By Esther Enkin for the CBC
The complainant, E. Gelb, accused CBC of bias by omission in a story that dealt with Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigration. Failure to mention the ban would be until officials “figured out” what is going on, was an attempt to discredit him, according to her. I did not agree.
You strongly objected to a reference to Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigrants entering the United States. The news story you cited was broadcast May 10, 2016 on The National.The report was about the election of a new mayor in London, who happened to be Muslim. Sadiq Khan made reference to Donald Trump and the fact that his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States could “play into the hands of extremists”. He also noted that he would be prohibited from traveling to the U.S. You accused the reporter and CBC editors of lying by omission because the reference to Mr. Trump did not accurately represent his call for a ban:
Mr Trump never called for ‘ban on Muslims’. Period!
He was very clear on all occasions to state, “..ban on Muslims until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
This is where CBC lied by omission and this is unacceptable.
You added that “there is a world of difference” between reporting on a full ban and reporting Mr. Trump’s qualifying statement that the ban would be in place until authorities figure out what is going on, as he stated in his December speech following the shootings in San Bernardino, California. You believe CBC reporters and editors deliberately present Mr. Trump in a bad light, and that this is evidence of agenda driven reporting.
The Executive Producer of The National, Don Spandier, replied to your concerns. He pointed out the focus of the story was about Sadiq Khan, who had just been sworn in as London’s new, and first, Muslim mayor. He added that Mr. Khan made reference to his religion and his identity as a “south Londoner”. In that same news conference Mr. Khan pointed out that if Donald Trump were elected president, he would not be able to visit the United States. Mr. Spandier explained that to emphasize that point, the story included a clip of Mr. Trump calling for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Mr. Spandier pointed out that the clip of Mr. Trump was date stamped December 7, 2015. He explained the reporter then added:
Trump is now backing off that plan, if only slightly, telling The New York Times that there would be exceptions to the Muslim ban, suggesting London’s new mayor would be allowed in”. Mayor Khan “quickly rejected” the offer, Mr. Daigle added, making him “the latest British politician to denounce the brash American”. The headline in one British tabloid seen in the report said: “Sadiq goes to war on Trump”.