Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Non-denial means agreement?

What leads media people to presume the right to question anyone?  And if the citizen refuses to answer, to publish their own conclusions? Salient in this regard was a report by Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno. My unpublished letter to her editor.

In her report (What Chief Blair didn't say about Ford speaks the loudest, June 14), Rosie DiManno implies lack of evidence to be proof, and non-denial to be agreement. Police Chief Blair stated his duty and responsibility when investigating a crime. DiManno's reaction was a report full of innuendo, speculation and supposition laced with negatives, e.g. Blair did not say, did not deny, did not refute, did not confirm, and so on for half a page.  I have many times complained about reports in the Star. May I conclude the editor's many non-denials to be agreement?

Back in  2008, Toronto Star reporter Dale Brazao wrote a front-page report about an inn-keeper alleging exploitation of a foreign worker. The inn-keeper is now suing the Star for defamation. 

The point of this post is Brazao's defence, as reported in the Star of June 18, 2013. Before the Ontario Superior Court, he claimed to have tried "every which way" to be fair and convince the inn-keeper of the seriousness of the allegations against her, but she refused to answer. "I do not know what else I could have done to get this lady to speak to me," he told the court. 

As in the DiManno incident concerning the Police Chief, did the inn-keeper's non-denial justify publication?

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