Media News Digest: The TVA mosque imbroglio, Tommy’s last day on CJAD, Pete Marier back on CHOM

The TVA mosque debacle

It took almost three days, but TVA Nouvelles has finally apologized and retracted a story it published Tuesday about a Côte-des-Neiges mosque demanding a city construction crew not have women working on Fridays — and getting that request enshrined “noir sur blanc” in their contract, and several women being reassigned as a result.

The Parti Québécois and influencers like Marie-France Bazzo and Bernard Drainville were quick to denounce the mosque, and right-wing anti-immigrant group La Meute announced a protest at the mosque (it has since cancelled).

The story started smelling fishy almost immediately. The Journal de Montréal posted the TVA story to its website on Tuesday and assigned a reporter to cover it, but pulled the story quickly after discovering facts that contradicted TVA’s report. (The paper has yet to publish a single story about the whole affair.) The mosque issued a statement denying everything and expressing anger that TVA didn’t try to contact them for comment. La Presse summarizes the denials here.

The Quebec Press Council has received at least two complaints about the story.

On Thursday evening, TVA Nouvelles issued a “mise au point” in which it said the facts have “evolved” (you know, from true to false). It was instantly criticized for not including an apology. On Friday morning, another mise-au-point which included an apology and promises of an internal investigation.

Still, many groups still believe the story is true, and many stories published by other media, like The Rebel (which used the term “no-go zone”, suggesting irresponsibly that the area is dangerous), haven’t been corrected. In some cases, wild and nonsensical conspiracy theories have been concocted to save face.

Among the things the investigation should look at:

  • Why did the journalist not attempt to contact the mosque before going with this story?
  • Were any attempts made to verify what the contractor told her?
  • Why did she insist on describing the demand as “noir-sur-blanc” despite never having seen it herself?
  • Was she lying when she told the mosque’s representatives that she had “filmed” their written demand that women be excluded? Was her confrontational attitude during this exchange justified?
  • Why did TVA broadcast and publish the story before seeking comment from the mosque?
  • Why did TVA Nouvelles take so long to retract the story and even longer to apologize?

I’m also not too optimistic that the results of this investigation will be made public.

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8 thoughts on “Media News Digest: The TVA mosque imbroglio, Tommy’s last day on CJAD, Pete Marier back on CHOM

  1. JF Bérubé

    TVA looking like idiots again after events such as Luc Lavoie’s hunting of separatists and other snafus. Why are people still watching those clowns? Quite frankly, their licence should be seriously reevaluated.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Great to see Pete Marrier is back home on CHOM. Got a reason to listen on on a Sat. And what does Norway know that we don’t? If I understand correctly, it’s getting rid of FM. Can someone explain? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      And what does Norway know that we don’t? If I understand correctly, it’s getting rid of FM. Can someone explain? Thanks.

      Norway has moved to digital audio broadcasting, which is more efficient and better quality. Enough people have DAB-compatible receivers that the government has decided FM is no longer needed. There have been plenty of detractors to the move, though.

      Reply
  3. Mediaman

    Definitely will be great to hear Pirate Pete back on the air, and that they buried the hatchet.. And hopefully into a regular weekend gig or is it possible they’ll bring him back to afternoon drive??
    It would be neat to have Dimonte, Renaud and Marier for the three big weekday shifts.

    As for the Brownstein /Traffic network article, I’m wondering why nor yourself doesn’t mention the fact that CTN, and it’s on their site listing the various stations in Canada they do traffic for, why CKBE, The Beat 925, isn’t mentioned by yourself or the Brownstein article?

    Is it because Bill is too close to Bell Media empire being a regular contributor?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      As for the Brownstein /Traffic network article, I’m wondering why nor yourself doesn’t mention the fact that CTN, and it’s on their site listing the various stations in Canada they do traffic for, why CKBE, The Beat 925, isn’t mentioned by yourself or the Brownstein article?

      The Beat and other Cogeco stations are CTN affiliates, so CTN can sell ads for them, but CTN doesn’t actually do their traffic reports. The Beat does those in-house (Kim Kieran and Claudia Marques, mainly).

      Reply
  4. Marc

    Re: TVA. Now we have local evidence of why so many call the MSM fake news. No one trusts anything they say anymore. Commentary and news reporting is so blurred you can’t see the forest for the trees. Print media is doing a better job but even there, news and commentary is at times potato-potahto. But television, the “nightly news” et al., come on; all BS.

    Reply
  5. Dorothy

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the item about the Washington Post’s new video series on how to be a reporter.
    Here`s how (circa the old days):
    #1 : Boots on the ground.That means ringing doorbells, which can’t be done from a desk.
    #2: Have boundless and relentless curiousity. Talk to everyone. Eyes and ears count are a reporter’s most valuable assets.
    #3: Stay cynical. Always.
    #4: Walk a neighborhood. Several story ideas should pop at you.

    Reply
  6. Marc

    Another question – the news “reporter” who worked this story…how the hell is she still employed? If that’s not a career-ender please tell me what is.

    Reply

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