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article imageCTV guilty of unethical conduct towards Stephane Dion

By Mark Kersten     Jun 1, 2009 in Politics
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has found that a CTV interview from the 2008 Canadian Federal Election between anchor Steve Murphy and then Canadian Liberal leader Stephane Dion breached ethical standards.
With five days to go in the election, Murphy asked the Dion question "If you were prime minister now, what would you have done about the economy and this crisis that Mr. Harper has not done?" The Council called the query "confusing." During the interview, Dion was visibly confused and asked to begin anew on three separate occasions. However, the CBSC ruled that "blame for misapprehension cannot simply be laid at the feet of the interviewee."
Following the conclusion of the interview, Dion's team asked that the outtakes not be including in the aired production. Despite agreeing to not showing the restarts, CTV broadcast all of the outtakes, a decision the Council called "discourteous and inconsiderate".
Shortly after the interview aired, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper claimed that the video was proof that Stephane Dion could not be trusted to lead Canada.
CTV President, Robert Hurst, defending his network's decision and Murphy: "CTV News also stands by the conduct of Atlantic Canada's most watched news anchor Steve Murphy, one of the region's longest-serving and most respected journalists, who has been unfairly criticized throughout this process."
According to a CBC
, the CBSC also "studied complaints lodged against CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live program. The show rebroadcast Dion's false starts and discussed it with a panel of politicians and later with journalists." They determined that Duffy had gone "too far" and that he "was not fair, balanced or even-handed." Just months after the election, Mike Duffy was appointed a Senator by Harper.
Of course, the ruling likely will not appease Dion, who subsequently lost the Liberal leadership after the Liberals won just 26% of the popular vote and only 77 of 308 seats in the House of Commons. The CBC noted that a spokesman for Dion said that the ruling "speaks for itself."
A video of the interview may be seen here.
More about Stephane Dion, Canadian media, Election 2008
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