CBC report biased against Telegdi

From: Eugene Harasymiw
To: national@cbc.ca [CBC National TV]
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 2:31 PM
Subject: May 8th, 2001 news story on Andrew Telegdi, MP

Dear Sirs:

The Ukrainian Self-Reliance League, formed in 1927, has over 1,000 members in Alberta.

We wish to register a complaint against one of CBC-TV news' stories telecast on "The National" on May 8, 2001. The story ostensibly covered what were made out to be the troubles of Liberal Member of Parliament Andrew Telegdi.

This particular story, covered very ineptly by Raj Ahluwalia, supposedly explained the plight of Mr. Telegdi in the wake of remarks attributed to him to the effect that his government's deportation policy was no better than similar policies pursued by Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's. It focused on the indignation, "hurt" and insult that Mr. Telegdi's comparison supposedly caused the Canadian Jewish community. Viewers were provided generous helpings of this reaction from the likes of top officials at the Canadian Jewish Congress. Every effort was made to portray Mr. Helmut Oberlander as a hardened Nazi war criminal (which, for your information, the hearing judge specifically found he was not).

Your news story is unacceptable to citizens of a free and democratic society, for these reasons:

1. It completely ignored the real issue -- legitimate and well-founded opposition to the federal government's denaturalization and deportation policy. The CBC is thus responsible for deliberately omitting to mention that Mr. Telegdi (now joined by at least 2 other Liberal MP's) is leading a drive to bring to light both the fundamental flaws of this politically-inspired policy, along with its inherent procedural unfairness. Mr. Telegdi's main point is that a hand-picked group from Cabinet is not suited to decide the citizenship of any Canadian--only the Courts of this country are.

2. It was 100% one-sided in condemning Mr. Telegdi's precipitous comment. By doing so, the story attempted to equate the seriousness of the harm (purportedly) done by those remarks with the urgency of the government continuing to pursue the policy that evoked them. Not one mention was made that the essence of Mr. Telegdi's principled stand against denaturalization and deportation is now supported by the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties Assoc., B'nai Brith Canada and numerous ethnic-based organizations, totaling over two dozen in number. How could your reporter conceivably have omitted that fact? Are we not to conclude that only one group in Canada is worthy of having their reaction recorded? Why would that be?

It is the position of the Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League--and we are confident that it is also the feeling of many Canadians--that your news story does not in any way advance public-interest telecasting; instead, the program was an exercise in distortion, bias, obfuscation and, to put it bluntly, "yellow journalism."

To rectify this appallingly one-sided report, the Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League demands the CBC issue a public apology to Mr. Telegdi and to all those Canadians hurt by your shoddy, insensitive and despicable piece of news reporting.

Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.
President
Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League