CBC reporter fired because of tweet
Popular Halifax arts reporter Tara Thorne in making waves on Twitter after being fired from CBC Nova Scotia for a tweet about Premier Stephen McNeil's son.
The tweet came after McNeil announced he'd be stepping down from public office last Thursday, saying in a news conference that his children were young when he went into politics and that it's been hard for them to hear negative comments while he has been in the public eye.
"These past seven years, as your Premier, have been the most rewarding of my professional career," he continued in a Facebook post. "I has been a privilege and an honour, and something I have never taken for granted."
Following the announcement, Thorne took to Twitter to share some of her own thoughts on the Premier.
While the tweet was deleted and Thorne did apologize, she was subsequently fired from her freelance weekly role on CBC Radio in Halifax where she spoke of local arts and culture.
Since then, Thorne's supporters have expressed their frustration on social media and the hashtag #ImwithThorney even began trending on Twitter. Although acknowledging that Thorne's tweet was perhaps inappropriate, many people said the firing was too hasty and an overreaction.
I’m a bit out of the loop this week...just catching up. Tara Thorne has demonstrated professionalism and been a huge asset to arts in Nova Scotia. The consequence is severely disproportionate to her action. The double standard is glaring and, sadly, typical in NS. #ImwithThorney— Angela Gillis (@angelagillis) August 12, 2020
Other's pointed out that Thorne was an important advocate for the arts scene in Halifax and, more importantly, a proud queer person who fought to bring attention to all artists.
Tara’s huge impact on artists in NS is hard to describe. Folks have said to me “I heard about your show from Tara on CBC” more times than I can count. She is a fierce and tireless advocate for the cultural community in Nova Scotia. Her firing is a huge loss. #ImwithThorney— Susan Leblanc (@susanleblancMLA) August 12, 2020
"I have enjoyed listening to Tara's sense of humour and promotion of local talent for years. This is a huge loss!! Sadly, when I read the tweet, I knew something stupid would result," another person wrote.
I am shocked, annoyed and super pissed that @cbcradio fired reporter Tara Thorne, one of our biggest champions for the arts in Nova Scotia. She is an authentic, unique and intelligent voice, a local legend, and we need her. 😤WTF!! #ImWithThorney— Christina Martin (@XtinaMartin) August 12, 2020
Many have also showed their support for Thorne by emailing or calling CBC Nova Scotia and demanding she be re-hired.
In a written response to Freshdaily, Chuck Thompson, head of public affairs at CBC, said that they acknowledge the decision to let Thorne go has evoked a range of opinions.
"Tara Thorne made a significant contribution to our CBC coverage over the years and we thank her for that work," he said. "And while we have decided to go in a different direction this Fall, we can assure you that our commitment to the arts remains steadfast."
Thompson also went on to say that their publicly available code of conduct includes expectations for social media posts.
"Please know our decision was made thoughtfully and with care after speaking with Tara."
Thorne has since deleted her Twitter account.
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