Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Any wafer - thin excuse to attack Prime Minister Harper

CTV news reported in "N.B. paper apologizes for Harper wafer flap" (Jul.28, 2009) :

"A New Brunswick newspaper issued a front-page apology Tuesday for publishing a story that alleged Stephen Harper slid a communion wafer into his pocket during a memorial service for a former governor general.

The Telegraph-Journal said the article, which was written after Romeo LeBlanc's death last month, was "inaccurate and should not have been published."

The paper also apologized to the reporters who wrote the story, explaining that the contentious details were added during "the editing process."

After the story was picked up by media outlets across the nation, Harper slammed the story "as a low moment in journalism." He also maintained that he had eaten the wafer.

By Tuesday afternoon, Shawna Richer was no longer the paper's editor, and publisher Jamie Irving -- a member of one of Canada's most powerful families -- was also temporarily suspended, CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported.

While Harper didn't immediately issue a response about the apology, members of his caucus welcomed the news.

"I think it's unfortunate, quite frankly, that this became such a cause celebre," said Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who also attended LeBlanc's memorial.

"I think when there's a misinterpretation or a misunderstanding of what took place, it never hurts to say you're sorry."

The article also quoted a Roman Catholic priest who reportedly raised issue with Harper's alleged actions.

"There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any credible support for these statements now," the apology read.

Roman Catholics believe that the wafer offered during communion becomes the body of Jesus Christ -- something rejected by Protestants, who see the wafer as a symbolic representation.

LeBlanc, a former Liberal cabinet minister, died at age 81 in June. He was the first Acadian to hold the post of governor general, and he did so from 1995 to 1999."
The amazing thing is that an apology was even made! What a flap over nothing - needlessly overshadowing the story of Mr. LeBlanc's memorial itself.
see video:

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