Monday, April 21, 2008

Solidarity? Whatever

The "journalists" who agreed to a secret tryst with Conservative Party officials are a disgrace to their profession, and have opened the way to even more manipulation and tightly-controlled channeling of information by the Harper regime. They have made a Faustian bargain for a story, a bargain made infamous by the "embedding" (which inevitably turned out to mean "in-bedding") of reporters in American and allied armed forces.

The meeting was real cloak-and-dagger stuff: a party spokesperson lying about the event, a swift change of hotels when the news leaked out, Conservatives escaping through the back door when that news leaked out too, and (of course) the subsequent cancellation of all subsequent briefings.

If I were an excluded member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, I would be up in arms about now. I'm not arguing for a union lock-step here, but for a principled refusal to play this Con-game. Can't the journalists who agreed to go to this meeting see the grave dangers to their own profession in allowing themselves to be used in this fashion? Obviously not.

It's time for their professional peers to weigh in, and in no uncertain terms. Or maybe we'll all be treated to an exhumation of this.

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