August 17, 2015

My complaint filed to the CBC Ombudsman against comedian Mark Critch for campaigning against Conservative candidate

Dean SkoreykoRebel Blogger

My complaint sent August 16, 2015:

There is often a thin line separating hard-hitting political satire and outright political activism. Through some of his recent actions on Twitter, I believe This Hour Has 22 Minutes personality and CBC humour columnist Mark Critch has crossed that line, and has compromised his professional obligation, as a CBC representative, to avoid clear and unambiguous partisan activity.

On August 12, Mr. Critch wrote a series of tweets intended to provoke opposition to Conservative candidate Paul Calandra.

His actions were described by other media as an unambiguous activist campaign, for example, in the August 14, 2015 story by The Canadian Press: Mark Critch launches Twitter campaign against MP Paul Calandra.

CBC policy 2.2.17 states that “News, current affairs and public affairs personnel who are subject to CBC/Radio-Canada’s Journalistic Standards and Practices (“JSPs”) may not engage in designated political activities,” which “designated political activities” being previously defined in the same policy as “publicly supporting a candidate or political party,” among other things.

I believe that a reasonable reading of 2.2.17 would classify Mr. Critch’s actions towards Mr. Calandra as unacceptable “political activities” as Mr. Critch was waging a campaign of overt opposition to Mr. Calandra for reasons that were not satirical or humorous in purpose, but simply rooted in Mr. Critch’s personal dislike for Mr. Calandra’s conduct as a politician.

Mr. Critch should be suspended from commenting on his CBC Twitter account and CBC News until he apologises and admits his comments and actions broke CBC policy.

Dean Skoreyko


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commented 2015-08-27 12:17:16 -0400
Critch knew what he was doing was wrong. He did it to ensure people knew where he stands politically to try and influence his fans. He knew he would only get a slap on the risk. He should instead be fired for abusing his position.
commented 2015-08-26 21:10:59 -0400
Mark Critch is a nothing. You cheat on your taxes. You’re a lying piece of sh*t.
-Angry Earl
commented 2015-08-19 05:13:45 -0400
Jimmy, it’s NOT the same as Jon Stewart, because Jon Stewart doesn’t work for the CBC. Read the policies — the ones on ethics, politics and social media in particular.
commented 2015-08-18 13:43:16 -0400

Nope – as a comedian, who covers politics – this doesn’t apply to him. It was what he was hired to do. Same as Jon Stewart.
commented 2015-08-18 13:12:14 -0400
I consider myself to have a good sense of humour. I laugh a lot, joke a lot, even until being silly. But I don’t think Critch and his crew are funny. Often they are even irreverent. Best to get rid of them.
commented 2015-08-17 16:07:23 -0400
Looks like CBC taking policy seriously.
commented 2015-08-17 15:39:54 -0400
OK now I understand – apparently you are quite the kook per what people are saying about you on the internet.
commented 2015-08-17 15:11:31 -0400
Fuck, man – you are an idiot. First for not knowing what you are talking about and secondly for actually complaining about this.

It’s part of Critch’s job description. 22 Minutes is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in Canada. He probably told CBC that he was doing it and they thought it would be great since the CBC posted the story themselves. Critch is not news, current affairs or public affairs personnel – he is a comedian. Thus the CBC policy doesn’t apply to him.