Herald: CBC's Graves is "divisive and disgusting; Gazette: Graves should be fired
Liberal-CBC pollster Frank Graves has become a liability to the CBC, damaging its already dubious reputation when it comes to political bias.
In their lead editorial, the Calgary Herald calls Graves "divisive and disgusting":
The bigger issue is that an influential person like Graves can harbour such cliched and stereotypical views and put them forward as a political strategy. It's divisive and disgusting. Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, we hope, is smart enough not to dismiss an entire section of the country as irrelevant and ideologically monochromatic.
We do wonder, though, if Graves' remarks reflect a CBC hangup. Every time it produces a TV series set in Alberta, it is built around stereotypical themes about ranchers and oilmen. Most Albertans live in cities, drink wine and ponder thread counts in their bedding. Albertans are noted for their volunteer spirit, generosity and friendliness to all.
And lest you think it's only a Western thing, the Montreal Gazette, the newspaper of record for that Liberal-red city, says Graves should be fired:
Michael Ignatieff has not endorsed this approach, and now that Graves has spilled the beans we imagine the Liberals will want to distance themselves from him. But imagine the fuss if some Conservative pollster had been quoted the same way. We can envision the CBC's breathless reports about "secret Conservative plotting to divide Canadians," etc. etc.
The CBC should invite Graves to take his advice south, or anywhere far away.
When the CBC has lost the Montreal Gazette, it's pretty much over.
I think the CBC is looking for some face-saving way to say goodbye to Graves, without looking like they were pushed around politically. They're surely embarrassed and furious with their "neutral" pollster for being such a partisan hack -- not just the $11,000 in donations that he's made to the Liberal Party, but his secret strategy briefings that he gives the Liberals, that we only found out about because Graves boasted about them to the Globe and Mail.
Well, being a man with the public interest at heart, I've got a revelation about Graves cooking the numbers that I'll write about when I have a moment (hopefully tonight). It's one thing for the CBC to abide a partisan hack like Graves; it's another thing for them to abide someone whose advice to a would-be prime minister is to pit one region against another, and to create a national "enemies list".
But it's something altogether different when their partisan hack "pollster" takes the data, and lies about it.
That's right: Frank Graves takes polling data, and lies to the public about what it says -- lies, you won't be surprised, that embarrass the Conservative Party.
Are you shocked? You shouldn't be. When you have a never-say-die partisan donor, who received $61 million in contracts from the last Liberal government, do you really find it surprising that he'd cook the books?
Even if the CBC doesn't mind -- or even agrees -- with Graves' bias, they should have known that to keep on someone with such a conflict of interest would lead to dishonest analysis.
I'll write about it later -- as a public service to the CBC, who are surely looking for some reason to throw their in-house bigot overboard, but look like it was their idea, not the Conservative Party's.