'Yellow journalism of the worst sort' - Macleans.ca

‘Yellow journalism of the worst sort’

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Independent MP Peter Goldring—he resigned from the Conservative caucus 11 months ago—has issued a statement to condemn the CBC’s reporting on a Canadian Forces video that poked fun at Osama bin Laden.

Edmonton East Member of Parliament Peter Goldring has expressed outrage and disgust over the manner in which the CBC conducted cheap, amateur, yellow journalism of the worst sort against Canada’s proud military.

The 2010 video of a private party skit in question involves a Canadian soldier dressed up in Taliban attire and posing as Osama bin Laden`s brother, ‘Eugene’. The CBC has latched on to this video and used it to paint the Canadian military and its members as both offensive and culturally insensitive persons.

“This video was meant as nothing more than a little black humour intended for a private audience,” Mr. Goldring stated. “The Canadian military didn’t make this video public, The CBC did. The CBC, who did the right thing to report it to the Canadian military, then had the opportunity to do the next right thing and simply put this video in the garbage can along with the rest of the copies where it belongs. Instead, the CBC are the ones inciting hate and hurting the Arab community worldwide by blasting this video out through national media to be picked up internationally.

“By engaging in yellow journalism and irresponsibly disseminating it for the world to see, the CBC hurt Canada’s image, our military’s image, and unnecessarily offended Arab’s around the world. By spinning this and putting it out for international consumption, the CBC is propagating racism. They took a video that was internal, personal, and limited to a very few, and turned it into an outward Canadian racial attitude for the rest of the world to believe.

“By calling upon CBC comedian Shaun Majumder – a visible minority – to speak out on the supposed ‘cultural insensitivities’ of this video is the height of hypocrisy, as Shaun has portrayed bin Laden as an Arab himself. The CBC attempted to detonate a racist scandal where there simply was none to be found.

“To frame this in perspective, the late Leslie Nielsen has portrayed Osama bin Laden in film – does that make him decidedly racist or insensitive? No, in fact he is recognized on Canada’s Walk of Fame and has also received an Order of Canada.

“Shaun Majumder – the CBC spokesperson condemning the actions in this video – has portrayed Osama bin Laden in skits himself, most notably in a spoof video poking fun at both bin Laden as well as the H1N1 virus during the outbreak. Majumder never faced any backlash or criticisms for his portrayal although it certainly could be said that he was propagating racial hatred not in a simple private event but worldwide.

“This video should not have been news-worthy, but the irresponsibility of the CBC’s reporting has served to define what this harmless skit has now morphed into.

“In the face of this incident, we have to thank the men and women of our Canadian military who were doing nothing more than relieving themselves of the endless stresses of their jobs with a little bit of black comedy that from time to time many people of all races of all countries enjoy, and ended up showing us where the evil truly exists in this country – the CBC headquarters.

“God help us if we have a CBC that does harm to our military and to our country worldwide by exploitative sensationalism.

“I call on the Prime Minister to call up the CBC to issue a sweeping apology to not only our military but our entire country. Their reckless reporting surrounding this non-story has done a great disservice to both our military and out country’s reputations.

“It’s time to consider whether the CBC is with Canadians or against.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the video included “inappropriate content and poor taste.”