WE Charity sues CBC for defamation in lawsuit citing mountain of evidence


WASHINGTON, February 9, 2022 /CNW/ – WE Charity has filed a lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in response to false and misleading reporting by journalists Marc Kelley and Harvey Cashore in a series of stories alleging WE Charity misled donors about its plans by Kenya. The case was brought before the Federal District Court of washington d.c. (No. 22-cv-00340).

WE Charity is suing the CBC to set the record straight for the thousands of children its donors have decided to help. For more than 25 years, WE Charity has brought clean water, education, food, medical services and economic opportunity to communities around the world. This lawsuit aims to protect those who depend on the reputation of WE Charity.

“WE Charity looks forward to proving in court that CBC’s coverage was false and defamatory. The complaint cites extensive evidence showing that CBC knowingly or recklessly ignored the truth in its reporting,” the organization’s attorney said. charitable. Joseph Kroetsch. “In this lawsuit, WE Charity will demonstrate how at every step the CBC pursued a false and preconceived narrative despite clear evidence that it was false.”

The legal filing describes how the CBC misrepresented the content of WE’s communications with its donors, edited quotes from documents to change their meaning, reported allegations that the documentary record shows the CBC knew to be false, and covered up facts that were inconsistent with the CBC story. In over two hundred pages of detailed allegations supported by evidence, the filing cites numerous examples, including:

  1. WE Charity did not deceive its donors. More than a hundred donors who provided the vast majority of funding for Kenya repeatedly told the CBC that they were wrong. [LINK] They made it clear that they understood the funding model and were supportive of how their donations were allocated across Kenya. The CBC reports the opposite: claiming that these same donors were deceived. [LINK] Of its 53,000 donors to WE Charity, the CBC only featured interviews with two former donors and misrepresented the facts about their donations. [LINK]
  2. WE Charity clearly demonstrated to the CBC that it had built and renovated over 852 classrooms in Kenya, not the 360 ​​reported by the CBC.. The CBC claimed WE Charity said it only built 360. WE Charity never said that – it always told the CBC the correct number was 852. WE Charity provided photographs of each classroom and detailed maps with l location of each structure. [LINK]. Because the actual number of classrooms did not match the reporters’ account, they claimed WE Charity had “inflated” the figure by counting latrines as classrooms. Several emails show that the CBC knew this was not true. [LINK]. The CBC even edited an interview and cut a WE representative’s confirmation that WE did not count latrines as classrooms. Instead, the CBC inserted a voiceover saying WE’s classroom count included “even latrines, which inflated the total number.”
  3. WE Charity has hired CBC’s own forensic auditor to conduct an independent review of WE Charity’s financial records and provided the results to the CBC before it aired. The auditor’s report concluded that all funders gave to support Kenya was used for Kenya. [LINK] The CBC never reported this fact and instead reported that the auditor had concluded that opposite what his report actually says. [LINK]
  4. The CBC accused WE Charity of hampering its ability to film schools during its visit Kenya. The truth is that the CBC obstructed its own investigation and falsely accused WE of a cover-up. Email correspondence shows that before accepting The weekend invitation to visit KenyaCBC knew it needed permission from the Kenyan government to film at WE Charity-funded schools, which are government-run. [LINK] But the CBC didn’t get permission and lied about getting it [LINK]. Kenyan government officials have since confirmed, “There is no indication that the Ministry of Education authorized the Société Radio-Canada to film in the schools of September 2021. “Unsurprisingly, in the midst of an outbreak of COVID-19, without the proper permissions, CBC film crews were denied access to school grounds. The CBC never told this to the public, and instead, his journalist, Marc Kelley, feigns surprise: “We were told we couldn’t get in, which we found a little odd”. Worse still, the CBC falsely claimed that WE interfered with its bogus investigation when it knew its problems were its own fault.

“The decisions made by Radio-Canada have needlessly jeopardized the future of thousands of women and children who have relied on the generosity of donors,” said Robin Wiszowaty, project director in Kenya for WE Charity. “I personally invited Marc Kelley and Harvey Cashore at Kenya to see the structures, meet the children and learn from the communities about our development model. Instead, they created a false narrative and they hurt a lot of people in the process.”

The suit asserts statutory claims of defamation, breach of contract, promissory estoppel and negligent misrepresentation on the part of the CBC arising from its publications and newsgathering conduct. The WE Charity lawsuit was filed in United Statesthe market responsible for most of its fundraising. United States is known as the hardest place in the world to sue for defamation, but the charity, its board and major donors stick to the facts and the strength of evidence from WE Charity to hold CBC accountable for its egregious actions. A group of generous donors are helping to financially support this legal action.

WE Charity intends to take the case to trial.


For further information: Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, [email protected]


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