21 October 2007

Simms and facts

VOCM, as its own promotions informs the listening audience, is a member of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. The RTNDA Code of Ethics states:
Broadcast journalists will inform the public in an accurate, comprehensive and fair manner about events and issues of importance.
VOCM is also a member of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. The Council’s Code of Ethics states:
It is recognized that the full, fair and proper presentation of news, opinion, comment and editorial is the prime and fundamental responsibility of each broadcaster. This principle shall apply to all radio and television programming, whether it relates to news, public affairs, magazine, talk, call-in, interview or other broadcasting formats in which news, opinion, comment or editorial may be expressed by broadcaster employees, their invited guests or callers.
Randy Simms is a VOCM on-air personality. On election night, he provided colour commentary on the results for CBC TV. During the course of the night he made assertions of fact which elicited this response on CBC’s Your View website feature:
I just cannot understand why Randy Simms is on tonight commenting on the election as he is far from an expert! For one thing, his comment that "the province's MHAs want what federal members get - they get a pot" is incorrect. If he had looked into this matter, he would have been told that federal politicians do not have a pot and are actually prohibited from giving donations, money to sports groups, charities, individuals, etc. - that's been the policy for years. When he makes remarks like these, he loses all credibility on his other comments. Otherwise, I have been enjoying your coverage. Lynn Tucker Torbay Posted October 9, 2007 10:13 PM

Lynn Tucker is right.

Randy Simms was, and is wrong.

And, in repeating the same assertion recently, on his own VOCM program, regarding federal members and their non-existent “pots”, he didn’t become any less wrong.

In fact, he became wronger, if that is even possible.

It is bad enough that certain members of the House of Assembly used the non-existent federal “pots” to justify their own spending practices.

They do not need Randy Simms, contrary to the radio industry’s own standards, to flog that falsehood for them.