Canada's CBC Bans Word 'Terrorism' as Too Politicized, But Not 'Xenophobe' or 'Hater'

Canadian conservative Ezra Levant took to Twitter after the Paris attacks to remind the world that the state-run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a policy of not employing the words “terrorism” or “terrorist” since “the use of the word can be highly politicized and therefore it is preferable that there be a consistent practice to be as specific as possible in describing an event without labelling it.”

In 2013, CBC ombudsman Esther Eskin concluded:  

I think CBC takes a journalistically and ethically sound position when it recognizes the need for caution when using these terms, which are contentious and carry religious and ideological freight in some instances. The emphasis on specific language and the duty to provide clear, accurate information so that the audience members can make up their own minds fulfills journalistic policy and is a sound journalistic approach.

But on October 1 of this year, the same staffers and the ombudsman defended the use of the terms “xenophobes” and “haters” by longtime CBC journalist Michael Enright on the program The Sunday Edition to describe those resisting any plan to accept thousands of Syrian refugees.

The vision of thousands of refugees coming to Canada may upset many people, but that’s all right. Change and the challenge of change take a while to reach a comfort level. There will be that small minority of xenophobes who can’t abide the notion of strangers in their midst. That’s all right too. Yes, there are haters in this country, as there are in any other place, in any other time.

As they stacked the decks in the usual leftist way, the ombudsman explained:

The Executive Producer of The Sunday Edition, Susan Mahoney, replied to your concerns. She told you that Mr. Enright was not labelling anyone who disagreed with him as “xenophobes” and “haters.” She said he stated “there is a small minority of xenophobes.”

...She added that there was no intention to stifle free and open debate and that future programs would feature responses from listeners who disagreed with Mr. Enright’s point of view, “but who do not exhibit the blanket condemnation of an entire religion or race of fellow human beings.” It was those who do that Mr. Enright was characterizing as xenophobes, not those who have other reasons to disagree with allowing in a large number of refugees.

It's not at all clear from his copy that Enright was distinguishing between "haters" who resist refugees and less hateful folks of the same view. But notice that the use of the terms “xenophobe” and “hater” are not proscribed because they carry “religious and ideological freight”. The contrast of these two judgments on “sound journalism” clearly imply a greater sensitivity toward Islam and “Islamophobia” than they do for allowing an open debate.

Media Bias Debate Labeling War on Terrorism Regional Media Canada
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