Advertisement
News

The CBC Is Telling Its Reporters to Not Confront "FHRITP" Douchebags

An internal memo tells reporters to neither confront men shouting them down nor vent on social media if it should happen.

by Nick Rose and Justin Ling
Jun 23 2015, 8:55pm

Screenshot via YouTube

CBC brass is asking its reporters to stand down when confronted by men who shout "fuck her right in the pussy," according to an internal memo obtained by VICE. The corporation bills the new guidelines as: "Our handling of the ongoing sexual harassment of CBC reporters in the field."

Above all, the (obviously female) reporters were told to absolutely refrain from calling out "determined attackers," and given a checklist of safety tips on how to deal—or, more accurately, how not to deal—with the rowdy, often drunk, testosterone-fueled gorillas.

"We do not encourage our crews to engage the abuser," the paternalistic memo reads. "We don't want to escalate the situation. Your safety is paramount, and it's hard to predict how individuals might react to words or gestures which could be seen as provocative."

But while the memo reads that it is a matter of "physical safety," the CBC also instructed its staff not to take to social media to document the incidents.

"It has been suggested that social media be used to shame people caught in the act of abusing our staff. This tactic comes with its own perils and is highly contentious. We are recommending AGAINST it at this time," reads the email, which was sent from CBC HQ in Toronto.

Social media has, of course, led to a raft of reporters coming out to tell their own experiences dealing with the expletive-loving bros, and contributed to the general shaming of those idiots.

Of course, CBC has penned more than one trend piece about reporters reacting to the phenomenon. One female reporter, the CBC's Tanya Birkbeck, was one of the loudest voices calling out the practice, which targets female reporters almost exclusively.

"If we've learned anything in recent weeks, following the global #BeenRapedNeverReported campaign, it's that women will put up with a lot without saying anything," Birkbeck wrote on CBC.ca.

Strangely, her advice appears to be unheeded by CBC management, despite the fact that Birkbeck is a member of the national committee that helped flesh out these new guidelines.

"No story is worth getting hurt," the memo reads. "Your personal safety is the number one priority. If you feel in any danger, call your supervisor and leave the area."

The cash-strapped Crown Corporation may not be in a position to hire security guards for its reporters at this point, so they are instead telling their reporters to do the next best thing and stand next to police as "authorities have advised us that having someone in uniform nearby can act as a deterrent."

Other safety tips include alerting the control room "if you sense that a would-be harasser is lurking" and discussing the possibility of adding a staff member to ensure security "if the assignment involves an event known for large, rowdy crowds or heavy alcohol use."

Finally, in a pearl of homespun wisdom, the CBC insisted that "the document represents sensible advice, bearing in mind there's no sure fire way to head off a determined attacker."

Follow Nick Rose and Justin Ling on Twitter.

Tagged:
Canada
Justin Ling
harassment
CBC
Vice Blog
Workplace Harassment
Nick Rose
fuck her right in the pussy
internal memo
#BeenRapedNeverReported
Tanya Birbeck