Journalist and author Tara Henley penned a scathing resignation letter to the Canadian state-funded CBC, accusing it of peddling social justice dogma, shutting down debate, and racially profiling guests in the name of equity.
Henley, whose work has also appeared in multiple US and UK outlets, resigned from the news network this week after nearly a decade. In a resignation letter of sorts published on her new Substack blog and by the conservative-leaning National Post, she said that in the years since she started at the CBC, it “went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press.”
Henley, who describes herself as left-wing, claimed that the CBC’s management have wholly embraced “a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States,” forbidding any questioning of “woke” orthodoxy.
This agenda extends to selecting which guests appear on the CBC’s shows, Henley claimed. According to her letter, reporters booking guests have to fill out “racial profile forms” to ensure they’re booking “more people of some races and less of others.”
In selecting which topics to cover, Henley said CBC management have no interest in hosting genuine debate on “sweeping societal changes like lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and school closures,” instead prioritizing reporting on “microaggressions” and “ordinary people with ideas that Twitter doesn’t like.”
Henley said she has for months been receiving complaints from readers and viewers about the editorial direction of the network.
“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,” she wrote. “Or why, exactly, taxpayers should be funding articles that scold Canadians for using words such as ‘brainstorm’ and ‘lame.’”
Both examples are real, with the CBC publishing multiple articles and videos this year on the lack of terms for “non-binary” in the Filipino Tagalog language, and describing the terms ‘brainstorm’ and ‘lame,’ as well as ‘blacklist’ and ‘savage,’ as “Words and phrases you may want to think twice about using.”
Henley’s gripes with the CBC aren’t unique, and she is far from the first to lambaste the “woke” mainstream media in recent years. However, she joins a growing number of mainstream journalists leaving the outlets that made them famous and pursuing editorial freedom on platforms like Substack. Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss and The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald have migrated to Substack in the last year or so, with both accusing their former employers of ideological censorship, and even Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias – an avowed liberal – soon followed suit.
However, another former CBC reporter took to Twitter on Monday to argue the exact opposite to Henley. Ahmar Khan, who left the network in December 2020 after a dispute in which he called ice hockey pundit Don Cherry “xenophobic,” claimed that CBC management “have no idea what poor people, what black people really go through,” complaining that they rejected a race-focused story he pitched them. Referring to Henley’s move to Substack, Khan tweeted that “writing (badly) and shouting about wokeness is the new grift.”
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