CTV news report called misleading

Posted On 08/19/04
By: No Author

In a scathing report, HonestReporting Canada has taken CTV to task over a news report CTV aired on Aug. 8.

The story, reported from Jenin by CTV foreign correspondent Janis Mackey Frayer, covered Israel’s decision to allow Palestinian police to re-arm. Frayer told viewers that Jenin is currently run by militant groups that are filling a power vacuum created by the Palestinian Authority’s ineffectiveness, after which she introduced Zakaria Zubeidi, who HonestReporting claims is the Jenin leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.

HonestReporting, responding to this report, claimed that Frayer’s presentation of Zubeidei was misleading, saying he was shown to be “a gentle strong-man: smiling, holding a baby, sipping coffee and taking a walk outdoors, while talking about the need to maintain order and prevent a Palestinian civil war.”

They claim that she entirely ignored Zubeidi’s role as a terrorist leader.

According to HonestReporting, Zubeidi was involved in such acts as planning a series of deadly attacks in which at least nine Israeli citizens and one foreign worker were killed and another on Nov. 28, 2002 that killed six and wounded 30 at a Likud voting station.

HonestReporting stated the CTV News report presented “a sympathetic and entirely uncritical profile of the leading Palestinian terrorist organization.”

HonestReporting said Frayer ended her report by pointing out that Zubeidi “thinks order is needed so they can focus on resisting the occupation,” while failing to communicate that for Zubeidi and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, resisting the occupation means killing Israelis.

“She adopted the terrorist leader’s euphemism for murder while uncritically portraying it as a legitimate activity,” stated HonestReporting.

CTV also added an accompanying news article on the network’s website with biographical information on Zubeidi. In this article, CTV reported that Zubeidi “engaged in some acts one might see as contradictory. In late July and early August, he kidnapped the governor of Jenin.” HonestReporting again accused CTV here of ignoring the leader’s role in planning the violent murder of Israelis.

Furthermore, the article included several paragraphs describing the group: “The brigades’ name refers to the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem… The brigades are a group of West Bank militias… They are aligned with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction … The brigades are composed of secular nationalists…” But the group’s terrorist activities weren’t indicated even once, noted HonestReporting.

For example, they said CTV didn’t inform viewers that under Canadian law, the Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades are deemed a terrorist organization and is the same group that murdered Canadian citizen Yechezkel Goldberg in a bus bombing this past January.

When reached, Wendy Freeman, the executive producer of CTV News, said she can’t comment on this, adding that only the president of CTV can. However, he wasn’t available for comment.