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Open Letter to the Students of Concordia re: CUTV

Abigail Hirsch

AskAbigail Productions, Dec. 6, 2014

My name is Abigail Hirsch. I have been an active volunteer at CUTV (Concordia University Television) prior to its current management team for two years, and I would like to share a number of my concerns with you.

CUTV as you know is funded by your student association fees, which you are required to make, and will soon be voting to increase. It therefore follows, that the station funded as it is by the entire student body, should represent that student body fairly and honestly, without becoming divisive or discriminating.

This policy has changed since September 2010 when Laith Marouf became the new programming manager of CUTV.  How has he acted?

First, he has taken a leadership role at the Israel-Apartheid movement since many years, and the CUTV programming now reflects his anti-Israel bias.

Second, he has been censured for unethical reporting by the McGill radio station, ‘The Olive Tree’ where he was the executive producer. He was asked to retract a baseless claim, which alleged that Israel had been involved in the Abu Graib scandal in Iraq. His retraction was made evasively and without contrite honesty.

Anti-Israel Programmer Suspended by Montreal Campus Radio (April 20, 2010)
CKUT Radio suspends “Under the Olive Tree” programmer Tariq Jeeroburkhan following HRC member’s complaints.

Third, since his tenure at CUTV, they have posted to YouTube a news piece in which Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, writer and Nobel Prize winner, was characterized as a “war crimes apologist”.

And here are the comments that I posted to CUTV that Laith Marouf found objectionable.

“Israeli war crimes apologist? Elie Wiesel? Now that’s a kangaroo court.

I disagree with the CUTV being shut out of the media, however it is clear from this interview that CUTV is biased and not listening to Mr. Wiesel at all.

Is the interviewer aware that not everyone agrees with his assumption that Israel is guilty of oppression and war crimes.

For anyone who is truly interested in Israel/Palestine, two courses are offered for credit at Concordia: Contact CIJR 514-486-5544.”

What is most distressing however is what I found out when I approached the campus ombudsman about this situation. I learned that the Concordia Students Association is actually a legal union of workers governed by the laws of union in Quebec and is outside the authority of the Concordia Academic Apparatus. It is for this reason that the Student Association is able to function with impunity based on the funding of your student fees which go directly to the student union which then manages a rather large budget.

It is time to decide how much longer your news should be reported with bias and rancor. I feel certain that you are strongly against biased and  dishonest reporting and biased management. Is Laith Marouf the kind of person that you entrust with media leadership? Is Mr. Marouf your choice of station manager? Is CUTV deserving of your student dollars and financial support

I hope you will inform yourself accurately about this situation so that when it comes time to vote again you will be able to do so with clarity and enlightenment.

Sincerely,
Abigail Hirsch
Former volunteer at CUTV
Concordia student

[Abigail Hirsch is a CIJR Executive member – Ed.]

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