CBC Defends Stance That #GamerGate Is About Rape, Murder Threats

CBC Defends Stance

The CBC Radio director of programming has responded to a listener’s inquiry into their broadcasting standards following multiple hit-pieces the CBC has aired, published and broadcast regarding #GamerGate, a scandal involving journalists who have been found to be connected to unethical and allegedly illegal behavior (this also includes CBC’s own staff who was recently fired for corruption). The response comes in lieu of the CRTC’s continued investigation into the CBC and they’re attempting to absolve themselves of any wrongdoing.

The CBC Radio director defended comments made on a recent radio program about a documentary called GTFO, which is about female gamers and harassment in the gaming industry.

Stephen Quinn, host of On the Coast, brought up #GamerGate to his guest Shannon Sun-Higginson on the May 8th, 2015 edition of the show, stating…

“The film was finished before GamerGate – and that was of course where anonymous players threatened to rape and murder female game developers, a couple of whom were actually featured in the [documentary]”

You can listen to the quote in full via a clip of Quinn’s comments below.

This could be considered as slander given that Adam Baldwin, the one who coined the term on August 27th, 2014, was not a gamer sending rape or murder threats to female game developers. He is neither convicted nor attached to any evidence of sending rape nor murder threats, and CBC should do well in providing the evidence if they’re going to publicly make such a damning accusation.

Baldwin used the hashtag as a way to summarize the scandal involving journalistic impropriety by the video game media. Attempting to defame Baldwin and those who questioned the media’s ineptitude regarding political bias and ideological agendas comes across as both disingenuous and factually inaccurate.

However, CBC Radio’s director of programming, Lorna Haeber, is defending host Stephen Quinn’s accusatory description, writing on record that…

“As part of the preamble to the question, Mr Quinn did try to put the issue of GamerGate into some context for the listener describing it as “when anonymous players threatened to rape and murder female game developers”. You took exception to that phrase saying there is “no evidence linking GamerGate supporters to any such incidents.” Again, the interview was not intended to explore GamerGate, and the phrase was intended to remind people quickly what it was about so the question being asked made sense.”

Of course, reminding people of what it was about would be stating “GamerGate is a scandal involving journalists attached to alleged collusion and corruption starting in August of 2014”. The collusion has been proven as a fact, as evidenced with Breitbart’s reporting on the Game Journo Pros list [Disclosure: I was on the list], and corruption was proven when it was revealed Nathan Grayson, a writer at Kotaku, was romantically and financially tied to a subject he wrote about without disclosure.

The onus is on the CBC to provide evidence of #GamerGate being about rape and death threats. Empty conjecture while labeling the consumers and individuals using the hashtag as being involved with rape and death threats is purposed defamation without showing proof of intent or evidence for the allegations.

Haeber finishes the letter by stating…

“After reviewing your concerns, I believe the content on On The Coast was in line with CBC’s journalistic standards. Thank you again for your email. It is also my responsibility to let you know that if you are not satisfied with my response, you may wish to submit the matter for review by the CBC Ombudsman”

Essentially the CBC investigated itself and found itself innocent. However, attributing heinous acts to the activity of a group without proof, evidence or justification is the very act of improper and unethical reporting, as noted by the CBC’s own ethics policy, where they explicitly state…

“We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.”

The issue has already been brought to the attention of the CRTC, and this is something duly worth investigating, since the CBC has repeatedly made a ritual out of vilifying #GamerGate and the people attached to the consumer revolt, aiming for ethical reform.

Previously, CBC’s executive producer of The National, Mark Harrison, had acknowledged the media slant at CBC and stated that they would aim to rectify and provide more balanced coverage in the future. Unfortunately, the courtesy of balanced reporting was not enforced for CBC Radio’s coverage.

I did reach out to Haeber to offer her an opportunity to respond, something the CBC has never afforded anyone associated with the GamerGate hashtag.

(Thanks to Lunar Archivist for the tip. Main image courtesy of Ashion01)