Israeli Ambassador given double time on Vancouver Radio Station
July 18, 2005
Bill Good Show, CKNW
Dear Mr. Warren:
I wish to register my outrage at the way I was dealt with this morning on the Bill Good show. When I was contacted by your producer, I was told that the Israeli ambassador would be on from 9 – 9:30 am and then I would follow with another segment from 9:30 to 10:00 to give the Palestinian perspective.
I was horrified to discover when I came on the air at 9:30 that I was not to have a chance to give my answers to your questions in a dignified manner, as the ambassador had been allowed to do, but rather he was kept on and allowed to continually barge in and censor everything I was attempting to say. If this is your idea of presenting a Palestinian perspective, then you are either underhanded or ill-informed. You should have been honest with me as to the format of the program, and then allowed me to decide whether or not to participate based on that information. True balance would have meant either both the ambassador and I were on from 9 – 10 am with equal time and equal access to responding to the other, or we each had a separate half hour by ourselves with the interviewer and the public.
I will not accept any further invitations from your station, and will inform people in my community of what has happened. Furthermore, this message will be posted on our website, and if you feel you could defend your journalistic practices, we will post that for you on our website as well.
Chairperson, Canada Palestine Association www.cpavancouver.org
Host, Voice of Palestine www.voiceofpalestine.ca
Thank you for agreeing to be a guest on CKNW yesterday morning. CKNW was one of the very few media outlets in Vancouver that provided a Palestinian perspective to Ambassador Baker’s visit to the city. In reviewing yesterday’s show, I think you were provided several opportunities to present the Palestinian viewpoint and you challenged and disagreed with the Ambassador repeatedly.
Mr. Warren decided at the very last moment to allow for dialogue between yourself and the Ambassador in the hope that this would be of benefit to the our listeners. I think the spirited discussion helped to highlight the complexities in the region.
I apologize if there was any miscommunication in the invitation issued to you, it was certainly not intentional and it was definitely not underhanded or ill-informed. Live talk radio is spontaneous and interactive and Mr. Warren seized upon an excellent opportunity to foster a sharing of ideas.