Battles for Freedom
Twisted tales from the tube
A chap I knew well — David Levi — was for many years the CBC’s correspondent
in Moscow. I sometimes used his stuff when I was editing a page in the
Vancouver Sun and he told me how Izvestia and Pravda managed the news.
“Mostly,” he said, “it’s old stuff that has been gone over with a fine
tooth comb by the bosses. Either that, or they make it up or have a story
two days ahead of it actually happening. They then let the presses roll
when the time comes.”
I never thought the same sort of thing could ever happen here. But
it does, especially with regard to “hate” and other politically correct
fictions dealt with by big-time media like the CBC.
They assume they know the story in advance, so all they have to do
is fill in a few bits on the day.
That’s what happened to me last March in Oliver.
You may remember the case. Sol Littman of the “Nazi-hunting” Simon
Wiesenthal Centre had described Oliver as the “hate capital of Canada”
on account of stuff going out on the Internet from there that he didn’t
I had never seen the material, but knew that the Littmans of this world
want to control the Internet.So I agreed to speak there in defence of freedom
of speech.The event got national coverage. Sort of.
While I was speaking, an hysterical woman started screaming about “this
free speech bullshit.” For Terry Milewski of CBC TV, that was just what
the doctor ordered. In his report, shown several times nationally, he said:
“She’s talking about Doug Collins, who says the Holocaust is Jewish
In fact, the little sweetheart in question had not even mentioned my
name. Moreover, people watching the TV item would have thought I had just
such a remark. But I had made no reference to the Holocaust. Nor had I
ever stated in my columns or speeches that the Holocaust itself was Jewish
propaganda, in other words a complete lie. I write what I think, and such
a thought has never been in my head.
I have questioned the numbers, and said that the never-ending stream
of movies and TV features coming out of Hollywood were propaganda. Which
is a different thing, so I complained to the CBC Ombudsman, Mr. David Bazay.
“Nowhere did I state that the Holocaust itself was Jewish propaganda,”
I told him. “There is a world of difference between that and saying that
Jews are the main influence in Hollywood, as was shown on the recent CBC-TV
Also, Milewski had asked me on video tape whether I thought the Holocaust
was a joke. I replied, emphatically, that it was not, and invited the Ombudsman
to examine the “outs” (tape or film not used) as proof.
The complaint was passed on to the CBC TV news chiefs, who rejected
it, as was to be expected. I rejected their rejection, as was also to be
expected.The Ombudsman then began his own investigation, which took five
In their hunt for gold, CBC News delved into every nook and cranny
of my writing and speeches, going back to the 1980s — assisted, I have
no doubt, by the usual suspects. But they could not produce what they wanted.
The Ombudsman stated in his decision:
“While CBC News has pointed out many controversial things you have
said, the CBC has not come up with an example where in so many words you
say that “the Holocaust is Jewish propaganda” and I can only conclude,
therefore, that your complaint is justified.”
Put that down with many of the other media mountains I have climbed
in recent years, so far without falling off a cliff.
Milewski knew what his angle was going to be even before he went to
Oliver. My speech didn’t fit his agenda so he reported not a word of it.The
interview didn’t fit either.
As far as he was concerned the occasion was organized by the politically
incorrect, and what they actually had to say didn’t count.
The Oliver event was a prime example of what a lot of reporting is
like these days. Many of the other media didn’t do much better.
But Milewski gets the Nobel Prize for the most slanted reporting of