Why on earth would any responsible news agency hire 'independent expert' analysis of tapes that could be evidence in a criminal investigation?
Why, when the analysis is completed, would that news agency release the results to the public as though the conclusions drawn were fact?
By now, you've all read or heard this (edited):
Experts say Grewal tapes were altered
Last Updated Thu, 02 Jun 2005 22:00:47 EDT CBC News
Two audio experts have independently concluded that the secret recordings made by MP Gurmant Grewal were edited.
John Dooher, a forensic audio engineer hired by CBC News, said Thursday there is a "crude" edit and something "amiss" about a section of tapes made by the B.C. member of Parliament.
His conclusions are supported by Stevan Pausak, one of Canada's leading forensic-sound analysts. Pausak was asked by Canadian Press to carry out a similar examination. He said one of the tapes has an abnormal break, indicting (sic) a section may have been cut out.
The CBC does not indicate in their report that their experts weren't examining the original tapes, and the omission of that significant information, leads the reader to assume it is the originals which were examined. Canadian Press to their credit, notes (late in the piece) the Conservative statement of the same day, that the gaps were made in transfering the originals to CDs for use on the Internet.
More than being an oversight, CBCs exclusion of this detail in their initial reporting of this, is extremely prejudicial.
At the time of their news reports, the original tapes had been handed over to the RCMP, but there are no reports that the RCMP ever asked for the tapes. Questions abound as to why the Conservatives did not hand over the tapes from the beginning, but I wonder where was the initiative of the RCMP? Within days of the existence of these tapes being made public, the RCMP was formally asked by the Bloc and the NDP to launch an investigation. They were aware of the tapes, but never asked for them. Although the RCMP is now 'reviewing' the tapes, there is still no formal investigation.
Conjecture over the authenticity and integrity of the tapes is spin when it comes from the Liberals. It is expected that they will vigourously defend themselves. But when the CBC or Canadian Press reach beyond their scope as reporting agencies to begin acting as investigators -- prematurely drawing conclusions where none can credibly be drawn -- and announcing those conclusions as truth -- they cease to be reporters of news and become tools for the Liberal government.
This whole story about 'tape doctoring' began with Liberal accusations, and rather than let the RCMP do their job, two media outlets (with ties to the government) couldn't wait. Instead, they took it upon themselves to ascertain the 'truth' -- only it is not truth they have provided -- simply speculation, dressed up to look important.
With all the gnashing of teeth over the importance of waiting for the truth with Gomery -- one would wonder why these two agencies would jump the gun rather than waiting for the RCMP and/or the Ethics Commissioner to do their jobs.
I had always believed that journalists were in the business of reporting the news, not making it -- and certainly not making it up.