CRTC ponders ban of Fox News following complaint from LGBTQ lobby

In April, Egale Canada claimed Fox host Tucker Carlson made 'false and horrifying claims' about transgender individuals following the deadly shooting at a U.S. Christian academy.

CRTC ponders ban of Fox News following complaint from LGBTQ lobby
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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is contemplating a ban on Fox News cable packages after fielding a complaint from an LGBTQ advocacy organization about the American media group. In April, Egale Canada claimed Fox News host Tucker Carlson made “false and horrifying claims” about transgender individuals.

“[The outlet’s] coverage aimed to provoke hatred and violence against 2SLGBTQI communities, particularly those who are Two-Spirit, trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming,” wrote Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, in an open letter.

Kennedy accused Carlson of propagating falsehoods about those communities, such as painting them as “violent” and “dangerous.” 

On March 27, Audrey Hale, 28, shot and killed six people at The Covenant School in Tennessee. Hale identified as transgender and had allegedly written a detailed, violent manifesto before the attack on the Christian academy. Of the victims, Hale killed three children, all nine years of age.

“We have a manifesto; we have some writings that we’re going over that pertain to this day,” Nashville Metropolitan Police Chief John Drake told reporters. He said the manifesto uncovered disturbing details of Hale “[preparing] to do more harm” and had plans to attack another school in the area.

According to Egale Canada, Tucker spread “malicious misinformation” by stating trans people are ‘targeting’ Christians. “To position trans people in existential opposition to Christianity is an incitement of violence against trans people that is plain to any viewer,” wrote Kennedy.

Carlson and Fox unceremoniously split last month due to a matter unrelated to the Egale application to the CRTC. They are accepting feedback from the public until June 2 on possibly barring access to the American outlet for Canadian viewers.

Courtesy of Bill C-18, the Online News Act, the CRTC also intends to define ‘newsroom ethics’ as they combat “disinformation” in Canada and determine who benefits from the revenue sharing with social media companies.

The Online News Act would compel Google and Facebook to pay newsrooms a portion of ad revenues generated by linked stories. The bill would exempt publishers from federal antitrust law negotiating secret revenue settlements.

However, Bill C-18 section 27.1.b.iv said applicants must “follow the code of ethics of a recognized journalistic association or has its code of ethics whose standards of professional conduct require adherence to the recognized processes and principles of the journalism profession.”

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Canada lacks a national code for newsroom ethics, as reporters and editors there are unlicensed. They said membership is voluntary for organizations like the Canadian Association of Journalists.

“It frankly puts a bit of an onus on us to define [who] is a credible news organization [that would benefit from the revenue scheme],” testified Scott Shortliffe, CRTC executive director of broadcasting policy, at the Senate transport and communications committee.

“We would assess which online platforms the Online News Act would apply to and which news businesses are eligible to negotiate under the Act,” he said. 

Bill C-18 passed the Commons last December 14 by a 213 to 114 vote. 

“The Online News Act is one piece of a large and complex puzzle that aims to build a safer, more inclusive and more competitive internet for all Canadians,” Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez told the Commons at the time. 

“I have spoken with my G7 colleagues about all of this, and I can say one thing: The whole world is watching Canada right now”, he said.

On May 3, Rebel News published exclusive documents showing that senior executives at the CBC threatened to sue Twitter if they did not censor content and people the organization did not hold in high regard. 

As previously detailed, the targets of this censorship campaign align with those Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly condemned. The documents also revealed that CBC President Catherine Tait threatened to stop advertising on Twitter if the platform did not agree with their demands.

Internal correspondence between Michele Austin, Twitter’s director of public policy for the U.S. and Canada, and another executive unveiled possible litigation against the social media company.

“We [met] with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) today. The attached letter also came in last night,” wrote Austin. “During the call [with Cam Gordon] and myself, the CBC threatened legal action, so Cam and I ended the call.”

Cam Gordon served as Twitter’s head of communications for Canada.

“Action: Do we want to reply to this letter, or should we just let it sit (I think we just let it sit),” wrote Austin. “Reminder I did escalate the case. UE case number on no violation: Customer Portal: UE-95053.”

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