Red Wall = Red Face

Journal Entry. Winnipeg
November 20th, 2007.

Richard Stursberg must be the luckiest man in Canada, Why ? Due to the abysmal state of media journalism in this country he gets to keep his job.

If this Falun Gong debacle had occurred just about anywhere else on this side of the Red Wall he'd have been out on his arse.

John Doyle can write all he wants about "Fort Dork this...and Fort Dork that" but when a REAL story comes along his column reads like he’s been out on the town all night.

Consider this -:

-- At the BBC the Controller resigns because an indie promo producer writes a sloppy line of script about the Queen.

-- At CBS Dan Rather is forced into retirement and his producer fired because they say Bush lied about his National Guard service. And oh yes...they have the memo to back it up.

-- At the Canal Plus office in Paris the CEO of the parent company Vivendi, Jean Marie Messier is barred from the building by a drunken mob of HIS EMPLOYEES forcing him to appear on the opposition channel to explain why he fired Canal Plus President, Pierre Lescure.

-- And in Canada there are serious allegations that a foreign government has caused our revered national broadcaster to take an independently produced film out of the hands of its producer and soften the editorial position of the film to the benefit of that foreign government...

....and nobody wants to know what’s going on ?

In today's Globe Doyle wrote a lazy column about how tough it is to complain about anything these days. (Note to J-school students – if you want an example of EASY MONEY – read this and remember he got paid for writing it.)

In the Star a news story quotes the Red Wall's producer as saying (the CBC)-:

"...called on Saturday and told (me) they were making more changes and did I want to be involved ? I said, No, I didn't. I'm on to my other projects and enough is enough."


And in yesterday's Sun crusty old Peter Worthington who used to know a story when he saw one wrote a meandering column which ended up saying-:

“...watch Beyond the Red Wall tomorrow night and judge for yourself”

(Note to J school students – if you want to see the definition of “unfocused” read this column.)

If it's true that television is the defining medium of our time then why are the makers of television - especially those who are paid by the taxpayer, allowed to shrug this mess off without coming clean on a few basic questions ?

In order to be .... helpful, here are a ten questions which I wouldn't mind hearing some answers to -:

1. What are the editorial differences between Red Wall version “A” - let’s call it the RDS cut...and Red Wall version “B” - the CBC English cut ?

2. Who approved version A ?

3. Why were these editorial concerns not raised then ?

4. Did the CBC lawyers sign off on version A ?

5. Why did the Chinese NOT object until the show was to air on The Lense ? Why didn't they complain before?

6. Were the Chinese given a “courtesy” screener by the CBC ?

7. Why did the producer agree to make changes after his film had aired TWICE on the CBC ?

8. What leverage did the CBC use on the producer to encourage these changes ?

9. What leverage did the Chinese use on the CBC to encourage these changes ?

10. Why was Patrick Brown (the CBC News correspondent in Asia) sent a screener of the film? Is the editorial staff in Toronto so uninformed about this issue ? If they are...what were they doing as production execs on it in the first place ?

...oh, hell – here’s one more –

11. will anyone get fired, forced into retirement, or abused by an angry mob of drunken technicians over this ?

Look ... many of us know how difficult it can be dealing with the Chinese. And the producer, the production execs, and senior management were clearly in a tough spot.

But the real failure here is the LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY from the rest of us.

It’s time our media critics got off the junket and rubber chicken circuit. Time they put their egos away. Time they remembered why they got into this business in the first place.

To ask questions. To find answers.

1 comment:

jimhenshaw said...

The sad truth is that there isn't a Woodward or Bernstein in all of Canada's newsrooms. Any real investigation of what went on inside the CBC is going to have to come from elsewhere.

In the midst of this debate, I was taken aback by a spot for the Beijing Olympics that ran during "Hockey Night in Canada" with Ron McLean pointing out all the tourist attractions around Tienamen Square without so much as mentioning what else once happened there or perhaps noticing the blood that still leeches up through the stones on a warm day.

You can find it online at CBC's Olympic site.

There's also a nice article by a Winnipeg lawyer in the November 23/07 National Post that pretty much proves the original content of the documentary was accurate and the purpose of the CBC edits.

I don't know how to put a link in comments, but there's more information at: www.organharvestinvestigation.net