I am insulted to the core this morning.
Insulted that once again our drive-by media are displaying incredible political bias. Insulted that well paid and supposedly experienced reporters and editorial writers are not telling us the whole story. Insulted that, for the most part, the news media is just too damn lazy to dig up a few facts.
So let me inform you of a few facts which are very strangely being ignored by most media outlets:
At about 11:30 the morning of June 26 this year, a group of native Indians from the Barriere Lake Algonquin Youth Association and their supporters showed up at 127 Joseph Street in Buckingham, Quebec and began a sit in. It is the office of Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon. I won’t go into details about everything that happened here other than to say that finally Quebec Police were called and laid disorderly conduct charges against six of the protesters. According to witnesses, at least one of the protesters appeared to have been drinking.
Now fast forward to this past Wednesday.
A group of native Indians from the Barriere Lake Youth Association arrive in Maniwaki and demand to speak with Lawrence Cannon. He meets briefly with some of them.
After that meeting, Norman Matchewan, a Barriere Lake youth spokesman gets into a conversation with Darlene Lannigan, Mr. Cannon’s constituency assistant. From what we understand they wanted to arrange another meeting with the Transport Minister.
During that conversation, caught on videotape, Ms. Lannigan, who by the way is an experienced, seasoned political veteran, begins to lay out the rules for any future meeting. Keeping in mind what happened back in June, remember six disorderly conduct charges, Ms. Lannigan says, "If you behave and you're sober and there's no problems and if you don't do a sit-down and whatever, I don't care. One of them showed up the other day and was drinking."
"Are you calling me an alcoholic?" asked Norman Matchewan, a Barriere Lake Algonquin youth spokesman.
"I'm not calling you an alcoholic, no," Lannigan said. "It was just to say that you're in a federal office. If you're coming in to negotiate, I expect, there's decorum that has to be respected."
According to newspapers and TV and radio newscasts from coast to coast in this country, this is a terrible insult. Headline in the Sun this morning: "Natives insulted to core"
Headlines in the Ottawa Citizen’s major front page story this morning: "Cannon aide under fire for remarks". The Citizen story written by Meagan Fitzpatrick makes absolutely no mention of the June 26th sit-in or the arrests. In fact the only newspaper that makes even fleeting reference to the sit-in is the Ottawa Sun.
Sadly, what is supposed to be our only national Conservative newspaper runs a shortened version of Meagan Fitzpatrick’s story, with no mention of what prompted Ms. Lannigan’s warning.
Nor is there any mention of the June 26th arrests in the Globe and Mail’s editorial this morning which of course would have you believe this is just one more example of the terrible Tories.
Disgraceful reporting I would say. Disgraceful bias.
And why in the world Lawrence Cannon would feel compelled to apologize for this is beyond me.
In fact I think the biggest mistake was the fact he apologized. Of course Lawrence Cannon, just as is every Conservative, more than fully aware of how the media will play this.
Let me ask you this:
Instead of insulting the Algonquin’s with her warning, is it not true that Darlene Lannigan in fact was entirely within her rights to tell this group she did not want a repeat performance of the June protest?
I would go further:
I believe Darlene Lannigan would have failed in her duty had she not issued the warning.
I repeat, since the rest of the media is mute on this, On June 26 of this year a group of young people from the Barriere lake Algonquin Indian Youth group carried out a sit-in at Lawrence Cannon’s office which became so unruly police were called and arrested six of them.
If you were Darlene Lannigan would you not have said exactly what she did?
And what do you think of the media’s failure to tell us the whole story here?
Of all the newspapers I have read this morning, only the Sun mentions a previous problem with this group.
Haven’t seen TV newscasts. Help me out here. Has the June 26th sit-in been mentioned in anything you have seen or heard?
Do you think the June 26 arrests are relevant to the story?
Would you have done anything differently?