top of page

CAEF Letter to CBC President, Ombudsman and Chief News Editor, re biased reporting; CBC Response and follow up from CAEF


Below is the CBC response and follow up from CAEF.


From BRODIE FENLON:


Hello Ms. Spindel,


Thank you for your correspondence on behalf of the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation. 


In your letter, you shared extensive excerpts from a recent opinion piece written by Warren Kinsella and published in the Toronto Sun. 


Let me start by saying that the column contains many inaccuracies. While Mr. Kinsella was provided several fulsome and factual responses to his questions, he chose not to include them (you can read below the full exchange in its entirety, for full transparency). 


For the record:


We have a group of subject-matter experts available to CBC journalists and program teams who can be contacted only if and when our journalists have questions or want advice about their coverage of the Israel-Hamas war. This is entirely voluntary. 


The group is NOT "covert" or "secretive" or "shadowy." They do not "oversee the network's reporting on Israel." All of this is blatantly false, as we made clear to Mr. Kinsella. And while we would not share private personal information about individual employees, it is also a false suggestion that there is no Jewish representation among this group. 


We stand by our journalism and have worked very hard to live up to our principles of balance, fairness and accuracy in the hundreds of stories we’ve done since this latest round of violence began on Oct. 7, much of which you can find and assess for yourself at this link: www.cbc.ca/israelhamaswar.


Thank you,

Brodie


From Warren Kinsella to Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations (Mon, Apr 1, 2024, at 10:49 AM):


Good morning Kerry.  I am a national columnist with Postmedia, and I wanted to confirm that CBC has constituted a panel to review coverage related to the Israel-Hamas war. I am equally interested in confirming who makes up this group and their relevant expertise.


I look forward to your response, and thank you in advance.


From Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations to Warren Kinsella (Apr 1, 2024, at 10:53 AM)


Hi Warren,


I will follow up on this. As we have a lot of people away today, wondering what your deadline is?


Thanks,

Kerry 


From Warren Kinsella to Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations (April 1, 2024, at 10:59 AM)


Thanks for the quick response Kerry. I'm filing Wednesday for Thursday. 


From Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations to Warren Kinsella (Apr 2, 2024, at 8:24 AM):


Hi Warren,


We have a longstanding Middle East advisory committee created a few years ago to give CBC leadership recommendations about long-term coverage strategy in the region. Separately, when coverage intensified in October, we put together a list of internal contacts (producers with extensive international experience) to provide editorial support if needed. Reporters and producers can choose to email them to ask questions or seek advice on day-to-day coverage of the Israel-Hamas war. They’re not a panel and they don’t “review coverage”.


From Warren Kinsella to Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations (April 2,  2024, at 8:35 AM)


Thank you. That raises a few more questions, I'm afraid. 


1. Does it have a name? 


2.  Can you confirm the number on the committee? Their backgrounds? Their names?


3. Their terms of reference? Do they have the authority to kill or change stories? 


4. Can you confirm that not one of them belongs to the Jewish faith, or identifies as Jewish? This fact has been a cause for concern for Jews who presently work at CBC, for obvious reasons. 


5. What is "editorial support"?


6. Related to that, I am unclear how the committee can provide "advice" about coverage in a way that does not first involve "reviewing" said coverage. I would appreciate an explanation on that distinction, as well. 


I am starting to write later today. Many thanks for your efforts, here.


From Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations to Warren Kinsella (Apr 2, 2024, at 2:58 PM):



Hi Warren,


The list of internal contacts is not a panel or a committee. They don’t meet and they don’t provide concerted advice. It’s an email list we refer to as the Middle East consult group. Whoever is available when a question comes in can offer a response. Their colleagues reach out to them with specific questions, not the other way around. They do not make editorial decisions or impose changes. These are producers and reporters with international experience who are willing to respond to questions from their colleagues and give suggestions or advice when asked, just like any journalist asking another journalist in the newsroom a question about a story they are working on: “Do you think this line is clear?” “Where can I check these numbers?” “Do you have a source in that town?”


No one has an obligation to reach out to them, and they are not the only people who can be consulted for advice. Given the intensity of our coverage since October, and the limited capacity of our world desk, we simply made it easier for our staff to find colleagues with relevant expertise.


As for your question about the people on that list, we don’t have access to individual statistics on our staff’s religious or cultural identity, nor is that information we would share. That said, I can confirm the assertion that no one on the list belongs to the Jewish faith, or identifies as Jewish, is false on both accounts.


Thanks,

Kerry


From Warren Kinsella to Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations (April 2,  2024, at 3:11 PM) 


Thank you. Final question: if CBC does not collect that information, how does CBC know that is not true? 


From Kerry Kelly, CBC public relations to Warren Kinsella (Apr 2, 2024, at 3:55 PM):


Hi Warren,


Managers do not have access to the Personal Information Self-identification responses individual employees have provided to CBC/Radio-Canada, however, employees are free to discuss their faith or background in casual or formal workplace conversations. While we would not share that personal information, we can reiterate that the assertion that no one on the list belongs to the Jewish faith, or identifies as Jewish, is false on both accounts.


Kerry


 

Follow up from CAEF


Hello Mr. Fenlon,


While you’ve asserted there really is no committee or panel, "secretive" or otherwise, you’ve also not provided any information that would confirm any expertise either. That a journalist has previous experience reporting on the Middle East more likely confirms his or her inherent bias as CBC stokes antisemitism in the fallacious notion that there should be a "principle of balance" in reporting on a terrorist entity. Really? Do Canadians not know the difference between radical Islamists with genocidal intentions and people fighting for its survival on its legal and historical homeland, defending innocents, supporting every humane and social justice cause in today's world?


How does CBC justify stories that draw its "facts" from the Hamas controlled Ministry of Health? Who does the historical and legal work that is readily available to grade school kids, verifying Israel’s rights to the land? Where is the decision to avoid calling murderers' inhumane acts of rape, torture and mutilation as anything but "terrorism?" Is there a terrorist test applied by your said “subject matter experts” or your executives? When is a mass murdering, rapist sufficiently evil to have CBC identify him as a terrorist? When Canada lists an organization as a terrorist entity, what criterion does CBC use to ignore said designation?


How does CBC  define balance- do equal numbers of stories giving the terrorists and their  supporters’ perspective, satisfy some quotient or is there an obligation to supply the perspective of those who willingly and wontonly want to destroy the State of Israel? Since Hamas in its own charter, has adopted the Nazi exterminationist agenda, and hence supporters are Nazi supporters, does CBC consider it essential to give them equal or greater airtime than it gives to Jews, to those fighting a real and existential threat in a battle for Jewish survival? 


What is the reason that CBC has so little interest in the perspective of the IDF, the most moral army in the world,  and instead chooses perspectives from radical professors, Islamist support groups, and street protesters which do not cherish democratic Canadian values? Do you think combatting Jew hatred is Islamophobic as the pro-Palestinian agitators would have the public believe? 


Is CBC completely disinterested in reporting on the growing antisemitism threatening both the Jewish community and Canadian society as we know it? Not even a passing interest? Do you disagree with the analysis that leftist ideology in collaboration with Islamism is fueling hatred and lies? Do you have different information that you could share? 


History has documented the role of media in fueling hatred and antisemitism.  CBC is not looking good today nor will it from the future's historical perspective as it fails to help Canadians distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, truth from lies, hatred from morality. 


Respectfully,


Andria Spindel

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page