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Opinion » Columnists

Canadian national media confuses Canadians about Ukraine

20.05.2014
 

By Gib McInnis

           

Canadian national media confuses Canadians about Ukraine. 52797.jpeg
AP photo

The day after the referendum in Donetsk and Luhansk, the publically funded national broadcasting corporation in Canada, CBC, manipulated Canadians into believing that the organizers of the referendum are nothing short of "pro-Russian gangs." This deliberate confusion has pushed the CBC ever further to expose its contradictions and efforts to further its agenda of supporting the Harper/U.S. initiative in the Kyiv region. This national disgraced happened when it interviewed David Blair, a journalist stationed in Donetsk, on its program The Current hosted by Anna Marie Tremonti.

            The morning after the referendum Tremonti initially stated on national radio that the referendum was solely organized by "pro-Russian rebels," and that the government in Kyiv called the referendum illegal. Tromanit concluded "that the international community, including the Canadian government, rejects it." Tremonti justified her position by calling on Russian President Putin, who apparently, "called for a postponement of the hastily organized votes. The voting went ahead anyway yesterday in midst of reports of poorly organized polling stations and voter confusion." However, the confusion coming out of the Ukraine did not stop there, because it made its way into the Canadian public via the airwaves of the CBC.

            When David Blair, the Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph, was interviewed by Tremonti, Blair gave an account of one polling station, which was supposed to be taken as representative of all of the polling stations. Blair surmised that "at first glance the polling station look pretty normal but then when you went inside you saw some curiosities." Blair added that, although voters were asked for identification, there were no voter lists, and there were no "private voting booths." These "curiosities" led Blair to conclude that "these are pretty obvious flaws with the process, and that would make it unacceptable in any democracy in the world."

            But, is Blair's conclusion really acceptable in "any democracy in the world'? Because Blair's conclusion brings to mind the voting practices in Afghanistan during the summer election of 2009, when Peter Galbraith, then deputy special representative of the United Nations in Afghanistan, discovered over 1500 fraudulent polling stations. Likewise, after reporting the results to his commission, Galbraith was first recalled back to New York and eventually fired by then U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Months later, in an October 4 2009 Washington Post opt-ed, Galbraith by then concluded that, "As many as 30 percent of Karzai's votes were fraudulent, and lesser fraud was committed on behalf of other candidates." That 30 percent amounted to over one million and half votes. Galbraith added that "In several provinces, including Kandahar, four to 10 times as many votes were recorded as voters actually cast." These were pretty obvious flaws, yet these results were accepted by democratic governments around the world, namely the U.S. and Canada, two of the players in the present conflict in the Ukraine.

            Blair honestly did report about how the people in the Ukraine are not happy with the present U.S. backed government in Kyiv. "There is a general level of resentment towards the government in Kyiv. Remember the Ukraine had a revolution back in February and a new government came to power, and a lot of people here think that that revolution was an illegal coup d'etat. They believe that the government today is an illegitimate government, and they also think, some of them, that the government in Kyiv is dominated by extremist and fascist, that is the word they use."

            When Tremonti asked Blair about the official position coming out of the government in Kyiv, Blair reported that the Kyiv government decided to launch a military attack against the "rebels," and this excessive force did not seem to bother either journalist. "Kyiv's position is very stark and very clear. They have described the referendum as a farce, as illegal, and those who have staged it are criminals, so what they have done is launched a military operation to restore their control by force." But Blair admitted to the CBC's host that Kyiv's plan to restore control by military force has failed. "As of today, Donetsk is a pretty lawless region, [and] the government's attempt to restore its control by force has failed. In a city, Boryspil, where I visited yesterday, of 500, 000 people, the security forces and the police have disappeared. That city is now ruled by pro-Russian gangs." Hence, "pro-Russian" supporters become "rebels," then end up as "pro-Russian gangs," and all the while Canada's national media propagates this type of reporting.

            By the end of the interview, both journalists recognised that in the Ukraine there is exists a great confusion, but this confusion is also a product of the CBC's own doing because it has been caught in its own trap of contradiction when it not only chose to support the Harper/U.S. initiative in the Kyiv region, but toe-the-line for the Harper/U.S position in Syria.  On one hand, for the last two years, the CBC has reported on the "rebels" backed by the U.S. in Syria. The CBC has often portrayed to the Canadian public the Assad government as tyrannical, yet, refusing at the same time the CBC refuses to recognise that the Assad government is a legitimate government, even recognized by the U.N..

            In place of supporting the Assad government, the CBC has chosen to support the opposing terrorist. Even after these "rebels" in Syria were discovered to be directed by the U.S. and funded through Saudi Arabia, the CBC continued to reject the Assad position, and thus take a position against Russia. Moreover, when the terrorist group Jabhat-al-Nusra, liked to al-Qaeda, was brought in by the C.I.A. to create a "false-flag" (to put the blame on the Assad government) for the chemical bombing last year, the CBC continued to support these "pretty obvious flaws." But these petty flaws are becoming more and more unacceptable "by most democratic governments around the world," yet the CBC refuses to change its logic.

            The real confusion lies in the rational of why the CBC has taken on such a policy when reporting on world events. This rational can be best understood when looking into the reasons why the CBC has supported the Harper government's policy in those regions, which is nonetheless in support of American foreign policy. The Harper government currently holds the CBC in check by threatening to cut its funding and lay-off hundreds of employees. This strategy has worked so far, but to the determent of misleading Canadians as to what is really happening around the world and in Canada.

Gilbert McInnis

Gilbert McInnis has published works in different genres, and. shortly after completing his Ph.D, he published a monograph, Evolutionary Mythology in the Writings of Kurt Vonnegut (2011). He is the founder of InExile Publications, which has re-published Paul Goodman's Moral Ambiguity of America, a debut work by the American poet Erik Wackernagel's She Bang Slam and Sir Leonard Woolley's Ur of Chaldees.  He also published numerous stories as a freelance journalist for the Sherbrooke Record and for the oldest English newspaper in North America, The Quebec Chronicle Telegraph.  Author's Amazon Page

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