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The Canadian CBC's Love Affair With Hezbollah By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 17, 2003


They're cut from the same cloth.

While America's publicly-funded PBS last month was airing a sanitized, benign view of Islam, Canada's taxpayer-supported Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was doing the same for Hezbollah.

The occasion for the CBC's whitewash of the deadly terrorist organization occurred after the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien finally screwed up its courage and added it to its list of banned terrorist groups. The Liberals, who were severely criticized for allowing Hezbollah to operate in Canada, had been refusing to proscribe the Islamic terrorist organization because it is a legitimate political party in Lebanon with a social wing that works among the Lebanese poor. The Liberals' obstinacy regarding Hezbollah continued despite evidence it had been very busy in their country the last ten years, raising money, seeking recruits and buying materials to be used in the struggle against Israel.

However, Hassan Nasrallah, a Hezbollah leader, finally spoiled the party for 'the Party of God' in Canada. In a speech last month, Nasrallah said the Palestinians should export their suicide bombings outside of Palestine, and they shouldn't be shy about it.

This expression of support for terrorism was too much, even for the Liberals, whose leader, Chrétien, had the audacity to say after 9/11 that there were no terrorist groups operating in Canada, and who may even have shaken Nasrallah's hand at a Francophone conference in Lebanon last year. Nasrallah's frightening utterances finally did the trick and got Hezbollah the long overdue boot from America's northern neighbor..

But into the breech in Hezbollah's defense jumped the CBC, which broadcast reports on both its national television and radio shows stating that the information forming the base of the Canadian government's decision to expel the terrorist organization may have been false. The report suggested that Nasrallah's terrorism quotes were fabricated and inferred that since the information was incorrect, then it follows the decision to ban Hezbollah was wrong.

The source of those inaccuracies, according to the report, was British journalist, Paul Martin, who had written the original story in
The Washington Times that contained the Nasrallah quotes.

In response, Martin has launched a defamation lawsuit against the CBC and The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper. The CBC and The Star are the two biggest anti-American, lib-left news organizations in Canada and often support one another. The Washington Times, for its part, responded to the CBC fabrication allegations by saying the newspaper was "on solid ground
with the quotes."

However, what is most important here is not whether the quotes were accurate, or whether they were even uttered. The essence of the matter when it comes to Hezbollah is whether it is a terrorist organization, a fact that was conspicuously absent from the CBC report.

No mention, for example, was ever made in the CBC broadcast of Hezbollah's suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 that killed 240 American servicemen. Other attacks Hezbollah has perpetrated, both in Lebanon and against Israel, were also glaring in their omission. And the 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85, a suspected Hezbollah operation, didn't interest CBC either, not to mention the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that claimed 19 lives.

Moreover, if the CBC didn't like the Hezbollah quotes Martin reported, there were still plenty of others to choose from. In 1998, for example, Nasrallah was quoted as saying Israel was created by the "grandsons of apes and pigs", and he has also called for death to both America and Israel. And one-time Hezbollah leader, Hussein Massawi, summed up best the attitude of all Islamic terrorist groups towards the West with this gem: "We are not fighting so that you may offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

Nothing of the sort, however, made it into the CBC report. Like the PBS documentary, it avoided any contentious issues that may have put its subject in a bad light.

But all this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows the CBC's past. During the Cold War, it earned the nickname the 'Communist Broadcasting Corporation' among Canadians for the soft line it peddled on the Soviet Union.

Now, again using Canadians' tax dollars, it is up to its old tricks, with only Middle Eastern terrorists having replaced the Soviets.

And while Canadian Jewish groups have accused the CBC of anti-Israel bias, don't expect any changes soon. As with PBS, the CBC knows no shame when it comes to such disgraceful journalism by omission.


Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.


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