Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Historical revisionism, Sandra Buckler style.

Jesus Christ, Sandra, enough already. No more lies, OK?

The leaders of Canada, Mexico and United States have a novel option for dealing with protesters: flip the channel.

Canadian officials who briefed reporters Thursday initially said that protesters would be allowed close to the hotel conference site in Montebello, Que., and would be visible to the leaders attending the North American summit next week.

But when pressed, they acknowledged that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Presidents George W. Bush and Felipe Calderon would actually only be seeing those outside the security fences by video link.

And how does Buckler defend this obvious marginalization of legal protestors? Ah, here we go:

Harper's director of communications, Sandra Buckler, later said she understood the video-link decision was "in compliance with the court's decision that protesters have a right to be 'seen and heard'."

Hmmmmmm ... you know, technically, that sounds legal ... until you learn that what Buckler is claiming is most emphatically not what the court actually said (emphasis added):

At future public order events, a generous opportunity should be afforded for peaceful protesters to see and be seen.

Well, now, that's not quite the same thing, is it? Once you learn the actual wording, it should be obvious that stuffing protestors at a distance certainly doesn't give them the opportunity to "see" much of anything. And when you further appreciate that they should have a "generous" opportunity to do so, it's now inarguable that stuffing them behind a switchable video feed violated their rights in a fairly obvious way.

Is it any wonder that Buckler chose to quietly reword the actual recommendation and hope no one noticed?

AFTERSNARK: The Gazetteer has a snippet from CTV's Jane Taber, showing that she also got snookered by Buckler's historical revisionism.

Bad journalist, Jane. No biscuit.

, I dropped a short e-mail to "programming@ctv.ca" with Taber's name in the subject field, and a simple hyperlink back to this post. I'll let you know what I hear back.


Red Tory said...

Taber reiterated this assertion in her G&M column on Saturday. (While also cooking up a fishy story about how "Protest TV" came to an end.)

RossK said...


I looked hard for the irony in that bit, given that it was in the middle of Ms. Taber's Saturday morning gossip column.

But I just couldn't find it - really kind of chilling when you think about it.


Joe said...

There's a way to stop the marginalization of protests.

Stop protesting legislatures and political conferences. Start protesting in front of media outlets. Let CNN or CTV try to ignore you when they have to step through your line to get their mid-afternoon coffee.