Hamilton Spectator Quotes Fake Pro-Palestinian Student Protestor Who Accused McMaster University Of Trying To “Stigmatize And Marginalize Students” Who Oppose Israel

May 17, 2024

On May 10, The Hamilton Spectator published an article by reporter Grant LaFleche entitled: “Group rejects ‘confrontational label in McMaster statement” which discussed the recent illegal anti-Israel encampment set up within the grounds of McMaster University.

Within the article, LaFleche quoted an apparent 4th-year chemical engineering student by the name of Thaira Ahmed, who accused the university of trying to “stigmatize and marginalize students” who oppose Israel.

However, after publishing the article, it was quickly discovered that there is no such individual by the name of Thaira Ahmed attending McMaster University. Which then raised multiple questions: Who was this person? Were they a student, or a paid activist? And why did the Hamilton Spectator not do its due diligence before publishing this article?

These questions deserve to be answered, as the paper has a responsibility to its readers to provide accurate and truthful information.

Much to its credit, the Hamilton Spectator recognized this journalistic transgression and rewrote its article and published a correction at the top of their article and in a subsequent print edition, which now reads:

***May 10, 2024: This story was rewritten to remove comments from a protester who provided a name the Spectator later learned was false. The comments and lack of transparency around the false name did not meet the threshold for the Spectator’s journalistic standards. ***

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