“Pedophilia” Comments Unfounded, According To Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, February 9, 1996 – The Ontario Regional Council of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council released its decision today concerning an interview aired on CTV’s “Canada AM”.

The decision follows a complaint from a CTV viewer who wrote to express her concerns about the interview, which dealt with euthanasia and which included an advocate for the disabled and lawyer defending a Saskatchewan man charged with the murder of his severely disabled daughter. The CTV viewer stated that, during the interview, a Nobel prize nominee had been accused of pedophilia. CTV replied that the interview had dealt with the rights of the disabled and, after confirmation with “Canada AM” production staff, it was clear that no one had been accused of being a pedophile.

The Regional Council reviewed a tape of the program and a transcript provided by CTV. Like CTV, the Council noted that the program had not even remotely dealt with pedophilia and that the accusation cited by the complainant had not been uttered at all during the interview. The Regional Council conceded, however, that viewers and listeners could not be expected to reconstruct with perfect accuracy the words they hear briefly on air. Nonetheless, the Council unanimously agreed that CTV had not contravened any industry codes or standards.

Composed of representatives of the broadcasting industry and the general public, the Ontario Regional Council was chaired (at the time of the decision) by Marianne Barrie, a public member. The Vice-Chair is Al MacKay. Other broadcasters on the Council are Paul Fockler and Madeline Ziniak (not present for the decision), while the other public members are Taanta Gupta and Robert Stanbury.

The CBSC was established in 1990 by the private broadcasting industry to administer codes on programming. It administers the industry’s Code of Ethics, as well as a code on television violence, a sex-role portrayal code, and a code of journalistic ethics. Some 400 television and radio stations and networks from across Canada are members of the CBSC.

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For more information, please contact , Ronald I. Cohen, CBSC National Chair, at (###) ###-####.