor would they air his report if he did finish it. Perhaps it’s because 82% of the CBC’’s board of directors have donated to the Liberal party. Or perhaps investigating a story on the government and its misdoings might get you fired. This does happen at CBC, and if you don’t think it does, then read Aarons article on former CBC radio host Don Hill’s firing.

For these reasons, I am taking the CBC’s decision to not report on this story with a slight indignation. Because I know full well that there were some very serious conflicts of interest exposed in the articles I wrote, and I also know if investigated, that it would have exposed the some questionable aspects of the Liberal party. If this had become a national news story then it would implicate the Party in some serious conflicts of interest. Furthermore I believe that because there are so many interesting aspects of this audit story, especially after what Benoit Corbeil has revealed last week, the CBC killed this story not because the topic was previously reported on (which it wasn’t) but rather what it would reveal.

I can’t say that I am shocked though, as I did not believe this story would ever make it through the “buzz saw.” But it does further disenchant my belief in our tax payer funded CBC. I have always believed, and I will say this on record, that in a free and democratic society there is no ostensible reason to have a state run broadcasting outlet funded by the government – it’s too easy for this corporation to be abused by the government in power. Too often is the CBC guilty of failing to hold the government accountable, and this is just another example of it. Perhaps the CBC believes that the costs of holding the government accountable (ie: funding cuts) are more important than providing the public information, which if presented, would shine a less then stellar light on the government. It is this very reason that I believe that a government funded media corporation should not exist in a 'free and democratic' society.

M.K. Braaten

Update:

To get a back ground of my coverage of this story click here

For an article of the conflict of interest between Deloitte and the Liberals, read this

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4/24/2005 04:22:00 PM

The CBC not running a story that will discredit the Liberal party. Have they every done any investigative journalism about the fraud at the Liberal party? It it time the power of the blogosphere step up to the plate. The blogs took down Dan Rather, maybe they can destroy the CBC as well.    



4/24/2005 06:38:00 PM

Ever watch Peter Mansbridge interview Stephen Harper. His eyes are always wandering to the left as if someone off screen is holding up a cue card with questions designed to trip up his guess. All of Mansbridge's "Town Hall Meetings" in the past elections have also been nothing more than free campaigning for the Liberal Party.    



4/24/2005 06:38:00 PM

So let me get this straight, the state-owned news media does not want to take on the government? Just like the old Soviet press.
R. King    



4/24/2005 06:49:00 PM

Sent e-mail to Canadian Bar Association,address on their website, with a question re their members' code of conduct/ethics.

No answer/reply. Expect no answer/reply.

The "professions"; donkey bray heehaw....    



4/24/2005 07:26:00 PM

I am a lawyer whose practice is almost exclusively criminal defence.
I represent people who do things similar to what we have been hearing about the last few weeks. The one difference between the treatment given the people I represent and the ones in the news:the former often go to jail!    



4/24/2005 07:59:00 PM

Tsk-tsk! The same Leftista Canadian government with such obnoxious (and wholly unwarranted) moral condescension towards the United States...is becoming more and more revealed as the Banana Republic regime that it is.

That's not in question. What is in question is if the Canadian electorate are too drowsy from all these years of left-wing nanny-state collectivism to do anything about it.    



4/24/2005 08:49:00 PM

I do not think Canadians know enough about or care enough about democracy to fight for it. Even a simple letter to the newsroom is more than folks are prepared to do.
We shall see the horror of it all after the next referendum. The Legacy of the federal liberals will be the "end" for Canada. The legacy for the average Canadian will be poverty for our grandchildren. melwilde kelowna b.c.    



4/24/2005 09:38:00 PM

The Sky is falling? Your article sounds like it came from the war room of the Conserative Party. Why don't you tell us all the truth that you believe we are lacking? I think you gave yourself away when you hit so strongly on the fact that the CBC should be shutdown. That CBC investigator sucked you in pretty good about being totally interested, hey they got your info and realized your stuff wouldn't fly in the real world.You ever thought about taking your stuff to Globial? I bet they'll use it    



4/24/2005 09:53:00 PM

Now that's a great conspiracy theory, anon. Yes, Matt, blogging from Tom Flanagan's desk - that's a good one. Oh, and the part about the CBC "sucking" him in is great.

Anon said:

"Why don't you tell us all the truth that you believe we are lacking?"

You do realize that you offer nothing to the contrary, do you?

The CBC does do some fine investigative work from time to time, but they keep killing good stories. Why is that?

If the conservatives take power, the CBC probably thinks it will see some big cuts - even worse than under Martin, so it has an economic incentive to favor one party over another.    



4/25/2005 12:54:00 AM

Matt, ignore Anonymous, he's just bugged because there is SO MUCH to be dug up about the Liberals that he's having a difficult time breathing while keeping his head in the sand.

Forget Canadian journalists, Canada's embarassment is becoming world news. Contact the American MSM; they might not dig for dirt in their own backyard, but might enjoy stirring the poop in ours. Especially now that the dirt's out on Cordex/Martin/Hussein. And let's not forget his good friend at the UN (oops, I forgot, he resigned)...    



4/25/2005 05:12:00 AM

It has always amazed me that the gun registration scheme has totaled over 2 billion dollars.

After Alan Rock claimed it would only cost 2 million?

And sources of some the funds were kept secret by the Lieberals as well so that no one could tell what government organization paid for this progrom.

It would appear that the adscam fiasco may only be the tip of the ice berg? Why did it cost 2 billion for the gun registry? and were the companies involved Liberal contributors ? and were they also paid for doing nothing?    



4/25/2005 08:07:00 AM

It is time to rid Canada of the national voice of the Liberal Party..the CBC. Did anyone else notice that after Martin's desperate pleas to the Canadian people, all the other stations carried the opposition leaders statements as well? But not the CBC, instead they had Peter Mansbridge telling Canadians how sincere the PM sounded and he mentioned no less than 10 times that it is clear now that Canadians do not want an election. In addition to Peter they had some woman reading emails from viewers, and apparently every single email the CBC received said Martin was right and we should wait for an election. What a crock. Hopefully PM Harper will finally do what should have been done decades ago..turn the CBC into a Canadian PBS.    



4/25/2005 08:11:00 AM

Simple question: Have you gone to another news organization?

I followed this story here from the begining, and did see the MSM cover it in time, and thought that most news organizations wouldn't go after it after that. There COULD be a story here, or maybe not. News orgs these days are very reluctant to do much investigative reporting. It's expensive, takes time, and even with some interesting news in the end, if the report is too far behind the original news on the matter, there's risk it won't be noticed.

I'd get your stuff together into a concise package and call the G&M - they've really been the workhorse on Adscam, going back five years.    



4/25/2005 12:24:00 PM

This dog won't hunt. Better to shoot it.    



4/25/2005 03:39:00 PM

Now is the time to rethink how our country should be managed. The present and some past managers (PM & MP's)have not been diligent, honest or have had integrity. As we can do nothing to change this, only at election time, then it is too late.
I propose a system where we hire people to manage our country. Hire qualified people not unlike a large corporation. After all, isn't
our country the largest business in Canada. This way, if they don't perform, then they can be fired.
There is enough unrest and many people are fed up with the scandal's that a new approach would be welcome.    



4/26/2005 08:04:00 AM

What else do you expect from the Mother Corp when 40% of CBC Radio employees voted NDP (See "Hidden Agendas, How Jounalists Influence the News") Lord knows how many Liberal, leaving the (C)conservative voice hugely under-represented. Also, Have you ever noticed things like, when two large drug co.'s donalte hugely to lesser-developed countries they remain nameless on CBC, but let one of them have a problem and they shriek the name. Further, the Ombudsman, a 30 plus year employee of the CBC and a former producer, steeped in their culture is an apologist for their left wing agenda.

V.L. Lewis    



5/01/2005 10:40:00 AM

It's time for Québec to get rid of this canadian propaganda program. More than ever : Vive le Québec libre!    



5/02/2005 08:57:00 AM

What can be done to stop bias, and corrupt reporting. It's time to take these fiction writers to task. Is there a petition out there? Let's do something!!!!    



5/04/2005 05:10:00 PM

CBC ... Communist Broadcast Corp....

The bias of this tax payer funded enterprise knows no boundaries....

Disgusting of late to watch their glowing VE DAY coverage.... hyprocrites as they have supported the Liberals (the same party that has gutted our once proud military)

this is just another peice on the    



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