Media White Lies

Beware the Media-Industrial Complex:
News coming out of the first day of the caucus meeting was overshadowed by Conservative attempts to keep reporters at bay. RCMP officers were dispatched to eject journalists from the hotel where the MPs had gathered.

While the government cannot bar reporters from doing their job in public spaces like streets, parks and airports, University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon said the Charter of Rights would probably not prevent government officials or the RCMP from asking a hotel to bar journalists. That's because a hotel is private property, and therefore not bound by the Charter's guarantees of freedom of association and freedom of expression.

The RCMP says it would not allow the government to dictate its measures when providing security for an event involving government figures.

However, in this case, the RCMP says officers were responding to a request from hotel management to remove journalists from the premises, just as they would respond to requests for help in removing anyone ejected from a business.

I wonder if I can expect a retraction and apology from Taber at the Globe for one, or the numerous other reporters that have been suggesting lately that the Conservative government was trying to keep reporters out of the loop during that caucus retreat.


  1. Here's what Jane Taber is reporting elsewhere in today's Globe & Mail

    "On the first day of the caucus, reporters - on the orders of the PMO - were evicted from the lobby of the Delta Prince Edward, where the meeting was taking place.

    Another piece of yellow journalism from the Globe. Jane suggests, but doesn't outright say it, that the PMO ordered the RCMP to do the evicting. This certainly contradicts what the RCMP is saying here, that "it would not allow the government to dictate its measures when providing security for an event involving government figures."

    Can the RCMP sue the Globe for defamation ?

    And here's what Taber is reporting further down:

    "The Dion Liberals enjoyed the coverage of the Tory caucus, especially the part where the media was thrown out of the Delta Prince Edward. And so they nicknamed the hotel: Delta Forced Out. "

    I'm no lawyer, but the hotel might have a case for suing the Liberals over defamation too.

  2. An apology from anyone in the media - probably not.

    Isn't the question whether the hotel management acted solely on their own accord, or whether they were asked if they could keep the press away from the doors of the meeting room?

    Having organized meetings in the past, it would be typical to ask the hotel to do that for you. How the hotel does it - their own staff, their own security people, ask the police - then becomes the "how" implementing the "what" was asked for.

    If the hotel managers were asked to act, then the media got the story right. I may wish the hotel managers acted on their own without being asked in any way to ask the police to remove the media (as I think this whole media:PM "tiff" is 99% "invented") but, not knowing the facts, and with some obvious history to work from (that residual 1%) I also can't just tar the media on this one, either.

  3. Mr Stewart, how delightfully unbiased you are to the mainstream media. Not knowing the facts, the media may very well have been right.

    Now if only the mainstream media were as unbiased they would equally recognize that "not knowing the facts" they can't report something as a fact that neither you or I don't know for sure.

    And I think you missed that point sir. The media reported that the PMO was behind this ouster at the Delta Hotel. There was no hint of uncertainty.

    To me that is definitely something to "tar the media" for.