V Télé Must Assume Its Responsibilities Following Gendron's Inflammatory Statements

MONTREAL, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, HonestReporting Canada (HRC) and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (the Centre) jointly call on V Television to assume its broadcasting responsibilities by promptly dealing with its Face à Face talk show host, Stéphane Gendron's repeated hateful and discriminatory comments about Jews and the state of Israel.

Most recently, on December 27 Gendron lamented that "unfortunately, Israel has not yet collapsed" and claimed that Israel "does not deserve to exist." Earlier in the Fall season, Gendron claimed that Jews are steeped in contempt for non-Jews. In making these statements, Gendron resorted once again to his familiar practice of engaging in inciteful discourse. To date, neither Gendron nor V Television has expressed regret for this incendiary commentary and despite its assurances, V Television has neglected to indicate a potential course of action.

As it has been close to one month since this controversy came to the public's attention and as V Television has abdicated its requirements to address this situation in a timely manner, HRC Executive Director Mike Fegelman and David Ouellette, the Centre's Associate Director for Public Affairs (Quebec) affirmed the following in an open letter to V-Télé CEO Maxime Rémillard:

"From the onset of the recent controversy over Quebec TV host Stéphane Gendron's comments denying Israel's right to exist and incitement against Jews, V-Télé's management has shown little understanding of the inflammatory nature of its host's statements or willingness to address the problem seriously."

"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 as a television broadcaster in good standing, it cannot condone in 2012 what TQS condemned in 2006."

To read this open letter in English click here ou pour la version française cliquer ici.

SOURCE Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs

For further information:

Mike Fegelman,
Executive Director of HonestReporting Canada
at (416) 915-9157


David Ouellette, Associate Director, Public Affairs (Quebec)
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
(514) 294-4420

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