CTV Broadcasts Anti-Israel Song
‘Three Little Birds’ given eight minutes to play and promote anti-Israel song, ‘Apartheid’
CTV Morning Live in Ottawa devoted an eight-minute segment on its show last month to a fringe anti-Israel band, who promoted and sang their song, “Apartheid” on air.
The Ottawa-based musical group, called “Three Little Birds” appeared on the show on June 18 and chatted with CTV program host Jeff Hooper for over three minutes, during which he helped promote their recent album.
Hooper encouraged CTV viewers to “buy this song when you hear it” and praised the band for having “a lot of political type of feeling to the music,” when he found out they would be performing “Apartheid” on air.
“So music that means something,” said Hooper. “That’s really cool, I like that.”
CTV also encouraged its viewers on screen to visit the band’s MySpace page.
Three Little Birds is composed of three members: classical pianist and poet Erin Saoirse Adair, Amelia Leclair, and oboist Angela Schleihauf.
This past March, the band performed at an event organized by Carleton University’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid group as part of the university’s annual Israeli Apartheid Week.
“Apartheid” features lyrics such as “the truth was bent when children died in Holy Land,” “so we’ll censor reality and call it the path to equity,” and “share your thoughts, speak your mind, defend your stance on Palestine.”
The chorus of the song, “on this dirty ride through apartheid” is sung repeatedly, as Three Little Birds references the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank.
HonestReportingCanada, who initially reported the story, contacted executives at CTV, asking “why and who gave this group free airtime on this CTV program to sing a song promoting intolerance?” and why “it looked like the program’s host, Jeff Hooper, seemed unaware of the offensive nature of the song.”
HonestReportingCanada called it an “unforgiveable lack of judgment… for CTV to have given this group airtime, pitched their compact disc, and then praised the trio before they launched into a song slurring Israel as an ‘apartheid’ state.”
CTV Two’s Regional Vice-President Richard Gray replied to HonestReportingCanada on July 13, stating the following:
“I respect and can understand why your supporters are displeased with the recent appearance by ‘Three Little Birds’ on our station since their performance of the song ‘Apartheid’ states a contrary point of view.
I can assure you, however, their inclusion on CTV Morning Live was not done to promote intolerance in any way. They were instead on the program in celebration of a local musical success story.
The Ottawa based band was promoting the Ottawa Jazz Festival, one of the biggest summer events in the City, at which they were going to be performing live after previously also appearing this spring at the Ottawa Tulip festival. They were also discussing an about to be released CD.
That they chose to make a political statement during their performance is not uncommon for bands and also not something we are overly concerned about. Our viewers have become accustomed to what I’m sure you’re also keen aware—creating controversy is what musicians often do.”
On Wednesday, Three Little Birds publicly thanked HonestReportingCanada on their Facebook page for writing about their appearance on CTV and providing “free promotion.”
“Our song ‘Apartheid,’ was originally written in response to the banning of a poster at Carleton University that depicted the bombardment of Gaza in 2008-2009, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians. A year later, we learned that the Carleton University pension fund invests in and profits from the very weaponry that is depicted in the poster,” they explained.
“Three Little Birds is deeply disturbed that the university pension fund profited from the Gaza bombings and continues to profit from the weaponry and other infrastructure of occupation that oppress Palestinian people. The song is our reaction to attempted censorship,” said the group, adding that “we don't use the term ‘Apartheid' lightly. It is the current actions of the state of Israel that necessitated the use of the term.”
The segment can be viewed on CTV Ottawa Morning Live’s official Youtube channel: