V-Télé also assured the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs that its management would respond to its December 23 letter arguing that “incitement to hatred of Jews does not qualify as strong opinion, as underscored by (…) the Code of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters”.
Yet after V-Télé informed the Centre that its co-president Maxime Rémillard had met over two weeks ago with Gendron, it appears to have reneged on its assurances that it would respond back to us, signalling once more the station’s incapacity to seriously address the misappropriation of its media platform to incite against Jews. Indeed, V-Télé would be well-advised to consider the fact that its host’s diatribes are earning him and the station praise from far-right racist organizations in France.
V-Télé management is acutely aware of Gendron’s history of inflammatory statements against Jews and other targets. In 2006, TQS (V-Télé’s former name) fired its host by arguing that “Stéphane Gendron’s decision to persevere in the way he has chosen is no longer acceptable for TQS which has obligations and responsibil(ities) to comply as part of its broadcasting license.”. When V announced in 2009 that Gendron would return to its line-up, one of its producers sought to ease concerns by stating “The past is the past. He (Gendron) knows the rules very well”.
Gendron has made it abundantly clear that he has no more intention to abide by broadcasting rules today than he did back in 2006. While V-Télé has every right to explore controversial issues that add to the marketplace of ideas, and while criticism of Israeli policies is legitimate, Gendron’s comments crossed the line from fair opinion to repugnant discourse. If V-Télé wishes to remain a television broadcaster in good standing, it cannot condone in 2012 what TQS condemned in 2006.”
David Ouellette is the Associate Director for Public Affairs (Québec) at the Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs, the official voice for all issues concerning the organized Canadian Jewish community (www.cerji.ca)
Mike Fegelman is the Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada (www.honestreporting.ca)