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Thursday, April 22, 2004

CBC bias


As readers will see on my blog today, I differ with Mr. Jaeger on Jim Travers. His sympathies are clear, but I always pay attention since he's often first to deliver what the Grits are thinking. Besides, there's lots of print competition and diversity these days.

Turn on the government-owned broadcaster to see real bias. I've just been watching Kathleen Petty gleefuly exclaim "That's fascinating!" every time a caller slags the Public Accounts Committee or its Chairman.

Where does CBC Newsworld find these bingo callers? Aside from hair and teeth and politically correct views, what are their qualifications?

Though the competition is tough, here's my nomination for Newsworld howler of the week:


JACQUIE PERRIN (HOST): Israel is vowing to continue with its policy of assassinating Palestinian militant leaders, despite widespread condemnation of yesterday's killing of Abdel Aziz Rentizi. He is the second Hamas leader to be killed in a month, and joining us now from Ottawa to talk about his country's actions is Haim Divon, the Israeli ambassador to Canada, and good morning, Mr. Ambassador.

HAIM DIVON: Good morning.

PERRIN: When you heard the news, what was your reaction to the killing?

DIVON: Well, no one should have been surprised because we warned time and again that whoever will be involved in terrorist attacks against Israel will pay a price, and this is as simple as that. Any country would have done it. If you here in Canada would have been attacked by terrorist organizations, you would be looking after the commandoes, after the heads of that particular organization, unless you remember that Hamas is defined not only by Israel but also by countries like Canada as a terrorist organization, and Rentizi himself is committed to the destruction of the state of Israel. He doesn't accept the state of Israel, so what else do you want us to do? I feel awkward that I even have to justify or explain the obvious, someone that every other country would have done.

PERRIN: And yet Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, even moderate Palestinians say that this will just fuel more violence; it's just a never-ending circle.

DIVON: Well, we sending a very clear message. If you choose the path of terror, that will be our answer, and there's always another alternative. I mean right just a couple of days ago Prime Minister Sharon came with a very, very far-reaching program, disengagement from Gaza, and see the negative reaction of the Palestinians, which is just unbelievable. Rather than embracing it and saying, "You know what? This is a good step," and it's coming from Sharon, from Likud Party, not from the Labour. He is willing to take a very courageous step, and again, we see this negative result. Of course it's discouraging; it's... but if this is the reality we'll have to live in, this is it; we'll have to adjust ourselves. Unfortunately, we don't like it. We don't enjoy it. But we don't have any other alternative. I just want a couple of words about Rentizi himself. Don't forget that this guy, he was a pediatrician. He was a children's doctor, and as a children's doctor, he said for the killing of children in Israel, which is just unbelievable. In our history, we had similar cases. We had about sixty years ago the infamous case of Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi of Nazi Germany, which butchered so many Jewish kids and adults, but the only difference is that then we were not able to defend ourselves and this time we are, and what a coincidence that tomorrow we are commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, and just to give you the right perspective where people in Israel, so many Holocaust survivors living there, so we don't take our security nor our existence for granted.

PERRIN: And yet there are Palestinian children who will die as well because of suicide bombings or attacks by Israel. I mean children are children, whatever the nationality, and this is just another cycle that's... I mean will it ever stop?

DIVON: First of all, we hope it will stop. We don't target children. We are not... we try to hit only those who are involved in terrorist attacks, and we were pretty successful. Unfortunately we didn't ask for this wave of violence. It started almost four years ago when we thought we were at the verge of a historical breakthrough in Camp David; let's not forget that. We were ready, the way we were ready in '47, the way we were ready in '67. But we just hope that finally there will be a Palestinian leadership that will realize that they have to rein in the terrorist organization and to impose law and order in the territories so we won't have independent terrorist organizations able to act freely, to send suicide bombers to build and launch missiles against Israel on a daily basis. I mean this is the reality we are facing...

PERRIN: And yet the Palestinian leaders will say that when Israel commits an attack and is rewarded, like President Bush is now supporting Prime Minister Sharon, and yet when the Palestinians do it, they are condemned. They feel that there are two cycles here.

DIVON: But how can you compare the two? How can you compare us hitting at terrorists, hitting the leadership of terrorist organizations which are being recognized also by Canada as terrorist organizations, to the killing of innocent children going to school on a school bus? How can you compare the two?

PERRIN: Well, what do you say to ordinary Israelis who are now really having to sort of batten down the hatches and be prepared for more attacks, because they know there will be retaliation?

DIVON: Well, it's pretty bad. We don't enjoy it; you can imagine. We don't enjoy going through this type of reality, but what is the alternative? What is the alternative when the international community wasn't able to convince the Palestinians that this is not the right approach and led... let them do what the roadmap is asking them to do, to rein in, to dismantle the terrorist organizations, to confiscate the illegal arms, to stop the incitement, and to go back to negotiating table. That was our position a long time ago, so what do you want us to do? Right now when we have to defend ourselves, we'll do it, and at the same time, we are ready to resume the peace process, and I think Sharon was very clear about that.

PERRIN: OK. We have to leave it at that, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you so much for this.

DIVON: Thank you.

Posted by Norman Spector on April 22, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Perrin of the CBC: "there are Palestinian children who will die as well because of suicide bombings or attacks by Israel"

Suicide bombings by Israel? I sense all slivers of credibility fade away as my eyes glaze over at yet another ridiculous statement by the CBC. Trusted. Informed. Canadian. Just. Plain. Brutal.

Why do you still appear on that station Norman? Are they paying you that much?

Posted by: Brent | 2004-04-22 1:27:05 PM

As I said before... Never watch CBC. OK maybe for the playoffs as long as the Flames are in. Newsworld. Not a chance. Not now not never.

I had the ghastly experience of flipping through the AM channels and lighted on the CBC one day. The CBC host (female) said in her intro... As everyone know, global warming is a serious problem..Click (that was me)

Posted by: Abu Jimbola | 2004-04-22 8:44:59 PM

The CBC makes a business out of selling misery. Apparently, some people seem to be willing to buy into that. Well, I tell you, those people should sue somebody for their stolen self-esteem. The CBC, I should think, would be a good target against which to start the lawsuits.

Posted by: Tony | 2004-04-22 9:23:33 PM

Just to add a little perspective, you should have seen BBC's Hardtalk with Tim Sebastian the other day. He was interviewing Israel's justice minister/deputy prime minister, and his questioning made Perrin look like a raving Zionist. To be fair, I have seen him do the same with Palestinian guests. Some interviewers go out of their way to put their guests on the spot regardless of the issues, although I sadly realize that the CBC is in general very biased.

Posted by: randall g | 2004-04-24 8:17:18 PM

The CBC is indeed in the business of selling misery.

That's why they broadcast "Tronta Unable Leafs" games outside of Ontario.

When we disband the CBC once and for all, an act that I compare to the storming of the Bastille in 1789, we could sell the "Hockey Night In Canada" franchise to another broadcaster, and turn the rest of it into scrap.

Posted by: Scott M. | 2004-04-24 8:54:00 PM

I am just beginning my research into the area of philosophical misconceptions that affect the news media.

What I have in mind, specifically, is the failure of the media to adapt to one of the most important discoveries of all time. To paraphrase Nietzsche, The characteristic achievement of the ninteenth century was the triumph of scientific methods over science.

Most media sources appear to tacitly condone the notion that the public's needs (not merely our desires!) can be met with a stream of pre-chewed news bites.

The shortcomings inherent in the methods of journalism are given sporadic attention. There is no routine attempt to inform the public of what sort of blind spots are created by modern Journalism. We have no habitual attempt to contextualize the limitations of the information.

In a way, the unspoken agreement is that so vast is our ignorance that the public doesn't care, and the media can't do anything about it. But does not the very enormity of the problems demand attention?

I cannot propose any simple solution. For the average person, time-consuming terraced scans across numerous news sources is currently the best option. But even this method is limited by the philosophy of the pre-digested.

The media does not realize that it must serve as a portal into our world. It is no longer worthy to stand as gatekeeper.

The CBC's tendencies and biases, as such may be, are fine and unavoidable. I seriously don't have a problem with that, even in publicly funded media. But I insist that they attempt to systematically identify how they go about presenting and gathering their information.

The alchemists and wizards of old often wasted no time time criticizing themselves. But for all their precious time, how do they compare to science's relentless awareness of how it does it's job!

Unfortunately, the media is going to have to start wasting our time before it becomes worthy of our time.

Posted by: Timothy | 2004-07-05 11:07:19 PM

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