Global National Issues On-Air Clarification After HRC Complaint (January 19, 2010)

January 19, 2010


Global National Issues On-Air Clarification After HRC Complaint
January 19, 2010
Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

On the January 10th edition of Global National, anchor Robin Gill erroneously stated the following in her introduction of a Lauren McNabb report entitled “Gaza wall detrimental”:

“It’s an underground wall that threatens to shift the balance of power in an already volatile region. Israel and Egypt are jointly building the billion dollar steel barrier. Once completed it’ll slice through hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the 14km border with Egypt, but there are fears it’ll cut of Gaza’s last lifeline. From Jerusalem, here’s Middle East correspondent Lauren McNabb…”

To watch anchor Robin Gill’s introduction please click here or on the image immediately below. To view Lauren McNabb’s full report please click here.

Contrary to this statement, Egypt’s “anti-tunnel barrier” or “underground wall” was built and financed by the Egyptian government only with the assistance of the U.S. administration. It’s believed that the plan was conceived by the U.S., planned by American army engineers, and was somewhat financed with American funding. The BBC reported that the barrier “was manufactured in the US, that it fits together in similar fashion to a jigsaw, and that it has been tested to ensure it is bomb proof.”

As per Ms. Gill’s contention that there was a joint Israeli/Egyptian effort with respect to the steel barrier’s construction and financing, nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, no Israeli funds have gone to this project, nor have any Israeli engineers assisted in the construction of the anti-tunnel barrier. With that said, Israel is certainly pleased with this Egyptian effort to prevent further smuggling which could eventually cut Hamas’ supply of weaponry.

The latest development on this file sees Israel, independent of Egypt, building two perimeter fences to shore up about 70km of Israel’s 270km southern porous border with Egypt to stop the flow of illegal migrant workers and terrorists from entering its territory. One fence will surround the southern west border with Gaza, while another will protect the southern Israeli town of Eilat.

Israel’s plans to build its own security barrier along Egypt had nothing to do with Egypt’s plan for an underground barrier for its Rafah border with Gaza. Israel’s new security fence is estimated to cost anywhere from $411-million to $1-billion.

Considering the significance of Global’s error and the implications that it posed, namely that Israel was falsely reported as having jointly funded and assisted Egypt’s own billion dollar steel barrier, we immediately brought our concerns to the attention of senior producers at Global National who commendably issued a prompt on-air clarification to remedy their error.

To watch the on-air clarification that was broadcast on Sunday January 17 please click here or on the image below:

Here is the transcript of the clarification as stated by Global anchor Carolyn Jarvis: “Last Sunday we reported that an underground wall being built along the Egyptian border involved the Israeli government, we want to clarify that Israel is not taking part in the project.”

While we applaud Global National for setting the record straight with this on-air clarification, notwithstanding, many Global viewers who only saw the original report and who did not see this clarification will continue to be misled in believing that Israel and Egypt were jointly building the billion dollar anti-tunnel barrier. Such is the importance of the media getting it right in the first place.

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