Last Tuesday night the CBC was scheduled to show « Beyond the Red Wall », a documentary film about the prosecution of the Falun Gong movement in China. But it was cancelled at the last minute. Instead viewers saw a repeat documentary about Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan.

So what happened? CBC officials explained that the current crisis in Pakistan made Mushararraf a timely subject again. But that was not the only or even the main reason the CBC yanked the Falun Gong documentary.

The main reason was that officials at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa complained about the Falun gong film. The Chinese government people said jump and the head honchos at the CBC said how high. They scrubbed the film. In that context the CBC’s excuse about Pakistan rings very hollow.

This will come as news to many Canadian groups, such as veterans and pro-life organizations, who complained to the CBC about programs that offended them and never even got a hearing.

We might note here that the CBC has the rights to Olympic broadcasts from Bejing next summer. Maybe our public brodcaster did not want to offend its Communist hosts. In any event, the CBC has promised to review the film’s content in the light of the Chinese complaints.

We know that Bejing persecutes the Falun Gong. But that the CBC aids and abets this communist crime by censoring it, seems utterly shameful.

Are you a CBC fan? Do you have a way to explain this?



  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Jeopardizing maybe 1 billion dollars in publicity sales must have been very high on the CBC’s brass minds. Could it be the confirmation of the old saying that every man (organisation) has a price?
    As long as the CBC/RC has to seek ever more private funding, you can not exspect it to be independant from business pressure. Political pressure is also around even more so since our Torys are not very supportive of human rights in China or elswhere when business is involved.

  2. 2
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    The explanation as to why the CBC withdrew the Falun Gong documentary lies in a lump of concrete sitting on de Maisonneuve near Guy in the heart of our beloved Montreal. I am referring, of course, to that gift from the People’s Republic of China to Canada in the form of the Norman Bethune statue.

    Dr. Bethune was an angry, misinformed zealot who supported and promoted a system of human organization in China that has resulted in more death, misery, and suffering than any other — including Nazism — in the 20th century: communism.

    Thrusting the Bethune statue upon us and our receipt of it without complaint or protest set the stage long ago vis a vis how we as a nation — let alone the CBC — would interact with the totalitarian regime in question.

    All of Bethune’s alleged good work can never negate the untold damage his non-medical and non-humanitarian passions and involvements ultimately reaped (Bethune was big on mass exterminations of communism’s enemies and never shied away from public declarations to this effect).

    Every day, thousands of Montrealers pass by in their cars, without protest, the Bethune statue as we commute to our offices. In doing so, we spit upon the memory of the millions who died unnecessarily under the Chinese communist regime. By letting stand the name and figure of a weak, misguided fanatic that was, many years ago, chiselled into the concrete of what has now become a Montreal landmark, we have habituated ourselves to complacency.

    So it is no surprise that the CBC jumps at the slightest suggestion that the Falun Gong documentary makes their oppressors uncomfortable … this is only continuing a long tradition of acquiescence on the part of Canada and Canadian institutions that the Bethune statue represents.

    Let us demolish forthwith the Bethune statue on Guy Street and hurl it without hesitation onto its rightful resting place: the dung heap of history. Perhaps only then will we begin a process of recovery in which we can rehabilitate our national consciousness. And, then, one day perhaps, we will find ourselves in a position that our initial reaction to pressures from the Chinese Government is not appeasement but steadfast determination to stand firm.

  3. 3

    Many a time I have passed the Norman Bethune statue but it certainly never occurred to me to put the CBC’s refusal to air the Falun Gong piece in the context of Bethune’s actions in China. You have provided a very interesting analysis.
    However, if your take on this is correct, why have not China watchers in Montreal, all gung ho on the restrictions on human rights in China, not protested the presence of the Bethune statue?

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Like most topics, my take on this is unique and unusual and certainly one I couldn’t hope to impose on others. But, yes, I’d love to see consistency on all things Chinese and see protests against the Bethune statue as well as human rights restrictions.
    I think, more than anything, the silence about the Bethune statue is symptomatic of as well as representative of the problem. Apparently, China watchers don’t see the connection as I do.

  5. 5
    Barbara Says:

    Thank you for the interesting analysis, Tony. Having only heard the noncrtical-Canadian-on-the-moral-high ground-version, it is news to me.

  6. 6
    Chimera Says:

    It’s all about priorities. China wants to save face and the CBC wants the broadcast rights. They are each willing to give up what the other values in order to keep what they, themselves, value.

    It’s a game that governments play with one another. They call it « Diplomacy. »

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