Saturday, June 04, 2005

Media Interference

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.



Bill said...

This kind of behaviour is expected from the CBC, which is nothing more than a branch of the Librano party.

Misleading the public in this way is inexcusable. CBC and CP should have pointed out that their tests were done on the copies which are available via Grewal's website, and thus no conclusions should be drawn, one way or the other. Begs the question, why even bother?

Only tests done using the original tapes will mean anything. And those are in the hands of the RCMP. - hope they don't lose them!

It's all a diversion anyway - the real issue is that Dosanjh and Murphy were negotiating a reward for Grewal's defection. What they did was illegal and they should resign.

Les Mackenzie said...

Did they analyze the tapes or the copies? If I were an "expert" I would have considered that.

This is a direct quote that is available in the Hansard and was available in the CTV article I linked before it was rewritten...

"At no time, however did I ever say that I would meet with the honourable member. And in fact, Mr. Speaker, if one looks at what the newspapers have said they have said that the honourable member's story is totally false," Martin said.

Did anyone else hear alarm bells?

Linda said...

Hi Canadi-anna!

O/T, but I've tagged you on the Desert Island Reading thing - see my Saturday post. I look forward to reading your list!

Linda said...

I think my kids are getting used to seeing me sporting my tin foil hat (sans maple leaf, of course)... though I think it's actually smart headgear these days.

VW said...

I'm afraid I've also book-tagged you, Anna. :)

alsocanadian said...

C-Anna, making up news is much easier (and funner) than reporting it!

49erDweet said...

How funny! And yet how sad!

CBC and CP have succeeded in emulating the only US trait with which they can agree. For decades our MSM have been actively engaged in the news manufacturing business, and now the northern cousins have graduated.

Welcome to the big time, guys. (And incidently contributing to your eventual demise). Godspeed on that path.

ZP said...

Sounds like the Canadian media is taking a page from the U.S. media's playbook. When your political party is in trouble, be silent, obfuscate, evade, and now re-situate the argument. Now its about the tapes being doctored, instead of about the corruption. The MSM are masters at this slow erosion of the truth into the story they want to report. Best of luck to all fellow conservatives in Canada.

Jason Monteith said...


Thanks for pointing that out Anna. Would that our MSM be so honest.