November 13, 2015

UPDATE: CBC defends Mary Walsh: "She does not at any point in the video equate or compare Mr. Harper to Adolf Hitler"

Dean SkoreykoRebel Blogger
 

As I reported on October 8, comedian Mary Walsh produced a partisan video during the election campaign comparing Stephen Harper to Adolph Hitler and equating his administration with the East German secret police.

After the CBC posted this video, ostensibly as part of a news story, I sent a complaint to the CBC Ombudsman.

Today I received a reply:

This is in response to your email of October 9 addressed to Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman, and blog post of the same date (“My complaint to CBC Ombudsman about Mary Walsh equating Harper to Hitler”) drawing our attention to a CBCNews.ca story posted on October 7 on the Newfoundland and Labrador page under the headline, “’Save’ Stephen Harper, Marg Delahunty says in protest video”.

Since CBCNews.ca in Newfoundland and Labrador falls under my responsibility, Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News, asked me to reply to you directly.

Let me say immediately that I regret you found Ms. Walsh’s words offensive. However, I want to be clear at the outset that the video you are referring to was written and produced entirely by Ms. Walsh and subsequently posted on her online protest page. CBCNews.ca subsequently published a news story about the video and only provided a link to it to illustrate the story.

Of course, Ms. Walsh is a popular figure in Newfoundland and Labrador. As I expect you know, she is a multiple award-winning comedian and actress, who for many years performed in the long-running CBC program This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Among the most popular of the characters she played is Marg Delahunty, a super-heroine. Dressed in her colourful Princess Warrior costume, Ms. Walsh has been widely covered in the news media over the years surprising politicians across the country, often mock-admonishing them for their perceived public shortcomings. You may recall stories from a few years ago, when in the guise of the Princess Warrior, Ms. Walsh visited then Mayor Rob Ford’s house in suburban Toronto.

On October 5, the popular comic, once again dressed as the Princess Warrior, posted a video to her online political protest page, “Marg Brings Change”. The tongue-in-cheek, anti-Conservative video, which was later uploaded to YouTube, was quickly viewed tens of thousands of times.

Whether you share it or not, anti-Harper sentiment was a recurrent theme heard during the election campaign. Ms. Walsh was the latest popular performer to urge Canadians not to vote Conservative.

On October 7, two days after it had been publicly released, CBC News posted an online story about recent artistic performances critical of Mr. Harper, noting that Ms. Walsh as Marg Delahunty had now joined Blue Rodeo, Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde in expressing her political views. It was not serious political coverage or analysis; nevertheless, we felt it contributed one more perspective to CBC’s extensive cross-platform election coverage.

The story briefly describes the video and quotes Ms. Delahunty before including something of the popular local performer’s background and pointing out that she and Mr. Harper had not always been so adversarial, noting that the two had once “famously locked lips”. By way of illustration, the story included Ms. Walsh’s video as well as links to the Blue Rodeo song, the Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde tune and video clips of Ms. Walsh on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

I should emphasize that the video expresses Ms. Walsh’s views, not the CBC’s — CBC is prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view – and she is in the best position to explain or defend it. However, I can tell you that she does not at any point in the video equate or compare Mr. Harper to Adolf Hitler.

At one point, she suggests the government has cloaked itself in secrecy. In that vein she refers to Mr. Harper, using his first name, as “Stasi Steve”, an alliterative, if clearly absurd, reference to the former East German secret police. Seconds later, she follows that with the alliterative Germanic honorific, “Herr”, ahead of his surname. Her rant is exaggerated, inflated, evidently untrueand, certainly, partisan, but in our view it is not hateful.

I fully realize that any comparison to Adolf Hitler is offensive to many. And rightly so. But we do not believe Ms. Walsh’s video crossed that threshold. It’s something we are sensitive to and I regret that you understood her as “equating” the two in this instance.

Denise Wilson
Senior Managing Director
CBC Atlantic

 

 

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Comments
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commented 2015-11-16 22:46:14 -0500
I work with a lot of Newfies that are funny, legitimately, original, naturally funny. This whatever piece of work is not what I associate with the everyday, hard working, fun loving people from the rock I have met. This thing is a never been, not funny, CBC inspired, nothing. And I take offense to her Halloween costume. It makes fun of my heritage. As such, a complaint to the HRC is in order. That and a complaint to the HRC on behalf of all the legitimate comedians. that somebody somewhere identified it as a comedian, this slug is not in that category. Sorry, this hour has 22 minutes should not be receiving tax dollars. Has anybody actually watched more than 5 minutes ?
commented 2015-11-16 02:11:26 -0500
It is akin to commercial advertising where the CBC has agreed to cover it as a news story, and to link to a “third party” website to appear arms length from the source.
commented 2015-11-15 13:30:36 -0500
and my complaint of them looping a shot of pm harper with men in yarmulkes.. behind barton critiquing the first debate was subliminal messaging. was dismissed by anti semite jennifer harwood as being “chosen at random”.. was rubber stamped by ombudsman and self loathing jew esther enkin……and another example of cbc anti semitism was mansbridge citing a 3 year old survey to show canadians support of palestine… of course anti semite jennifer harwood is married to mansbridge producer, anti semite mark harrison.. ..cbc ombudsman enkin must believe cbcs own praising of her “ethics” as a 35 year employee..
commented 2015-11-15 07:51:36 -0500
CBC loves to support any old has been who slithers to the surface to get attention.
How much air time do you think they would have given “Marg” if it had been anti liberal ?
Also, their love affair with old rock stars and actors who are all but forgotten, but want attention and do so by suddenly, after a life of caring less, decide to become crusaders against things they have no clue about. Whether it be oil, seals, carbon or governments you name it.
commented 2015-11-14 21:40:28 -0500
Who cares what a comedian says? Don’t be that person who is offended over everything and has to write complaint letters. Don’t allow yourself to be offended.
commented 2015-11-14 19:56:56 -0500
Sticks and stones! Big deal ! We with a clean conscience and slightly ruff can stand in the light whereas this degenerate can only look in ahh and with envy at what real men and woman have built which her kind will never achieve! Canadian Period.
commented 2015-11-14 11:13:26 -0500
This old bag is about as funny as a beached whale. But she does, however, live up to the high standards of the CBC. Like Trudeau and the libs, just full of lies and horse pucky. What an absolute embarrassment!
commented 2015-11-14 08:01:04 -0500
Tresus – hang onto your neck, maybe wear a collar, you are going to need it, under the faux prince Trudeau.
commented 2015-11-14 00:47:58 -0500
This is outrageous.
Harper is clearly more like Stalin than Hitler.
commented 2015-11-13 22:19:45 -0500
This woman is clearly unstable. Denise Wilson is an apologist. This woman did exactly equate Harper with Hitler. The CBC can’t hide their bias. And that other idiot on 22 Minutes, the newfie guy, is so unfunny and annoying. If I were a Newf I’d be annoyed by the guy too. Well idiots believed CBC’s narrative that Justin was the saviour of Canada and Harper was the downfall. They’ll find out that Justin was a big mistake and it was the idiotic CBC that helped spread the propaganda. Piss off CBC and Mary Walsh and that other idiot. OH yeah his name is Rick Mercer. Fucking idiot!!
commented 2015-11-13 22:08:17 -0500
I guess Gomeshi was just acting out a scene from a play he was going to do as well.
commented 2015-11-13 20:16:00 -0500
The CBC must also think the attacks in France are just random GUNMEN.
commented 2015-11-13 20:15:25 -0500
This is OK and non offending but tweet a photoshopped pic of Khadr and the media party blows a gasket.
commented 2015-11-13 20:14:24 -0500
CBC is prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view?? LMAO , in other words they can support a very specific point of view. What a joke. That is like me claiming i have been with as many women as Gene Simmons.
commented 2015-11-13 19:29:03 -0500
I( believe they waited until after the election before they responded to the complaint, and due to the election results, they took it upon themselves to give you a GIANT FU!!
commented 2015-11-13 18:34:39 -0500
Foxtrot Bravo – she probably can’t even take credit for writing the letter. I’m sure that it was dictated to her to copy and paste to all the complainants.
commented 2015-11-13 18:16:58 -0500
“As I expect you know, she is a multiple award-winning comedian”
The only Canadian on TV (OK, the internet) that is even vaguely funny is Ezra Levant, I really like (most of) his humour. Those old, stinky, never-beens on CBC are just that. The last time CBC had someone funny on their channel was, I believe, Wayne and Shuster. Denise Wilson (who ever she is) has a huge chip on her shoulder, that’s fairly evident from the tone of her letter.
commented 2015-11-13 17:04:43 -0500
That “non-answer answer” comment was pretty accurate. Here’s a perspective: she says the CBC is non-partisan, but don’t hold the network accountable if someone who works in the public for them spouts excessively and publicly on their own dime and on their own time in a particular direction. So, Mansbridge gets philosophical about Trudeau, that’s him on his own time (only it wasn’t). So, Rick Mercer goes off on the Tories, that’s him on his own time (again – not really). So, Mary Walsh starts an anti-Harper fundraiser and her employer accomodates her (surprise!) with a story, but it’s on her own time. It takes a special kind of willful blindness to not see the trend. And this “Trudeau’s funding promise had nothing to do with the CBC’s blatant bias” is thin enough to read the Red Star’s lies through. So, what about all the left wingers calling for Don Cherry’s head when he talks about political issues? I’m sure old Rex has had his name mentioned a few times along with some form of censorship suggestions from time to time. I’m guessing that’s what it’ll take, before the problem gets so public, so “Ministry of Truth” that the public, the government, and the network will finally have to acknowledge the so obvious truth that the CBC is no more than a mouthpiece for the left in general, and the LPC specifically. Someone like Rex will have to come out with something so blatantly pro – Conservative that there will have to be accusations of bias from the public left wing heads at the network. Then the knives will come out, and the bias at the CBC et al will have to be publicly acknowledged, at last. This “nudge and wink” attitude among the media party will just continue on, until they are forced to be truthful about their bias. Oh – and those who would respond by pointing to theRebel and say “but they’re biased!” I say, so what? It’s the CBC who has to be unbiased, because they say they are. How is it not okay for a biased group to point to a group that says it’s better because it isn’t biased and show that it is actually biased? How is the CBC morally superior to an organization that doesn’t lie about it’s bias?
commented 2015-11-13 17:02:25 -0500
Too sad to be funny – what a pathetic whitewash from an open propaganda tool. Heh being the “ombudsman” of this outfit is like being a human rights director in North Korea
commented 2015-11-13 16:48:28 -0500
Ha ha ha – the CBC DOES advocate the LEFTIST point of view. How dumb do they think we are?

COPIED AND PASTED:
CBC is prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view –
commented 2015-11-13 16:33:16 -0500
Figures.

Mary Walsh = Can’t Understand Normal Thought. Now use the first letter of each word and what does that spell.

It appears that talking code doesn’t count.

Mary Walsh = Can’t Understand Normal Thought. You see, I am just criticizing how Walsh thinks – that’s all.

Canadian Bigot Corporation – would you expect anything different?
commented 2015-11-13 16:19:28 -0500
Donald Perry – commented
Rather amusing when she says the CBC is prohibited from taking a political view for a specific party.

And yet they campaigned exclusively for PET’s man-child, by constantly attacking that mean old agenda driven PM Harper, to the detriment of our country! We know whose agenda the CBC is fulfilling here, no matter how they try to spin it into fairy dust, and popcorn farts.
commented 2015-11-13 15:57:16 -0500
Dean, I received the very same response from Denise Wilson in response to my complaint. For what it is worth, I sent the following back to her:

With respect to:
“Let me say immediately that I regret you found Ms. Walsh’s words offensive”, and “I fully realize that any comparison to Adolf Hitler is offensive to many…and I regret that you understood her as ‘equating the two in this instance.”
I am sure you are familiar with a “non-apology apology”, common in both politics and public relations. Your “regret” falls into that category, namely, that you saw nothing wrong with Ms. Walsh’s conduct but rather that the problem is mine for taking offense and having such an “understanding”.
It may be true that the video was written and produced entirely by Ms. Walsh, who has had a long profitable association with he CBC. However, CBCNews.ca happily published a news story about the video and provided a link to it to in order to promote this trash, because, after all, it fit with the anti-Harper CBC narrative.
I don’t care if Ms. Walsh is a popular figure in Newfoundland or that she is a “award-winning comedian and actress”. That does not excuse what she did!
“Whether you share it or not, anti-Harper sentiment was a recurrent theme heard during the election campaign. Ms. Walsh was the latest popular performer to urge Canadians not to vote Conservative.” According to this logic, it was all the more reason or justification for the CBC to pile on Harper, which itself was a major contributor to the “anti-Harper sentiment”, to jump on the bandwagon and give, Ms. Walsh, a friend and associate of the CBC, such a forum and exposure. That meanie, Stephen Harper, deserved it.
“I should emphasize that the video expresses Ms. Walsh’s views, not the CBC’s — CBC is prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view”. Given the CBC’s incredibly biased election coverage, I find laughable your statement that the CBC is “prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view”. I am sure you are aware, as well, that the journalists’ union was a registered third party campaigner. To top it off, Justin Trudeau even dangled a $150 million carrot in front of the CBC to bolster the CBC’s help to get him elected.
Undoubtedly, the most outrageous statement in your letter was, “However, I can tell you that she does not at any point in the video equate or compare Mr. Harper to Adolf Hitler”! Ms. Walsh, referring to Prime Minister Harper as “Stasi Steve” and “Herr Harper” and ending with a flourish with a Nazi salute in no way associates him with Hitler? Talk about cognitive dissonance! Turns out that Calgary Imam Syed Sohardwardy recently outclassed even classless Ms. Walsh by comparing former PM Stephen Harper to murderous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin!
With respect to your suggestion to submit the matter to the CBC Ombudsman, no thanks. I have gone that route before and found it likewise to be a waste of time.
As I pointed out at the start of my letter, “I don’t expect much to come of my complaint”, and your letter on behalf of the CBC didn’t disappoint. At least, you could have ended your letter thanking me for the financial support I involuntarily give to the CBC through my taxes.
commented 2015-11-13 15:48:22 -0500
Peter,

How did I attack the messenger exactly. I made a general statement and acknowledged that I agreed with the CBC response on this one.

You seem to have a problem with views you don’t like.
commented 2015-11-13 15:37:23 -0500
Looks like a case of CBC doing a CYA. Well they can KMA.
commented 2015-11-13 15:34:14 -0500
Rather amusing when she says the CBC is prohibited from taking a political view for a specific party.
The response is no more than can be expected from them. Is it not sad though that we must pay a billion a year to keep them in existence. We really do need to sell the CBC

The
commented 2015-11-13 15:31:05 -0500
“I should emphasize that the video expresses Ms. Walsh’s views, not the CBC’s — CBC is prohibited from advocating or supporting any particular point of view”
I see so the CBC clearly does not support any particular view, glad she cleared that up!
commented 2015-11-13 15:30:16 -0500
The only way to change the CBC and their self-righteous attitude is to defund the CBC or do a complete restaffing starting from the top down. However, we all know that will never happen.
commented 2015-11-13 15:28:25 -0500
Trust Michael Mann to take the opposite position regardless of what is said. Typical leftie agitator, attack the messenger and ignore the message.
commented 2015-11-13 15:25:50 -0500
Outrageous response. Typical patronizing “I regret you feel this way” theme with self affirming overtones. I also note that being non partisan has a hole in it the size of the proverbial “barn door”, that Denise runs through shrieking in childish glee, by claiming that the CBC didn’t “create” the content, only linked to it. So happy that we’re piling more money onto this failing Liberal monstrosity to cheerlead for Justin. I like that one fellow’s idea of the CPC campaigning to increase the budget for the CBC, then after winning, installing Ezra to run it.