‘Impartial’ CBC turns thumbs down on Gingrich

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Newt Gingrich in happier times

Poor Newt Gingrich. Just when the latest frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination thought he was doing OK in the polls, along comes CBC Radio’s Washington correspondent to blast him out of the water.

“He’s cocksure, loves the sound of his own voice and has a knack for putting his foot in it,” Michael Colton declared to the millions listening to last night’s World at Six. “One of his latest brainwaves: put poor, i.e. black children to work as school janitors, something the rest of the world calls child labour.”

Colton invited his listeners to “laugh if you want,” before pointing out that Mitt Romney, another Republican hopeful isn’t laughing because of Gingrich’s sudden rise in the polls.

Colton wasn’t done yet. He pointed out that Gingrich “may be a hypocrite” because he was secretly cheating on his wife in the 90s while trying to impeach Bill Clinton for doing the same.

“But since then he’s divorced for the second time, married his mistress, found religion, made a pile of money and now rather amazingly he finds himself in the thick of the race for the biggest job in the country.”

But not if the CBC can help it. On this morning’s World Report, Colton labelled Gingrich one of the Republicans’ “angry old men” calling him “condescending” and “defensive.” He reported that Gingrich “is also fond of taking this shot at the African-American in the White House. He calls Barack Obama the ‘food stamps president.'”

Colton then played a clip in which Gingrich points out that more Americans relied on food stamps during Obama’s presidency than at any other time in history — a point, that apparently unbeknownst to Colton, happens to be true. Colton called it “classic Gingrich, nasty, undisciplined, even reckless.”

“Our value of impartiality precludes our news and current affairs staff from expressing their personal opinions on matters of controversy on all our platforms,” the CBC’s code of journalistic standards and practices piously proclaims.

But not, it seems, when it comes to cocksure, nasty and reckless buffoons like Newt Gingrich.

About Bruce Wark

Bruce Wark is a freelance journalist and retired journalism professor who lives in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. He taught the history and ethics of journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia for 15 years. Before that, he worked for 19 years at CBC Radio news serving as a producer in charge of such network programs as World at Six, World Report and The House. He also produced Media File, a national program that looked critically at the performance of the news media. Along the way, Wark also worked as CBC Radio's legislative reporter in Ontario and as its National Reporter in Canada's Maritime provinces.
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