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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Falun Gong, CBC-PRC Saga

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MWC: Is the CBC affiliated with the Chinese Government? This would explain why the CBC opted to protect Beijing by trying to dissimulate the truth on forced organ harvesting in a documentary on Falun Gong called "Beyond the Red Wall" aired on Nov. 20 in Canada.

Let me get this straight. Last week after a phone call from the PRC bosses, the CBC undertook several rounds of re-editing and carefully doctoring what first started out to be an ‘independent’ film by long-time respected producer Peter Rowe.

The funny thing is that the film had been aired in French last March and it was a done deal. Then the CBC’s reputation went under fire for first pulling the doc hours before it was supposed to be aired on Nov. 6 and went reported in over 200 media— from NY Times, to the Jerusalem Post, the Taipei Times, CFP and others.

By that time, the CBC realized that they couldn’t get away with not showing the documentary due to pressure coming from everywhere not to mention from the Beijing government. What to do? Make more cuts with or without the producer!

Finally the film was aired on Nov. 20. To make a long story short, forced organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners was made to look like it was almost a minor offense just because Amnesty International has not yet come up with any proof—which in itself doesn’t prove anything—regardless of the 33 pieces of evidence contained in the ‘Bloody Harvest' report. Make no mistake--this little exercise could not have been done in good faith on the part of CBC but rather to please Beijing and exempt them from being accused of genocide.

Oh! There’s one more thing. I don't suppose that the reason why a segment about a human rights lawyer expressing his opinion about China being the Olympics host was cut off had anything to do with the fact that CBC is covering the 2008 Olympics next year. Hmm!

This is the quote that got slashed: "Hitler was the worst abuser of human rights on the planet at that time, so the International Olympics Committee rewarded his mass murders and atrocities by giving the Olympics to Germany in 1936. Today, China is the biggest abuser of human rights on the planet and once again the International Olympic Committee has said let's give them the Olympics in 2008."Image

On second thought, CBC’s choice of siding with Beijing must be a very uncomfortable spot for them to be in--as they have to answer to an audience of freedom loving people. What is most distressing though is that this 'poor choice' left the viewers with only the partial truth on a topic of high interest to them, all because of the CBC’s lack of integrity. Thus, not only the viewers pay the price for this deceitful censorship, but I also hope that the CBC will learn sooner than later that there is a price to pay overall for working with such tyrannical regimes.

David Matas, co-author of the 'Bloody Harvest' report, commented on the film and was quoted as saying: “…allowing the Chinese government to deny it violates human rights violations is not balanced reporting. The notion that CBC would pay any attention to Chinese concerns is evidence they've lost all perspective. The CBC becoming a vehicle of Chinese government propaganda -- even under the notion that it's balanced coverage -- is not responsible journalism."

I commend the producer, Peter Rowe, for his stamina and his thorough efforts to protect his work. And even though we might never get to see the real McCoy in Canada, hopefully his independent film will be shown 'intact' throughout the rest of the world as it should. With all this publicity, who will want to miss the film now?

Marie Beaulieu
Victoria BC

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