If you or a family member is in the RCMP, you might want to share this story with them. Last week CBC smeared the reputation of the national police force unnecessarily. I’m not against critiquing the Mounties when warranted but last week’s CBC story was nothing but fake news.
You can read the full details here but to sum it up, CBC made two false claims about how the RCMP handled the arrest of Gerald Stanley. Stanley was arrested and charged with the murder of Coulten Boushie on August 9, 2016, the day Stanley shot Boushie.
Stanley has since been acquitted and the case has sparked lots of debate and lots of heated comments especially along racial lines, something this CBC story didn’t help.
CBC claimed that the RCMP arrested Stanley and then let him go home that night and come back the next day to make his statement. They also claimed the RCMP never seized Stanley’s clothing. Neither of those comments are true.
Yet CBC used those statements to build their report, including finding experts that said the Mounties were “sloppy” and “negligent.”
The full TV report ran for off the top of CBC’s The National and took up the first eight and a half minutes of the show. It also was the top story on CBC Radio’s the World at Six. It was repeated over and over again in follow-up stories for days along with calls to investigate the RCMP for their handling of the case.
Once CBC was proven wrong, again you can read more on that here, how did they respond?
Well they didn’t lead their newscasts with the fact that they were wrong. They didn’t have their experts back on to ask if the claims of “sloppy” and “negligent” still applied. They didn’t go back to the Boushie family or their lawyer Chris Murphy to ask if their comments implying racism by the Mounties still stood.
No, they gave a vague statement that lasted about 30 seconds and came at about 19 minutes past the top of the hour in the TV broadcast (it airs at about 16:44 in this online version.)
Here is the full text of the statement they read out.
A previous version of this story stated Gerald Stanley was released after his arrest — and a statement was not taken until the following day. We have since obtained new information showing that, while his statement was not taken until the day following his arrest, he was not released. We had also previously reported there was no indication his clothing was seized. The new information shows that it was. We contacted the RCMP prior to our reporting, but they declined to comment on these specific issues. We stand by the remainder of our reporting.
So they were wrong, they should have known better and to make up for their smear of the RCMP, CBC blames the Mounties for their own failings. The reason the Mounties said they would not comment is because the appeal period was still open and they could not comment in public until that period closed, which it did days later.
I could possibly understand that CBC made this mistake if they had assigned a local junior reporter to the story. That’s not the case here.
This was CBC’s senior reporter David Common assigned to do this as an “investigative piece.”
It looks like the only investigation they did was talk to the Boushie family and their lawyer and then run with false claims. Had they spoken to the Crown prosecutor or the defence lawyer then this would not have happened. All sides could have pointed to the agreed upon statement of facts that were presented to the court last December.
Instead CBC went with a story that fit their narrative that the Mounties gave Gerald Stanley special treatment because he was white and didn’t take the death of Coulten Boushie seriously because he was a young Indigenous man.
The facts don’t back up that narrative, even when CBC invents facts.
After the network spent days going over this story and pumping it up, I’d say they owe the Mounties more than a few half-hearted words late in the broadcast. They owe all Mounties a full apology.
All of the research on how badly CBC screwed up came from my friend John Gormley who hosts hos own radio show that airs across Saskatchewan. He joined me on Newstalk 580 CFRA the other night to detail what was so wrong.
You can watch the whole awful original story here