Monday, December 08, 2008

Wrongful exclusions

While the mainstream media regularly passes off Con spin as expert opinion, the right tries to put together its own claim to mistreatment at the hands of that noted influence on mass opinion: the University of Toronto Law School. So let's see what complaint is being made by media figures and bloggers alike:
University of Toronto Law School stages pro-Liberal rally masquerading as constitutional "panel discussion"

Last week, the University of Toronto Law School held a panel discussion on the Governor-General's decision to prorogue Parliament. I didn't go. But news reports suggest it degenerated into an anti-Harper bash-a-thon.
Now, anybody with an even remotely sound case to make would follow up with the question of how the panel might have lacked for Con representation. But there's a reason why Jonathan Kay apparently didn't bother asking that question - because the answer would completely undercut any allegation of bias.

For the record, here's a notable name on the list of panelists:
Peter Kent, Conservative MP for Thornhill and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas).
So whatever became of Kent's appearance?
MP Peter Kent was to represent the Conservatives, but was delayed.
So the Cons were invited to send a representative, who agreed to appear - but then didn't show up, apparently due to a delayed flight. (I'll even give Kent the benefit of the doubt and assume this wasn't a matter of Harper instructing him not to show up.)

Rather than mentioning Kent's presence on the panel as scheduled, Kay instead presents a misleading impression by blaming the law school for the lack of a Con voice. Which suggests that the story ultimately only signals the usual pro-Con orientation of Kay and his employer, who are always far too happy to misrepresent the facts in order to pretend that the right is hard done by.

(Edit: Corrected name. Is there a functional difference between Kay and McParland to begin with?)

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