Hamilton’s CHCH Television Produces Three Anti-Israel Reports On McMaster University’s Pro-Hamas Protests

For three straight days from May 5-7, CHCH, a television news station based in Hamilton, Ontario, has missed the mark in its reporting on the anti-Israel encampment at McMaster University.

In all three of their reports on the situation, an alarming pattern has emerged — namely, a biased, uncritical, one-sided approach to how the facts are presented (or, in some cases, omitted entirely).

In none of the three reports was a single person interviewed who offered any point of view different than that of the official line of the protestors, although in the first report, on May 5, one Jew was interviewed: ‘rabbi’ David Mivasair, a fanatical anti-Israel activist.

 Despite an overwhelming majority of Canadian Jews supporting Israel and roughly half of Canadians at large opposing (compared to around 30 percent in support) the current campus encampment movement, the CHCH team did not even bother to acknowledge that there is more to the story than the viewpoints expressed by the protestors featured in the segments.

This omission of viewpoints was also apparent when both the on-site correspondents and the anchor failed to challenge, fact-check, or contextualize a single one of the absurd claims made by those interviewed, such as their propagandistic invocations of terms like “apartheid” and “genocide” which the federal government has rejected as false and antisemitic slanders. Not once was the illegal nature of the encampments, the incessant violence, hatred and chaos that they’ve sparked on campuses across the continent, or the evidence that they are not actually student-led mentioned.

It went equally unaddressed when, in a May 7 broadcast, Aliyah Khan, introduced as a clinical professor of medicine at McMaster, claimed that the nature of the war in Gaza is not about Israel fighting a recognized terrorist group that murdered 1,200 of its citizens and continues to hold 133 hostages, but rather about Israel “bombing children and toddlers.” Apparently, no one thought it appropriate to clarify that Israel’s current campaign has the lowest civilian to combatant casualty ratio ever recorded in a comparable urban warfare situation, or that Israel takes unparalleled steps to minimize collateral damage and that Hamas intentionally uses the Palestinian population as human shields.

Most disturbingly, the CHCH team was also silent while their cameras clearly displayed a sign that read “Student Intifada” at the protest in their May 7 broadcast. Perhaps rather than unquestioningly parroting the protestors’ claims of being anti-war, the report should have addressed the fact that this slogan is an open call for violence. It is a reference to the Second Intifada, a wave of violent terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians that murdered more than 1,000 people. Perhaps a probing question as to how this jives with the way the event leaders are seeking to present their cause publicly would have been of value — or at least an explanation of what it was about to begin with.

The sloppy journalism didn’t end there either, unfortunately. The report stated that the goal of the protest was to get “Mac to divest from any Israeli companies with ties to the war.” This is a false, whitewashed version of the demands of the protestors that sounds like it was, once again, merely repeated from their talking points with no due diligence or fact-checking done. The protest movement demands complete bans on anything even nominally connected to Israel, such as shutting down Jewish cultural organizations and banning Israeli professors from teaching. These easily verifiable details of their policies are a far cry from the PR-friendly version of their goals spouted by their spokespeople — yet no one at CHCH called out the inconsistency, instead peddling their misconceptions on air as fact.

In one of the reports, on May 6, viewers were told that a Jewish organization was contacted for a quote, but that they did not respond in time, but it goes without saying that this flimsy rationale hardly excuses the total lack of context provided.

Furthermore, on top of omitting opposing viewpoints, CHCH also gave the false impression that Jewish Canadians support the protest movement by interviewing several fringe figures from radical organizations such as Independent Jewish Voices, a group viewed as a pariah by the entire mainstream Jewish community for its repeated support for antisemites and terrorists and tokenization of Jewish identity to silence the views of the community as a whole. To speak to several of these individuals and organizations without explaining to viewers that they represent, at best, a tiny fraction of Canadian Jews is extremely misleading and insulting to an enormous number of people.

How was it possible for these stories to air on CHCH covering the anti-Israel encampments at McMaster University— not once, but three separate times — with such glaring failures of journalistic integrity?

Comments

Send this to a friend