How to Complain to CBC about O’Leary’s exchange with Chris Hedges about Occupy Wall Street (Part 1)

[Edit: A response from the show’s Executive Producer, to my complaint can be read HERE]

I recently posted this on my Media Memes tubmlr but given its length and focus thought it would be good to post here.  It has been a while since a blog post and having just finished relocating from Europe back to Canada, hope to offer comments more regularly. Recently, drew a blog post from Creekside to my attention. The post offers a considered reflection on an exchange which took place on the CBC show between Lang and O’Leary ExchangeThe exchange was between one of the show’s hosts Kevin O’Leary, and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges focusing on the Occupy Wall Street (#occupywallstreet, #ows) protests.

While I will write about the show in more detail in another post, the point of this post is to encourage people, if you deem fit, to file a complaint with the CBC for Kevin O’Leary’s manner in the interview as a clear violation of CBC Journalistic standards.

Complaints should be sent to the CBC Ombudsman and should be in writing with your name, address and telephone number. Note that the Ombudsman does not respond to anonymous complaints.

You must including the following information: Program Name: Lang and O’Leary Exchange on CBC Television, CBC News Network or Air Date: October 6, 2011.

Be specific. When you feel a program or report was inaccurate, unfair or biased, please indicate how it was inaccurate, unfair or biased.

Complaints can be sent via email to the CBC Ombudsman.

Alternatively, complaints can be sent via snail mail to:

Kirk LaPointe
P.O. Box 500, Station A
Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6

Via fax to: Fax: (416) 205-2825

Via telephone: (416) 205-2978

Wondering what the CBC Journalistic Standards are? Read them here:

We seek out the truth in all matters of public interest. We invest our time and our skills to learn, understand and clearly explain the facts to our audience. The production techniques we use serve to present the content in a clear and accessible manner.

In our information gathering and reporting, we treat individuals and organizations with openness and respect. We are mindful of their rights. We treat them even-handedly.

We contribute to informed debate on issues that matter to Canadians by reflecting a diversity of opinion. Our content on all platforms presents a wide range of subject matter and views.

On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held theses views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time.

We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.

The trust of the public is our most valued asset. We avoid putting ourselves in real or potential conflict of interest. This is essential to our credibility.



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16 responses to “How to Complain to CBC about O’Leary’s exchange with Chris Hedges about Occupy Wall Street (Part 1)

  1. Meghan

    Thanks for the info! I am about to write to the ombudsman and will be sharing this blog entry with my friends and family.

  2. JEHR

    I complained to CBC but now I see I will have to make a copy of the complaint and send it to the ombudsman.

  3. JC In case you missed it, Kevin O’Leary, you are a jerk sir!

  4. jonno

    Hi – anyone see the entire show? Were there commercials? It could help to write to any company that bought ad space during this show to tell them you won’t be touching their products anymore.

  5. Thank you. I watched this the other day, and it made me question whether I was watching an American news channel or the CBC.

    As a Canadian living in the UK, I’m often asked what the media is like back home (especially in the light of the Murdoch/News of the world phone hacking scandal). My standard reply is that it is much like the BBC, impartial and fair.

    Then I saw that “interview”. It embarrassed me, I felt insulted that the CBC would resort to what appears like Fox news style tactics, and the fact that the man didn’t appear to have any ounce of respect for the person he was “interviewing” made me red with anger.

    And I’m still angry about it two days later. I don’t write, I’m a photographer, my medium of communication is images, but this made me want to write about it, to someone, who would listen. Thank you for providing the means to that end.

    • Many thanks for the comment, like you, I was a Canadian abroad living in Europe for 8 years (6 of them in the UK). In my time there I gained a deep appreciation for the BBC and the role and value of public broadcasting. The standards of journalism at the BBC, while they do have their faults at times, should be aspired to. In coming back to Canada it is apparent how the drive for market share and the standard American news format has impacted the CBC. The presence of O’Leary and the character or role that he fills – the Done Cherry of Business – is just as telling of the state of public broadcasting. From a journalistic perspective O’Leary’s actions are unprofessional so I will be interested to see what response I get from the CBC and will post it here.

  6. Merike Kalm

    CBC has been emasculated both on the Radio side and CBC TV Broadcasting side. The Conservative Government has not been a fan, and I think this is a preamble for cutting their total funding using the case that CBC is no longer relevant. It started with the new type of CEOs and programming. It has taken away Radio 2s interesting political/science/societal broadcasting to mostly social media broadcasting. The broadcasters who had opinions, and/or interesting things to say were removed and now we have media types who’s subject matter is just as irrelevant as the radio stations that depend on their advertising money.

  7. Meredith Webber

    Thank you for the info, and I have filed a complaint as well. I was horrified by this interview–I thought I was watching US broadcast, until I reviewed it a second time! I suppose that shows how often I watch that program…

  8. Neil Harvey

    This isn’t just an isolated episode – it’s symbolic of how this show just shouldn’t have a place at the CBC, and reflective of the organization’s wider decline and problems. A first step is to get organized and get it off the air –!/groups/290326374328343/

  9. Yolanda

    I just complained to the CBC Ombudsman – I am an admirer of Chris Hedges and what happended on the show seemed to mirror his own writings. The whole idea of spectacle and a complete lack of intelligent discourse invading our culture.
    the Conservatives are trying to cut 10% funding to the CBC, and a new report put out by the right wing think tank is all for selling the CBC. I’ve never thought the CBC was all that progressive, just perhaps a little more intelligent and reflective than say, CTV.
    Here is the report if anyone cares to look at it :
    No surprise, money is the bottom line.
    I’m not sure the the CBC could survive at all under some corporate sponsor. Are there any intelligent, thoughtful broadcasters that are privately funded? I have no idea.

  10. george

    “How to Complain”? Thanks for the info above. I want O’Learyto be free to speak his mind, and will be giving this message to the CBC.
    From the comments above, O’Leary was on to something regarding the left. As for the CBC, while i do watch it, the left-wing bias is clear. A blatant example is Little Mosque on The Prarrie. This is nothing more than forced normalization of Islam in Canada.
    The CBC should promote patriotism, something the left shuns.
    In my view, for that reason alone it ought to be sold.
    While these comments are off topic, the lines are clearly drawn.

  11. george

    Yesterday I posted a reply on this site in support of Kevin O’Leary. In it I noted the tactic of the Left is to always silence any disagreement.(and this from an academic)
    My reply remained visible for few hours, than it appears to have now been removed. This seems to validate my thesis. I rest my case.

  12. Pingback: For Chris Hedges Fans and those of you in Montreal: Occupy! Workshop in Montreal January 27tg | pmmcc | Patrick McCurdy

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