#GamerGate Coverage Doesn’t Need Balanced Reporting, Says CBC Radio Director
CBC News GamerGate

We’ve come to a point where the CBC will do anything to sink their heels in and defend their stance, even despicably standing by falsehoods. After running more than 10 biased hit-pieces on #GamerGate, they’ve yet to offer an honest view of the scandal. The CBC Radio Director for Network Talk, Lynda Shorten, has recently defended the broadcasting corporation’s stance on only focusing on the “negative” aspects of #GamerGate.

In an e-mail rebuttal to a concerned reader over a piece that aired on CBC Radio on February 25th, 2015 — a piece featuring Brianna Wu and lots of misinformation regarding #GamerGate and the Law & Order: SVU episode that was based on the hashtag — Shorten blatantly stated…

“While CBC’s journalistic policy expects our coverage to balance differing points of view, it also acknowledges that balance does not necessarily mean some sort of mathematical equivalency. Balance does not, for instance, mean that every voice critical of GamerGate must be immediately juxtaposed with an equally strong voice supporting GamerGate. It is not always possible or even desirable to include all relevant points of view in the short time available for one story. Indeed, balance is a more sophisticated concept that can be achieved over a series of programs or a period of time. The important thing is to ensure that differing points of view are treated in an equitable manner.”

If balance is a “sophisticated concept” that can be achieved over a length of time, why has there been no honest reporting of #GamerGate by the CBC? They’ve been covering the topic for almost a year now, spanning the likes of nearly a dozen articles.

Also, why is it okay for them to break their own ethics code to smear a group of people under a hashtag?

Their own ethics code states…

“We contribute to informed debate on issues that matter to Canadians by reflecting a diversity of opinion. Our content on all platforms presents a wide range of subject matter and views.


“On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time.”

Previously, the excuse was that there wasn’t enough time to detail some of the more important facts. However, the Lunar Archivist – the concerned viewer who has been documenting and contacting the CBC over their unethical coverage these past months – calculated the time that has been spent by the CBC covering the #GamerGate scandal and rolled out the following estimate…

“If you add the air time for these ten segments up, we come to a grand [total] of 1 hour 5 minutes and 34 seconds. So the CBC, over the course of a year, has managed to devote over an hour of programming to matters either directly or tangentially related to GamerGate or which mentioned it disparagingly in some fashion but exactly none to discussing GamerGate’s stated raison d’être, ethics in video game journalism”

[Update: There’s a Reddit post available listing all the hit-pieces CBC published regarding #GamerGate]

CBC Radio Director Lynda Shorten, however, is supposedly known for being stringent when it comes to following ethical guidelines and presenting information in a matter-of-fact way.

According to a post on Canadaland Show, Jesse Brown, a journalist, had mentioned that for one segment they had to recreate an event without the original audio, and they used a stand-in for a scene that was going to be used in a pilot episode for a CBC show. Brown stated…

“I used the tape for the un-broadcast pilot, and made a note to bring it up later with Lynda Shorten the executive producer.


“Weeks later, once the show had been picked up. I was discussing future episodes with Lynda Shorten, and I mentioned that I had re-created the bit and asked if we should do that for on air episodes or not.


“She was shocked. She killed the pilot episode, which we later re-did, and she hauled me into management’s office and put a note on my file.


“It was surreal. The distinction between the funny parts of the show and the journalism in the show was very clear. And I was happy to simply not do scripted bits in the future. But this was all dealt with humourlessly and with the utmost severity.”

Shorten seemed intent on upholding ethics in that case, but seems to hand-wave it away in this case.

This comes shortly after the French-Canadian Ombudsman, Pierre Tourangeau, acknowledged that one of the ICI ARTV writers published inaccurate information about #GamerGate, but still opted to say that they didn’t breach any ethical standards with the JSP.

In a Reddit thread on Kotaku in Action by Mug33k and a rough machine translation by Lunar Archivist, Tourangeau defended another piece of misinformation targeted at the consumer revolt. He did acknowledge that part of the article published on ICI EXPLORA from Alex Beausoleil was changed after users pointed out the factual inaccuracy surrounding claims about playing as a female in Fallout 4. The media has been running rampant claiming that this was the first time players could create a female character, even though the ability to play as a female has been present throughout the history of the Fallout franchise.

What’s more is that Tourangeau argues in defense of Beausoleil, when claims were made in the article that Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is the first time that players can play as a female in the main series of the game, hand-waving away a previous entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, where a female was also playable. Tourangeau states…

“In fact, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is not a sequel to previous entries, but a side story (spin off) created for the PlayStation Vita and exclusively released in October 2012 on this portable console, which had been introduced to the American market seven months earlier by Sony.


“[…] even if these versions offered the possibility of playing as a female character, it can be argued that Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is the first time that the main series has offered a female central character.”

That’s a blatant red herring and poor use of semantics.

It’s like saying playing Knuckles didn’t count in Sonic & Knuckles because it wasn’t a numerical follow-up to Sonic 3.

The fact of the matter remains that you could play as a female Assassin before Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. A number, a spin-off or a subtitle doesn’t change that fact.

Regardless, Tourangeau defends each of the points in the blog titled “Female Presence at E3 2015” on the ICI EXPLORA sub-domain that was published on June 18th, 2015. He concludes by stating…

“I would like to add that it is quite normal for a producer of information content, whatever her functions and her role, to make mistakes. What [is] not normal, and would constitute a violation of the JPS, would be to not acknowledge those mistakes and to not correct them.”

So I suppose there won’t be any clarification that you could play as a female in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation? Misinformation by omission of facts is okay by Tourangeau’s standard?

Anyway, Lunar Archivist has forwarded his complaints to CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin, before prepping to move complaints to the CRTC. In the case of the ICI, Tourangeau had mentioned previously that he won’t be reviewing anymore of the complaints about the inaccurate and misappropriated content regarding #GamerGate.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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