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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Just say no 

Sounds like it was a badge of shame in the Ottawa press gallery to be invited to this little spin session about the Elections Canada raid:
On Sunday, high-ranking Conservative officials, including campaign director Doug Finley, chief media spokesman Ryan Sparrow and party lawyer Paul Lepsoe held briefings for hand-picked journalists in a downtown hotel room in an effort to shape the emerging story ahead of the warrant's release.
When other reporters learned of the briefing, the officials switched the encounter from the Lord Elgin hotel two blocks west to the Sheraton.
That effort proved fruitless. The uninvited reporters quickly learned of the new location and gathered in the hallway outside the meeting room. Sparrow opened and quickly closed the door on the prying newcomers.
"This is a private meeting," he repeatedly told the CBC's Keith Boag.
Those who managed to get inside the door were handed a sheaf of documents and a CD-ROM containing the warrant and affidavit material.
Sources say the accompanying spin session touched on most of the same points the party has been making since the raid.
But none of the officials would repeat their lines in public when they emerged from the room to be greeted by reporters who weren't on their guest list.
Instead they scurried for a nearby exit and beat a hasty retreat down the fire stairs . . . The Canadian Press, the CBC, Maclean's, the Globe and Mail and the Halifax Chronicle Herald were among those who were not invited to the party's briefing.
The most prominent ones not listed are CTV and the National Post.

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