Jewish community calls for apology, firing of radio host

Posted By: Laura Casella · 11/26/2012 11:25:00 AM

UPDATED: Cogeco and host apologize

Members of the Jewish community are calling for a local radio host to be fired after he appeared to be condoning anti-Semitic remarks by a caller.

Jacques Fabi of Cogeco's 98.5 fm took a caller last week and let her ramble about the Holocaust among other things for several minutes.

Rabbi Reuben Poupko of the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation says the host should be fired.

"If this is not cause for an immediate dismissal, I don't know what is," he tells CJAD 800. 

During the 4-minute exchange, the caller whose name is Maria, tells the host that the Holocaust was the most beautiful event in history. But instead of cutting her loose, Fabi allows her to continue, saying although he would not dare say such a thing, she probably has the right.

B'Nai Brith Canada isnt going as far as to call for the host's firing but wants him to apologize publicly.

"This is unacceptable and I want to hear from the station how they are going to make sure that this never happens again," says lawyer Steven Slimovitch.

Cogeco confirmed this afternoon that the radio host has been suspended for one month, without pay.

At the time of writing, calls to the station were not returned. 

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  1. joe posted on 11/26/2012 01:41 PM
    Here in the US it is considered free speech. We have the same thing where the Muslims would like to shut us up over anything they do not approve. Everyone on anywhere on the planet should have the full freedom to express oneself without the threat of prosecution or censorship as a basic human right. I may not approve of what another says but we all should fight to to the death for his right to express him or herself. To except otherwise is to subject yourself to slavery.
    1. Jules Simoneau posted on 11/27/2012 07:02 AM
      @joe Hey Joe,
      Did the nazis have a right to free speech? Free speech is one thing ,
      hatred is another . You can't call someone the N word in America,
      and rightfully so because it is racist . If more people deciced to fight to the death for what is right like you say maybe there would not have been a holocaust.
  2. Ella posted on 11/26/2012 02:58 PM
    He didn't encourage this person to call and comment in anything. It is a kind of program, where people call and express their feelings! And Sorry for the Jewish but they should go after "Maria" not after Fabi. He just listen. And suspending him from the program is just an illogical measurement!! That program is a "Tribune libre" and there are a lot of people who call to talk about different thinks and they offend the Muslims, the Catholics and others and nobody says nothing, but don't touch the Jewish!!! give me a break!! If COGECO took the decision of suspending him they should close those type of programs call "tribune libre" because if someone continue to call and they are going to hung up on them when their subject doesn't please everybody so what is the point on being there. I don't agree with Maria at all, but I don't agree with COGECO's decision at all.
    1. James posted on 01/05/2013 09:12 PM
      @Ella Sorry but there is a limit to free speech. In this case, the talk show host is responsible for his program. There are laws here in regards to anti-semetism and hatered - there is no place for that on the airwaves, and as a responsible talk show host, he should have put an end to the call. a "tribune libre" does not mean you can call and make racial, ant-semetic and hate remarks. I'm quite sure nothing like that would have been tolerated at CJAD or any other anglophone radio station. In the US if any host allowed this to happen to they'd be fired.

      I think this calls for not 1 month, but a 3 to 6 month suspension.
      I'm not Jewish, but I was seriously shocked that this talk show host would let this happen, it's unlike him, he usually never lets things like that happen on his air - So you can draw your own conclusions here.

      SICK caller - Forming an opinion is one thing, but condoning the mass killing and torture of innocent people, that is beyond comprehension ! I think listeners deserve better than to hear people calling and spewing their verbal garbage on the radio. If you allow one person to do so, this means that more people will follow - and what happens at the end ?

      The captain has lost control of his ship........I think he needs a break.

      I don't think his apologies are sincere either, in my opinion, it's all about avoiding sanctions or the radio station getting in trouble.
  3. Don posted on 11/26/2012 05:03 PM
    He should have been fired (for his own bigoted speech alone). Sorry but It reflects more than a lack of judgment but instead points to a major character flaw... What is wrong with Cogeco that they cannot bring themselves to take the correct step. It really says a lot.
  4. gnicolson posted on 11/27/2012 07:45 AM
    seems like the anti Semitic monster is raising its head from under the covers...

    it dosnt surprise me as it has been cloaked for as long as i can remember,

    im surprised it hasn't been a number one topic on radio stations through out Montreal, i guess we all step softly these days,in what we say and do..
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