Success! Q107 Removes Anti-Israel Survey & Airs On-Air Apology (September 21, 2010)

September 21, 2010


Success! Q107 Removes Anti-Israel Survey & Airs On-Air Apology

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By: Mike Fegelman, Executive Director
September 21, 2010

Dear HonestReporting Canada Subscriber,

Less than 24 hours ago, we questioned why Q107, a classic rock radio station in Toronto, would feature a crass, biased, and unfair anti-Israel survey on its website. To recall, Q107 featured an egregiously one-sided web poll (see below) about a UN probe into the Gaza flotilla incident that at its core, presented Israel and Israelis as a whole as being bellicose, “uncooperative,” “psychotic,” “violent,” and trigger-happy.

As noted in our media action alert, the survey question and the options that respondents were required to select were all leading and misleading, devoid of any semblance of a balanced and neutral perspective, and sought to entirely malign Israel on all fronts. There was no answer offered to respondents who might want to indicate 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 had irresponsibly shed a negative light only on Israel.

Thanks to the overwhelming response from HonestReporting Canada’s members who as of this writing had filed close to 300 complaints with the station’s program director, Q107 has subsequently removed this survey from their website altogether, published a written apology online, and this morning aired an on-air apologyon the John Derringer Show at 8:40am.

Here’s the written apology that Q107 published on its website and had sent out by email to many of our members who had issued complaints:

To listen to the on-air apology that was read on the John Derringer Show this morning, please click here or on the image immediately below:

Here’s a transcript of that on-air apology:

Got this last night, got a couple of emails and I just wanted to take a moment on this one because in this internet age in which we live in this stuff is very important and the last thing we’d like to do at is give anyone the wrong idea, so I guess what had happened was there was a poll up on the Q107 website that contained some questions about some contentious issues including the Middle East and needless to say that’s not somewhere we traditionally want to go and I don’t mean literally, I mean figuratively, it’s a very complicated situation that involves all kinds of different religious and political beliefs and I guess something was posted on the website last night in the form of a question that offended a lot of people and Blair, the program director and our boss had sent this along and so I’m going to just quickly let you know what Blair had said because there are a lot of complaints and we would like to just clear it up. As he said, ‘on behalf of Q I must apologize for a survey that was recently posted on the website. This survey was located in a section of the site that is administered by a third party and it does not reflect or represent the opinions of Q107 what so ever. We are by no means passing the buck on this matter and we take it seriously. We’ll be discussing our future with this third party moving forward and this survey has been removed. So first of all thanks to everybody who sent in emails, you know voicing their complaints about this, it’s certainly understandable and our apologies, I mean, I didn’t know this thing was up there, but hey, this is our radio station and our names are on it so we’ve gotta take responsibility and we’ll do just that so our apologies.”

While we still await clarification to understand who this “third party” was, along with an understanding of the concrete steps that Q107 will take to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, we nevertheless appreciate the very prompt and professionally actions that were taken by Q107 staff to responsibly remedy this situation.

As this example clearly indicates, your letters and phone calls, each and every one of them, truly do count and can make a difference in ensuring fair and accurate Canadian media coverage of Israel.

How You Can Make A Difference:

If you would like to commend Q107 for taking decisive action by removing the anti-Israel survey and by publically apologizing, please call Q107 Program Director Blair Bartrem at (416) 479-7000.

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