Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Grewal: tapes backfired because 'we were short of time'

As noted, Grewal has given an interview to the Surrey Leader, a community paper serving Surrey and North Delta. For the whole story, see here. One interesting section alludes to the tapes backfiring:
But instead of shining a spotlight on Liberal corruption, the Grewal tapes soon backfired. The Tories released selected segments and transcripts - fuelling a perception that they were hiding damaging material.

"We were short of time," Grewal said. "When you do this kind of thing, admittedly errors do happen."

They ultimately released all the recordings, posting them both on the web and providing them to the RCMP. But Grewal says that created an incorrect impression that he hoarded a full set of tapes he only released later.
Everyone will have to decide whether this makes much sense. It seems to me, however, that a review of the chronology casts doubt on this explanation:
  • Grewal tapes meeting with Dosanjh and Murphy (May 17)
  • Grewal tapes meeting with Murphy (May 18)
  • Conservatives release first 8-minute segment (May 19)
  • Conservatives release edited version of the tapes and transcripts (May 31)
  • Conservatives release full version of the tapes (June 2)
  • Conservatives release full version of the transcript (June 5)
It took the Conservatives less than a single day to identify, prepare, and release the 8-minute segment of the tapes that was most embarassing to the Liberals. Why did it take them two-weeks to release the rest? Because they were editing the tapes. Once the edits had been exposed, they were able to release a full version within two days and a transcript in another three. (For the differences between the edited version of the tape and its full version, see the slide show).

So, they were 'short of time'? They wouldn't have been short of time if they had not set out to mislead the public by doctoring the tapes a preparing a version that cut out:
  • Embarrassments to Grewal personally, such as things that make him sound vain (here), or whinging (here), or too calculating (his statement that he is 75% ready to make a deal, but that "the other 25% depends on what happens next" (p. 11, here).
  • Anything that show him requesting that he and his wife were offered a cabinet post and a senate seat, respectively, or the Liberals saying that they wouldn't grant one or the other (here);
  • Politically inconvenient admissions, such as Grewal's statement that even staunch conservatives in his riding were not keen to have an election (here), or that there were good things in the federal budget for BC (p. 4), or that recent news about the economy was reasonably good (p. 5).
  • Things that reflect positively on Murphy or the Liberals. The public should not hear a Liberal praise an honest man for being an honest man here, or display his obvious affection for the Sikh community, or declare that the Prime Minister will not make certain kinds of rewards because he "doesn't think it's the right thing to do" (p. 6)
If they had not spent so much time editing these things out, they wouldn't have been short of time. Mind you, unedited tapes wouldn't have accomplished the desired objective.


Blogger wonderdog said...

Lies, lies, lies.

The game now is to lie, outright, about what happened, and bank on fuzzy memories.

10:38 PM  
Blogger What it takes to win. said...

I couldn't agree more with Skippy!
He has accurately and comprehensively described the Liberal strategy for the Dosanjh Murphy Scandal.

5:48 PM  

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