Addicted to novelty since 2001

The Games Newspapers Play

Back in December, I mentioned a story that ran in the Vancouver Sun. The piece involved a father facing criminal charges for allowing his 3-year-old daughter to drink water containing the street drug GHB. Andrea posited that the Vancouver Sun staff had intentionally included identifying details that would enable anyone to identify this man using Google.

I’m reminded of this phenomenon by Damian, who points to a Toronto Sun article on the Gomery (heh) Inquiry. It discusses how the publication ban has been breeched by an American website:

An American website has breached the publication ban protecting a Montreal ad exec’s explosive and damning testimony at the AdScam inquiry. The U.S. blogger raised the ire of the Gomery commission this weekend by publishing extracts from testimony given in secret by Jean Brault last Thursday.

The American blog, being promoted by an all-news Canadian website, boasts that “Canada’s Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open” and promises more to come. The owner of the Canadian website refused to comment yesterday.

The Toronto Sun clearly wants you to find that American weblog. It took me about 4 seconds. I’d link to it, but the article later mentions “Sun Media lawyer Alan Shanoff said publishing the name of the blog, Canadian news site or even providing the Internet address could lead to a contempt charge.” So, spend the 4 seconds and find it on your own.

This incident highlights the absurdity of these kind of publication bans. Apparently it’s in place to ensure an unbiased jury in a related fraud case. In light of media consumption rates, is finding twelve people who haven’t heard of the Gomery Inquiry a problem?

2 Responses to “The Games Newspapers Play”

  1. Jennifer Ross-Tolton

    Similarly, on CTV news last night, they showed a screenshot of the blog, complete with the name of the blog, for about 4 seconds — exactly all we needed to find it using Google and the name of the blog. Funnily, the site was very very slow, even the cached google version so I imagine this poor fellow was inundated with traffic at about 11:15EST, and then again as the news aired across the country.

  2. JohnB

    What’s the issue with the ban on publication?

    If you are so desperately interested, then go to Ottawa, go to the committee room and listen to every word of the testimony.

    The ban on publication is temporary but the hearing itself is wide open to the interested public.

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