Atlantic Press Council responds to Cabana’s complaint

Josh Pennell
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Finds Telegram within rights

The Atlantic Press Council has made a decision in regards to a complaint made about one of The Telegram’s columnists.
Brad Cabana made a complaint to the council, whose goal it is to promote ethical practices by Atlantic newspapers and serve as a forum for complaints against its members.

Brad Cabana. — Telegram file photo

Cabana made the complaint about an opinion piece written by Bob Wakeham, a regular columnist with The Telegram.

The piece, which was published on Feb. 15, was titled “Liberals’ recruitment strategy is, well, liberal.”

As the title suggests, Wakeham criticizes the party’s recruitment style.

“And, yes, you may have heard we’re thinking about contacting Brad Cabana,” Wakeham writes. “Now don’t laugh — we’ll give him a shot. We’ll give anyone a shot. We might have to ask him to tone down that mainland twang of his, and I’m sure he’ll agree; after all, he’s desperate to win our hearts as he tries to improve the lot of all Newfoundlanders."

A letter written by the council’s executive secretary, Ken Sims, says, “All those who reviewed the file believed Mr. Wakeham’s style as a columnist is humor and satire. Since Wakeham is a columnist, not a news reporter, he does not have to be ‘balanced’ or ‘fair.’ A columnist writes his or her opinions. They should not libel people and what they say should be based on facts, but there is no obligation for a columnist to be fair. It falls under ‘fair comment.’”

The letter also calls Wakeham’s column “harsh,” but says The Telegram is within its rights to publish it.

When contacted about the decision, Cabana responded via Twitter.

“Prejudice should never be tolerated. Whether is satirical or personal, prejudice hurts everyone in Newfoundland and Lab,” he tweeted.

The Atlantic Press Council requested that The Telegram do a story on its decision regardless of the outcome.

Organizations: The Telegram, Newfoundland and Lab, Atlantic Press Council

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Rod Lyver
    March 11, 2014 - 15:50

    Once again thin skin Cabana wastes the time of someone with the power to give another a rap on the knuckles. If you dare challenge one of his comments in social media you may find yourself blocked. Thanks for saving me the time to block you Brad ya sook. Yes Brad, the last time I checked you were entitled to your opinion but don't be surprised if four or five hundred thousand people disagree with you. With all that's on the go you would think that being a POLITICAL SCIENTIST you would have DISCOVERED by now that the majority of people consider you nothing more that a gnat, flying around the arse of NL'ers, every now and then landing for a nibble and sucking a bit of blood while you're at it, causing all who have to bear your infliction to grimace and change the station. Maybe Snook was "right on" when he commented that "somewhere in Saskatchewan a village is missing their idiot". Strangely enough though I have yet to hear of any search party scouring the wheat fields or even the Gaff looking for any sign of where he could have possible gone. With any luck the crows have yet to eat the bread crumb trail from western Canada to Random Island and he can find he way back home.

    • Don II
      March 13, 2014 - 11:26

      You have the right to express your opinions but is there any need to try to assassinate Brad Cabana's character? Your disagreements with Brad Cabana can be discussed and debated in public without resorting to inflammatory language and personal attacks. I expect that Mr. Cabana has realized by now that the PC Government of Newfoundland closely resembles a former PC Government in Saskatchewan. If I recall correctly, the former PC Government in Saskatchewan was so incompetent, unethical and corrupt that it became the focus of a major RCMP investigation which led to resignations, charges and criminal convictions against Cabinet ministers. When the election was held in Saskatchewan, the people were so offended and angered by the corrupt antics of the PC Government that they defeated the PC Party so soundly that the PC Party in Saskatchewan was disbanded and later replaced by the Saskatchewan Party!

    • Jay
      March 13, 2014 - 15:26

      DonII, What does an article by Bob Wakeham making fun of Brad Cabana have to do with the Conservative government?

    • Don II
      March 14, 2014 - 11:11

      Jay, that is like asking what did the hijacking of four airplanes in the USA on September 11, 2001 have to do with the attack on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City! As you know or should know, Brad Cabana has been an outspoken critic of the actions and policies of the Government of Newfoundland and has even gone to Court against the Government of Newfoundland regarding the Muskrat Falls project! As a result of being outspoken in a place so tightly regulated and controlled by Government as Newfoundland and Labrador is, Mr. Cabana has attracted Government anger, Judicial rebuke, public criticism, media ridicule and outright rude and xenophobic comments aimed at him simply because he was expressing his opinions and for having the audacity to take action to challenge the evil empire that is posing as a democratic Government over at the Confederation Building!

  • Herb Morrison
    March 11, 2014 - 09:17

    If any person or group of persons is the target of prejudical treatment, of any description such treatment cannot and should not be tolerated. For example, if a person or group of people becomes the target of prejudical treatment because of their gender, race, Religious beliefs, age, or financial statuis; to name a few reasons people become the target of prejudical treatment; within the society of which we are a part, we should all be concerned enough to speak out against such prejudical trewatment; and make it known that such prejudi8cal treatment is both unacceptable and unjustifiable. Why, because Prejudical treatment of persons for the reasons, which I have stipulated above, does result in people being hurt either physically, emotionally or both. On the other hand,with regard to Mr. Cabana's situation, in my opinion, if any person utilizes a public form to express their particular viewpoint, they must accept the reality that, within the context of the situation, their words or actions may result in their becoming the target of prejudical words or actions from the population at large. However, because a person has chosen, of their own free will to make comments utilizing any public domain, they can expect to be targeted for prejudial treatment, which under other circumstances, would be considered to be unacceptable behaviour. For better or worse, its' the way of the world. This is the way it is. There is a considerable difference between being targeted for prejudicial treatment through no fault of your own, and becoming the target of prejudical treatment because you, like Mr Cabana have chosen to place yourself in a situation where you know full-well that you could very well become a target of what might be described as prejudicial treatment. Ask anyone who has chosen, for example, to enter the political arena.

    • Don II
      March 11, 2014 - 10:05

      I agree with Herb Morrison that not all prejudicial behavior is considered to be unlawful. In Brad Cabana's case, as a public persona, he has succeeded by his outspoken, speak truth to power, confrontational, independent attitude and behavior in challenging the oppressive and secretive behaviors of a cloistered, discriminatory and tightly controlled place like Newfoundland and Labrador. Brad Cabana has succeeded in both exposing the backward attitudes and in attracting the entrenched, closed minded, unethical attitudes and vitriolic venom of the Government, bigots, partisan hacks, xenophobes and idiots! They all just want Brad Cabana to keep quiet or go back to where he came from and just stop rocking the boat and making waves. It has been my experience that every time somebody shakes up the social, legal, political, religious and medical system in Newfoundland and Labrador, something very undesirable is exposed that has been kept secret and covered up for a long time! Keep fighting the good fight Brad Cabana. It will likely be a long and lonely quest to undertake in a place like Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Don II
    March 11, 2014 - 07:58

    The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador needs more people like Brad Cabana who are willing and not afraid to rock the boat, shake up the system and take on the crowd that runs this place with an iron fist. I agree with Madge completely when she says that the majority of Mainland people accept Newfoundlanders willingly into their communities and do not discriminate against them, unless of course they turn out to be drunken trouble makers. The same cannot be said of most Newfoundland communities which do not welcome Mainlanders or even people from other communities within Newfoundland itself! I recall questioning the punitive actions of a town council around the bay who harassed a fellow who was trying to build a house in the town and was appalled when I was told that "buddy is not from here and you should mind your own business." I encourage Brad Cabana and other people with courage and intelligence to challenge the xenophobia (fear of outsiders) and the system of social and political discrimination that is deeply entrenched in Newfoundland and Labrador. Some of the folks who are down on Brad Cabana would not be so inclined to shoot off their mouths if they moved to the Mainland and were treated in the same manner that they treat Brad Cabana. I applaud Brad Cabana and people like him who are not going to be door mats and boot buffers for the local cliques and big shot politicians in Newfoundland! Those same big shot politicians are big fish in small pond Newfoundland and can throw their weight around but if they were living on the Mainland most of them would be ignored, be under police investigation or would be run out of office!

  • John
    March 11, 2014 - 06:50

    A clear example of somebody who craves attention and is a little too enamoured with himself. Hey Brad, don't go away mad....just go away.

  • Just Ignore Cabana
    March 11, 2014 - 06:31

    Cabana craves attention. He doesn't matter, so just ignore him. When he lived in Saskatchewan he did not get any media attention. NL should do the same.

    • Joe
      March 11, 2014 - 07:20

      Now if we could only do the same for Danny!!!

  • Madge
    March 11, 2014 - 06:16

    Regardless of whether you're a Brad Cabana fan or not, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians should collectively hang their heads in shame over the comments of Bob Wakeham. For years and years, Newfoundlanders have gone to the mainland and gotten involved in the fields of politics, entertainment, science - whatever - and mainlanders completely accept them and want them to do well. There's none of this "You're not from here, you're not entitled to an opinion" or "Go back where you came from" attitude. But it sure doesn't work the other way around. Newfoundland needs to get past this adolescent mentality - seriously.

    • New Veteran
      March 11, 2014 - 07:13

      Apparently, you haven't lived in the same Canada I have. Not everyone is openly welcome to Newfie's. They seem to love the stereotype and jokes though.

    • Stephen D Redgrave
      March 11, 2014 - 07:59

      You are absolutely correct Madge. Newfoundlanders love the money and prosperity of the mainland--but, set one foot onto their old school "Republic of whatever" attitude, and we, as mainlanders, are treated like garbage by the 'good' people of Newfoundland (I had to bite hard on my tonge for this one). Point being --Newfoundland as a whole is immature and childish.

    • Marshall Art
      March 11, 2014 - 08:49

      Hey, Madge, want a good dose of 'you're not from here' attitude ? You don't have to go to the mainland for that. Take a step back in time and go from St. John's to the 'Big Land' to work, where you'll hear, 'so, you're not from here, you're from outside', as if you were from another galaxy. Being from St. John's is even worse than being from 'outside' as far as the locals, the 'cosmopolitan intelligentsia' , are concerned. lol

  • Don
    March 11, 2014 - 06:06

    Poor Brad, it must be lonely to be out there in the world by yourself. He's the "Don Quixote" of the 21 century.

  • Crazy
    March 11, 2014 - 05:23

    I read that article by Bob, I think its was number one, The liberal would take in anyone, Just to come to power, But that don't mean liberal has the abilities to bring our province into the 21 first century...Has for Brad, he loves to see his picture in the NEW.

    • Angus
      March 11, 2014 - 06:32

      It appears The PC's are no better. Just look at the past two Premiers we have had.