Marci Ien's credibility seems to be in doubt; however, I would like some facts before I would offer an opinion on whether she told the truth, was mistaken, or lied, as many reporters before her have done, such as Kim Stacy, a US journalist who lied about having cancer. The Toronto Star is incredulous that the police dare challenge a narrative they say is wrong. That is not racism, and if Ien lied, she would not be the first black journalist to have done so. Janet Cooke, Jayson Blair and Patricia Smith all did. When it comes to honesty, there is no superior race, religion, sex, orientation, or age. My book Don't Believe It! showed the extent of media deception and credulity across the board. For every Jayson Blair, there was a Stephen Glass.
And for every Jayson Blair, there is a Chauncey Bailey who died trying to expose the truth.
This is not a story about race. This is a simple and straightforward question of facts.
Shree Paradkar goes into overdrive with spin that is completely unnecessary. Don't tell, show.
Do not give readers a sob story. Do not overthink and over-explain. When Hamilton City Counsellor Matthew Green was carded a couple of years ago and launched a formal complaint, the police didn't dispute the act -- what they tried to do was very unconvincingly spin it to a narrative that made no sense. I do not doubt Green's account for a second, even if the police didn't say anything.
I don't care what Ien said a decade before. It has no relevance in this matter. I just care about the incident in question.
And there is a simple and straightforward way to clear this dispute.
Ask for the evidence to be made public.
The Toronto Police -- more than one, including the police chief -- have all alluded to audio and visual evidence that disputes Ien's account.
Okay, that would seem to discredit her.
If it is what they say it is.
So let the police release it.
We had journalists believe that a young girl was a victim of a hate crime -- and in 2018, not one asked if there was surveillance footage confirming or denying it.
It was the question that would have prevented a lot of embarrassment because the story was a lie.
And now here we are, about a month later, in the very same position as we were before.
The journalist made a claim. The police made a counter-claim.
All right, somebody has said they have proof.
Let's see it.
Let's not waste copy inches crying racism or Twitter space playing coy with evidence.
Let's use space demanding facts.
Facts apply to everyone equally. Facts do not care that you are a man or a woman. They do not care about your race or sexual orientation.
They speak for themselves.
So let's see the evidence. Perhaps Ien will have been proven to be less than honest, or maybe the police have it wrong, and she is right, and it is the police who said it just so they do not have to be accountable for what they did to Ien.
You would think that a newspaper would make that demand.
But no: it is too in love with a narrative to even consider to ask.
So, fine, I'll ask:
What's this I hear that the Toronto Police has evidence disputing the claim of a journalist? Is it real or a bluff?
Let's see your hand before we decide who wins this round.