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Kathy Shaidle

Times have changed and now the poor (Palestinians) get fat

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Posted on July 8 2010 12:00 pm
Kathy Shaidle blogs at FiveFeetOfFury, now entering its 11th year online. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladylandkathy shaidle, which Mark Steyn calls "a must-read."
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Good thing the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) recently investigated itself and found no evidence of liberal bias! Otherwise this next little story might make me suspect the CBC was anti-Israel or something…

A taxpaying citizen felt moved to write to the CBC earlier this week, regarding a “story” posted on the CBC News website, headlined: “”Some Palestinian kids malnourished: Lancet”

Now, some of you are already saying, “‘Lancet‘?! Bwa ha!!” The rest of you might want to read a 2008 article called, “$oros’ Iraq Death Study Was a Sham” to see what has our eyes rolling.

But regardless of the source, what about the reasonable sounding assertion that “Some Palestinian kids [are] malnourished”? Naturally, we could (sadly) say the same thing about some “kids” in North America. That obvious fact prompted one Canadian reader to investigate further, then contact the CBC Ombud with the results of his personal investigation. Here’s an excerpt:

The title, “Some Palestinian kids malnourished: Lancet”, is an inaccurate representation of the data that shows there are seven times more overweight than underweight children in the Palestinian territories. The article starts with “About one in four Palestinian children goes without breakfast, say researchers who found many had stunted growth or were malnourished.” The rest of the article describes, without any attempt at objectivity or perspective, a state of nutrition that is in fact unremarkable, even by Western standards.

The stated rate of obesity among Palestinian children, 15%, is similar to the Canadian rate of 18% (Canadian Community Health Survey, 2004, Statistics Canada). The stated rate of underweight children, 2%, is comparable to the U.S. rate of 1% (data not available for Canada) and better than all other Middle Eastern countries. (…)

This article is based on a short publication (an abstract) written by Palestinian doctors and published (online only, registered users only) by a British medical journal; how did the CBC learn about this small, technical publication?

The text of the original abstract (attached to this email) is less negative, more factual than the text from CBC staffers. Who wrote this text? Why this title? Why this degree of publicity and this negative spin on such an obscure non-story?

There can be only one explanation: CBC staffers and editors are using my taxes to promote a political agenda and are willing to violate the principles of journalistic fairness, accuracy and integrity to achieve this end.

With this letter, I want to register my protest against what I see as a blatant political bias by CBC staffers. This article violates the CBC’s own journalistic standards and the 1991 Broadcasting Act.

While it’s thrilling to imagine the Mounties frog-marching the head of the CBC out of his ugly Front Street headquarters in handcuffs, don’t get your hopes up. I doubt the Ombud will even respond to this concerned citizen, anyway — at least, not candidly. If he did, his response would likely be: “Just shut up and pay up, lowly prole! We know best.”

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