Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Coverup? After Reporting on Muslims Attacking Canadian Students, Paper Scrubs Story

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It’s not quite Stalin airbrushing people out of history books. But after publishing a story on Muslim migrant children attacking Canadian agemates, a mainstream newspaper scrubbed the piece from its website because, admits its editor, careful attention should have been paid to how migrant youth “might be impacted.”

The controversy began April 8 when Canada’s Chronicle Herald published a story (original still available courtesy of Blazing Cat Fur) about alleged assaults at Chebucto Heights Elementary School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As the paper put it, “Reports of students choking, pushing, slapping and verbally abusing their fellow classmates are causing parents to worry about the school’s disciplinary action.” One mother cited by the Chronicle, and who requested anonymity, said her daughter had been slapped by a Muslim boy in the schoolyard. Another, who wished only to be identified by her nickname, “Missy,” stated that her third-grade daughter had been choked on two separate occasions by a pair of Muslim boys, and that a migrant child yelled, “Muslims rule the world.” The paper informed that while school staff intervened to halt the attack, the boys were not disciplined. Missy also said that her fifth-grade son has been subject to “rough play on the soccer field. During games, refugee students reportedly take their thumb and slide it across their neck from left to right while staring into the eyes of their competitor; [sic] imitating the slicing of the throat,” reported the Chronicle.

But what ended up being cut was the story after criticism from leftist sources — which were all the more agitated because certain conservative media picked up on the article. Reported Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, the paper first edited its piece “to remove all reference to Muslims, and finally took it down altogether, replacing it with an explanation that expatiated on what hard times migrants have, but didn’t really deny any of their original story. So it was fairly clear that the story was being deep-sixed because it was inconvenient for the multicultural agenda.”

It’s difficult to draw any other conclusion. The Chronicle stated in an earlier apology, “Our story was incomplete. More work needs to be done,” but has done nothing but run, from the truth. Instead, it was left to media outlet the Rebel to investigate the Chebucto Heights story — and it corroborated all the substantial details in the initial report. More on that in a moment.

The kicker here is that the Chronicle’s story was rather tame reportage, infused with politically correct speculation such as the following: “A language barrier could be a factor. Many refugee families do not speak English and integrating students into a primarily English speaking environment is bound to cause a few problems.” The paper also acknowledged in one of its apologies that the “story quoted two mothers who didn’t want their names used for fear of reprisals against them or their children. A third person, a grandparent, was interviewed and had similar concerns. Since the article ran, another family has contacted us with a similar complaint.” So there is smoke here, and the story was just what one might expect of basic, first-stage reportage. Deeper investigations often come afterwards — when warranted.

As for the Chronicle’s true motivation, while criticizing the paper on April 10, the Halifax Examiner’s Tim Bousquet issued the telling disclaimer, “I am not arguing that any problems associated with refugees should not be reported because xenophobic and crazed right wingers will use the articles to advance their own warped causes.” Perhaps he wouldn’t argue that, but it does appear the wink-and-nod reality. As the Chronicle also wrote in its apology, “Appallingly, anti-Muslim groups with words like ‘crusade’ and ‘jihad’ in their names started sharing the article. We pulled it from our website.” The paper’s editor, Sarah Dennis, then admitted in an April 15 mea-culpa piece, “We later removed parts of the story and then the entire piece from our website when we saw it was being shared and misused to attack refugees and immigrants and to malign their faith and culture.”

Dennis also wrote that her paper should “have paid careful attention to how refugee children in the school might be impacted.” But this reflects hypocrisy. Consider: 93 percent of black homicide victims are murdered by other blacks, and most of the rest are killed by Hispanics. Yet the mainstream media focus such inordinate attention on the rare cases of white-on-black violence that they appear an epidemic. Is this an “accurate and balanced picture,” something else Dennis said there was a duty to present? Where’s the media’s remorse over the riots, black-on-white revenge attacks, and murders of police officers inspired by its slanted coverage?

The only thing that matters is whether a story reflects truth. In the Chebucto Heights’ case, however, even school officials are issuing denials, with Superintendent Elwin LeRoux labeling the parents’ complaints “unsubstantiated accusations” and insisting they’re “not true.” And this brings us to the Rebel’s investigation of the matter. The site writes, “Multiple parents and even one student spoke to Rebel reporter Faith Goldy[,] who confirmed initial reports in the Herald's story.” The Rebel also spoke to Missy, who says that while she fears a backlash and being branded a “bigot,” not long ago she “was looking forward to the arrival of her children’s new classmates,” writes the Rebel. In fact, Missy stated that she “did a basic needs and clothing drive” for the migrants and is “all for the transition.”

As for what befell her children, the Chronicle got only minor details wrong. As Missy said, reports the Rebel:

They said in the paper she was choked with chains two different times. That wasn’t what was said. She was choked twice, but once with a necklace. She was choked with their hands. Like it was just a bunch of little stories that kept adding up and I was like this is enough. Like, once or twice it happens, maybe it’s just rough play. But it’s happening a lot. And it hasn’t just been this week. There has been numerous things that have happened. Not just with my kids.

Missy also confirmed the original story about her son’s experiences, saying, “They stopped intramurals in school due to rough play. The kids are being slammed to the ground, choked, and hit. It’s not fair.”

And what of the Islamic chauvinism? Missy states that the “kids said that somebody had yelled, one of the kids had yelled ‘Muslims rule the world.’… They said it was one of the Syrian boys. Those kids do know how to speak some English. But they’re very limited to words.... All the kids said [refugee boys] have said that more than once."

Moreover, the day after Missy’s daughter was last choked, she was slapped in the face by a Muslim boy. And when Missy went to the principal to complain, she encountered a girl with a welt on her face — again, resulting from a slap by a Muslim boy. As for the principal, “She said that her hands are tied.” A school interpreter later told her that “the little boy just wants to fit in.”

And while Missy is apparently quite liberal, the double standard hasn’t eluded her. As she told Rebel:

If our students, our kids did that to these students it’d be a hate crime. It’d be something bad. And now that we’re addressing the problem cause it’s our kids involved, we’re still the bad guy. There’s no win to it. And everyone’s scared to come forward and say something because of what happened with that article.

But the problem won’t go away. Migrants began registering at Chebucto Heights in mid-February, and “School board spokesman Doug Hadley said … there are currently 252 refugee students enrolled in the region, with another 71 waiting on settlement of permanent housing,” reported the Chronicle in the now-scrubbed article. It’s a pity they can’t scrub away problems as easily as they scrub away truth.

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