Letter of Complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Ombudsman
The following is a letter written to the CBC ombdusman by an informed member of the public in Canada, enraged by the blatant anti-Syrian stance in the CBC reporting of the Madaya “starvation” situation.
It reads as follows:
I have counted The Current and CBC news as among the most reliable sources of news and information we have. I consider myself an informed listener and I consult with many and diverse news sources to get the fullest and clearest understanding of world affairs possible.
That’s why it is disappointing, and sometimes infuriating when I hear the CBC reduced to an echo chamber and propaganda conveyance when it comes to news from the Middle East.
The CBC’s use of unreliable and unverified sources and information that presents and thus promotes only one side of events, and a distorted one at that, is shocking to me. Is it due to cutbacks that you are unable to have investigative reporting from conflict areas that reports on all sides of an event, or is there something more sinister going on exercising editorial control over what Canadians are allowed to hear from the Middle East via our national broadcaster?
Specifically, I was very upset to hear The Current’s Jan 8th report with Lyse Doucet on the situation in Madaya, Syria that gave a completely distorted and misinformed picture of the siege of this town (and several others that are getting zero news coverage).
The presenter relied on only one source, a citizen journalist named Rami Jarrah who works for the George Soros funded ANA Press, and is a self-avowed advocate and spokesperson for the terrorist factions, disingenuously called “the opposition” by uncritical media, that has the town of Madaya and several others in the West and North of Syria under militant siege. It is these Islamist militants–Ahrar al Sham and al Qaeda– that seized the food aid delivered by the ICRC last October–meant to last for 2 months–and is keeping the towns people on starvation rations, stockpiling the food then trying to sell it to the towns people for obscene prices.
Why isn’t that being reported on?
It is the militants that are refusing to let the townspeople leave to find refuge in safe zones. It is these militants who are starving and killing them. These Islamist militants, “the opposition” as propagandists call them, are using the starving people under their control to deceive the world, including the use of now exposed deceptive pictures of starving people stolen from the internet to foment outrage–pictures that are uncritically and irresponsibly used by media outlets like the CBC as some kind of “proof” that the Assad regime is responsible for this suffering.
While these areas of conflict are surrounded by government forces, it is the terrorists occupying the villages that are not surrendering and continue to use people as human shields ad for propaganda. Did The Current or is the CBC news desk presenting any of this balance at all to your stories on Syria? No. You are being played, and worse are a willing participant in a one-sided, anti-Syrian government, pro-Syria destruction campaign.
Why fake pictures?
These are the questions you should be asking. The answer is because Jarrah and these “humanitarian interventionists” are using and abusing these civilians to enlist more western involvement.
You are not listening to any of the voices coming from inside Syria because you seem to value those minority voices outside Syria that are vying for overthrow of the government and seek to grasp power for themselves in lockstep with western hegemonic agendas.
Thus you are not doing your job.
What you are promoting, maybe inadvertently, maybe not, is for Syria to be devastated by NATO the way Iraq and Libya were, and not for the human rights of the people of Syria.
So shame on you.
This is despicable and my respect for the CBC has diminished significantly.
I urge the CBC to return to it’s roots of unbiased investigative journalism and be committed to the truth so that I can feel confidence again to tune into CBC news and trust we are getting the best information.
Balance your blatantly biased sources with “the other side”– the Syrian government that is backed by the vast majority of Syrian people, and the Syrian doctors and activists that are actually working to free their country from the terrorists!! Listen to the Syrians INSIDE SYRIA!
Why would you NOT do that?
The text above originally appeared at The Wall Will Fall.
NOTE: Just last week, the CBC appeared to be leading the propaganda effort, with stories of famine in Madaya, with media operatives from the World Food Program (WFP) providing ‘neutral’ reporting – subtly spun and placing blame on the Syrian government and allied Hezbollah militia – as being responsible for the “blockade in humanitarian aid” to the residents of Madaya.
The CBC finished off the effort by posting this amazing image, courtesy of the highly dubious and western-funded, Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR):
No real verification or citation of this image of the starving man was provided by the CBC or the SOHR, so we can assume then that this photo was one of many fakes which have also appeared in a number of western mainstream media outlets, and all promoting the same familiar western pro-war and pro-regime change propaganda lines.
In this same report, for added effect, the CBC also included the west’s popular “barrel bombs” talking point:
“They [the newly formed ‘Opposition Council’] also told him [the UN envoy] that before negotiations, Assad’s government, which has military support from Russia and Iran, must halt the bombardment of civilian areas and barrel bombing, and release detainees in line with the resolution.”
The Canadian Broadcast Corporation has been producing a steady supply of distorted state broadcaster propaganda about the Syrian Conflict since it began – including persuasive reporting which sought to blame Bashar al Assad for ‘chemical weapons’ attacks in late 2013. There was also the case of the CBC’s deceptive use of a photograph from Syria in 2014. Not surprisingly, CNN proffered the original fraud which quickly went viral. Tony Seed reports:
“AN IMAGE claimed by CNN journalists and rebroadcast on the state-owned CBC as well as CTV on February 17 to be of a 4-year-old Syrian child discovered alone near the Jordanian borders while his leg was cut and bandaged with plastic bags, is apparently part of a different image, where the family of the child are seen walking ahead of him and his leg is fine, euronews (and here), the London Guardian and the website Friends of Syria report. A CBC blog by John Bowman of cbcnews.ca also admitted later on Feb. 18 that “the fact that his family was just metres away was left behind.”
(See the doctored image below)
“Andrew Harper, head of the UN Refugee Agency’s mission in Jordan, posted the photo of the young refugee, whom the UN called “Marwan,” on Twitter Sunday night, Feb. 16. The picture was then retweeted by Hala Gorani, a reporter and anchor for CNN International, on Monday as “news”. Gorani later added another tweet 30 minutes later saying that, according to the UNHCR, Marwan was found in the Jordanian desert, with his possession in a small plastic bag. According to her tweet, “the boy was found “crossing the desert alone after being separated from family fleeing Syria.” The dramatic story went viral in the monopoly media; overnight it became the poster child to justify ‘humanitarian intervention’.”
Yet more proof of how leading media organisations are engaged in outright deception and fraud when it comes to their ‘news’ coverage in conflict zone coveted by western governments.
Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.