Today's discussion:

The media’s reporting on the war risks going from bad to worse

Supposedly world-class broadcasters like the BBC and CBC continue to double down on calling Hamas terrorists “militants” seemingly oblivious to the very definition of the word and the implied legitimacy it conveys when one describes persons who perpetrated crimes against humanity as “engaged in warfare or combat.” To state the obvious, the mass murder of civilians is terrorism, never “warfare or combat” and this moral confusion is a moral stain on those who chose to perpetuate such a fallacy.

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“Supposedly world-class broadcasters like the BBC and CBC continue to double down on calling Hamas terrorists “militants” seemingly oblivious to the very definition of the word and the implied legitimacy it conveys when one describes persons who perpetrated crimes against humanity as “engaged in warfare or combat.””

What stands out in that sentence is the two media organizations cited are state-funded. That we continue to pay for this is outrageous.

16th October 2023 at 8:03 am
Rudyard Griffiths

Good catch. It is worth comment that the most hidebound practitioners of equivalency journalism on the war are public broadcasters. My suspicion is this is largely due to their being immune from consumer choice – e.g. they can publish pretty much whatever they want and still be remunerated for it from public coffers. I have always thought this is a self-destructive feature of public broadcasting given they are producing the ultimate consumer preference product (e.g. news). Market validation or giving consumer what they want not what you think they need makes news more democratic, relevant and attune with the public’s tastes, all things that you think would be priorities for public broadcasters. I do think their stubborn insistence in calling terrorists “militants” is doing real damage to what little public trust exists in their institutions and makes them look out of touch and irrelevant.

16th October 2023 at 8:14 am
Deborah Nixon

Market based broadcasters aren’t the answer either. Look at Fox News who broadcast misinformation as they cater to their audience. Hamas aren’t militants- they’re terrorists. I agree with that. I’m also a fan of BBC and CBC- they do work no private broadcaster would do and I appreciate their programming. They are so important to me- it’s the only station I have on I don’t believe they look out of touch- they have taken a position which I disagree with. But so have private broadcasters. In fact, the Hub is pretty biased in much of their coverage. Part of the reason I read it- to get the other side

16th October 2023 at 8:57 am
G Kett

I learned a long time that the one who pays the piper gets to call the tune. The CBC becomes more left-wing the longer the current Liberal government has stayed in power and frankly I believe little of what they broadcast. Other Canadian MSM fare little better as they too are well-funded by that same government. None of us should be surprised by their collective position on ‘world’ affairs. The Hub and similar are not funded by that government or your tax dollars so at a minimum can take whatever position they wish. And on the matter of Fox News, you can see the polar opposite position by flipping to CNN or similar. Regarding Hamas – this is not a Palestinian matter – their declared sole purpose is the annihilation of Israel – nothing less. So we know exactly where they stand and that clearly makes them a terrorist group.

16th October 2023 at 3:21 pm
Dan Brown

I find it ridiculous anybody believes the CBC is out of touch, or irrelevant, or driven by an agenda and protected by the Government. It is seriously alarming that journalists from a competing outlet would support such a claim given it is obviously untrue.
How obvious? Most of the public cannot tell the CBC from CTV or CityTV. That is all the proof you need right there.
So the question then becomes how one can claim the moral high ground and integrity when they obviously have neither?

16th October 2023 at 11:14 am
Bert Smulders

The expression appropriate here is “ you don’t bite the hand that feeds you”, not to mention, regarding the CBC TV, the unfair monetary advantage of being supported by the tax payer as well by advertising

16th October 2023 at 11:57 am
Dan Brown

What is outrageous is the idea that somehow the State is directing the reporting done by its publicly funded news agencies.
The CBC has just now responded to these concerns over the language used by their agents. It is well worth the read, particularly for those quick to denounce their integrity.

16th October 2023 at 12:29 pm

Milton Friedman’s words come to mind: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

There ‘may’ have been a time and a need 87 years ago for government to establish and fund a state broadcaster (you say the CBC is a “publicly funded” entity; my counter to that is when one draws funding from government, they become an arm of government), but that time has long since passed. That George Achi, their Director of Journalistic Standards, felt compelled to remind his staff not to refer to the terrorist organization Hamas as terrorists following their despicable acts on October 7th is an indication of the CBC’s diminishing relevance in our society.

The country has grown, as have those in the private sector now informing, enlightening, and entertaining Canadians, capturing far more of the market share than the CBC can ever hope to achieve. Mr. Achi’s memo is yet another nail in their coffin. Time to redirect that $1.2B in tax funding to areas of actual need.

16th October 2023 at 2:32 pm
Dan Brown

As I said earlier, the CBC has explained that email and put it in context. To continue to say otherwise is wrong.

16th October 2023 at 5:45 pm
dan mcco

El Paso doesn’t control the distribution of food, water, power & travel of the citizens of Juárez so your analogy doesn’t really hold water. I do believe that Hamas are terrorists and need to be labelled as such and they have made the life of Palestinians very bleak because they are thugs. I see more similarities of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto than to Juárez.

16th October 2023 at 9:01 am
Thor Ragnorson

I saw a video of a young female demonstrator at a pro palestine rally in Ontario yesterday. She had her head covered in the white and black checkered scarf and had assault rifle earrings. She stated that Israeli babies couldn’t have been beheaded because it’s against the Quran. Of course a random individuals bizarre notions should never be a litmus test for a groups beliefs. But I do wish I knew how to map the psyche of the Palestinian supporters in the west and the middle east. Why is violence such a powerful drug for them when the only successful minority liberation movements have been through peaceful protest? It appears to me that there must be very strong cultural norms in the Palestinian community that disregard peace, to a place where suicide is more appealing than peace.

16th October 2023 at 9:52 am
Michael F

Perhaps the living conditions these people are forced to live under, the daily humiliations, the complete lack of control in their lives brings out this willingness to resort to violence. When people have nothing left to lose they will lash out.

16th October 2023 at 10:54 am
Greg K

Were Palestinians to stop allowing Hamas to use them as pawns, we might see real change. And yes, there’s plenty of blame to go around.

16th October 2023 at 3:27 pm
Michael F

That’s easy to say from the comfort of Canada. You might as well say the same thing about the Taliban.

16th October 2023 at 6:09 pm
Chris MacMartin

Mainstream media bias is a reality in every subject being covered in today’s world and this conflict is no exception. This diminishes their credibility and serves only to further divide us.

16th October 2023 at 10:28 am
Michael F

Any form of media has an inherent bias. It’s no different here as well.

16th October 2023 at 10:50 am
Ted Kelly

Of course Hamas are terrorists as were Irgun and the Stern Gang but in the context of their broad respective populations they are /were the extreme factions of the militant end of the spectrum. ———-Does Israel have a choice in going to war? – At this stage clearly no. However it has had 56 years of illegal and brutal occupation to negotiate a just agreement with the large majority moderate Palestinians. Its continued accommodation of its own extreme factions in the denial of Palestinian rights to their land has given rise to the terrorist organization that is Hamas. There will be no peace in the Middle East until control is wrested from the extreme factions of both sides.

16th October 2023 at 3:49 pm
John Martin

In 1948 there were justifications offered to the UN for the establishment of Israel. I believe the same ones apply today to the Palestinians. One tends to forget that in attempting to establish Israel as a nation Jewish people under Ben Gurion acted as terrorists. As the saying goes one nations freedom fighters are another’s terrorists.

I am skeptical of all politicians. Bibi is one of the worst. He aided in the establishment of Hamas by encouraging the flow of money to them from Qatar. He opposed the PLO and the notion of a two state solution and saw a conflict between Hamas and the PLO as a means of getting rid of the PLO and shelving the two state idea. He has resisted it ever since.

It also now being reported that the Israeli Intelligence Service; their military advisors and Egypt all tried to warn him about what Hamas might do. However he disregarded their warnings as he was so busy trying to suppress their Supreme Court.

Directly and indirectly he has been at the center of this continuing conflict.

In my opinion the primary objective should be the establishment of a State of Palestine. Otherwise today’s circumstances will continue to foment. However this may well get lost with Netanyahu’s thirst for revenge. Watch for Hamas leaders outside of Gaza being executed.

Hamas must be dealt with but that must not be the end of the story.

16th October 2023 at 3:44 pm
Dan Brown

When Israel accepted the UN’s terms for the creation of the stare of Israel, Palestine declined the same for themselves and instead a war against Israel was launched.
While I agree a state needs to be created for the Palestinians, and I agree Israel has been less than fair concerning their interference in Palestinian affairs, it is no longer a matter of fair.
Perhaps a Palestinian state between Israel and Lebanon and separated from Israel by an Israel controlled buffer zone of substantial size and empty. (Since I am no expert, this is just an uninformed but no less poorly devised solution than some – for compensation for years of terrorist acts perpetrated on Israel: forfeit of Gaza to Israel. It also ends both sides using Palestinians as human shields.)
This needs to end. There needs to be a clear winner after decades of everybody losing.

16th October 2023 at 6:02 pm
Anthony Chezzi

Terrorism is not combat but vengeance is not defense.

16th October 2023 at 8:36 am

Has anyone analyzed the player list in the protests and x referenced them to the convoy protestors? A young woman wearing the head dress in the hamas demonstration, would most likely be the first to scream if she were made to wear it in this country.

16th October 2023 at 12:35 pm
Dan Brown

What is your point? Canbb bc you explain it more fully?

16th October 2023 at 6:03 pm
Lorne Matheson

The intermingling, and often misleading use of terms like Arab, Israeli, Palestinian, Jew, Muslim, Colonizer, Indigenous, and Settler, contribute to the confusion and help create the animosity both in the region and across the western world. A Jewish refuge who emigrated to Israel in the 1950s to escape persecution in Iran could be called an Arab Jew Israeli settler colonizing the region once referred to as Palestine! Many of the Jewish and most of the Muslim people living in the region in 1946 had indigenous roots in Palestine. The Jews became Israelis in 1947 and Muslims living in Gaza and the West Bank became Palestinians in 1964 when Ahmad Shuqayrī helped launch the Palestine Liberation Organization. No world body has ever acknowledged a state of Palestine, it was simply a name accorded to the region derived from the Philistines (think Goliath) – a people and culture that flourished three millennia ago and died out around 700BCE. Nearly 60 years of referring to the situation as the Arab-Israeli conflict has ingrained that false dichotomy. In reality it a Jewish-Muslim conflict. Both religions have solid archeological claims to indigeneity in the region but given that Islam is only about 1300 years old it is difficult not to accord precedence to the Jewish people – although they do both descend from Abraham – and then there are the Christians. It is a holy mess that only kindness, understanding, and a softening of religious righteousness will ever solve. God help us all!

16th October 2023 at 10:12 am
Rudyard Griffiths

Just want to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments on the piece. Also, hats off to Hub Forum participants. It seems there is actually a place where people can have (mostly) civil conversations about difficult issues and that most definitely is NOT the comment sections appended to Globe and Mail and NATIONAL POST articles. We are building something special here and I greatly appreciate everyone’s contributions.

16th October 2023 at 6:00 pm
Michael F

When can I expect to see a piece on the outrageous lies Poilievre recently spewed in Kelowna? Fabrications local lawyers and academics called “Completely false.” “Laughably wrong.” “Irresponsible and misleading.”

16th October 2023 at 6:15 pm
Shirley Blair

Excellent assessment! Too bad this and other articles from the hub can’t be shared far and wide on social media. If you wonder why that is, look no further than the governing coalition!

16th October 2023 at 5:01 pm
Michael F

The Hub puports to be a fiercly indepedent bastion of bias free reporting and a place for intellectual discourse. I have seen nothing but conservative bias and constant bashing of the present federal government and institutions like the CBC. Yes there is a lot to critique, but where are the articles that are critical of anything else?

Last week you took down a comment that you plainly disagreed with in connection to the Holocaust. It wasn’t hate speech, but clearly it was speech you disagreed with. But that didn’t stop you from publishing this reader quote:

“The right to free speech is very important and dare not to be suppressed or canceled just because someone else doesn’t like what you are expressing.”


16th October 2023 at 11:10 am
Dan Brown

I think it is important to report how civilians are impacted when a state takes action against terrorists. The lack of reporting in the international struggles with terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan was appalling; quite out of character for major news outlets.
I think the question raised here is how does this silence occur when a US led international force responds to large scale terrorist activities but not when Israel confronts terrorists.
And just imagine such a thing happening here. I doubt the author would feel the same if these State responses to terrorism shifted from towns he named to where he sits working at his desk; when a rocket fired by the state at a target near him levels his child’s school; where his loved one dies in the crossfire as the military chases criminals through a mall. Would he not report on conditions from his city cut off from food and heat by the military in an effort to break the terrorists? Sure he would. And he would raise the alarm if the media failed to share his suffering.
The BBC and the CBC are doing their job. They report current events and maybe offer insight. This time, because they can.

16th October 2023 at 9:52 am
Greg K

Just as it is “important to report how civilians are impacted when a state takes action against terrorists” it is equally important for that same media to be truthful. Calling Hamas “militants” is a gross misrepresentation of what they truly are – terrorists. Reporting part of the story is as much a lie as reporting untruths. This is where our MSM fails us all. I find more and more that the same media editorialize and report their insight. Report the news and leave your personal opinions out of it.

16th October 2023 at 3:37 pm
Marinus Enden

The morally repugnant JT is behind this decision

16th October 2023 at 8:56 am
Dan Brown

No. He is not.

16th October 2023 at 9:09 am
Rupak Datta

War is unnecessary and does not solve the Problem. It is a Total waste of Human life and Property. Negotiation is the only tool to solve the Problem. People supposed to be more Civilized in 21st Century.

17th October 2023 at 12:05 am
Joel Watson

Well said.

16th October 2023 at 7:11 am