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TVO’s response to my letter

To their credit, TVO’s customer relations department responded to my email objecting to letting Kathy Shaidle appear on TVO’s show The Agenda. I’m reprinting it in full unaltered form without comment, because I think everyone knows by now my views on why I don’t think Shaidle should be given a forum like TVO. (Updated below the letter):

Here is the letter:

Dear viewer, Thank you for writing to TVO.

As you know, Kathy Shaidle did appear live on TVO last night as a guest on The Agenda with Steve Paikin . Ms. Shaidle was invited to join in a discussion precipitated by the Atheist Bus Campaign that will be coming to Toronto in May. As we do every Thursday on YOUR AGENDA, we chose the topic based on viewer input.

Joining Ms. Shaidle were other guests representing a diversity of opinions on the subject of atheism and our society: Justin Trottier, President, The Free thought Association of Canada; Dr. Rob Buckman, Past President, The Humanist Association of Canada; Gretta Vosper, Chair, Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and Jordan Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the U of T. With a background as a commentator for several religious publications, Ms. Shaidle had been a guest on TVO several times before (most recently in March of 2007 on a related topic) and was invited to add her views on the Atheist Bus Campaign during last night’s debate.

As Ontario ’s educational media organization, TVO’s vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. We aim to give voice to a range of perspectives on the complex and sometimes controversial issues that define our society, be they global or local. Our job is not to support any one position but rather to use our media tools as a platform for meaningful discussion and in-depth debate – with the ultimate goal of a more informed and engaged citizenry. That includes both our airwaves and the many interactive opportunities at One of the things The Agenda with Steve Paikin does well is bring together people with strong personalities to discuss difficult subject matter in a civilized manner, as in the case of last night’s debate. We are committed to fair and balanced programming, to respectful dialogue and to exploring every issue with intellectual rigour.

Also for your information, some of our viewers have asked us whether Ms. Shaidle was paid to appear on the broadcast, and she was not.

Thank you again for your feedback.

I changed my mind slightly on posting this without comment. One of the folks who also wrote in to complain about Shaidle’s appearance sent me the letter they received from TVO, and it’s word-for-word the exact same one as this one I got. So, this will apparently be TVO’s form letter to all Shaidle complainants.

[email protected]:20pm – The Tory Tattler sends a response to TVO’s form letter


2 comments to TVO’s response to my letter

  • Roll Tide

    TVO would have been better served if they had someone like John Stackhouse, instead of a inarticulate wingnut.

    That is how Conservatives are ill served by some in the Liberal media. No wonder I never watch TVO.

  • LMA

    I am a big fan of TVO and The Agenda, and this letter confirms for me that they try to provide a rare commodity on TV, i.e., civilized, in depth debate covering diverse perspectives. I really thought that this was a well-balanced, informative program.

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