Monday, July 23, 2007

VisionTV May Have Been Sorry But Not Enough Apparently

A day after saying it regretted broadcasting a lecture by Israr Ahmad, a Pakistani preacher who says that the Quran advocates violent holy war and the "extermination" of Jews, VisionTV aired another hour-long talk by the cleric on Saturday on the program Dil Dil Pakistan (click here).

Frankly, I could have told you that this was going to happen when I read the statement written by Vision's CEO, Bill Roberts, and printed in the National Post on Saturday. Twice in his apology, he used the word "may"; a word that should never appear in a sincere apology but which almost always appears in apologies that are made primarily in an attempt to pacify the public.

In the first statement he says that he condemns any reference to or suggestion of holy war or violent jihad by any group and regrets that Mr. Israr Ahmad's statements "may have conveyed such a suggestion...." The use of the word "may" here suggests that Mr. Roberts is not entirely convinced that Ahmad's statement really did convey the suggestion of violent jihad but since someone complained, it is best just to allow for the legitimacy of that opinion and apologize.

In the second statement, Mr. Roberts says, "VisionTV regrets that Mr. Ahmad's statements may have offended viewers' perceptions of our channel...." Obviously they did offend some viewers. There is no "if" or "may" about it.

When people use "if" or "may" in an apology, it is usually to provide an escape clause. It allows for the feelings of the offended to be acknowledged without really admitting to guilt. I urge VisionTV to come clean and admit that they knew of the content of Israr Ahmad's lecture and decided to run it anyway. These half-hearted apologies followed by actions that deny their sincerity (such as running the program again the very next day) speak only of hypocrisy or laziness in upholding their claimed values.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Roberts will have lots of time to think about 'may' and 'if'.
The Canadian Jewish Congress is filing a complaint with the CTRC.

Bene D