Journalist charged with Criminal Harassment for attempting to set up an interview


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/16/journalist-charged-with-crimin.html


#2

In the US, it’s not usually harassment until you’ve told someone not to contact you again and they contact you after that point. I didn’t see anywhere in the story that the woman expressed disinterest in contact.


#3

“…the French language farm of the Canadian Broadcast”?


#4

Without knowing whether he contacted her after she told him not to, or the content of the email he sent her, I don’t see how we can know whether or not he actually harassed her. If it turns out she didn’t tell him not to contact her and the email really is just a last interview request, then I would think she’d have made a false report to the police. Is there a law against lying to law enforcement that she could be charged with if that turns out to be the case?

It does seem like the police should have done more investigating first, but maybe they knew something we don’t that led them to believe the reporter had actually threatened her safety.


#5

Looking around, it seems to be even more restrictively defined:

The contact must serve no useful purpose, so any (reasonable) inquiry from a journalist would not count.


#6

If interviews are out, what are journalists expected to do, just make stuff up?

What do you mean, we’re already there?


#7

This is like a double whammy Streisand Effect. Nobody knew or cared much about some local Big Bros Big Sis chapter. Now they do. There’s gonna be a media feeding frenzy now, and of course they’ll probably turn up some more dirty underwear.

And that reporter just kinda won the lottery, he’s gonna be dining out on the street cred he just piled up for getting arrested. Betcha he gets some sweet assignments in the next little while.


#8

This is in Canada, so

264 (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.


#9

Is it likely that an interview request would cause one to fear for their safety? I mean, you could probably stretch the definition, but that’s pretty clearly not intended for threats of exposure.


#10

Another effect / affect thing?

I see you.


#11

I am constantly getting unwanted emails from people who’d like to meet with me, a pity I can’t get them arrested for harassment!


#12

It’s my feeling that they deserve the highest levels of access possible, where the public trust is concerned.

What’s your take on it?

I would find it hard to justify ‘the highest levels of access possible’ even with people in the public eye. You would not be justified in harassing someone paparazzi-style without due cause.

We do not know the actual dialogue here, and it wold not be responsible to invent something, however likely. Nevertheless, even if Big Sister did say she did to want to speak with the journalist again, it is nevertheless the courteous thing to say that the decision had been taken to go ahead with program, and she could still take part if she changed her mind. This is a formal dance with recognised steps. Without this, they could not say she was ‘unavailable for comment’, and she could claim that she had not been given the right to reply.

The police have apparently done the right thing too. Given an accusation of criminal harassment, they haven’t said “oh, I know him, he’s okay”, but followed due process. This is all to the good. There seems to be a lot of “You’ll never work in this town again” bluster these days, but provided the ordinary people keep a deadpan expression, and follow the dance, all should be okay unless the corruption goes all the way up. And, maybe even then, if the absurdity is revealed.

Meanwhile, if the journalism is to be believed, Ms Dubé should get a big helping of Just Desserts.


#13

Deux jambes valent mieux que quatre?


#14

Reminding me of this:

To add the fullest possible context to the above situation, obviously there has been much (deserved) hostility leveled at Republican Congresspeople as they push their agendas to reward the rich and punish the not-rich, POC, LGBTQ folks, etc., etc., which contact probably in some cases has ramped up into some type of threats and harassment; and then of course GOP congresspeople came under (literal) fire last June at that baseball game, and one was almost killed.

But then; since this is public service and representative government and all, this letter gets drawn up primarily because it’s a handy excuse to remind we the people that TC doesn’t wish to hear from us in the first place, unless it’s encouragement.


#15

Just another day in the dry-as-a-popcorn-fart world of public broadcasting.

Let us stop for one moment and recognize genius.


#16

I have the fondest memory from my childhood learning this turn of phrase. You don’t hear it much then or anymore.


#18

If you don’t know what a word means, don’t use it. Yes, I’m talking about effect/affect.


#19

So he gave her the chance to speak for herself, on the record, and she chose to press charges? “Harassment” would seem to be the correct charge, but the roles seem to have been mis-assigned.

I hope all charges are dropped and she’s prosecuted for making false statements.


#20

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