Thursday, June 02, 2005

Amateur hour editing

Via Cherniak, go to CFRA. Money quote:
Host: "Those are edited, and that's amateur hour editing."
Editing Guy: "Yeah, I'd be fired if I did that."
One allegation is that the words 'Cabinet is quick' (in Punjabi) were spliced into the tape to make it sound as if Grewal would be given a cabinet post right away.

Update from CFRA:
Tale Of The Tape: Grewal Tapes Disputed
Bob Perreault
Thursday, June 2, 2005

The battle of the tapes made by Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal has taken a "forensic" turn.

The Liberals and Conservatives are arguing over whether the tapes have been doctored, or edited in any way.

Grewal claims the tapes prove the Liberals offered him rewards, perhaps even a cabinet position, if he sat out the May 19th confidence vote.

But the Liberals say Grewal's tapes have been doctored, a charge the Conservatives flatly deny.

CFRA producers have examined the .wav files of the tapes and offer their opinions.

Both believe the tapes have been edited.

Note: The following are the opinions of the producers and are not being presented as proof. Our producers are not forensic investigators.

Madely in the Morning technical producer Mike Murphy says that the first excerpt has two audible "clicks" where it appears that another piece of tape has been inserted. Murphy says that the clicks are visible by spikes in the .wav file (pictured above).

CFRA producer Barry Hayes says the background noise in the other tape could be proof of an edit. He say it appears that the part the Liberals claim was inserted into the tape may have come from another venue because of the difference in background noise.

Both said that the editing job looks "Amateurish". Murphy says that if he were teaching an editing course and a student turned this in, he or she would certainly fail the assignment.


Anonymous Ryan said...

I said it before -- Harper would have been wise to not associate himself with Grewal. Had he quickly distanced himself from Grewal as I suggested he would be able to point to the Liberals and Grewal and say "we don't like any of these shenanigans". But since Harper and the CPC have been steadfastly defending Grewal in recent days, they are going to face the choir now that it seems likely that Grewal will be facing criminal action for this.

Really though, I don't think the CPC and Harper knew Grewal edited the tapes. Even though I don't really like them much I just don't think they are *that* stupid. This totally fits with Grewal's history of behaviour though, and Martin's Liberals must be pleased as punch now. Any time in a future debate Harper mentions the tapes, the Liberals can fall back on "edited and disgraced tapes" and bypass any question of how ugly the horse trading was.

Seriously, can Parliament get any stranger? I'm wondering if perhaps Layton shot JFK from the grassy knoll?

5:08 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

Yes, it is impossible to believe that Harper (or anyone in the CPC) would have had a hand in the editing. If they had, they wouldn't have made such a hack job of it. Even the transcript from the tapes in English is sloppy, sloppy, sloppy: lines missed out; words clearly mistranscribed;etc. Most of the mistakes are 'neutral', a few make the Liberals look worse, some would make the Liberals look worse. Harper is just as much a victim of Grewal here as the Liberals.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More curious sightings at Grewal's site, specifically:

which makes available 4 MP3 files for download. However the documented file sizes ("7.7mg MP3 [...] 36mg MP3 [...] 23.8mg MP3 [...] 3.6mg MP3") first call for one to translate "mg" into MB, and second they don't jive with the actual file sizes that end up getting downloaded (7.7MB, 12.5MB, 19.9MB, 23.7MB respectively).

On top of that whoever rendered these MP3's doesn't seem to be very bright - they used 128bps /stereo/ encoding for what is evidently (from an analysis of individual *samples*) a monotone source, and one that could be suitably represented (for consumer-grade listening) with far fewer than 64kps per channel.

Amateur, writ wide.

But I wonder about the misidentification of file sizes - is there more than sloppiness at play here?

2:50 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

An interesting observation, anonymous. Some of them match up. 7.7 = 7.7; 23.8 = 23.7. But it is difficult to see the match between 36 and 3.6 and 12.5 and 19.9.

Might there have originally files of that size that were cut down?

3:11 PM  

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