CHCH Broadcaster Spreads Propaganda Suggesting Almost 200,000 Gazans May Have Died In War

July 11, 2024

A new pernicious claim is being lobbed at Jerusalem, and it’s being uncritically repeated – and even exaggerated – in some corners of the Canadian news media.

In the July 5 edition of The Lancet, a British medical journal, under the heading ‘Correspondence,’ a letter was submitted by three individuals: Rasha Khatib, Salim Yusuf, and Martin McKee, who made the unsubstantiated and irresponsible claim that “it is not implausible to estimate that up to 186,000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza.”

The letter is fatally flawed for a host of reasons as pointed out by HonestReporting, including that it takes Hamas’ unverified and untrustworthy claims of some 37,000 deaths in Gaza as accurate, it ignores that roughly half of that figure, even if accurate, are combatants, and – based on other conflicts, with zero connection to Gaza – that in a theoretical post-conflict era where civil society breaks down, such a ratio is possible.

In other words, the letter from the trio of writers has about as much credibility as staring into a crystal ball.

But that did not stop one broadcaster, CHCH from uncritically repeating the claims – and even exaggerating them.

In a July 9 article entitled: “Death toll in Gaza likely much higher than reported: study,” the broadcaster falsely states that: “A new study has found that the death toll in Gaza is likely higher than what has been reported.”

This is a gross misrepresentation. The letter is not a study, and it does not claim that 186,000 people have died, but such details were wholly overlooked in the CHCH report.

In the broadcast report, the anchor falsely referred to the letter as a study, and groundlessly made reference to a “famine” in Gaza, despite there being no evidence of such a phenomenon, and even a United Nations-affiliated group in June saying it found no evidence for famine.

In the video broadcast, reporter Emily Tayler grossly misrepresented even the outlandish claims of the letter, alleging that it “suggests the death toll could actually be much higher. Researchers say the number is closer to 186,000 dead, once you include those missing under the rubble of destroyed buildings and death due to the lack of food, water and medical care from Israel’s bombardment,” once again ignoring that there is no “lack of food” in Gaza, with hundreds of humanitarian aid trucks entering the territory every single day.

The letter in The Lancet is little more than irresponsible fortune-telling based on untrustworthy and debunked casualty claims from a genocidal Islamic terrorist organization, Hamas. And the absurd forecasting in that letter, in turn, was converted into a grossly dishonest broadcast and news report by CHCH which further exaggerated and baldly misrepresented the correspondence, claiming huge death tolls without even a scintilla of evidence whatsoever.

For that, CHCH has not only failed to uphold any journalistic standards with this reporting, but it has helped to spread dangerous propaganda.

This is not the first time since Israel began its counter-terrorism operations against Hamas jihadists following the terrorist group’s October 7 massacres in southern Israel that the Jewish State has been falsely and dishonestly accused of non-existent crimes; its detractors have spread disinformation related to everything ranging from genocide to creating famine in Gaza, to just about everything else in between.

HonestReporting Canada has filed a formal complaint with CHCH calling for correction action and we encourage you to do the same. Please send emails to News Director Greg O’Brien at: greg.obrien@chch.com and reporter Emily Taylor at: emily.tayler@chch.com.

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