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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Canadian Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan Throws a Boomerang

Canadian Federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan threw a boomerang this news_050417_2_1_Geoff_Reganweekend. He seems to not understand the art of the media spin.

He decided to criticize the Boston Globe for publishing a story by journalist Barbara Stewart about the opening of the seal slaughter on April 12th on the Newfoundland Front. The story was published on the 13th on April but the killing did not actually begin until the 15th of April.

However, Barbara did describe the killing of the seals accurately. Everything she reported actually occurred albeit after she reported it.

Captain Paul Watson had been interviewed by Barbara Stewart and it was his description of the slaughter in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in late March that provided the material for her story about the opening of the seal slaughter on April 12th.

It was indeed another U.S. media scandal, but it was not in Minister's interest to have complained.

We are glad that he did. The reason being is that he took a story confined to the Boston Globe and made it international thanks to Canadian Press and Reuters.

As a result the description of what a seal hunt is and where it was taking place was a major part of the story about the "journalistic scandal" that has embarrassed the Boston Globe and its parent company the New York Times.

Sea Shepherd is happy anytime the seal slaughter is mentioned. The publicity helps to fuel the international Canadian Seafood Boycott, the major weapon in the campaign to end the slaughter of seals in Canada.

Captain Paul Watson responded to the media scandal by saying, "I don't know what the fuss is about. Canadian media routinely print misinformation about the seal kill. They describe it as humane when it clearly is not. They describe it as sustainable without any scientific validation. They spread misinformation about the motives of those opposed to the killing of seals and they report most of the government's pro-sealing propaganda as fact. I fail to see the difference. Barbara Stewart got the facts right and the date wrong. Many Canadian media sources get the date right and the facts wrong. But at least they spelled our name right this year."

To read more about this issue visit Reuters Foundation's AlertNet website:

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N15578036.htm