The Interests of CBC News

Reporter Melissa Fung was held captive since Oct. 12, and for 28 days no one knew where she was.
On Saturday morning a Kandahar journalist received a call threatening that she would be killed unless certain demands were met. Within twelve hours she was freed by Afghan intelligence officers.
What happened?
Several versions have emerged of the events leading to her release, but no government official has gone on record to explain how the rescue was accomplished.
CBC reporter Bill Gillespie has gathered information that indicates both a ransom payment and prisoner exchange, while Prime Minister Harper took it upon himself to deny those reports.
Meanwhile, CBC News publisher John Cruickshank announced that

“the broadcaster will not comment on any negotiations or demands that may have led to Fung’s release.”

A strange statement coming from the person in charge of a news organization whose mission it is to find out the truth; the whole truth.
What’s the big secret?
If the safe return of Ms. Fung was above board and so surprisingly efficient then what prevents Mr. Cruickshank from being forthcoming.
Even the Prime Minister hints that information is being withheld, in the words he chooses with which to end his statement
“This matter is being handled according to the laws of the government of Canada and the government of Afghanistan, and that’s all I’ll say in that regard.”
If the head of the news department doesn’t want to give out information, will he then let his reporters do so?
CBC News seems to be in a conflict of interest when it comes to deciding “what’s in the public interest”, and there’s obviously more to this story than Mr. Cruickshank is prepared to give us.
Will Newsworld reporters be allowed to investigate and ask questions, when their boss, speaking for the corporation, says “no comment”?


  1. Anonymous
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 12:51 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That’s funny.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted November 13, 2008 at 11:19 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece


    show me on the doll where the CBC touched you.

  3. Allan
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 9:45 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Surely you meant to write “paying” and not “publishing”.
    And instead of “obvious”, “obnoxious”.

  4. old motherfucker
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:56 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sigh…. you’ve got time to write rants, but no time to come to the realization that publishing a ransom amount will simply encourage more kidnappings for higher ransoms?

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions. Stick to marina cleaning.

  5. Allan
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:48 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OLD o.m.:
    I am deep in thought, speculating that the people in charge of this operation were the Harper government, and not the CBC, so it’s not unreasonable for them to demand that any information about the tactics that were used are to be revealed only by the officials involved.

    If any kind of ransom was paid, in any manner whatsoever, the public has a right to know, and the people in charge have a responsibility to tell us.
    This is not a simple or trivial matter of curiosity. This is a matter of foreign policy that impacts all of us.
    The name Oliver North comes to mind.

    But today, thanks to Melissa herself, a clearer version of the story has been offered, one that reconciles a lot of contradictory and cryptic statements.

    The story appears to be that people related in some fashion to the kidnappers were rounded up and charged with being accessories to a capitol crime.
    When Ms. Fung was released safely, the charges were dropped, and they were let go.
    This scenario satisfies both of Mr. Harper’s claims that everything was legal and no ransom was paid.
    The only questions that remain are why it took 672 heart-stopping hours to be resolved, and what the CBC plans to do to prevent a future occurrence, no matter how self-assured and “lucky” the reporter feels.

    The CBC was very lucky in this case. Very lucky.

  6. obvious motherfucker
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 7:09 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    But I don’t *expect* Allan to stop and think about anything.

    Sorry, I’m getting old.

  7. obvious motherfucker
    Posted November 12, 2008 at 7:07 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece


    If you stop and think for just a moment, there’s a very simple reason why you don’t disclose what you may or may not have paid for ransom in an area that’s prone to kidnapping.

    But I don’t Allan to stop and think about anything.

    And, if you’re paying attention (which again, I don’t expect) you’ll find it’s not the first time CBC management will have said “no comment” to journalists in their employ.

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