Supporters for Responsible and Professional Journalism in Canada
On the October 6th Edition of the Lang and O'Leary Exchange, Kevin O'Leary interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges. Mr. Hedges was asked to give his opinions on the significance of the growing Occupy Wall Street Movement that is currently sweeping across America. Today is October 15, 2011 and thousands are expected to join in solidarity across Canada.
If you have not seen this interview, I have attached a link below:
Kevin O'Leary's behaviour is a violation of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Policy 2.2.21 Code of Conduct, in addition to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Journalistic Standards:
Kevin O'Leary must be immediately dismissed by the CBC. This letter is directed to Robert Lack, the Executive Producer of the Lang and O'Leary Exchange. I greatly appreciate any feedback or grammar corrections. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your help and support is greatly appreciated. I am hoping to have a final signature count of 300.
Yes, we can put at end to toxic journalism. This is very exciting!
Dear Robert Lack,
I am writing in response to Kevin O’Leary’s interview with Chris Hedges that aired on the October 6th 2011 Edition of the Lang and O’Leary Exchange. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges was asked to give his opinions on the significance of the growing Occupy Wall Street Movement that is currently sweeping across America.
As a regular viewer and as a former employee of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I am furious and completely appalled by O’Leary’s tactless and vulgar “character assassination” (as rightly described by Hedges himself) of his guest, Chris Hedges.
O’Leary’s disrespectful comment “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you sound like a complete left-wing nutbar.” is the complete opposite of professional journalism. This is more than juvenile name-calling. O’Leary purposely belittles his guest and continues to conduct his interview with inappropriate aggression. This display of complete insolence severely damages the reputation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a trustworthy, reliable and professional news source. Chris Hedges himself recognizes this and has even vowed to never be interviewed by the CBC again. The repercussions of this are enormous and only negative. What other voices will the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation allow to be bullied?
I have worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto from 2003 to 2010 as a Lighting Board Operator and Lighting Technician. I have worked almost exclusively on the news floor for programs including The National and Sunday Morning/Night News. I know exactly what comprises truly strong journalism. Hosts including Peter Mansbridge, Diana Swain and Wendy Mesley have shown themselves time and again to be intelligent, graceful, and sincere interviewers. Never in my seven years have I witnessed these hosts descend into the toxic and embarrassingly ignorant behavior as shown by Kevin O’Leary.
Would Kevin O’Leary’s behavior be tolerated outside of the studio? Mr. Lack, do you deliberately belittle or bully your co-workers? Do you resort to name-calling in the office? Do you condescend to the guests on your program? I have never worked for you before, but I am fairly sure that you, as a professional, behave in a professional manner. If you do not, I will remind you the aforementioned behaviors violate the CBC Policy 2.2.21 Code of Conduct, as carefully outlined under 'Statement of Individual Values'. Under 'Respect in the Workplace' it explicitly states “Every employee must behave in a respectful and professional manner in all dealings related to their employment, whether dealing with other employees, suppliers, consultants, or members of the public. Behaviour that is disrespectful, offensive, intimidating or humiliating, intentional or otherwise, will not be tolerated.” As such, this also breaches the CBC Journalistic Standards and Practices whose policy is clear: “We avoid generalizations, stereotypes and any degrading or offensive words or images that could feed prejudice or expose people to hatred or contempt.”
The attached petition proves the growing concern Kevin O’Leary’s behavior has raised in CBC viewers in Canada, but also internationally. I am one of (# of Signatures) individuals who believe in responsible and professional journalism. As well, I am one of the millions of Canadian citizens whose tax dollars pay the salaries of CBC employees.
My fellow petitioners and I demand that appropriate measures be taken to stop the type of blatant unprofessionalism as shown by Kevin O’Leary. We are requesting the immediate dismissal of Kevin O’Leary. His behavior, and that of others that may follow, simply should not under any circumstances be tolerated.
Daniele Guevara & Fellow Petitioners