Following the aftermath of Hamas terror in Israel, Canada’s state broadcaster supposedly told its staff not to call the attacckers “terrorists” as part of their news coverage.
On October 17, the federal government voted down a Conservative motion to question CBC employees about a leaked internal email concerning Hamas.
George Achi, director of journalistic standards at the CBC, requested journalists “use fact-based language” and not refer to “militants” as terrorists, as first reported by Rebel News.
As of writing, Hamas, a designated terrorist group in Canada since 2002, has killed over 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals from dozens of states.
Despite these unprecedented attacks, Achi also purportedly instructed journalists to not describe 2005 as “the end of the occupation.”
Speaking further about not using the word terrorist, he wrote that “terrorism remains heavily politicized.”
Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs Tuesday demanded the CBC explain a reversal of its decades-old practice of referring to the listed terrorist group Hamas as terrorists.
Conservative deputy leader Melissa Lantsman tabled the motion to summon CBC staff — particularly its CEO Catherine Tait, Ombudsman Jack Nagler, and Achi — and have them explain their editorial stance on Hamas before the committee.
“Last weekend, Hamas carried out one of the most horrific terror attacks in history on innocent Israelis, killing and injuring thousands of people. Six Canadians have now died in this horrific attack and many Canadians remain unaccounted for,” she said.
“If the CBC can’t call an organization that murders the elderly, kidnaps children and rapes women the terrorist organization that they are, they don’t deserve taxpayer money,” Lantsman posted on X.
Unfortunately, the committee adjourned consideration of the motion without a vote, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.
Those voting against argued the state broadcaster should remain independent from government pressure when it comes to the angles they take on their reporting.
“I do not see how our committee can deal with this type of motion,” said Liberal MP Brenda Shanahan.
In one article, Terrorist Groups Recruiting Through Social Media, then CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe in a 2011 ruling noted the publication had no ban on the word.
“Hamas has been a recognized terrorist organization in this country for over 20 years,” Lantsman told the Commons public accounts committee.
“It amounts to censorship,” Bloc MP Martin Champoux told the Commons. “Senior management of CBC itself is muzzling the press.”
Secretive plans obtained by NBC News uncovered that Hamas terrorists had orders to “kill as many people as possible.”
They received explicit instructions to capture hostages, particularly women and children, and take them quickly into the Gaza strip. More than 150 hostages are in Gaza, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
It used code words including “black” to designate who to slaughter and “bus” for who to take back to Gaza as human shields.
Other documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal directed a Hamas hit squad to “achieve the highest level of human losses” by targeting “the dental office, the supermarket, the dining hall” in Alumim and take survivors captive.
Regardless, Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge said Parliament had no business meddling in the news practices of the state broadcaster.
“They should not meddle with journalistic independence whether it is with a public broadcaster or any other news group,” St-Onge told reporters.
However, Conservative MP Rachael Thomas expressed disgust with the state broadcaster’s directive despite the milquetoast response from the minister.
“The CBC came out and said, ‘Well, we just don’t want our journalists to take sides’ and if they use the term ‘terrorist’ they will be taking a side,” Thomas told the committee. “To that I would say, no doubt.
“Of course you’re taking a side,” she continued. “What other side would you want to take when you have 1,400 people who were massacred in an evening, when you have women and girls who are raped and then murdered and then paraded through the city, when you have 40 babies who are beheaded. Whose side are you on?”
Champoux, the Bloc MP, clarified that newsrooms “must be shielded from all political influence and all ideological influence,” calling the antics of Hamas “heinous attacks [of] terrorism.”
“Journalists know this and they also know how to use words,” he said.
Lantsman added: “Conservatives will not stop until the CBC provides answers for this disgraceful editorial stance.”
“The Liberal-NDP government must stop protecting the CBC’s gross journalistic incompetence and allow Conservatives to demand answers from the CBC’s senior leadership,” she said.
“The CBC continues to fail Canadians by protecting Hamas in the court of public opinion.”