Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Sends Memo Telling Reporters To Not Call Hamas ‘Terrorists’

(L)A member of Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of the Palestinian Hamas group, takes part in a parade in Gaza City. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images) / (R) CBC CEO Catherine Tait. (Photo by Unique Nicole/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
2:43 PM – Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Recent leaked emails showed that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) set rigorous rules for reporters to follow when using the term “terrorist” in its coverage of Israel’s conflict with Hamas.


“Do not refer to militants, soldiers, or anyone else as ‘terrorists.’ The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story,” CBC’s director of journalistic standards, George Achi, wrote in an email to employees on Saturday.

The CBC executive told writers to make sure that readers and viewers understood that when citing someone using this word, they were expressing “opinion, not fact.”

“Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as ‘terrorists,’ we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact,” he added.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the American organization “Stop Antisemitism” posted the hacked email first.

It also cautioned against journalists proclaiming that 2005 was “the end” of Israel’s occupation.

“Please do not describe 2005 as ‘the end of the occupation’ as Israel has maintained control over airspace, seafront, and virtually all movement into or out of the area,” the email read. “Our description should be fact-based, referring to the end of permanent Israeli military presence on the ground.”

The veracity of the internal email was confirmed to press sources by a CBC official. The CBC described the approach as being “similar to those used by other media organizations.”

“CBC News attributes the words ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ to authorities, politicians, and other officials who use these terms. There is no ban on these words. However, we ourselves avoid declaring specific groups terrorists, in line with the policies of many reputable news organizations and agencies around the world,” the spokesperson said.

“The focus of our news coverage is on describing exactly what happened in detail, as we have with all that has transpired this weekend. Our approach has been consistent and ensured CBC’s journalism over decades of conflict in the Middle East lives up to our commitment to accuracy, balance and fairness.”

Since the unexpected attack on Israel last Saturday, several Jewish activists have attacked media sources for referring to Hamas as “militants” or “soldiers” rather than terrorists.

“Soldiers don’t kidnap little toddlers. They don’t kidnap grandmothers. They don’t go around neighborhoods just firing indiscriminately into homes or setting fire to the bomb shelters to force people to come out so they can murder them on the spot,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, has also heavily criticized media coverage. While appearing as a guest on “Morning Joe” on Monday, he even criticized MSNBC for adopting the Islamic apologist verbiage.

“I must say, I love this show, and I love this network. But I’ve got to ask, who’s writing the scripts? Hamas, the people who did this, they are not fighters. … They are not militants. I’m looking right at the camera: They are terrorists. It is a barbarian who rapes and brutalizes women, who kills children in front of their parents and then brings them over to Gaza,” he said.

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