As reported by Andrew Mitrovica on iPolitiics (external - login to view)
, the CBC ombudsman, Esther Enkin, has finally reached her decision on the many conflict of interest complaints lodged against Rex Murphy and Peter Mansbridge.
Briefly, here is what she said:
“Given that Journalistic Standards and Practices spells out a commitment to independence, and the Conflict of Interest guidelines encompass perception of conflict as well, it is inconsistent with policy when CBC news and current affairs staff accept payment from groups that are likely to be in the news.
She has a somewhat timid suggestion for CBC management:
“But since taking money leads to a perception of a conflict of interest, CBC management might want to consider, in the review they are undertaking, whether even with disclosure, it is appropriate for CBC news and current affairs staff to get paid for their speaking engagements.
“To summarize, in the course of reviewing its policy, I hope CBC management will reconsider the practice of paid speaking engagements for its journalists and, at a minimum, consider how any relevant activity and payment can be on the public record.”
As Mitovica tartly points out,
Enkin’s ruling is a stinging rebuke of Mansbridge and Murphy — who, since the controversy broke in iPolitics, have not only been unapologetic about receiving payment from outside vested-interest groups, but have also vowed to continue the controversial practice despite mounting criticism and condemnation.
Will anything change as a result of this finding? Given the fierce recalcitrance of Rex Murphy, more a legend in his mind than in anyone else's, I am dubious. But one hopes that the CBC will show a shred of its rapidly diminishing integrity and issue Newfoundland's favorite son an ultimatum.
After all, given Rex's apparent popularity with the tarsand enthusiasts, he should have no problem keeping body and soul together by continuing to be a shill for the petroleum industry.
You can’t have the cash and keep the credibility | iPolitics (external - login to view)
The ombudsman's full report can be read here (external - login to view)