Earlier this week, I told you about a couple of troubling (some might say threatening) anti-Harper tweets made by CBC gardening columnist Lyndon Penner.
I can now report that a reader filed a complaint to CBC about these tweets and received this response:
Thank you for your email of December 20th to the CBC Ombudsman raising concerns about social media comments made by our gardening columnist, Lyndon Penner. As I am responsible for CBC Saskatchewan, Jennifer McGuire has asked me to reply.
In particular you referenced a tweet from August 19th that stated:
“When Stephen Harper dies, I’m having a cake made and hosting a party.”
You’re right, of course, that this tweet is problematic, and risks compromising public perception of the CBC’s integrity. So let me tell you what happened, and what we’re doing now.
First, understand that Mr. Penner is not an employee. He is a freelancer who provides content for programs in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. When he is on our airwaves he discusses gardening, not politics or other social issues. So he simply didn’t realize that expressing his personal opinions would have an impact on the CBC, which is essentially a client of his.
Today, he understands that very well. We’ve followed up with Mr. Penner to review his obligations as a freelancer for CBC. I don’t anticipate this being a recurring issue.
Thanks again for your email. I hope my reply has reassured you about the integrity of CBC News and Centres.
It is also my responsibility to inform you that if you are not satisfied with this response, you may wish to submit the matter for review by the CBC Ombudsman, Esther Enkin. The Office of the Ombudsman – an independent and impartial body reporting directly to the President – is responsible for evaluating program compliance with the CBC’s journalistic policies. Ms. Enkin may be reached by mail at Box 500, Terminal A, Toronto, Ontario M5W1E6, or by fax at
(416) 205-2825, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Senior Managing Director
Prairie/ North Region
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