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Ex-CBC journalist testifies broadcaster did propaganda, not newsgathering

Former CBC journalist Rodney Palmer told the National Citizens Inquiry that the public broadcaster was guilty of spreading propaganda instead of newsgathering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“What I’m about to say goes for most news media in Canada,” Palmer told the inquiry during hearings in Toronto last week.

“But the CBC is very different … The CBC is a public entity. We pay for it. They broadcast on public airwaves. We expect them to tell us the truth because they’ve done it for 50 or 60 years. So we started noticing something very different about a week, maybe two at the most, into the emergency.”

Palmer had a journalistic career of two decades that wrapped up roughly 20 years ago. He was a general assignment reporter for the Globe and Mail, a daily news reporter at the Vancouver Sun, and a producer and investigative reporter at CBC radio and TV. Later he was the bureau chief and foreign correspondent for CTV in India, Israel, and China, and was there when SARS-CoV-1 broke out around 2002.

Palmer called CBC host Adrienne Arsenault “one of the greatest broadcasters we have, a national treasure,” but added, “She turned this ability against us.”

In an April 4, 2020, segment, Arsenault brought on a guest to discuss how someone should respond if someone, perhaps their father, tells them that COVID started in a Chinese lab.

“I thought, well, wait a minute, how do you know it wasn’t manufactured at a lab in China? What evidence does the CBC have … 15 days into this, that this was not manufactured in a lab? There’s an assumption that you put forth instantly,” said Palmer.

Arsenault’s guest suggested the respondent should not embarrass their father but pull them in and convince them…


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