Leaked CBC Email About Hamas To Reporters Sparks Immense Backlash
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. came under fire this weekend for giving strict guidelines to reporters on using the term "terrorist" in their coverage of Israel's war with Hamas.
According to leaked emails, CBC's director of journalistic standards, George Achi, instructed employees not to refer to militants, soldiers, or anyone else as "terrorists." He argued that the word "terrorist" remains heavily politicized and should only be used when quoting someone's opinion.
"Even when quoting a government or a source referring to fighters as 'terrorists,' we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is an opinion, not a fact," Achi wrote in the email.
The decision immediately drew criticism from the U.S.-based group "StopAntisemitism," which shared the leaked email on social media. Many Jewish activists have also voiced their concerns, arguing that calling Hamas "militants" or "soldiers" instead of terrorists downplays their actions.
"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 bomb shelters to force people to come out so they can murder them on the spot," Rabbi Abraham Cooper told Fox News Digital on Monday.
The controversy has sparked a larger debate about media coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Many have accused major news outlets of using language that is sympathetic to Hamas and fails to accurately depict the group's actions.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt even called out MSNBC during an appearance on "Morning Joe" for using soft language to describe Hamas.
"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," Greenblatt said.
The CBC, meanwhile, defended its decision, stating that they attribute the words "terrorist" and "terrorism" to authorities, politicians, and other officials who use them. However, they do not declare specific groups as terrorists themselves, as this is in line with the policies of many other reputable news organizations.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has claimed the lives of around 1,600 people, including approximately 900 in Israel, as of Tuesday morning.