CBC Issues On-Air Correction After Falsely Claiming Israelis Vandalized Obama Posters in Jerusalem

March 28, 2013

In a recent HonestReporting Canada action alert, we exposed CBC for its falsely reporting on March 20 that Israelis had vandalized posters of U.S. President Barack Obama in Jerusalem. In actuality, these posters were defaced with graffiti by Palestinians in Ramallah in the West Bank.

On top of filing a formal complaint with CBC Editor-in-Chief Jennifer McGuire, we asked our members to echo our call that corrective action must be undertaken by the CBC to remedy the bold falsehood it created. Thanks to HRC’s members who answered our call to action in droves, CBC issued the following on-air correction throughout the day on March 25:

Anchor Heather Hiscox: “Last week on our program we showed video of defaced posters of U.S. President Barack Obama and we told you those images were in Jerusalem. We made an error in saying that. The video in fact was from Ramallah. We regret that error.”

On March 27, CBC News Network Executive Director Todd Spencer offered the following explanation to HRC members who sent complaints:

“Just after 6 a.m. that morning in a story about U. S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, we incorrectly identified video of defaced posters of the U.S. President as being in Jerusalem. We should have said they were in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It was an inadvertent error. Video of the defaced posters had been included—and correctly identified—in a report broadcast the previous evening (March 19) on editions of CBC Television’s THE NATIONAL. Early the next morning, CBC NEWS NOW editors reused some of that video, including images of the defaced posters, along with a clip of a Palestinian woman in Ramallah and two Israeli men in Jerusalem offering their views on the President’s visit. In the process of re-editing the video, we inadvertently misidentified the location of the images of the posters. We regret the error…”

HonestReporting Canada thanks and congratulates its members for holding the CBC to account. We also commend the CBC for commissioning this on-air correction.

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