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Canadian Media Have a Bad “Trust” Month

January 23rd, 2015 · 9 Comments

It’s one of the oldest rules of journalism: a good story should include the BIG basics… Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. And when ALL those criteria are met, readers, listeners and viewers can confer the most precious approval rating for the story, the reporter and the news organization: TRUST.

Unfortunately, it’s been a BAD month for Canadian media when it comes to TRUST.

First CBC Vancouver did a story (I did not see any TV piece …but the story DID appear on the CBC.Ca BC website) reporting that “a NEW information-sharing agreement between Canada and the United States … could put travelers who regularly spend a lot of time in the US at risk of significant consequences”.

Quoting Gail Hunnisett,  constituency assistant for BC MP Alex Atamanenko (NDP-BC Southern Interior), the CBC  explained that it’s a “misconception” that Canadians can spend 182 days a year in the US, without being considered a US resident for tax purposes.

The original CBC story explained Canadians can actually only spend 120 days a year in the US … not 182.

Wow!  Great story! It actually went national … picked up by other websites, newspapers. Tens of thousands of Canadian travelers …business, snowbirds, travelers … were alerted, informed and I’d dare say even frightened.

Hunnisett said, though, the 120 days could be extended to 182 days by filling out a special form proving their closer connection to Canada.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!

That’s NOT new.  That’s been the rule for a decade …. I’ve been filling out that form (IRS Form 8840)  for years! And so have tens of thousands of other Canadians, each and every year.

But the panic was out there … worried Canadians fearing cutbacks in their travels contacting friends, lawyers and The Canadian Snowbird Association asking/wondering/fretting about the “NEW” rules.

Until the Snowbird Association issued a statement that began:

“ In a recent article which appeared on CBC News’ British Columbia website, it was suggested that Canadian citizens are only allowed to spend 120 days in the United States each year. For clarification purposes, the Canadian Snowbird Association would like to remind travellers to the U.S. that this information is incorrect.”

INCORRECT?

“ Further, the CBC News article also discussed the Entry/Exit Initiative, a bi-national border program in which entry and exit data will be shared on individuals travelling between Canada and the United States. While this initiative was scheduled to be expanded on June 30, 2014, to include Canadian and American citizens, the necessary legislative and regulatory changes have not been implemented. At present, the Entry/Exit Initiative is not fully operational,” the Snowbird organization assured Canadians.

WHEW! (You can read the whole CSBA statement here:http://www.snowbirds.org/us-travel-rules-clarified.

Clearly bad reporting …scare mongering that went right across the country … and “incorrect”.

CBC then changed its original story, adding:

“Hunnisett said that for people travelling to the U.S. for long stays year after year, it’s actually 120 days, or four months, averaged using a special formula over a period of three years.”

In other words, the same rule that has been in effect for years.

No “NEW” limit, no “NEW” change, no “NEW” story.

Was there NO verification, NO secondary sourcing, No checking before publishing?

Bad for establishing/keeping the public TRUST!

But that was nothing compared to what was going on back East, in Toronto.

Global Television anchor and executive editor Leslie Roberts resigned after it was revealed he had a business affiliation with a public relations firm, Buzz PR,whose clients he featured and/or referred to in glowing terms on Global network shows.

Yech!

Buzz PR reportedly billed itself as “Toronto’s top public relations agency and said it specialized in securing media appearances for its clients.  How true!

Somehow, though, Roberts failed to tell his Global bosses of his own links to Buzz PR and it only surfaced after the Toronto Star revealed the link in an investigative piece.  The anchor was suspended pending an investigation …and then quit.

Sleaze!

More media trust down the toilet.

And then there was Amanda Lang of CBC Toronto.  (Like I said, this was a BAD month for Canadian media!).

This week, the CBC BANNED on-air journalists from making any paid outside  appearances, after it was revealed Lang had accepted money from Manulife for moderating two seminars and was paid by Sun Life for a speech.

Further digging revealed that CBC broadcasters Peter Mansbridge, Dianne Buckner, Diana Swain and Evan Solomon had also made appearances/speeches for cash.

Trust?

How can Canadians trust “journalists” who accept money from those they “cover”?   I don’t believe we can or should.

BUT I would make one exception: pundits, experts, commentators for one station or network sometimes appear on other stations or networks pedalling their expertise. (ie Palmer or Baldrey or Smyth or Spector doing “freelance” gigs in other media. Agree or disagree with them, those discussions do help the overall discourse of issues and no one should be required to work for free (especially for multi-million-dollar news organizations) and if their employers allow it, I am not perturbed if they are paid for their comments or expertise.)

But they must NEVER work/appear before those they cover: companies, lobby groups, political parties or government departments or agencies.

It’s about TRUST.

An important journalistic commodity … that has taken a few hard hits this month.

And there’s still a week to go.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Anyone who wants First Alerts to postings on this blog can get them by just following me on Twitter  (@harveyoberfeld). No spam, no cost, no ads.)

→ 9 CommentsTags: British Columbia · Media · National

BBC Role in Fomenting Anti-Jewish Hate Exposed

January 19th, 2015 · 59 Comments

The BBC has been caught with its fair-reporting pants down … it’s ugly anti-Jewish bias exposed for all to see.

The incredibly tasteless, anti-Jewish “reporting” was delivered by a senior experienced BBC journalist, Tim Wilcox during the aftermath to the Paris terrorist attack in which 17 people were killed  … and was so outrageous it drew special news coverage/commentary in Britain’s largest media, including The Daily Mail, The Spectator, The Independent, the Guardian as well as the Washington Post.

Here’s what happened:

Wilcox interviewed a Jewish woman in the crowd at the march after the Kosher supermarket  was attacked: she was the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and said she believed the issue of Jewish persecution dated “back to the days of the 1930s in Europe” and she feared a new round of Jewish persecution.

Wilcox replied: “Many critics of Islam would say the Christians in the Middle East suffer hugely at Muslim hands as well.” … and then added “Many critics though of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well …. you understand everything is seen from different perspectives.”

WHAT!

A senior BBC reporter can’t tell the difference between national armies and violent individuals committing terrorist acts?????

When the British Army or US Army engage in actions …since they are mostly made up of Christians, is it a Christian attack?  Of course not. When the Russian army strikes out, is it a Russian Orthodox  attack? When the German army attacks, is it a Lutheran attack? When the Egyptian army or Jordanian army or Saudi army attack, is it a Muslim attack?

No … but in the world according to Wilcox, apparently when the Israeli army attacks, it is not an Israel army attack …but also a “Jewish” attack … and thus,  retaliatory attacks against Jewish people anywhere in the world would be “understandable”?

Ridiculous!  Bias!

And even worse if you follow through with that kind of thinking…..

Under that kind of Wilcox logic,  after attacks by terrorists who were Muslims, not only  in Paris but in any other place as well,  would it be quite “understandable” if Muslims and Muslim grocery stores or mosques elsewhere were also violently attacked by non Muslims … even thousands of miles away from where the original act took place?

Of course, NOT!

It’s so ludicrous,  his suggestion so anti-Jewish … delivered to millions of viewers …. yet the BBC itself NEVER APOLGIZED!!

From a BBC  spokesman: “Tim Willcox has apologised for what he accepts was a poorly phrased question during an in-depth live interview with two friends, one Jewish and of Israeli birth, the other of Algerian Muslim heritage, where they discussed a wide range of issues affecting both the Muslim and Jewish communities in France. He had no intention of causing offence.”

I wonder long to know what the BBC would have done if the remark HAD been directed towards Muslims, not Jews: I believe the BBC would have been all over it… apologizing OFFICIALLY,  reprimanding Wilcox …maybe even suspending him.

But as I said this remark … broadcast to tens of millions, including millions of BBC viewers in the Arab world,  … denigrated Jews …so  I guess at BBC HQ, it was no big deal.

Wilcox did apologize personally … in a TWEET!  It came AFTER it all hit the fan … not for his clearly stated view, not even repudiating the idea he expressed … but for “a poorly phrased question”.

“Really sorry for any offence caused by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday – it was entirely unintentional,” Wilcox tweeted.

Now, if Wilcox made his remarks in a personal protest or blog or article, I would defend his right to express that opinion. BUT he made it while REPORTING for the BBC …  a taxpayer-funded news operation … that is SUPPOSED to be unbiased and fair in its news coverage.

Of course, it is not.

Readers of this blog will know I caught onto their bias … and starting documenting it in detail … years ago. Just search “BBC” on my front page and you will find SEVERAL articles exposing their single-faceted news coverage in the Middle East….going on for years now.  As I said,  there are SEVERAL of them I zeroed in on.  And a Google search of the topic will turn up MANY more news critics who have noted the same … and no, not by Jewish groups or Israeli government officials.

It’s about time that British broadcast authority officials take a LONG, HARD LOOK at BBC World newscasts role in fomenting anti-Jewish sentiments …especially in Europe and the Middle East.

The BBC not only reports acts of violence and hatred against Jews around the world: I believe it promotes it … through its consistent one-sided anti-Israel and now anti-Jewish “reporting”.

It has gone on for more than a decade …and it’s about time SOMEONE in Britain did SOMETHING to bring back fairness to BBC reporting.

And maybe, just maybe, we might then even see an Israeli city added to the BBC’s Middle East weather maps and temperature listings  … which now ONLY show Arab cities.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 59 CommentsTags: International · Media