Producer exits Canada’s public broadcaster over ‘radical political agenda,’ says CBC abandoned integrity

Media top headlines January 4

In media news today, comedian Patton Oswalt gets mocked for a lengthy apology after taking a picture with Dave Chappelle, Howard Stern slams Oprah Winfrey for hosting dinner parties amid COVID surge, and Governor DeSantis responds to media criticism that he was missing in December.

A veteran producer has resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, claiming in a scathing column that the network abandoned journalistic integrity to embrace a “woke” worldview and “a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States.” 

Tara Henley, a now-former TV and radio producer, penned an entry on Substack on why she left the CBC, detailing a newsroom stifled by far-left ideology that limits critical thinking and obsesses over race.

“For months now, I’ve been getting complaints about the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,” she wrote. “People want to know why, for example, non-binary Filipinos concerned about a lack of LGBT terms in Tagalog is an editorial priority for the CBC, when local issues of broad concern go unreported. Or why our pop culture radio show’s coverage of the Dave Chappelle Netflix special failed to include any of the legions of fans, or comics, that did not find it offensive. Or why, exactly, taxpayers should be funding articles that scold Canadians for using words such as ‘brainstorm’ and ‘lame.’”

A veteran producer resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation with a scathing column that claims the network abandoned journalistic integrity to embrace a "woke" worldview.

When she started working at Canada’s public broadcaster in 2013, Henley wrote, the CBC “produced some of the best journalism in the country” but nearly a decade later “it embodied some of the worst trends in mainstream media” and she needed to walk away. 

“The CBC went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press,” Henley wrote. “Those of us on the inside know just how swiftly — and how dramatically — the politics of the public broadcaster have shifted.”

Henley feels she used to be one of the most liberal staffers at the network, but things changed as her colleagues drifted further to the left. 

“I am now easily the most conservative, frequently sparking tension by questioning identity politics. This happened in the span of about 18 months. My own politics did not change,” Henley wrote. “To work at the CBC in the current climate is to embrace cognitive dissonance and to abandon journalistic integrity.” 

She blamed “a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States and spread through American social media platforms” who “monetize outrage and stoke societal divisions” for setting the tone of current media outlets such as the CBC. Henley also feels working at the CBC means one needs to “pretend that the ‘woke’ worldview is near universal.”

The CBC’s coverage of comedian Dave Chappelle’s controversial Netflix special didn’t feature anyone who supported the comic, according to a former producer.  (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shannon Finney)

“To work at the CBC now is to accept the idea that race is the most significant thing about a person, and that some races are more relevant to the public conversation than others. It is, in my newsroom, to fill out racial profile forms for every guest you book; to actively book more people of some races and less of others,” Henley continued. “To work at the CBC is to submit to job interviews that are not about qualifications or experience — but instead demand the parroting of orthodoxies, the demonstration of fealty to dogma. It is to become less adversarial to government and corporations and more hostile to ordinary people with ideas that Twitter doesn’t like.”

Henley went on to shred the CBC for a variety of other reasons, such as the network’s recent history of having journalists “endlessly document microaggressions but pay little attention to evictions,” “spotlight company’s political platitudes but have little interest in wages or working condition” and “allow sweeping societal changes like lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and school closures to roll out — with little debate.” 

Tara Henley feels "a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States" has ruined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. (Yale University)

She said critical thinking has been shut down, multiple topics are “off the table” and employees must stay quiet to avoid rocking the boat. 

“How could good journalism possibly be done under such conditions? How could any of this possibly be healthy for society? All of this raises larger questions about the direction that North America is headed,” Henley wrote. “Questions about this new moment we are living through — and its impact on the body politic. On class divisions, and economic inequality. On education. On mental health. On literature, and comedy. On science. On liberalism, and democracy. These questions keep me up at night.”

She then declared her new Substack is an attempt to find answers. 

CBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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