Canadian Media

Justifying the Occupation: the Globe and Mail on Iraq

An En Camino Media Alert

July 05, 2003

Iraq is now an occupied country. Its economy is in the process of being privatized and sold to US corporations. Electrical power is still not available to millions of people and temperatures reach 45 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the original pretexts for the war - mainly Iraq's supposed possession of 'weapons of mass destruction'- have disappeared. These are vitally important issues, with tremendous implications for Iraq's population today and for the ability of leaders to wage wars in future. If the media were seriously engaging with these issues - asking serious questions about the nature of the occupation and the lies told to bring it about, presenting the information to the public - it would be far more difficult for the US to go to war, and to sustain its occupation.

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The Mainstream Media Discusses Itself

An En Camino Media Alert*

June 03 , 2003

A Hypothetical Newscast

Picture this. It's the news on Canada's public television network, the CBC. The newscasters come on, and make the following broadcast.

"In domestic news, Montrealer Adil Charkaoui was arrested earlier this week by CSIS, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service. CSIS arrested Mr. Charkaoui on a 'security certificate' under the 'Immigration and Refugee Protection Act'. The 'security certificate' provides for arrests of immigrants on suspicion that they are a 'national security threat', and was signed by Solicitor General Wayne Easter and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre. This is one of numerous cases of CSIS arresting immigrants from Canada's Muslim community on 'security certificates'. Another case is that of Mohamed Herkat, who is still being held pending deportation.

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Well, it depends what you mean by 'meeting'...

Collected by En Camino

May 20, 2003

On May 3, 2003, En Camino published a media alert and an article written by International Solidarity Movement (ISM) volunteer Paul Burrows. Burrows was responding specifically to a Globe and Mail article by Doug Saunders that repeats insinuations that the ISM had a 'meeting' with suicide bombers in the occupied Palestinian territories. Burrows's article refuted this vicious lie, and one of our readers wrote a letter to Mr. Saunders. An interesting exchange between our reader, Mr. Saunders, and Paul Burrows ensued, which we place here.

The debate seems to hinge on the meaning of the word 'meeting'. Mr. Saunders, a writer who makes his living writing articles, seemed incapable of understanding the accepted meaning of the word 'meeting', and defended his use of the word. While this kind of falsification is particularly blatant, it's also important to remember that a systematic analysis of media coverage (see our other Globe and Mail media alert, for example) shows distortions that are both more subtle and more pervasive.

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Israeli Allegations about ISM 'Links to Terrorism' Constitute Deliberate Falsification

Paul Burrows

May 3, 2003

Doug Saunders' front page article "Israel Vows to Deport Peace Activists" (Globe & Mail, May 3, 2003) repeats Israeli government insinuations that the two British citizens involved with the recent Tel Aviv suicide bombing had "links" to peace activists, including the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). The article refers to an alleged "meeting between so-called human-shield activists and the British suicide bombers," and then goes on to quote Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jonathan Peled saying "When we find them [unspecified peace activists], we will take the necessary legal action to deport them." Saunders goes on to write: "The ISM said Asif Mohammed Hanif, the suburban-London 21-year-old man who killed himself and three other people on Wednesday, had met activists recently at a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, a young American who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer."

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Israel/Palestine and 'Canada's National Newspaper'

En Camino Media Alert 2

May 3 , 2003

By Daniel Freeman-Maloy

Two events in occupied Palestine

On April 11, 2003, Tom Hurndall was shot in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine. Hurndall, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was attempting to move children out of Israeli soldiers' line of fire when a high caliber sniper bullet hit him directly in the head. The targeting of a UK-based activist, clearly identifiable in an orange vest with reflective stripes, could be considered newsworthy.

But the event did not receive mention in the Globe and Mail, 'Canada's National Newspaper'. Instead, the Globe took the opportunity to run a different kind of update on the ISM. An Israeli military investigation had cleared itself of any responsibility for the death of ISM activist Rachel Corrie who - on March 16, 2003 - had been crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while speaking to the driver through a bullhorn. She was killed while trying to prevent the bulldozer from destroying a Palestinian family's home. The Israeli military's report explained that responsibility for Rachel Corrie's death lay not with the Israeli authorities, but with the ISM's "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous" behaviour. Corrie had not been "run over by an engineering vehicle, but rather … struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete."(1) The Globe relayed this report without critical analysis.

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Is the Canadian Media Fueling Conflict?

En Camino's first media alert*

April 15, 2003

Canadians are not being served as well as they should be, even by their own public media. We have spent the past two weeks monitoring CBC's coverage of the US-UK war on Iraq. We have found that, while the CBC does better than the UK's BBC, US networks, and even other Canadian channels, it still falls short of journalistic objectivity in many cases. This means that even the best, most open media adopt implicit assumptions, and hence ask questions, that are more helpful to powerful, pro-war interests than they are to the public interest. Viewers have the right to demand better.

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