Saturday, April 03, 2010

Macleans' Mitchel Raphael: So close and still fucking it up.

An initially useful piece by Mr. Raphael:

What were the organizers of the Ann Coulter event thinking?

The cancellation of controversial conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s Ottawa talk seemed to Capital Diary to be due less to protesters and more to incompetent organizers. Those in charge of the event kept allowing people into the foyer of the lecture hall until occupants were in danger of being crushed. The two sets of doors that opened into that foyer became difficult to open with all the bodies pushing through, creating a serious safety hazard. (At one point the fire alarm was pulled.) Ottawa police officers, who are certainly used to dealing with large crowds, seasoned protesters and dignitaries (like Barack Obama) rolling through town, were on hand but decided to allow the crowd to grow as more and more people from the long line outside pushed in. Ten minutes before the event was to start, two organizers started to slowly check off names from an email list and let people in. It soon became obvious many of the hundreds of people in line who had been waiting for hours would not get in, yet organizers chose not to inform them, fuelling anger in the crowd. “Will we even get in?” people started shouting. Fifteen to 20 minutes after the first people had been let in, entry to the hall was stopped (even though lots of VIPs continued to get in through side doors).

And then the unforgivable fuck-up:

Around 8 p.m., with the hall about half full, the event was cancelled.

No, Mr. Raphael, the event was not simply cancelled -- it was cancelled by its own organizers. How hard would it have been to have added those last four words?

Jesus, what a useless tool.


Kelseigh said...

So when is Ms. Coulter going to apologize to the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Police for her clearly false accusations? It's the right thing to do.

Jack the Lad said...

I've pointed this out before, but I think it bears repeating, particularly in light of Mitchel Raphael's reporting that Doug Pepper "happened to have business that day in Ottawa" and was planning on attending Coulter's talk.

According to Margaret Wente it was Pepper, the publisher of McClelland & Stewart, who leaked Fran├žois Houle's letter to National Post.

Curious that no one in the media feels this is relevant. After all, Pepper publishes Levant's Shakedown. What's more, M&S's parent company (in all but name) publishes Ann Coulter.

Given Pepper's relationships with both - longtime pal of Levant, former editor of Coulter - it may not be surprising that he got his hands on the letter. But why did he leak it? Judging from their reactions, it seems clear both Levant and Coulter would've done this themselves. And why the Post? Surely this has nothing to do with the fact that Pepper's brother-in-law is editor.