CBC flooded with complaints over Mideast coverage, anti-Jewish bias

‘The shocking attacks by Hamas inside Israel and the massive response by Israel inside Gaza that followed were far and away the biggest source of complaints about CBC’s journalism in 2023,’ Ombudsman Jack Nagler wrote in his Annual Report.

CBC flooded with complaints over Mideast coverage, anti-Jewish bias
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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) faces swift pushback over its Mideast reporting, as thousands of Canadians lament its anti-Jewish bias.

The Crown corporation received a record number of complaints, according to a report to the board. They numbered 4,785 last year, representing “a 45 percent increase in volume from 2022.”

Public perceptions of CBC continue to sour following its failure to report the October 7 attack on Israel as terrorism.

“The shocking attacks by Hamas inside Israel and the massive response by Israel inside Gaza that followed were far and away the biggest source of complaints about CBC’s journalism in 2023,” Ombudsman Jack Nagler wrote in his Annual Report. 

“Prior to October 7th the amount of correspondence this office received was trending to be lower than the previous year. That changed in a hurry,” he said.

As previously reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, viewers earlier submitted 307 complaints to the Ombudsman after the state broadcaster referred to Hamas attackers as “militants” not “terrorists.”

George Achi, Director of Journalistic Standards at the CBC, requested journalists “use fact-based language,” as first reported by Rebel News. However, Hamas or Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya, has been designated in Canada as a terror group since 2002. 

Complainants accused CBC of “whitewashing” the murder of more than 1,200 Jews in favour of “political correctness,” Ombudsman Nagler said. The overwhelming consensus shows classifying Hamas killers as militants “trivializes their true nature and intent.” 

The federal government earlier rejected a Conservative motion to question Achi over the editorial stance. A 2011 directive by the Ombudsman said the network did not ban its reporters from using the word.

Last October 17, Conservative Heritage critic Rachael Thomas questioned the broadcaster’s insistence that it must not take sides.

“Of course, you’re taking a side,” said Thomas. “You’re taking a side against terrorists. […] Whose side are you on?”

Ombudsman Nagler said if CBC had described the events of that day as an act of terrorism, their initial coverage would have been more accurate.

According to section 83.01 of the Criminal Code, terrorism is defined as violent lawlessness “for a political, religious or ideological purpose” with the “intention of intimidating the public.” 

“In choosing to avoid that term CBC made its own job of describing the nature of what happened October 7 more difficult,” said Nagler. 

“Time after time people pointed to the language used by journalists in their reports as an indisputable sign of bias,” he wrote. “Examples included many from the Middle East and they covered issues big and small: Should this be called a war? If so, is it between Israel and Hamas, Israel and Gaza, Israel and Palestine? When and how should you use the word ‘genocide’?”

MP Thomas claimed the CBC is determined to cover Mideast reporting “from one angle.”

Committee members complained the broadcaster failed to correct an October 17 story headlined: “Palestinians Say Hundreds Killed In Israeli Airstrike On Hospital.” Independent investigations determined a misfired Palestinian rocket destroyed the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza.

“They put out a headline that was entirely false in nature,” she said. “They readily accepted Hamas as their sole source of information.”

Although the Ombudsman said the Crown corporation did not breach its Journalistic Standards And Practices, he noted there is “room for improvement.”

“That was executed well in some instances but not all,” claimed Nagler, including one CBC Radio World Report broadcast that described the killings and kidnappings of Jews as a “surprise attack by Hamas militants,” resulting in “Israeli airstrikes [that] pounded the Gaza Strip” with casualties on both sides.

While Nagler said “there is nothing untrue” about that statement, he said their language throughout is ‘antiseptic’ as if this had been a “normal clash” between two rival military forces.

MPs from several House parties rejected the deliberately mild language.

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