Thankfully, Colin Mayes, MP (Conservative â€“ Okanagan-Shuswap-North Gulag) now no longer supports jailing reporters who write articles that strike him as unfair:
In a column e-mailed this week to several B.C. newspapers in his riding of Okanagan-Shuswap, Colin Mayes said that jailing reporters might help the public get accurate information.
“Maybe it is time that we hauled off in handcuffs reporters that fabricate stories, or twist information and even falsely accuse citizens,” Mayes wrote.
Mayes now says he regrets both his choice of words and the message they conveyed. That’s a retraction that begs at least a little elaboration. It’s not like he was mouthing off while half-snapped in some bar while a reporter silently took notes behind him; this was his column, written as the MP. (You have to wonder if that kind of retraction would have been enough to free a reporter who was being hauled off by under Mr. Mayes’ now-disavowed policy.)
This takes place against the backdrop of increasing hostility between the Prime Minister’s office and the media. The PMO recently announced a new policy centralizing control over cabinet ministers’ communications activities. How long before they launch a new “service” that will e-mail Conservative MPs’ columns to their local media â€“ after a light bit of vetting, of course?
(Story originally found at Sinister Thoughts)
Some guy named Paul Wells (I think he posted this shortly before being hauled off to jail in handcuffs) says:
Those are the telltale words that make me suspect this MP was informed by the Prime Minister’s Office that it was now time for him to apologize for being a bit of a goof. It’s just a hunch, but I suspect Mr. Mayes has now learned that being too eager to side with the boss can be a no-no too.
Mind you, if I’m wrong, throw me in jail.
Conservative strategists, start your pacemakers… he has a blog.
(Well, okay… not actually a blog. You can’t comment on it, you can’t trackback to it, and there are no news feeds so you can’t remix it. But it’s still a place where an unedited post could give Harper a migraine.)
Well, an explanation is an improvement over no explanation, even if it’s belated and a little on the weak side.
I love it. This was the best thing promised about a Conservative government – the loony comments that had to come out of the wood eventually. CBC is now reporting that a staffer Mayes now says ‘the column was in jest’: http://www.cbc.ca/bc/story/bc_mayes2006.html?ref=rss