Evan Solomon, one of the top on-air news personnel at CBC News, was fired by the CBC over selling paintings to people he interviewed as part of his journalism position.
Kevin Donovan from the Toronto Star had the report alleging that Solomon brokered the sale of paintings from art collector Bruce Bailey. Solomon mentions 2 clients in his statement (above). According to Donovan's story, the 2 clients are BlackBerry founder Jim Balsillie and Mark Carney, then the head of the Bank of Canada.
Solomon hosted "Power & Politics" on CBC News Network as well as "The House" on CBC Radio One. You might also remember that Solomon was the co-host of "CBC News: Sunday" on Sunday mornings on both CBC Newsworld and CBC TV from 2002-2009.
Journalism 101 is to avoid conflicts of interest, especially of a financial nature. Solomon admits to having 2 clients. If they were rich people who would never appear on Solomon's shows, Solomon would still have his jobs.
Many CBC followers would wonder why Solomon would lose his job, but Amanda Lang is still employed by the CBC. (For a Wikipedia listing of Lang's alleged conflicts, click here.) Based solely on what Lang has admitted to doing, Solomon got a raw deal by comparison.
Having another prominent CBC employee having to leave in disgrace is yet another blow to the CBC. Clearly, this doesn't compare to what happened to Jian Ghomeshi. However, like Ghomeshi, Solomon was intertwined with his shows.
Changing Solomon's show titles to lower case letters (yes, we are looking at you, q) won't solve the credibility issue. Between the Mike Duffy trial, the Senate spending scandals, Bill C-51 (which the Senate passed yesterday), and the 2015 federal election, this would be a great time to have a journalist with the talent and credibility of Evan Solomon … from last week.
We should learn details in the coming days that might clarify the story. For example, why did Solomon need to broker art? And if that is what happened, why do so with prominent newsmakers?
Solomon spent 21 years at CBC. And his journalism career at CBC comes to an end over paintings.
photo credit: Evan Solomon/Twitter @CFRAOttawa