Ethnic Media FAILED Canadian Standard

Vancouver South Conservative candidate Wai Young is having a difficult campaign: she’s been criticised for attending a BC Khalsa school meeting, where she was endorsed by Air India bombing suspect Ripudaman Singh Malik; her own siblings are suing her in a family dispute over an inheritance; and, they’ve also announced they will NOT be voting for her.

And making matters worse, as the possible Malik connection was questionned,  Young had been hiding from the media for four days, issuing a printed statement, but avoiding interviews.  Or MOST interviews.

Earlier this week, Young invited a select group of ethnic (Asian)  media to a home in Richmond, where she took questions.  Non-ethnic media were not invited … shut out from asking questions.

The Tory candidate has been criticised for that … but I think the media who attended … and went along with her quite apparent racist selection of media to talk to deserve condemnation as well.

When they saw this was a press availability for only certain “ethnic media” … with other non-ethnic” media shut out … they should have refused to take part and left.

The standards to be applied to ethnic or Asian media must be the same as those applied to the rest of the media.

One can only imagine the outcry from the Asian media if any candidate running for public office, under a major political party banner (lets forget the loonie fringe) held a media avialbility session for select “white” media only. And they would be absolutely right in screaming like hell.

And I believe the regular city, provincial or national  media invited to such a racially selective “Asians keep out”  press availability session would refuse to participate.

But here, the ethnic media went along.  Shame on them.

True, one of them, Fairchild Media, gave a copy of their tape to their “gwai lo” counterparts, but that’s not good enough.

In Canada, in BC, and especially in the multi-ethnic Lower Mainland NO media should agree to press availability sessions set up on a racial basis.  On ANY topic, but especially by a candidate running for any public office in the land.

The media who took part on this racially -specific event owe apologies: to their listeners/viewers; to their fellow journalists who they allowed to be excluded; and, most of all, to Canada … where such discrimination is unacceptable.

Harv Oberfeld

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13 Responses to Ethnic Media FAILED Canadian Standard

  1. Ruaridh says:

    Whatever they failed, the ethnic media certainly failed the public interest test.

    Have they never heard of “without fear or favour”.

    We have been brought back to a stage of tokenism that is profoundly disturbing.

  2. ron wilton says:

    Who is being marginalized here, us or them?
    Are these ‘ethnic’ (Asian) communities new Canadians or overflow from over populated areas?
    How does integration take place in areas of such high ethnic concentration, or does it?
    Any effort to exclude should be viewed with great suspicion.
    Perhaps we are getting a small taste of what the original inhabitants here experienced.

  3. Mike says:

    Come on Harvey….you must realize by now that when it happens to white people it’s not racism. It’s called “Equality”. It’s even legislated in the laws of this great land that “minorities” may discriminate against in order to provide for this “equality”.

    This isn’t going to change any time soon. After all, as long as the “ethnic vote” is so important no candidate will ever go to remove the pertinent legislation. You must realize that expanding voter bases are much more appealing to the political parties that the people they already have here. They represent growth, while the existing caucasian vote is a stagnant group that may be taken for granted with little repercussion.

    The fact that discrimination was wrong when it was done by white people and wrong when it is done to white people is completely irrelevant.

    I do have to say though that to tell me that I have to live with the consequences of making up for social inequities by being legally discriminated against is somewhat distastful. Oh well; c’est la vie!

  4. 13 says:

    Harvey I agree that this was racist and unacceptable. I dont believe that it was an exception it is the rule. Most ethnics are predjudiced, racist and discriminatory. Just look at there neighbourhoods, schools, industries. You show me 10 cab drivers and Ill show you 10 Indo Canadians. I was at a union meeting where the majority of the members were Indo Canadian truckers. The union local was a under the CAW charter. In the course of the meeting they tried to appoint a business agent. He was of course an Indo Canadian. When a few people objected to his appointment they suggested a well qualified white fellow. One of the union executive stood up and said that the white guy could NOT be considered for the job as he was not East Indian.
    So while you might not like what happened at this political meeting and while many might agree with you, its to late. The various ethnic groups have their own neighbourhoods , schools , industries etc. White people need not apply.

    (Response: Prejudice cuts many ways: whites often vote for a candidate because he or she, like they are Irish, German, Jewish, Italian etc. And by the saqme token, most ethnic groups initially prefer to live in neighbourhoods with similar people. similar grocery/bakery/restaurant type stores, and services where they can speak their language and get good they prefer etc. But give it a generation and most of their kids join the mainstream like everyone else … as Canucks fans, Internet and XBox zombies. Just be patient. But the media is different … journalists should set the standard, and taking part in any ethnicly-cleansed event is simply not acceptable. h.o)

  5. diverdarren says:

    When your political strategy causes Ujjal Dosanjh to look like the honest and credible candidate, you know you have screwed up your campaign.

    Vancouver South is not all that ethnically mixed, ( there are two main groups) which is why Mrs. Young is tiring to appeal to Chinese specifically. Last time she only needed 21 more votes. Your last column may have called for strategic voting, but in South Van I think the vote breaks on ethnicity lines and not party lines.

    Anyways, whoever said ethnic media were credible journalists to begin with?

    (Response: Not being able to speak other than English/French I couldn’t tell you how good/bad they are. But I do expect the same ethical standards from all journalists in Canada, regardless of language. h.o)

  6. D. M. Johnston says:

    Forget about the ethnic media, they are very forgettable. What about Harper, what does this say about him?

    Why hasn’t he canned her? My god, we have Canadian forces fighting terrorists and their putrid brand of politics and yet the Conservative party seems to support her securing Ripudaman Singh Malik endorsement.

    Am I missing something; am I just an old fart who doesn’t understand modern Canadian politics?

    My god, and to think Harper may get a majority government – god help us all!

    (Response: Actually, in writing this blog, I didn’t weant to steer away from my target: the reporters amd their media bosses. BUT I did recall one Richmond appaearance by Harper, where he took a couple of querstinos from his trailing national media, then ONE question from a specifically-designated Chinese reporter, who asked an eminently forbgettable question like How important are Chinese voters? Ugh!!! I have heard he does that quite often, a question or two from national media in both official languages and then, for local inputy, choosing a trembling young local reporter from a community organ rather than some pit bull seasoned journalists asking tough questions about regional issues. I like giving the community media a chance too …but not EXCLUSIVITY. h.o)

  7. Mo says:

    We are on a very slippery and dangerous road when we allow a POLITICIAN running in a FEDERAL election to select media by race. this is not CANADIAN. and I am sick and tired of these kinds of individuals.. Today i slammed the door on a candidate who had a multi-languaged flyer with him. I told him the only two official languages in canada is French & English. the rest of the people had better learn one of those languages or they don’t deserve to vote. and the same goes for the ethnic south asians who are starting to be too cliquish for my taste,.. .this is not how a country becomes stronger…. by dividing itself up into cliques of various races.

    W have indeed been ” brought back to a stage of tokenism that is profoundly disturbing.” Time for us all to take a stand.

    (Response: The only legal requirement to vote is to be a Canadian citizen … so although I agree English and French are our only official languages, I can see a candidate trying to win brownie points by issuing pamphlets in all kinds of ethnic languages. As far cliquishness, I submit ALL immigrant groups have done that when they first get here ..back to the Irish, Italians etc a hundred years ago. But give it a generation or two and their kids and grandkids almost all get out of the ghettos, so to speak, In fact, intermarriage in Canada is now huge…doesn’t even raise an eyebrow anymore …hardly cliquey. But it does take time. h.o)

  8. Crankypants says:

    I agree with your view that the media that attended this limited interview should have boycotted it. But I also think that the media, both national and local should have done the same at all of Harper’s rallies once he showed that he was going to limit the number of questions he would entertain. Allowing one question by local media per appearance is nothing more than showing a complete disrespect for the voters of whichever riding he is appearing.

    I almost get the feeling that too many of today’s politicians think they think they are celebrities and should only have to face the public when they wish.

    I’m also getting very tired of seeing the leaders of all the parties appear only in staged photo ops. The newscasts tend to resemble mini-commercials rather than actual news.

    (Response: I disagree on boycotting Harper for the reason you state. Although I have ranted on here about his dictatiorial style and it’s the main reason I will not vote Tory, I don’t think the medias can ignore a Prime Minister or Opposition Leader or Mayor or Premier etc….who are already elected leaders, just because they don;t answer questions I think the proper thing is to report their refusals, hurl question at them and show them ignoring them … I did it many times with various leaders. But refusing to answer questions is a RIGHT … just as Young had the right not to answer ANY querstions from ANY media. It’s the selective apparently racist angle I think goes beyond acceptabilty. h.o)

  9. a.j.27 says:

    Leaving the ‘race card’ out of your blog and go to the ‘core’ of your blog,which in my mind is that these are reporters.
    And my question to you is how many ‘exclusive’ stories did you share to other news reporters.I would think their editors would not be happy if they called other news outlets into an ‘exclusive’ story.
    i get where your coming from H.O. but the world is not fair.

    (Response: Close, but no cigar! I would have no problem if one of these media had an “exclusive” interview. Bravo for them. But this was no such thing ….not a one-on-one exclusive. This was a GROUP of reporters …not one…invited to a press availability session .. those chosen apparently based on ethnicity. Thar is not an exclusive. That in my view is racism at worst, pandering at best. h.o)

  10. morry says:

    a.j.27…you are so off the mark. It’s about basic principals of openness. … not about “exclusive” news story. That is usually an individual reporter not a group or gaggle of “reporters” from one race. think!

    (Response: Exactly. h.o)

  11. 13 says:

    Harvey I beg to differ on your thought that given time imigrants blend into the Canadian mosaic.The Indo Canadian imigrants have been here for twenty plus years. They have not tried to blend into Canadian life as we know it. The do not inter marry they have established neightbourhoods that are not interracial. For the most part they do not speak english when in mixed company and almost enjoy speaking punjabi when others are in the room that do not understand punjabi. They still have honour killings. They still treat women as second class citizens. As a matter of fact if you look to Britain, Germany Spain and France they are suffering from their imigration policies. They have had race riots and are calling for big decreases in imigration levels. Like I said I realize that this is a bit off topic but in more than one response your position is ” give them time”
    The fact that they vote in blocs must be a huge temptation for politicians like Dix.

  12. Mo says:

    @13 time for all canadians to wake up. We are on a slippery road to ethnic enclaves. Tribalism at it’s worst.

    We should not be afraid to speak out against these groups. if we don’t they will slowly corrupt our society.

    To those cliques I would say… Go Away!

    and HO What we are seeing with south asians and certain Asians is NOWHERE AKIN to earlier waves of immigration. none of the earlier groups had class media in their corner. And they melded much faster into the mainstream. We need not give in to their pressure for fear of being called racists. They are playing that card.

    (Response: I would agree that, under multiculturalism, there is no longer the pressure of the old days to assimilate as fast as those earlier immigrants did. And I think thast can be a problem … look at Europe. But this blog is about journalism … and as I say, I believe the ethnic media who took part let their craft as well as their country’s standards down. h.o.)

  13. G.J.W. says:

    Now the Chinese and east Indians, want their history’s taught in our schools. They come to our country, and want to take over.

    When Canadians live in other country, we do as they do. It’s their country. Do you think they would change their history book for us? No they would not.

    What about all the other nationalities, German, Italians, Japanese, Swedes, Norwegians, and the thousands of other nationalities, do they get left out of the history books?

    If they want their country’s history’s taught to their children. They can build their own schools. Or teach their children, their country’s history at home. What a damned gall.

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