CBC Changes Headline Three Times, Removes More Than 300 Comments

CBC must retract its one-sided article and issue an apology
April 30, 2020 Updated: May 8, 2020

This is our second public statement on CBC’s coverage of The Epoch Times’ special edition. To read our first statement, please click here.

I would like to give an update on the developments surrounding CBC’s slanderous coverage of The Epoch Times’ special edition on Beijing’s coverup of the virus outbreak which led to a global pandemic.

I would also like to set the record straight that The Epoch Times special edition is in no way “advancing conspiracy” theories or claiming that the virus is “manufactured” as a bioweapon by China as alleged by CBC’s article, as I will make clear later in this statement.

Since the initial publication of its article on April 29, CBC has quietly made substantial changes to its headline three times—all without informing readers of the change or issuing a correction.

The four headlines so far are:

Original Version
‘Racist and inflammatory’: Canadians upset by Epoch Times claim China behind virus, made it as a bioweapon

Second Version
Some Canadians who received unsolicited copy of Epoch Times upset by claim that China was behind virus

Third Version
Some Canadians see claims in Epoch Times about origin of virus as ‘racist and inflammatory’

Fourth Version
Some Canadians who received unsolicited copy of Epoch Times upset by claim that China was behind virus

It is worth noting that all of these headlines are incorrect.

The reality is, as can be seen directly on the cover of our special edition on the coronavirus that was the main focus of the CBC’s article, is that we wrote: “The Chinese Communist Party’s coverup led to a pandemic that now threatens the lives of people around the globe.”

It clearly and squarely puts the blame for the coverup on China’s ruling communist regime. As a Chinese immigrant myself, I understand very well the difference between the Chinese Communist Party and China and the Chinese people—who have been the biggest victims of the CCP’s coverup.

But the CBC article is not making this distinction and is instead helping to push the communist regime’s line that the Party and China are one and the same.

Conflating the Communist Party with China as a whole or with the Chinese people is a tactic frequently used by the CCP itself to arouse nationalism, and use the claim of “racism” to deflect criticism of the CCP. It is sad to see that CBC has followed the same line as the CCP.

As a taxpayer funded media—to the tune of an estimated $1.2 billion per year—we would expect our national media to do a better job in informing Canadians about the threat that the regime in Beijing poses to not only the Chinese people, but to the world.

Not just that, CBC—as detailed in our previous article—deliberately ignored our statement to them, and failed to back up its main claim that we say the virus is a Chinese bioweapon, which is not what our special edition stated.

False Accusations by CBC

The CBC article’s headline and opening paragraph accuse The Epoch Times of advancing “a conspiracy theory” and say the special edition claims the virus was made as a bioweapon by China.

This is false. The special edition makes no such claim. Instead of showing the contents of the special edition, CBC makes the accusation based on quotes from two people, a single recipient and an unnamed mail carrier, who misrepresent the contents of the special edition.

The recipient quoted in the CBC article says “it did seem to allude to conspiracy theories like, you know, maybe it was manufactured, this virus was manufactured in the lab.” The unnamed mail carrier says “They’re saying the coronavirus is part of a bio-warfare agenda by the Chinese people.

Nowhere in the special edition does The Epoch Times mention or hold a position that the virus was either manufactured or man-made as a bioweapon, or that it was an agenda of “the Chinese people.”

The Special Edition is an eight-page collection of some of our reporting and delves into topics such as how the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup led to a pandemic, how the regime persecuted medical professionals in China who tried to get information out about the outbreak, how it is still hiding the true scale of the pandemic and the number of deaths in China, and how it has launched a global disinformation campaign to lay the blame for the pandemic elsewhere.

CBC is making its accusations by pointing to a commentary included in the special edition that quotes a former Chinese defence minister’s remarks about China’s bioweapon ambitions; in the commentary, the author says that there should be an investigation on the coronavirus outbreak, and Chinese authorities “must grant the world total transparency. If Chinese officials are innocent, they have nothing to hide. If they are guilty, they will refuse to cooperate.”

This is what one reader wrote as a comment on the CBC article: “I’ve now read the two special editions of the Epoch Times that CBC claims contained ‘false’ claims that corona virus was a laboratory created bio weapon. In neither of the editions, was the corona virus discussed as a CCP bioweapon, although there was an article about the CCP’s bioweapons’ ambitions, but that is not the same thing at all. The CBC needs to provide proof of the inflammatory claims it made in this article, or retract them.”

Deleted Comments

Over the past two days, we have received phone calls from CBC readers telling us that their comments on the CBC article were removed.

From what we can tell, at least 300 comments on the CBC article were removed. This is even though they don’t contain anything offensive, for example, “What Canadians are upset CBC ? Who is screaming racism CBC? Can you be a little more specific.”

Is CBC afraid of readers’ disapproval? Why stifle free speech, and block Candians who want to express their concerns over CBC’s false reporting. Isn’t this stifling of public discourse failing the most basic function as a national broadcaster?

On behalf of everyone at The Epoch Times, I would like to thank our readers for their support. I will keep you updated as things develop.

And I also demand that CBC retract its one-sided article and issue an apology.

Here is the link to our Special Edition that CBC wrote about.

Cindy Gu is the publisher of the Canadian editions of The Epoch Times.

The Epoch Times was founded in 2000 in North America by Chinese immigrants and has been on the forefront of uncensored China news, breaking some of the most important China stories over the past two decades. It was among the first to report on the SARS outbreak in 2003 and won a national award in Canada for this coverage.

Since its launch, the independent news outlet has been the target of multiple attacks and interference from the Chinese communist regime. Last year, its printing press at its Hong Kong office was set on fire by masked intruders during the height of protests in that city. The Epoch Times believes that the Chinese Communist Party was behind the attack in an effort to silence the outlet.

The Epoch Times print newspaper is available via subscription across Canada and the United States. Its online version comes in English, French, Chinese, and more than 20 other languages.