CityNews Allows Ludicrous Demands Of Tiny Mob Of Anti-Israel Protesters At Pride Parade An Unfettered Platform In News Broadcast

July 5, 2024

For roughly two months, as a small number of anti-Israel occupations have been foisted upon a number of Canadian university campuses by largely non-student protesters, Canadian news media outlets have slavishly given the demonstrators extended opportunities to grumble about Israel, no matter how marginal their numbers may be. In so doing, news media outlets have given exposure, credibility and legitimacy to a group far disproportionate to their tiny numbers.

That practice of jettisoning journalistic integrity for the sake of becoming stenographers for a fringe movement is not limited to campus demonstrations.

In a July 1 broadcast on CityNews entitled: “Protesters speak out after shutting down Toronto’s Pride Parade,” reporter Michelle Mackey told viewers about events of the day before, during Toronto’s June 30 Pride Parade, when a tiny group anti-Israel activists was able to bring the event to a screeching halt, despite representing an invisible percentage of the thousands of people in attendance.

While Mackey reported that the group numbered 30, video footage shows it was closer to 15 people.

Incredibly, organizers allowed a couple dozen people to take the entire parade hostage, which ended as a result, and while that disgraceful incident is newsworthy for CityNews to report on, Mackey’s broadcast is little more than a three minute-long airing of grievances for the anti-Israel mob.

The report featured extended video and audio footage of the rabble, as well as one elderly protester making the tired and spurious accusations of “genocide” against Israel.

CityNews did more than just report on the singular event at the parade itself; Mackey also showed footage from a follow-up press conference from the mob, providing them with yet another opportunity to spread hateful anti-Israel propaganda.

While even that could be seen as justified as newsworthy by CityNews – though such a claim to newsworthiness would be incredibly tenuous – it was the framing of the story by CityNews that lent credence to the demonstrators.

The mob – despite taking an entire public march hostage for their own pet cause – had the temerity to then blame organizers of Pride Toronto for refusing to bow to their discriminatory demands, which included boycotting Israel.

And in the report, Mackey quoted one anti-Israel activist, as well as paraphrasing her as saying that “they too were disappointed that Pride Toronto cut the parade short,” before showing a clip of the executive director of Pride Toronto who meekly defended the refusal.

Michelle Mackey was the subject of another HonestReporting Canada alert weeks earlier, when her May 17 broadcast on supposed “anti-Palestinian racism” in Toronto schools instead became an easy platform for the dissemination of anti-Israel propaganda.

The CityNews report, seen on its own, represents sloppy journalism, allowing a peripheral group of demonstrators to peddle their disinformation, not just without any challenge whatsoever for their allegations against Israel, but allowing their unhinged demands to become the basis for an entire narrative forced upon viewers.

But as part of a larger trend of news media outlets across Canada, the July 1 CityNews report is just the latest instance of reporters allowing a trivial group to dictate the terms of how their ludicrous demands are being covered.

Take action now by sending a complaint directly to City News by clicking here.

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