By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director September 20, 2010
Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,
Question: Does a classic rock Canadian radio station have a role to play in the Arab-Israeli conflict and more specifically, the fallout from the Gaza flotilla incident?
Answer: A) Yes, B) Maybe C) No
With this in mind, if you go to the Q107 website, become a free member and fill out a survey dubbed “Your World,” you will come across an egregiously one-sided poll about a UN probe into the Gaza flotilla incident that at its core, presents Israel and Israelis as a whole as being bellicose, “uncooperative,” “psychotic,” “violent,” and trigger-happy. Here’s the actual polling question that Q107 respondents were prompted to answer so that they could secure 500 “Q Points” which could be redeemed to get merchandise, gift cards, etc.:
As you’ll note, the survey question and the options that respondents are required to select are all leading and misleading, devoid of any semblance of a balanced and neutral perspective, and seek to entirely malign Israel on all fronts. There was no answer offered to respondents who might want to respond that they had supported Israel’s interdictory efforts as being “justified” and who had condemned the actions of the anti-Israel activists aboard the Mavi Marmara and the entire flotilla. The Q107 survey irresponsibly shed a negative light only on Israel.
While it’s certainly a legitimate topic of discussion to debate the merits of Israel’s interception of the Gaza flotilla, but to frame that debate into a slanted poll which unfairly painted Israel as the villain in a supposedly conventional black-and-white narrative, is both journalistically unfair and unethical.
As the Canada-Israel Committee (CIC) aptly pointed out, “far from a neutral humanitarian relief effort, the Gaza flotilla represented a conscious and deliberate attempt to manipulate public opinion by placing naive civilians in harm’s way in callous disregard for their safety.”
For more information on the incident, the Israel Defense Forces released a detailed video timeline explaining what happened during the flotilla intercept — with special detail on the Mavi Marmara. See both videos here:
As the CIC correctly observed: “Responsibility for the tragic loss of life rests squarely with those who organized the flotilla and (who) provoked this confrontation.” A sentiment that Q107 staffers didn’t think merited any attention.
As this Q107 survey demonstrates, sometimes polling questions reveal more about the pollsters themselves and the biases they possess, than the questions they attempt to answer. In this instance, Q107 staffers had already decided that Israel was bellicose, “uncooperative,” “psychotic,” “violent,” and trigger-happy and by creating this survey question, Q107 is kindly asking you to confirm their biased assumptions.
How You Can Make A Difference:Contact Q107 and demand that this unfair and biased survey against Israel be removed from their website altogether. Please send your considered comments to Q107 Program Director Blair Bartrem at email@example.com. Q107 can also be reached by phone at (416) 479-7000 or mail: Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, Ontario, M5A 0B5. ______________________________________________________________________________________