Bill Good mounted a defence of Christy Clark today following release of David Basi’s accusations that Premier Christy Clark was very much involved in the corrupt sale of BC Rail and was leaking confidential information to fixers involved in the deal.
Good was joined by Keith Baldrey who wondered even “if it is a story.”
They argue that no smoking gun has emerged to prove the Liberal government guilty of corruption and they say that Basi cannot be trusted. They didn’t discuss who is preventing examination of the entire body of evidence or who negotiated and paid to end the court process that should have provided definitive answers.
Listeners should be asking if these media members are trustworthy.
Of course not. They’ve taken a side in British Columbia’s political wars. For example, the BC Chamber of Commerce is a highly partisan organization. Directors and their companies have donated about $1 million to BC Liberals and Chambers have received millions from taxpayers in return.
The BC Chamber calls itself “the most influential business association in BC – the provincial leader in public policy…” One of the ways it gains influence is through the relationships it fosters with members of the media.
Good and Baldrey, along with Vaughn Palmer, appeared May 25 at the Annual General Meeting of the BC Chamber of Commerce. This has been a regular gig for the trio and their Dull Edge from the Ledge. The cost of attending this year’s 2-hour bun toss at the Chamber’s AGM in Penticton was $60 a person. The Chamber has not been the only customer of the Good/Palmer/Baldrey roadshow during the past few years.
Is it a conflict of interest for media members to accept appearance fees from industries and partisan groups who have a direct interest in their reporting and commentary? Is it at least an apparent conflict?
CKNW and Corus Radio claim they observe codes of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. One of those codes says this:
Clause 6 – Full, Fair and Proper Presentation
It is recognized that the full, fair and proper presentation of news, opinion, comment and editorial is the prime and fundamental responsibility of each broadcaster. This principle shall apply to all radio and television programming, whether it relates to news, public affairs, magazine, talk, call-in, interview or other broadcasting formats in which news, opinion, comment or editorial may be expressed by broadcaster employees, their invited guests or callers.
Electronic journalists will govern themselves on and off the job in such a way as to avoid conflict of interest, real or apparent.
In media, standards of conduct and transparency are more boasted about than actually observed. Additionally, if one person is in conflict, there is a quiet expectation that colleagues will not report the conflict.
It’s an unprincipled situation that undermines credibility of the entire mainstream media.