I'm back from a week of golf in Naples Florida and rarin' to go. There's lots to discuss in the world of media, but here are a few morsels to chew on as we get ready for the Christmas season......
|Harkat shows media GPS tracker device|
The Al Qaeda Pizza Guy - soon to be a minor motion picture....
First of all, the matter of the ruling by Judge Simon Noel of the Federal Court yesterday in which he deemed that Mohammed Harkat was indeed "a member of bin Laden's network, has engaged in terrorism and remains a danger to Canadians." My little story in this matter is that Mr. Harkat was our pizza delivery guy a number of years ago. Perhaps this could be the opening scene in a screenplay?
Pizza Delivery Scenario - Repeated Numerous Times
|Chevy Chase as Barry|
|Johnny Depp as Harkat|
Int. Front Hall - McLoughlin Home - Night
The door bell rings.
Barry : "I'll get it!"
BARRY, 40ish, strikingly good-looking, peeks through the front window.
Barry: "Who ordered pizza?"
No child answers, as usual. He opens the door and is confronted by an amiable, very presentable MOHAMMED HARKAT, 40ish, putative Al Qaeda pizza man.
Barry fumbles in his pockets for cash. As usual, they are empty.
Barry: "How much? $21.50? Really? Sorry I'll have to go get it. Okay, please step in."
Barry leaves to go upstairs and is gone for a minute or two.
He returns to find pizza man right inside the house, peeking into the living room down the hall.
Al Qaeda pizza man: "Nice house".
Barry: "Thank you. Here's $25.00. Keep the change."
Al Qaeda pizza man: "Thank you sir. See you again."
[Producer's note: This only becomes cause for suspicion years later when we learn through the media that Mr. Harkat's wife, Sophie, says he couldn't speak English, which explains some of his contradictions and um..explanations to security agents interviewing him.]
What if I told you that the same scenario was repeated regularly with our friends in the diplomatic community? It turns out they were from the highest levels of target countries, shall we say. Which meant, in the easiest way possible, he was able to have access to their living rooms too!!!
The real hero in this story is Mr. Harkat's wife Sophie who should be hired by a major public relations firm to provide the kind of strategies that she was able to put together to keep his plight in the news through rallies, posters, media stories and political support for his release.
British Columbia NDP Go Mad......Liberals Rejoice
The ' Grasp Defeat from the Jaws of Victory' Award goes to..... the NDP Party of British Columbia!
|BC NDP's Carole James Steps Down|
The outcome will be a dual set of leadership races for the NDP and Liberals, resulting in a new leader for each, and quite possibly a resurrection opportunity for the Liberals. It kind of reminds me of the old Russian proverb: 'what's the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has its limits."
'Top Judges Giving Up Silence to Embrace the People's Court'
An article in yesterday's Globe and Mail by Kirk Makin, in which I am quoted, explores the subject of the importance of appropriate engagement with the media by the judiciary. As someone who trains judges from time to time, it's worth taking a look at, in my view, if only to understand why judges should care about the media.
Saying Farewell and Thank you to Kate Murphy
For the past four years we, at McLoughlin Media, have been very fortunate to have had Kate Murphy as our Executive Assistant and media relations assistant. Her ability to multi-task and to handle almost everything that Laura and I have given her to do is legendary. Alas, talent like hers can not stay hidden long, and she has accepted an offer by the Department of National Defence to go to work for them in their strategic communications office. She has a terrific career path ahead of herself and the Government is fortunate to have her, as she has energy, brains and talent to burn. And, she is a terrific person to work with - a 'can-do' attitude and a sense of humor that makes it fun. Good luck and thank you Kate!
Welcoming Sarah Gardner
While we will miss Kate greatly, we are very proud and pleased to announce that Sarah Gardner, who has loads of political, media and corporate experience for her young age, will be taking over the position starting next week. Her contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org. So don't be shy about contacting her starting on Monday.
Until next time.....