CBC Breaches Multiple Journalistic Ethics Standards To Smear #GamerGate


Every time mainstream media brings up #GamerGate they seem to focus solely on harassment and an angle manufactured around misogyny. One of the big problems is that some of this coverage from the mainstream outlets happens to be purposefully done to push an agenda. Worse yet is that some journalists don’t mind pushing the agenda. Thankfully, disillusioned gamers and a couple of journalists have decided to fire back.

For those out of the loop the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, recently ran a one-sided hit-piece against #GamerGate on their national television station (one hit-piece out of many, I might add). They claimed that #GamerGate was a harassment campaign to push females out of the gaming industry and to keep them out; a message that feeds into the fear-culture perpetuated by viewer-bait outlets.

The story ran on November 13th, 2014. It was re-recorded by a certain YouTube user, Steve Talon. You can watch it below (or you can view the original on CBC by viewing the post right here).


The two-and-a-half minute piece caught the serious ire of Breitbart writer Milo Yiannapolous, as well as independent journalist David Pakman, a journalist from a syndicated online show of the same name.

Milo checked CBC reporter Peter Mansbridge about the incident on Twitter,  given that the piece implied that Milo and David were involved in harassing women through the #GamerGate consumer revolt.

The CBC National Twitter account notified the social media meta-verse that the video had been fixed and Milo had been removed, linking to the below video.

Interestingly, Pakman is still present in the video, despite the fact that he’s been nothing more than a neutral observer and interviewer throughout the whole process, including even siding closer to what’s labeled as the “anti-#GamerGate” side than the “pro-#GamerGate” (even though realistically it’s either you’re for the reform of corrupt media or you’re not.)

Pakman responded on Twitter with the following response…

David Pakman Show on Twitter

A simple post on Twitter wasn’t enough, however. Pakman found himself perturbed enough to take his discontent with the situation to YouTube. Pakman unloaded a five-and-a-half minute video questioning the ethics and intentions of the CBC in the following video.

Nevertheless, shortly after the first article went live noting that the CBC refused to run an interview as a counter-point to their hit-pieces,  CBC journalists joked about viewers/readers/gamers complaining to their Ombudsman, Esther Enkin, about the biased portrayal of #GamerGate across multiple platforms of the CBC platform, from radio to digital news to television media.

Well, given that Bowman was involved with the original #GamerGate content that ran on CBC and admitted that his producers didn’t want to run the interview with female game developer Jennifer Dawe because they had already established a specific narrative about the scenario, saying…

“I planned to do a second [interview] for my radio column. My producers didn't want [to] go ahead with that topic, though.”

His comments were incentive enough to get gamers, consumers and Canadians alike to go directly to the CBC Ombudsman to report the broadcasting corporation’s biased and ill-researched coverage of the event, so far.

Over on Twitter and the Kotaku in Action thread users have been encouraged to contact the Ombusman by visiting the official CBC site.

Bowman later admitted on a separate occasion that the CBC had no interest in running both sides of the story.

According to the CBC’s own policies on journalistic standards and practices, they are beholden to sharing diverse views that reflect the interest of the public, as stated from the official acts and policies for journalistic standards and ethics from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s website

“We are committed to reflecting accurately the range of experiences and points of view of all citizens. All Canadians, of whatever origins, perspectives and beliefs, should feel that our news and current affairs coverage is relevant to them and lives up to our Values.

“We have a special responsibility to reflect regional and cultural diversity, as well as fostering respect and understanding across regions.“

This did not come across in the #GamerGate coverage at all, as only specific, one-sided opinions have been expressed about the topic. They opted not to even address those using the #NotYourShield hashtag, which is all about giving diverse voices who have been marginalized by the media a platform from which they can speak out.

The policies and ethics standard also states…

“We seek out the truth in all matters of public interest. We invest our time and our skills to learn, understand and clearly explain the facts to our audience. The production techniques we use serve to present the content in a clear and accessible manner.”

“On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are represented over a reasonable period of time.”

However, the truth is not being properly broadcast, since they opted not to use an interview they have of a female game developer that contradicts the narrative they’ve been publishing across their radio and television broadcasts. The CBC producers purposefully withheld information to avoid interfering with their coverage.

CBC opted to run four hit-pieces against #GamerGate within the span of October alone, not including their latest televised broadcast of #GamerGate.

They also widely labeled thousands of people as harassers and misogynists without offering the public at large an opposing view.

The code of ethics policy further states…

“We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate. “

The fact is that #GamerGate is about ethics in journalism. There is irrefutable proof of corruption that the CBC either willfully ignored or chose not to research. Many of the issues within the games journalism sphere have also been highlighted by writer David Auerbach in his piece on Slate titled “How to end Gamer: A divide-and-conquer plan.”

There is an alleged FTC violation by the IGF and Polytron regarding a rigged contest, which is illegal in the state of California. There’s also a matter of 40,000 users who had their data hacked and it wasn’t reported on for an entire year because of a journalist didn’t want to risk his relationship with Electronic Arts. These situations and more have been outlined in a complete #GamerGate dossier of all the journalistic corruption that has been uncovered thus far.

What’s more is that there has yet to be definitive proof of #GamerGate actually being responsible for physically driving women out of the tech and gaming industry. Purporting false allegations as truth without any evidence is scandalmongering.

As stated in the section entitled “Scope” in the section of CBC’s journalism programming ethics policy…

“As stipulated in CBC Program Policies, general-interest programs and content and the staff producing them on all platforms must comply with the values of balance and fairness as set out in JSP when dealing with current issues, especially if controversial. “

#GamerGate is very controversial, and it’s being handled like a joke by some journalists as evidenced above with the image of Bowman’s tweet, as well as the agenda-driven videos embedded in this very article. That’s not to mention the irresponsible labeling of certain journalists as being part of a harassment campaign without properly researching their position.

As noted in the section “Editorial Responsibility and Upward Referral”…

“Personnel assigned to research, gather, produce, edit, present or manage information content comply with CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices.“

As mentioned above, there is clear proof of the CBC not adhering to their own Journalistic Standards & Practices. You can cite the instances above where they have clearly breached their own ethics policies when you contact the CBC Ombudsman.

(Update: Fixed a reference to Peter Mansbridge)

(Main image courtesy of CBC News)


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

34 thoughts on “CBC Breaches Multiple Journalistic Ethics Standards To Smear #GamerGate

    1. Semi-hijacking top comment:

      Remember fellow canucks, the current conservative government does NOT like the CBC. That means contact your MP’s. Also, contact Sun News, I’m sure someone somewhere is now going lulsunnews or some other BS. Remember, they also do not like the CBC and for good reasons.

      Those reasons include when Ezra Levant and MacLeans magazine were hit with the human rights complaint because someones feelings got hurt(note the similarities with gamergate and sjws upset feelings), they ran hit-piece after hit-piece on them both. A year and change later after they won, the CBC continued to do so. That’s a serious ethical breach.

      1. “the current conservative government does NOT like the CBC”

        The current Conservative government has actually been stuffing conservatives into CBC management and oversight positions for quite some time now.

        Conservatives still constantly accuse the CBC of having a Liberal bias, yet the Conservative party has been shaping the CBC’s agenda for some time now.

      2. The only place they can put people into power is at the very highest level. That means you’ve got people who’ve been in there for decades or more, or friends of people who’ve been in there for decades or more. It’s much akin to the CRTC–who’s board was replaced but is controlled by the same insiders. The senior upper-management..who all worked in the industry.

  1. I’m amazed people are surprised an organization funded by a glorified protection racket (give us money or we will kidnap/kill you) is corrupt.

  2. What bothers me is that these people are obviously drunk with power. These journalists seem to know each other or have access to some who can be contacted on their behalf. They have the ability to create stories and crap out narratives to hundreds of thousands of readers who won’t challenge their viewpoints and swallow everything as fact. I know this because I used to be one. I read gawker, verge and kotaku constantly and only listened and believed. If anything good comes out of gamergate, it will be that I will be able to scrutinize articles more thoroughly and avoid the shit.

    1. See this applies to EVERY aspect of life. Look at CNN,FOX,CNBC,ABC etc.The mainstream media is NOT to be trusted at all. The funny thing is, I would gander to say that most people who support Gamergate will go on CNN and take everything they say as truth and never question it. Wake up people, it’s not just gaming journalism that needs to be visited it’s EVERY bit of journalism.

    1. I don’t think you can rely on Esther Enkin to fix this. She had a tweet out about looking into the Gamergate “issue” and then deleted it.

      It’s time for PHONE CALLS to your federal politicians who represent you. Phone calls work. Keep calling until you get a reply directly from the person you are trying to reach. This is your tax money being used here and you have a voice.
      Find your Member of Parliament here:

      Keep calling until you get a reply. You can send e-mails as well, but the phone is what lights a fire under them because you are a citizen with a voice. Use it.

      1. I don’t know about another tweet. I didn’t see this at first because Ms. Enkin replied to my name on Twitter which is Knight-Fire (or Knight-Star currently) instead of my Twitter handle @knightwing19.

        However my first email did go unanswered but after recent articles and events with Bowman she has replied to my second one and others. In the Ombudsman’s reply email it says she has forwarded our complaints to the Producers and they have up to 20 working days to reply. If that’s not successful I can then request for the Ombudsman to take a further look into it. I know it’s a lot of running around but if these are their rules I think we need to demonstrate the professionalism they have been lacking and follow them.

        I would say that unless anything else pops up we should wait and see what happens next.

  3. I didn’t want to pressure Mr.Packman to join us.Let’s to be honest he didn’t want to be apart of it as much as people think.Out of respect for him he was the only one trying to engage with both sides unlike CBC they acted like we didn’t exist hello you just interview 2 women who are Canadians Citizen’s who support Gamergate and refuse air because we know It doesn’t fit CBC narrative that is a “Good Story”.

      1. Well, If David was lable a Neo-Nazi within the end of the week he would have clear himself with evidence by telling the Media the honest truth on his side of the story which he has done so.

      2. That would require the media to actually care about truth and evidence, and, as William’s article above, and basically all coverage of GamerGate has shown, they don’t.

        All they care about is which story is ‘interesting’. “Gamers fight corruption in their industry” or “Gender/Race Wars Episode 13743”. We all know which one they’ll publish, when push comes to shove. Honesty be damned, we need clicks!

  4. “On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are
    reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the
    debate and how widely held these views are. We also ensure that they are
    represented over a reasonable period of time.”
    I laughed at this.

  5. I have a little issue with this article, specifically, this piece:

    “[…] including even siding closer to what’s labeled as the “anti-#GamerGate” side than the “pro-#GamerGate” (even though realistically it’s either you’re for the reform of corrupt media or you’re not.)”

    Let’s not deal in absolutes here. No need to act like the anti-GG morons who attacked Pakman for being unbiased and neutral.

    Gamergate is a highly polarizing controversity, but people have the right to not care much about it.

    1. Gamergate is a highly polarizing controversity, but people have the right to not care much about it.

      This is true. When viewed as some sort of organization, it can be viewed from multiple perspectives: there are multiple groups organized within #GamerGate aimed at different ends.

      Let’s not deal in absolutes here. No need to act like the anti-GG morons who attacked Pakman for being unbiased and neutral.

      I suppose this was an err on my part for not properly clarifying: Outside of viewing #GamerGate as an organization, it’s actually the name of a scandal. Ideologically you either believe the scandal has merit or you don’t (sort of like Watergate). Hence, from this perspective, ideologically, #GamerGate represents the scandal involving the corruption of media.

      And, as you mentioned, people definitely have a right not to care.

  6. The fact that this is Canadian, makes me wish i wasn’t part of this country. It really makes me feel shame to be part of it right now. CBC is so ignorant it’s not even funny, but NP you will also learn what it means to be corrupt and biased CBC. Pray to god that i do not find a lawyer good enough to sue you for branding, and labelling me a harasser of women on national television.

  7. I don’t know what can be done at this point. There has been journalists who mock and bully people in GamerGate for the past 3 months. They’ve lied to and manipulated their audience into fighting their critics. They see nothing wrong with marginalizing and silencing thousands of consumers/people. They don’t serve the people they are suppose to inform on stories and issues, they serve themselves.

    Mailing advertisers is no longer working because public opinion is against GamerGate. I’m not threatening or encouraging anyone, but at a certain point and looking at history, when people are oppressed and their voice isn’t being heard, it always leads to violence.

    Journalists are too comfortable behind their computer screens saying whatever they want with no consequences. They lack any empathy for the people they mock and they insult their readers by lying and manipulating them to get clicks and make money.

    Things are looking more and more Orwellian everyday. It’s depressing and sickening. I have little faith in the future of humanity.

    1. – Nintendo made the Wii successful by catering to an under-served market that was outright mocked by their competition until it grew so large and so loud that even they couldn’t ignore it any longer,

      – People are attracted to passion.

      If you have the talent for it then serve the audience that modern game journalism has left behind. Get your voice out there. You’ll be competing with people that have gotten complacent, lost their passion for video games and see themselves as in the industry instead of on the couch. Even people that haven’t joined the revolt have been fed up with them for years.

      If you’re entertaining and/or informative people will hear you. If I’m entertaining and/or informative people will hear me. If AGuyNamedAngel up there is entertaining and/or informative people will hear him. Then more and more people will check you out and hear what you have to say.

      Everyone here has more passion for video games than anyone we’re fighting against. If that weren’t true then we’d never have gotten this far.

      You’ll likely not make a dent but with enough of us (and there ARE enough) we can shake things up.

      It’s 2014 and this is the internet. Be the voice you want to hear!

      1. I just don’t know how to deal with people who are extremists, who aren’t willing to listen, who are able to paint everyone who disagrees with them as racists, sexists, and homophobes.

        Looking at history and how other extremist groups have come about, it always leads to violence in some way. It bothers me.

  8. When decent journalists do not stand up to the wholesale biases and dishonesty of their colleagues or the organisations wherein such colleagues work, they undermine their entire profession and themselves – because their credibility is also shattered.

    Fewer and fewer people now believe in the mainstream media as a result of the kind of chicanery described in the article above, and so one can expect to see their revenue from advertisers falling and falling.

    Let’s hope that advertisers who spend money with CBC pile on the pressure and withdraw their custom if CBC does not shape up.

    1. Let’s hope that advertisers who spend money with CBC pile on the pressure and withdraw their custom if CBC does not shape up.

      It’s always possible to get a list of CBC’s advertisers… and add them to “Operation Disrespectful Nod.” Depends on if #GamerGate will heed Assange’s advice and “level-up”.

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