July 30, 2017
Michael Cooke, Editor
Bureau of Accuracy and Public Editor
Once again I am writing to you about an ad by United Macedonians which this year appears on page GT3 of the July 29, 2017 edition of your newspaper. The same ad has been repeated over the last several years.The ad is inaccurate, insulting and defamatory, and foments nothing less than hatred among Canadians from the southern Balkans and the Star prints it every year without paying any attention to its contents.
The ad contains a map in bright red showing a large part of Greece and a part of Bulgaria as part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The logo carries the same message that parts of Greece and Bulgariabelong to FYROM.
I ask again, would you publish an ad submitted by a Hamas supporter or other Palestinian organization showing a large part of Israel as belonging to the Gaza Strip and governed by the Palestinian Authority?
That would cause the Jewish community in Canada to protest vigorously and have the effect of increasing tensions and worse, among Canadians from that region.
The effect of the United Macedonians’ ad is similar and perhaps more intense. It comes at a time when Greece has made significant strides in the reduction of tensions between Greece and FYROM and there is a search for a mutually acceptable solution and to which many community leaders in Canada subscribe.
One of your conditions for publishing ads is as follows:
The Publisher is not responsible for reviewing advertisements for accuracy or quality. The advertiser represents and warrants that all advertisements submitted to the Publisher will not infringe any third party rights.
If you do not review for accuracy, do you still publish when you know something is not accurate? Parts of Bulgaria and Greece do NOT belong to FYROM and surely that is known or should be known to the Star. Why do you publish an ad that is patently untrue, defamatory and inciting of conflict among Canadians?
A further condition imposed on an advertiser is that “The advertiser agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Publisher from any claims, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including without limitation reasonable legal fees and disbursements) arising out of or relating in any way to the publication of any advertisement, including but not limited to any claim that such advertisement is libelous, defamatory, misleading.” A cursory view of the ad especially the map would disclose that the ad is indeed libelous, defamatory and misleading and yet it is published year after year.
Is this the best we can expect from Canada’s largest newspaper?
May we expect a correction and an apology?
James KarasBarrister and Solicitor
Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario
Από τη Γραμματεία της Οργάνωσης