Monday, November 17, 2008

Does Canada even have "freedom of speech"?

I guess not:

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The host of a Canadian fishing show was reprimanded on Wednesday for broadcasting political propaganda during an election campaign, the first time that a show for anglers has landed in hot water for being partisan.

Darryl Cronzy, who presents "Going Fishing," had been wrong to urge viewers to vote for the opposition Conservatives in an October 2007 election in the province of Ontario, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council said. Cronzy also mocked the Liberals, the province's ruling party.

Cronzy's problems began after Conservative leader John Tory appeared on the show in September 2007, during the campaign.

"Towards the end of the program, Cronzy said, 'Listen, I'm not telling you who to vote for' and then contradicted his verbal statement by pointing at John Tory in an obvious and exaggerated manner," the council said in a formal ruling.

Cronzy also said Tory would be "hopefully, in a couple of months, the head honcho of Ontario." The two men also joked that one particular fish "went down, just like the Liberals."

The overly political overtones of the show prompted a viewer to complain to the council on the grounds "that fishing programs are supposed to be about fishing".



Michele said...

Yeah. No joking around. It's like shouting fire in a crowded theater to point at a politician.

B Smith said...

Um, which candidate supports PETA, restrictions on hunting and fishing, and "wetland conservation" (which amounts to the same thing)??
Maybe those fishing shows ARE about fishing, eh?

JC Superstar said...

Cronzy's an embarrasment to fishermen, never mind to his show.

The point of the standards agreement (which was established by the broadcasters, not the government) is to keep money from buying elections, unlike in certain other countries.

Nigel said...

JC...that standard is idiotic. To reprimand someone for speaking their mind is jackbooted.

It doesn't matter whether the "standard" came from the government or the industry.

Certainly money can "buy" an election. But a fishing show? Methinks common sense took a vacation here.